Istanbul

21 Best Cities In Turkey To Visit In 2024

Looking for cities in Turkey to visit on your next trip?

We asked Dania of Adventurefolio to share her expertise on the topic.

Turkey is a country full of surprises, from its vibrant culture and fascinating history to its stunning natural beauty. It’s no wonder that millions of travelers flock to the country each year!

But with so many cities in Turkey, it can take time to decide which ones are worth visiting. To help you out, we’ve compiled a list of 21 cities in Turkey for travelers looking to experience the best this fantastic country offers. 

From bustling metropolises like Istanbul and Ankara, where you’ll find plenty of cultural attractions and nightlife, to coastal cities like Bodrum and Antalya, where you can relax on pristine beaches, there’s something for everyone to explore.

21 Best Cities in Turkey

Each of these destination offers unique experiences that will make your trip truly unforgettable. Whether you’re interested in historical sites, outdoor adventures, or want some time away from the hustle and bustle of urban life – these 21 cities have something special waiting for every traveler.

1. Istanbul

Istanbul is a vibrant city of history and culture dating to 2000 B.C. Located on the Bosporus Strait, where Asia meets Europe, it is one of the most visited cities in Turkey.

Istanbul has been home to many civilizations over the centuries and is a must-see destination for your Turkey itinerary.

This city is truly magical, from its iconic skyline dotted with impressive architecture to its bustling markets, lively nightlife, and world-class restaurants.  

Istanbul is the largest city in Turkey and is a must see on any Turkey itinerary.

Visit the Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia, shop at the Grand Bazaar, take a cruise on the Bosphorus, and partake in a Kadikoy Food Tour. Istanbul has it all!

Where to Stay in Istanbul

White House Hotel Istanbul is located in the heart of Istanbul, you’ll be within walking distance of all the main attractions. They offer transportation to and from the airport and breakfast during your stay.

2. Edirne

Edirne was a prominent Byzantine city known as the Ottoman Capital until 1453 at the fall of Constantinople.

Today it is known for its stunning architecture from different eras, such as Selimiye Mosque, built in 1575 by renowned Ottoman architect Sinan. Visitors can also explore the ruins of ancient Roman walls or stroll through the cobblestone streets of Old Town Edirne.

Edirne sits along the London to Istanbul Railway and has main roads connecting Europe with Istanbul.

Where to Stay in Edirne

Hilly Hotel is a quiet and peaceful hotel for travelers visiting Edirne, Turkey. The hotel offers free WiFi and breakfast and has family rooms and suites available for your stay.

3. Eskisehir

Eskisehir is a city in the Northwest part of Turkey, located on the Porsuk River that runs through town.

Visitors love the beautiful Kursunlu Kulliyesi complex, to see the mosque, kitchen, and caravansary. There are also local museums and this is a fantastic place to stroll through local neighborhoods and see the colorful old wooden houses.

Where to Stay in Eskisehir

Tasigo Eskisehir Bademilik Thermal is the best place to enjoy the local thermal springs. The hotel offers spa services, a Turkish bath, saunas, steam rooms, thermal hot tubs, and more.

4. Canakkale

Canakkale is known as the site of the ancient city of Troy between 3000-2000 B.C. Today, you can visit the area to see where they believed Troy was, visit the Troy Museum, and see a replica of the Trojan horse.

Learn about the Battle of Gallipoli in World War I and visit the memorials to pay your respects to the fallen soldiers.

You can also take a side trip to Bozcaada, one of the Turkish-owned islands in the Aegean Sea.

Visitors can explore ancient ruins such as the Greek Temple of Dionysus or participate in traditional Turkish activities like fishing or wine tasting at one of the many local wineries.

Where to Stay in Canakkale

Double Tree by Hilton Canakkale is centrally located with views of the Dardanelles Strait and access to the coastal walkway.

5. Izmir

Izmir is the third largest city in Turkey. It is a central hub for travelers visiting Ephesus and the Aegean coastline.

