is Turkey worth visiting

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Table of Contents

Is Turkey Worth Visiting? Revealed!
How To Get To Turkey
How To Get Around Turkey
Is Turkey Worth Visiting? 12 Best Things To Do In Turkey!
1. Visit Pamukkale
2. Explore Cappadocia
3. Stay In A Traditional Cave Hotel
4. Travel On An Overnight Bus In Turkey
5. Enjoy The Beaches Of Southern Turkey
6. Bargain In A Bazaar In Istanbul
7. Visit Hagia Sophia Mosque & Experience Prayer
8. Get Lost In The Grand Bazaar Of Istanbul
9. Travel On A Boat From Europe To Asia (Istanbul)
10. Enjoy Traditional Turkish Food
11. Learn About Gallipoli WWI Battlefields In Canakkale
12. Admire Ephesus – Ancient City
Best Time To Visit Turkey
Is Turkey Worth Visiting? FAQs
More Tips For Turkey Travel

Turkey is one of my favorite countries in the world. I understand why you might ask: Is Turkey worth visiting? The country often gets many controversial opinions. I spent 14 days traveling in Turkey, which was one of my life’s best experiences.

So in this article, I’ll answer your question about whether Turkey is worth visiting, give you tips for traveling in the country, and discuss the best things you can’t miss on your Turkey bucket list.

Ready to explore Turkey? Let’s get into it.

Is Turkey Worth Visiting? Revealed!

If you don’t have time to read this, let me give you a straightforward answer.

Yes, Turkey is very much worth visiting. From the friendliness of locals and the exceptional hospitality they provide to the crystal-clear sea with beautiful beaches, unique landscapes, and interesting historical landmarks and culture, Turkey is undoubtedly worth visiting.

So look no further. If the country interests you, you should start planning your itinerary.

👉 READ ALSO: Turkey Itinerary For 10 Days – explore the highlights of Turkey

How To Get To Turkey

Turkey has excellent international connections, so it’s very easy to get to the country. You can get to Turkey by plane, train, or bus.

Getting To Turkey By Plane

The most convenient and easiest way to get to Turkey is to fly in.

Turkey has 2 major airports, in Istanbul and the capital city of Ankara. Both airports have great connections to other major cities worldwide. It’s also easy to reach other parts of Turkey from these airports.

PRO TIP: I suggest flying to Istanbul. It’s the easiest and best place to start your Turkey itinerary. From there, you have connections to other locations in Turkey.

Getting To Turkey By Train

If you want to experience train travel, the best way to get to Turkey by train is to hop on the Orient Express train from Sofia (the capital of Bulgaria). Or do the entire train ride from London to Istanbul. This train ride was featured in the detective story ‘Murder On The Orient Express‘ written by Agatha Cristie.

It’s also possible to reach Turkey by train from Greece – Athens and Thessaloniki.

Getting To Turkey By Bus

Turkey is also well-connected by bus. You can easily reach Istanbul in Turkey by bus from other major cities in the Balkan countries.

There is a direct bus connection to Istanbul from Sofia, Plovdiv (Bulgaria), Thessaloniki (Greece), or Skopje (North Macedonia).
You can also reach Turkey by bus from Tirana (Albania) or Athens (with a change in Thessaloniki).

Check bus connections on the GetByBus website.

How To Get Around Turkey

You can get around Turkey by plane, bus, or train.

My favorite way to get around Turkey is its super comfy buses. It’s also easy to book tickets. You can book them online (which I recommend to secure a seat) or at all local bus stations in major cities.

Flying Around Turkey

I recommend getting around Turkey by plane for long-distance travel. For example, flying from Istanbul to Nevsehir is a good idea to visit Cappadocia.

Or you can also fly from Cappadocia (Nevsehir) to Antalya to enjoy Turkish beaches.

Getting Around Turkey By Bus

The easiest way to get around Turkey is by bus. I wouldn’t say before I visited, but Turkey has fantastic buses. They are super comfortable, clean, and spacious. Bus travel in Turkey is one of the best in Europe and Asia.

So you can easily travel by bus from Istanbul to other major Turkish destinations such as Izmir, Denizli (Pamukkale), Antalya, Ankara, Nevsehir, Goreme (Cappadocia), or Fethiye.

Smaller cities such as Kas offer local bus connections, too. You’ll pay directly on the bus for the tickets or at the local train stations for the connections between small cities.

is Turkey worth visiting how to get around Turkey buses
Is Turkey worth visiting? Me traveling in Turkey on local buses & station bazaar (right side)

Getting Around Turkey By Train

Turkey has also trains all over the country. The major train routes in Turkey are:

  • Istanbul – Izmir
  • Istanbul – Denizli (Pamukkale)
  • Istanbul – Ankara
  • Ankara – Izmir

PRO TIP: You can also use Eurrail Pass In Turkey, which is great news!

