Top Ten Cities in Turkey to Visit

Turkey has always been a popular destination for beach or cultural holidays but another type of holiday that travelers do not often think about is city breaks in Turkey. They are great for tagging onto the end of a tour and include just about every attraction that solo travelers, couples, friends, or families could want including nightlife, shopping, historical attractions, local foods and customs.  Let’s look at the cities in Turkey that are ideal for a two to a four day city break

Cities in Turkey to Visit

Istanbul will always be at the top of the list. Frequent flights from all over the world make it an easy destination to reach. It was the former capital of the Ottoman and Byzantine empires so historical attractions include Topkapi palace, the Basilica cistern and the Blue mosque.


Izmir is on the Aegean coast and things to do include the local zoo, horse-racing track, shopping in Alsancak and gaining a panoramic view from the castle. Izmir also has an active nightlife and is famous in the summer for serving Aegean cuisine.

izmir horse racing

Ankara is the capital of Turkey and there are enough attractions within the city to keep anyone busy for at least a week. If the hustle and bustle is too much for you, head to the outskirts and the Ottoman village of Beypazari


 The Antalya region is the most popular holiday destination in Turkey because of its beaches but we recommend visiting the old town of Antalya for a city break that delves into the past. Also ascend up Mount Tahtali in a cable car and attempt some adventure rope climbing in Kemer.

mount tahtali

Located in the north east, Trabzon is a cosmopolitan city with friendly locals. The nearby attraction of Sumela monastery makes Trabzon the ideal base to see one of the biggest attractions in Turkey. Also within the city is the Hagia Sophia and house of Ataturk.


Konya is a city steeped in history and is well known for its connection to Sufism and the great poet of Rumi. On your way there, stop off at Tuz Lake or add Konya onto a tour of nearby Cappadocia.

mevlana museum and mosque in Konya

Gaziantep is home to the delicious pistachio and baklava. The tourism office has also set up a cultural route for visitors to follow. Do not forget a visit to the old bazaar where traditional trades are still carried out by hand.


The main reason for visiting Urfa is Balikli gol, also known as the pool of Abraham. Stay in the old town and taste some delicious Urfa kebabs. If you have energy, walk up to the castle for an amazing panoramic view over the city.


Old Mardin is Arabic architecture, narrow cobbled streets and the city where locals still get around on donkeys. Recommended thing to do while you are there is taste Syriac wine and visit the nearby town of Midyat.

view of mardin

Van is well known for being home to the biggest lake in Turkey and its ruins of old Armenian churches that make for interesting exploration. Keep an eye out for the van cats, which are well known for their different color eyes.

Van Lake

Readers Question : Which is your favourite city in Turkey?

TURKEY TOURS  Istanbul Tours – Daytime and Package Excursions

The city of Istanbul is full of rich and diverse culture. Combine this with the historical delights of the old city and you have the perfect destination for a city break. Find out more about Istanbul


  1. Mehmet says

    I would add Bursa to the list.
    Bursa was the first major city the Ottomans, who started as a small emirate in the countryside just east of Bursa, had taken control of. As such, it served as the first capital city of the Ottoman Empire, from 1326, when it was captured from the Byzantines, to 1365, when the capital was moved to Edirne in European Turkey, as sultans started to turn their attention to Europe. Most of the historic sights of the city date back to this early period of the Ottomans.

    Today, with a population of more than 2,500,000, Bursa is the fourth largest city in Turkey after Istanbul, Ankara, and Izmir. It is famous for its peach, chestnut, and silk, although lately, heavy industry located in the outskirts of the city has surpassed these traditional industries


  2. Ahmad Hayat says

    Hi I’m travelling to Istanbul with my wife and kid this Nov. In addition to istanbul, we wanted to visit a nice and clean beach but we are not able to decide between izmir, marmaris and antalya. What would you suggest? Also, which places would you prefer from among Cappadocia and Pamukkale? Thanks and good day!

    • says

      Hi Ahmed,

      Izmir, Marmaris and Antalya all have lovely beaches but in terms of things to do for the kids, think they will be more comfortable in Antalya. Also try and see both Pamuukkale and Cappadocia if you can. One night in Pamukkale is enough. If you are struggling for time, then opt for Cappadocia

  3. sabz says

    I wanna vist turkey….. bt i cant afford.i wana see all cities of turkey….. especially blue mosque tkasim sqaure …

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