See ancient Greek ruins, the Agora of the ancient city of Smyrna, beautiful hilltop views, mosques, and ancient churches.

This is also a great place for day trips. Spend a day relax in the hot springs at Pamukkale or take a half day trip to Ephesus.

Where to Stay in Izmir

Swissotel Buyuk Efes Izmir is located in the heart of Izmir, Swissotel Buyuk Efes Izmir along the icon Kordon Promenade along the Aegean coast. The walkable area has many bars, cafes, restaurants, and beautiful sunset views.

6. Denizli

Denizli is one of the popular cities in Turkey, home of the famous thermal springs and travertine pools of Pamukkale, Turkey, and the ancient city of Hieropolis.

Other sites in Denizli are the ancient city of Laodicea, Kaklik Cave & the Ataturk Ethnography Museum.

Denizili is one of the cities in Turkey to visit for thermal springs and history.

Where to Stay in Denizli

Doga Thermal Health & Spa in Pamukkale features with modern rooms, free WiFi, flat-screen TVs, and air-conditioning. The hotel includes spa services and indoor and outdoor thermal pools.

7. Bodrum

One of the most popular Aegean coast cities in Turkey is Bodrum, known for its nightlife, beaches, and live music.

You’ll find 5-star resorts, luxury shopping, and beautiful sea views. Take advantage of a blue cruise on the Turkish Riviera, visit the Turkish Maldives by boat, explore Bodrum Castle, the ancient ruins of Mausolus, and relax on the sand beaches.

For a touch of luxury, visit the local vineyards or experience the food culture with a farmer’s market and cooking class.

Where to Stay in Bodrum

The Marmara Bodrum is a 5-star adults-only hotel with hilltop views of Bodrum and 180 degree Aegean Sea views from the pool. Relax at the on-site spa or lounge at the private beach club. With garden and sea view suites available, there are options for everyone to enjoy their stay.

8. Marmaris

Marmaris is a coastal city in Turkey, known for its fantastic scenery, beautiful sand beaches, crystal clear waters, and a hub for yachts and gulets sailing along the Mediterranean coast.

Also, Marmaris is a great location for day trips to nearby activities such as Iztuzu Beach & the Dalyan mud baths.

Marmaris is a beautiful coastal city and one of the best places for sailing in Turkey.

Where to Stay in Marmaris

TUI BLUE Grand Azur is an elegant beachfront resort in Marmaris includes a private beach, water sports, indoor and outdoor pools, and spa services. This all-inclusive resort also offers Turkish culture with cooking classes, a hammam and language workshops.

9. Fethiye

Fethiye is the perfect city in Turkey to start a tour along the Turquoise coast with its pristine beaches and mountains and a mix of history and outdoor activities, there is something for everyone.

The top attractions in the area are Kayakoy Greek Village and Fethiye Rock Tombs.

Adventure lovers can paraglide over the stunning Oludeniz Beach, or take it easy on a day cruise on the Mediterranean Sea. Hikers rejoice, as the famous Lycian Way is on your doorstep.

Where to Stay in Fethiye

Yacht Classic Hotel is a stunning and stylish boutique seafront hotel is in Fethiye city center and is close to many local attractions.

Walk to local restaurants, cafes, and bars or stay on-site to enjoy their top-rated restaurant and bar. Relax in the poolside cabanas or dine amongst the luxury yachts in the marina.

10. Antalya

Antalya is one of the top cities in Turkey to visit on the coast, surrounded by the dramatic Taurus Mountains on one side and the Mediterranean Sea on the other.

Visit ancient cities like Perge & Aspendos and the mountaintop city of Termessos. Spend a day at one of the many famous beaches in Antalya or take a stunning boat trip and swim in the Mediterranean Sea.

Take advantage of the local Mediterranean cuisine at one of the many local Turkish restaurants.

The city of Antalya with the Mediterranean Sea on one side and the Taurus Mountains on the other.

Where to Stay in Antalya

Sea Life Hotel is a seafront hotel on Konyaalti Beach is a hot spot to stay in Antalya. It features free WiFi, beach views, easy access to restaurants, cafes, and bars, and a private beach with lounge chairs and umbrellas to rent for the day.

