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

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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