Is Turkey Worth Visiting? 12 Best Things To Do In Turkey!

Now that you know Turkey is worth visiting, let me give you some details about what you should visit in Turkey.

Out of my experience traveling in Turkey, I’m giving you the 12 best things to do in Turkey below. So plan your itinerary accordingly to see and experience the highlights.

1. Visit Pamukkale

Pamukkale, also known as the cotton castle of Turkey, is an area famous for beautiful travertine terraces formed by the flowing thermal springs. The calcium carbonate crystallizes on these terraces into the travertine, creating this natural beauty.

You can walk through these terraces barefoot to the top. After, visit the thermal springs and admire the stunning Hierapolis theatre.

You can buy tickets on the spot.

👉 READ ALSO: 19 Best Things To Do In Pamukkale Turkey

PRO TIP: Visit Pamukkale’s travertine terraces in the morning right after opening. You’ll avoid tourist crowds and get to enjoy it more. I think it’s not worth visiting the top thermal baths. But go to the Hiearapolis theatre.

is Turkey worth visiting Pamukkale
Is Turkey worth visiting? Me visiting Pamukkale
Pamukkale cotton castle travertine terraces
Pamukkale: Cotton Castle – travertine terraces

2. Explore Cappadocia

Cappadocia is a must on your Turkey travel list. It’s one of the most picturesque places in the world.

It comprises several small towns, traditional caves, and a unique landscape with castles and natural wonders.

27 Best Things To Do In Cappadocia: Ultimate Guide
9 Best Cappadocia Tours From Istanbul
Is Cappadocia Safe To Visit? Top Safety Tips For Travel

Cappadocia hot air balloons
Cappadocia hot air balloons

Main Cities In Cappadocia & Tours To Take

The main city is Nevsehir, where you can fly or take a bus from other major Turkish cities. The most charming town is Göreme, where I recommend you stay (in a traditional cave).

Other popular towns in Cappadocia are Uschisar, Cavusin, and Ürgüp.

You can choose to do three main tours (green, red, and blue), during which you can explore the highlights of Cappadocia.

Is Turkey worth visiting Cappadocia
Is Turkey worth visiting? Me exploring Cappadocia
Cappadocia Goreme
Cappadocia – Göreme town

Ride A Hot Balloon Above Goreme

You can’t miss riding a traditional balloon in the morning. It’s one of the best travel experiences you can do in Turkey.

If a balloon ride is not for you, watch them from the ground. The best places to watch the Cappadocia balloons are either from your hotel’s rooftop terrace in Göreme or on the Uschisar Castle (opens at 5:00 am).

You can book the balloon ride in Cappadocia via Get Your Guide (cheaper than on the spot). Their experiences offer a shuttle from your hotel, a glass of champagne after the ride, unique spots, and a local guide.

Choose one of the balloon experiences by clicking on the images below:

3. Stay In A Traditional Cave Hotel

When visiting Cappadocia, you can’t miss staying in a traditional local cave.

Cappadocia, especially Göreme, has exceptional hotels and hospitality services. Many hotels are built in the local caves, offering travelers a unique experience.

Stay in one of these hotel caves to get the most out of Cappadocia. Almost all hotels also have a terrace, where you can enjoy traditional Turkish breakfast, views of Cappadocia, and, most importantly, experience thousands of balloons in the morning.

PRO TIP: Wake up at 5:00 am, go to the terrace of your hotel, and watch the stunning balloons riding over Cappadocia. It’s amazing and made me wanna cry.

Cappadocia Cave Hotel
Cappadocia Cave Hotel
Is Turkey worth visiting Cappadocia cave restaurant
Is Turkey worth visiting? Cappadocia cave restaurant

Book Your Stay In A Cave Hotel Below

4. Travel On An Overnight Bus In Turkey

Traveling by overnight buses in Turkey is an experience of a lifetime. I loved the journeys from the start to the very end.

Turkish buses are super comfortable, have clean and spacious seats, and the journey is amazing (even though it can take up to 10 hours). The bus stops regularly (every 2 to 3 hours) at local stations. These stations are bazaars where you can buy food and souvenirs and use the toilets.

So travel at least once on an overnight bus in Turkey: it’s worth it and super comfortable.

You can book the overnight bus online via GetByBus or any other online platform.

PRO TIP: I recommend taking a bus from Istanbul to Göreme (Cappadocia) or vice-versa, one of the most popular routes.

is Turkey worth visiting how to get around Turkey buses
Is Turkey worth visiting? Me traveling in Turkey on local buses & station bazaar (right side)

5. Enjoy The Beaches Of Southern Turkey

Turkey has some of the best beaches and vacation resorts. Many Europeans choose to spend their vacations on the Turkish beaches near Antalya.