11. Ankara

Ankara is in Central Anatolia, the capital of Turkey, and the country’s political center. It is known for its stunning architecture from different eras, such as the Ataturk Mausoleum, built in 1953 to honor Mustafa Kemal Atatürk – the founder of modern-day Turkey.

Travelers can visit historical sites like Anitkabir, explore Kızılay Square, enjoy world-class shopping and take in a show at the opera or ballet.

Where to Stay in Ankara

JW Marriott Ankara is in Ankara’s political and business center with access to WiFi, modern interiors, floor-to-ceiling windows, and spa and pool facilities. The hotel is close to the major attractions and nearby restaurants and cafes.

12. Konya

Konya is a Turkish cultural hub in central Turkey and most famous for Sufism and the Whirling Dervishes. Here you’ll find the famous Mevlana Museum, the mausoleum of Rumi (the Sufi mystic) and next door you’ll find the iconic Selimiye Mosque.

There are so many historic sites to visit like the Catalhoyuk prehistoric settlement, Sultanhani Caravansaray, and Alaeddin Mosque (one of the oldest mosques in Turkey).

Experience it all with a Konya Highlights Tour and be sure to try the local cuisine in Konya.

Konya is one of the best cities in Turkey to experience culture and cuisine.

Where to Stay in Konya

Hich Hotel Konya is an old-world boutique hotel comprised of only 13 rooms, right next door to the Mevlana Museum. A mix of the old and the new, this hotel features exposed brick walls and handmade Turkish rugs, alongside modern comforts like room service and WiFi.

13. Samsun

Samsun is a city in Turkey on the Black Sea, known for its history and modern charm. The city is known as where Mustafa Kemal Ataturk sparked the beginning of the Turkish War for Independence, which led to the creation of the Republic of Turkey.

Visit Sahinkaya Canyon to see magnificent views and take a boat trip on the river. See Karacaoren Waterfall and Village and the Samsun Archeological Museum.

Where to Stay in Samsun

Sheraton Grand Samsun Hotel has modern rooms with sea views and a private beach area. Delicious breakfast is included with your stay, with friendly staff to help with whatever you need!

14. Nevsehir

Nevsehir is part of the famous region of Cappadocia, Turkey and is the hub for one of the major airports in the area.

Climb to the top of Nevsehir Castle for beautiful views of the city and surrounding area. Then head into Goreme National Park to visit the central area of Cappadocia for a hot air balloon ride over the fairy chimneys and valleys.

Next, go to the underground cities at depths of 4-5 stories before watching the sunset over the region.

Nevsehir is the best city in Turkey to visit Cappadocia and the famed hot air balloons.

Where to Stay in Nevsehir

Konak Kale Cave Hotel is a traditional cave hotel with renovated stone rooms (yes, the rooms are caves!). A short drive from Nevsehir in Uchisar, you can see breathtaking views of the sunrise, hot air balloons, and landscape from the gorgeous terrace.

15. Trabzon

Trabzon is another city in Turkey on the Black Sea with a rich history and natural landscapes that you’ll love to explore. Our favorite sites are Trabzon Castle, the cliffside Sumela Monastery, and the Trabzon Hagia Sophia Museum.

Take a tour to the picturesque village of Uzungol, enjoy a tea tasing and visit an ancient Ottomon Bridge.

Where to Stay in Trabzon

My White Residance Trabzon is situated on a private beach on the Black Sea, this property features lush gardens and a water sports facility. The location is perfect for exploring the city and surrounding areas.

16. Van

Van is a city in eastern Turkey on the shores of Lake Van, the largest salt lake in Turkey.

A must-do in Van is going to one of the breakfast salons around the city that serve up to 70 different breakfast foods. Fueled and ready for the day, travelers can visit Akdamar Island on Lake Van, the Van Museum, or take a hike to the top of Van Castle.

Animal lovers can take a trip to Van Cat House to learn more about the famous Turkish white cats with one blue and one yellow eye.

Akdamar Island is located on Lake Van and is home to the beautiful Armenian Cathedral of the Holy Cross.

Where to Stay in Van

Ramada by Wyndham Van is located on the shores of Lake Van and only a few minutes out of the city center. This hotel offers beautiful lake views, modern amenities and a fantastic Turkish breakfast each morning.

17. Mardin

Mardin is a city in Turkey in the southeast full of culture, religion, history, and a touch of luxury in architecture and hotels. Mardin is a UNESCO World Heritage site with many churches, mosques, and madrassas to explore.

Dine at one of the beautiful terrace restaurants, visit the stunning Kasimiye Medrese, and step back in time at the Deyrulzafaran Monastery.

To really delve into the history of the area consider taking an ancient ruins and old town tour.

Where to Stay in Mardin

Maridin Hotel is a gorgeous stone boutique hotel in a repurposed mansion in the old Armenian quarter of the city. with traditional architecture and a terrace overlooking Mardin. The hotel features beautiful traditional architecture, intricate stone carvings, vaulted ceilings and a terrace overlooking the Mesopotamian Plains.

In addition to a prime location, this hotel boasts a Turkish bath, sauna, and cold plunge pool.

18. Sanliurfa

Sanliurfa, sometimes known as the city of Urfa is located in the southeast of Turkey. This city has some of the oldest sites in Turkey and is home to Gobekli Tepe, the world’s oldest temple.

History buffs will also want to visit the ancient Kizilkoyun Necropolis, The Great Mosque, and Karakoyun Canal.

And don’t miss a day trip to the ancient city of Harran to see the beehive mud houses!

Where to Stay in Sanliurfa

Kaliruha Boutique Hotel is a beautiful little boutique in central Urf. Each room is cozy and traditional with a city view and private patio. Don’t miss the lovely Turkish breakfast each morning.

19. Adana

Adana is the 5th largest city in Turkey, located in south central Turkey on the Mediterranean Sea.

Visit the Merkez Camii Mosque, which sits along the water in the city and don’t miss “James Bond Bridge”, known locally as Varda Koprusu Bridge, featured in the opening scene of Skyfall.

Adana is famous for its kebabs, with the spicy Adana kebab being at the top of the list of foods to try on your trip!

Where to Stay in Adana

The Sheraton Adana sits on the Seyhan River and offers all the modern amenities needed for a comfortable stay. The on site spa offers city and mosque views while the restaurant serves up Turkish breakfast and delicious lunch options.

20. Mersin

Mersin is a city on the southern coast of Turkey by the Mediterranean Sea and one of the most modern coastal cities on this list. Set to a backdrop of palm trees and blue water, Mersin is a history lover’s dream.

Visit the local Mersin Archeological Museum, marvel at the ancient castles, and explore the Gilindire Cave complete with mirror lake, all before relaxing on the beach.

Where to Stay in Mersin

Divan Mersin is a modern 5* hotel with Turkish hammam, and indoor swimming pool. Rooms have sea and city views with modern décor, free WiFi, and breakfast.

21. Gaziantep

Gaziantep, or Antep, located in Southeastern Turkey, is a beautiful city with a great history.

Due to the recent earthquakes in the region, the people are rebuilding, and many locals are starting over to build their lives.

When the area reopens for tourism, it’s a must-visit location in Turkey. Take advantage of the famous local dessert, Kunefe, made of sweet cheese and shredded wheat with sugary syrup.

Where to Stay in Gaziantep

Dedeman Park Gaziantep is modern with a central location with all the comforts and amenities needed for a great stay. The rooms are spacious, breakfast is delivious, and the location is perfect for exploring.

Getting between cities in Turkey is easy with a rental car, flights or publicvtransportation.

Getting Around Turkey

Turkey is a large country with lots of interesting cities and regions to visit. Here are our recommendations for how best to explore this beautiful country.