So if you want an all-include holiday, Turkey can be a great place. Look for hotel resorts around Antalya, south of Turkey.

If you’re visiting Turkey alone, you must visit Kaputas Beach. It’s considered to be the most beautiful beach in Turkey. Visit early in the morning to get a spot and avoid tourist crowds. It is beautiful.

You can reach Kaputas Beach by bus from Fethiye or Kas City.

Is Turkey worth visiting Kaputas beach
Is Turkey worth visiting? Kaputas beach
Kaputas beach near Kas Turkey
Kaputas beach near Kas – Turkey

6. Bargain In A Bazaar In Istanbul

Bazaars in Istanbul are crazy. I recommend leaving an entire day in Istanbul shopping and visiting the bazaars.

Try bargaining with the salesmen when you shop for souvenirs. Indeed, they expect you to bargain, so don’t be a typical tourist. Instead, be a traveler, immerse yourself in authentic Turkish culture, and don’t disappoint them. Bargain until you get the best price.

👉 READ ALSO: Istanbul Itinerary for 3 Daysget my tips for bargaining on a Turkish Bazaar

Bargaining in Bazaar Istanbul
Bargaining in Bazaar – Istanbul

7. Visit Hagia Sophia Mosque & Experience Prayer

Hagia Sophia was originally built as a church back in 325. Constantine, I started the construction of the pagan temple. It remained a church for over 1000 years until it became a mosque.

In 1453, Sultan Murad II converted it into a mosque when Constantinople (Istanbul today) fell under the Ottoman Empire. Until 1934, Hagia Sophia served as a mosque for over 500 years.

After, it was converted into a museum after the Turkish Government decided to reclaim it as a mosque and reintroduce the prayers.

You can explore Hagia Sophia free of charge by entering the mosque. However, women must cover their heads with a scarf and wear long-sleeve clothes.

It was one of the best experiences for me visiting Hagia Sophia. It has a special vibe.

PRO TIP: The best time to visit Hagia Sophia is between 8:00 and 10:00 p.m. It’s less crowded, and you can experience the prayer. You can just be there and watch if you don’t want to participate. No one will kick you out. So check it out.

Hagia Sophia mosque Istanbul
Hagia Sophia mosque in Istanbul

8. Get Lost In The Grand Bazaar Of Istanbul

Grand Bazaar in Istanbul is the largest covered market in the world. I recommend having a guide with you because it’s easy to get lost.

Wander around local shops, buy your favorite souvenirs, watch the tea culture and man offering tea and coffee throughout the market, and try to bargain with locals. They love it, so play the bargain game with them. Be strong, and don’t let yourself be put off by the very salesy Turkish people. They’re just doing their job.

Is Turkey worth visiting Grand Bazaar Istanbul
Is Turkey worth visiting? Me exploring Grand Bazaar in Istanbul

Grand Bazaar is also one of the most popular places worldwide to buy gold.

Overall, the bazaar has approx. 3000 shops and about 61 streets. So yeah, it’s huge and best explored with a local guide.

You can book a guided tour of Grand Bazaar by clicking on the images below:

9. Travel On A Boat From Europe To Asia (Istanbul)

Istanbul is the only city worldwide on two continents, Europe and Asia. And one of the best things to do in the city is to hop on a boat and cruise through the Bosphorus straight from the European side of Istanbul to the Asian side.

It’s a unique experience, so don’t miss it. Now, you’ve stood simultaneously on two continents and were in a single city.

Istanbul itinerary 3 days boat cruise Bosphorus straight
Istanbul itinerary 3 days – boat cruise through Bosphorus straight

10. Enjoy Traditional Turkish Food

When you’re in Turkey, you can’t miss eating traditional food. My favorite part is the Turkish breakfast which consists of a variety of things, sweet and sour. Honestly, after eating this breakfast (brunch), I didn’t have to eat the rest of the day. So try traditional Turkish breakfast.

Some popular Turkish dishes you have to try are:

  • Dönner Kebab
  • Meze – typical Turkish appetizers (sauces, hummus, salads, roasted vegetables)
  • Börek (my favorite)
  • Lahmacun – Turkish pizza
  • Dolma – grapre leaves stuffed with rice & meat
  • Menemen – classic Turkish scrammbled eggs
  • Köfte – meat balls
  • Pide – delicious bread with toppings
  • Baklava – sweet
  • Lökum – Turkish delight
  • Turkish tea, coffee, and Ayran

The locals love their tea and coffee. When you walk through the bazaar, you’ll see a man walking around and offering tea or coffee. You can get tea and coffee everywhere.

Turkish coffee is specific, so watch a Turkish man traditionally prepare it for you in hot sand.

Locals also like to drink Ayran with their meals. It’s a salty yogurt drink that you have to try.

Turkish tea culture in Grand Bazaar
Turkish tea culture in Grand Bazaar

11. Learn About Gallipoli WWI Battlefields In Canakkale

Turkey also played a major role in the First World War. One of the most critical battles happened in Canakkale, which is well-known as the Battle of Gallipoli.

It was the campaign where the Allied ships landed on the Gallipoli peninsula near Canakkale. They intended to pass through the Dardanelles and capture Constantinople (nowadays Istanbul) to eliminate Ottoman Turkey from the war.

Today, you can explore Canakkale and learn about this battle in an on-site museum.

Canakkale is a beautiful city where you can explore the Cimelnlik Castle, walk through its promenade, and taste delicious Turkish food.

Is Turkey worth visiting Canakkale Gallipoli Battle
Is Turkey worth visiting? Canakkale – Gallipoli Battle

👉 READ ALSO: 33 Famous Turkey Landmarks To Visit

12. Admire Ephesus – Ancient City

Ephesus is one of the most beautiful landmarks in Turkey. It’s an archaeological site, an ancient city that used to be the Mediterranean’s main commercial center.

You’ll learn a lot about culture throughout history, from Greece up to the Roman Empire. During a guided tour, admire its ancient ruins and excavations, Turkish baths, and the Hadrian Temple.

Ephesus ancient city
Ephesus ancient city

Best Time To Visit Turkey

The best time to visit Turkey is either May or September. The weather is perfect with great temperatures, not too cold or super hot. These two months are also less crowded than the summer months (June, July, and August).

The average temperatures in May and September are 20°C to 28°C.

Visiting Turkey in the summertime is also a good idea, but prepare for more tourist crowds.

👉 READ ALSO: What Is Istanbul Known For? 21 Reasons To Visit

Get Customized Travel Itinerary

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I design customized travel itineraries. If you want a travel itinerary for Turkey based on your travel interests (and skip the planning), email me at

I’ll happily answer your questions and help you plan your stay in Turkey or elsewhere in Europe.

Wrap-Up: Is Turkey Worth Visiting?

These are the top 12 things to do in Turkey and the reasons why Turkey is much worth visiting. The country offers incredible natural beauty, interesting history, and delicious food that you must experience. So connect with locals in the bazaars, enjoy traditional breakfast, ride the hot air balloon, and have a great time in Turkey.

Is Turkey Worth Visiting? FAQs

To help you plan your visit to Turkey, I’ve also answered some of the most frequently asked questions about Turkey. These will help you enjoy the country to the fullest and have the best time in Turkey, so check them out below.

Is Turkey Safe For Tourists?

Yes, Turkey is safe for tourists. There is nothing to be afraid of. Turkish people are friendly and always offer help when you need it. They are very hospitable and easygoing.

I felt safe traveling in Turkey for 14 days.

Is It Worth Visiting Turkey With Only Istanbul On The List?

Yes, only Istanbul is much worth visiting. However, if you don’t have time, just visiting Istanbul for 2 to 3 days is worth it.

The city has a rich history and culture, delicious street food, and unique vibes. It’s the only city in the world on two continents (Europe and Asia). So Istanbul should be on your list if you can’t visit anything else in Turkey.

Is It Safe To Travel To Turkey After Earthquake?

Yes, it’s still safe to travel to Turkey after Earthquake. The earthquake mostly affected the southeastern part of Turkey, far from the main attractions.

Still, it significantly impacted the country and life of locals. But regarding safety, there is nothing to fear if you want to visit Turkey’s western and central parts.

Is Turkey An Expensive Place To Visit?

Turkey is generally a cheap destination. However, it depends on the place you’ll visit and stay. The major touristy destinations such as Cappadocia can be pricy. But they also offer more affordable options.

Turkey a variety of accommodations and activities, so you can choose if you’re on a budget or want a bit of luxury.

As a mid-range traveler, I plan to spend around $70 daily in Turkey. It includes everything from a mid-range hotel to food, attractions, and transportation.

Can You Tip With Euro In Turkey?

Yes, you can tip with Euro in Turkey. But always make sure you’re giving them notes. They won’t accept coins as it’s difficult to exchange them. But you can happily tip with Euro and even USD bills.

Should I Bring Cash To Turkey?

Yes, I highly recommend bringing cash to Turkey. Many places don’t accept cards, especially in the bazaars, street food, and some attractions. So always have a handful of cash with you. You don’t want to miss anything because you don’t carry cash.

voices of travel about me photo

About the author: Nicoletta is a travel enthusiast and passionate language learner. While traveling, she loves to connect with locals using her language skills to learn about new cultures. Look for her skiing, hiking in the mountains, or exploring new destinations as she designs travel itineraries for her clients.

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