Renting a Car

While we encourage cross-country road trips, because of the size of Turkey, we suggest renting a car to drive in specific regions of Turkey. We don’t recommend driving in larger cities in Turkey, like Istanbul.

Our favorite car rental locations in Turkey are the Aegean & Mediterranean regions or Cappadocia.

➡️Check Out Rental Car Rates Here!

Public Transportation

Traveling from city to city in Turkey is also easy by bus. Traveling by bus in Turkey is inexpensive, but it will take more of your time.

Some of the most popular bus companies for city to city travel in Turkey are Kamil Koc, Asya Tur & Metro Turizm.

Local public transportation is easy and inexpensive. Download the Moovit App and enter where you want to go, and the app will provide details on where to catch the bus and which bus number to get on.

➡️Check Out Bus Tickets Here!

Domestic Flights

Domestic flights between cities in Turkey are the best way to save time traveling. During the summer months, you can purchase direct flights to many cities while in the off-season there will be fewer flights, so book early!

To save money on the cost of your airfare, look for flights on Anadolu Jet, Sun Express, Atlas Jet, or Pegasus Air.

➡️Find Flight Prices Here!

Is Turkey Safe to Travel? 

Yes, Turkey is safe to travel if you follow basic travel rules in any foreign country.

  • Stay away from political rallies and protests.
  • Be aware of your surroundings and avoid unlit or secluded areas and parks.
  • Check with your Department of State for Turkey travel advisories.
  • Do not travel to the Iranian or Syrian borders.

You’ll stay safe in any city in Turkey by following these safety tips.

Cities in Turkey range from coastal to cultural to bustling and are safe to travel with regular precautions.

Cities in Turkey FAQs

We’re answering some of the top questions travelers have about the cities of Turkey.

What is the Safest City to Visit in Turkey?

Any city in Turkey is safe to visit if you follow basic travel rules. If it is your first time traveling in Turkey, we recommend going to Istanbul, Cappadocia and Antalya on the Mediterranean coast.

Where is the Most Beautiful City in Turkey?

There are many beautiful cities in Turkey so it’s hard to choose only one!  Istanbul’s iconic skyline along the Bosphorus Strait is magnificent and makes you fall in love with Turkey at first site.

Antalya is also one of the most beautiful cities in Turkey because of its location on the Mediterranean coast. It has turquoise water along the cliffs to the beaches and sweeping views of the Taurus mountains surrounding the city.

Both cities are unique in their own way and leave you awe-struck at the views and cultural experiences during your trip.

What City Has the Best Beaches in Turkey?

On the Turkish coast, the city of Antalya has the best beaches in Turkey. The Antalya Province of Turkey has 231 blue flag beaches that you can enjoy along the coastline, the most in all of Turkey!

What is the Most Luxurious City In Turkey?

Istanbul is one of the most luxurious cities in Turkey to visit. You’ll find many luxury hotels and fine dining experiences in the Besiktas district of the city.

Take a Bosphorus cruise to see the Ottoman palaces and mansions built along the water for a view of the culture and history of Besiktas.

For a luxury beach destination, visit Antalya on the Mediterranean coast, or Bodrum on the Aegean coast. You’ll find luxury resorts or take a week-long cruise on a luxury yacht along the coast.

What is the most colorful town in Turkey?

Istanbul is one of the most colorful cities in Turkey. The Balat neighborhood boasts colorful houses that are 50 to 200 years old, along cobbled streets.

Visit Kiremit Street, which is the most popular street in Balat, with beautiful historical homes.

While the area is visually colorful, you’ll find a mix of vibrant cultures represented in this hipster neighborhood – Turkish, Greek, Jewish, and Latin influences all in one place!

Conclusion: Cities In Turkey

From the bustling metropolises of Istanbul and Ankara to the coastal cities like Bodrum or Antalya, Turkey has something for everyone.

These top cities in Turkey offer unique experiences and no shortage of amazing places to explore on your next trip. Whether you’re looking for historical sites, outdoor adventures, or just some time away from it all, there are many cities and off-the-beaten-path places to visit.