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Turkey

Turkey is a transcontinental country located mainly on the Anatolian Peninsula in Western Asia, with a smaller portion on the Balkan Peninsula in Southeastern Europe. It is known for its rich cultural heritage, encompassing influences from the Byzantine, Roman, Ottoman, and other civilizations, which is evident in its diverse architecture, cuisine, and traditions.

Turkey's unique geography offers a variety of landscapes ranging from the bustling city of Istanbul, which straddles two continents, to the fairy chimneys of Cappadocia, the stunning beaches of the Aegean and Mediterranean coasts, and the rugged mountains of the eastern region.

Places to visit

Day plans

Spend a day exploring around

day 1

Exploring Istanbul

morning:Start your day with a serene visit to the Blue Mosque, basking in its exquisite architecture and history. Take a casual stroll through the vibrant streets of the Grand Bazaar, exploring its eclectic range of shops and treasures. Indulge in a delightful Turkish breakfast at Pandeli, a historic restaurant within the bazaar.

afternoon:Explore the rich history of Topkapi Palace, marveling at its opulent rooms and stunning views of the Bosphorus. Enjoy a delicious kebab lunch at the famous Hamdi Restaurant, savoring the authentic flavors of Turkish cuisine. Visit the Hagia Sophia Museum, admiring its breathtaking mosaics and ancient charm.

evening:Experience the lively atmosphere of Istiklal Avenue, filled with bustling cafes, shops, and street performers. Unwind with a delightful dinner at Ficcin, known for its delectable Ottoman dishes. Continue the evening at Nevizade Street, famous for its vibrant nightlife and cozy bars.

day 2

Historical Wonders in Ephesus

morning:Embark on a captivating tour of the ancient city of Ephesus, exploring its spectacular ruins and well-preserved landmarks. Delight in a traditional Turkish breakfast at ┼×irince, a charming village nestled in the hills, offering picturesque views and culinary delights. Take a leisurely stroll through the quaint streets and artisanal shops.

afternoon:Visit the captivating House of the Virgin Mary, a sacred pilgrimage site with a serene and spiritual ambiance. Enjoy a mouthwatering lunch at Kirazli Koy Sofrasi, savoring authentic village cuisine and warm hospitality. Discover the fascinating artifacts at the Ephesus Archaeological Museum, providing insight into the region's rich history.

evening:Wind down the day with a serene sunset at Pamucak Beach, offering a tranquil and picturesque setting. Savor a delightful seafood dinner at Kordon Restaurant, enjoying fresh and flavorful dishes while overlooking the azure waters. Complete the evening with a leisurely stroll along the charming Kusadasi waterfront promenade.

day 3

Natural Wonders in Cappadocia

morning:Embark on a mesmerizing hot air balloon ride over the enchanting landscapes of Cappadocia, witnessing the surreal beauty of fairy chimneys and rugged valleys from above. Indulge in a hearty breakfast at Topdeck Cave Restaurant, offering delectable Turkish specialties and panoramic views of the region. Explore the intricate underground cities, marveling at their mysterious depths and historical significance.

afternoon:Venture into the picturesque Pigeon Valley, enjoying a scenic hike surrounded by stunning rock formations and natural splendor. Relish a delicious picnic lunch amidst the breathtaking scenery, savoring local delicacies and refreshing beverages. Visit the Goreme Open-Air Museum, admiring the ancient rock-cut churches and captivating frescoes.

evening:Embrace the enchanting ambiance of sunset at the Red Valley, witnessing the stunning interplay of light and shadows across the rugged terrain. Delight in a sumptuous dinner at Dibek, known for its authentic Anatolian cuisine and warm hospitality. Conclude the day with a serene evening at your hotel's rooftop terrace, enjoying panoramic views and stargazing under the clear night sky.

day 4

Relaxing on the Turquoise Coast

morning:Indulge in a rejuvenating morning at Patara Beach, relishing the tranquil atmosphere and stunning natural beauty of the coastline. Enjoy a leisurely breakfast at Cafe Patara, savoring delightful pastries and freshly brewed coffee amidst the serene surroundings. Immerse yourself in the crystal-clear waters for a refreshing swim or leisurely beach walk.

afternoon:Explore the ancient ruins of Patara, uncovering the remnants of an illustrious Lycian city and its historical significance. Revel in a delightful lunch at Adil Muftuoglu Ev Yemekleri, savoring traditional Turkish home-cooked dishes in a charming garden setting. Discover the captivating rock-cut tombs of Xanthos, offering a glimpse into the region's ancient legacy.

evening:Embrace the stunning sunset at Kaputas Beach, where the golden hues illuminate the pristine shoreline in a mesmerizing display. Enjoy a delectable seafood dinner at Bal─▒k├ž─▒ a Bal─▒k Evi, renowned for its fresh catches and seaside ambiance. Conclude the day with a leisurely evening stroll along the charming promenade of Ka┼č, reveling in its laid-back atmosphere and charming boutiques.

Turkey Famous Food

Must-Try local dishes

K├Âfte

Minced meat patties seasoned with various spices and herbs, grilled to perfection. Best enjoyed at local kebab houses and restaurants like Tarihi As┬Źrin Bolulu Hasan Usta in Istanbul.

Must-Try!

Manti

Small dumplings filled with spiced meat or cheese, topped with yogurt and garlic-infused tomato sauce. A must-try at Ciya Sofrasi in Istanbul.

Baklava

Filo pastry layered with nuts and honey or syrup, creating a sweet, indulgent dessert. Sample the best at Karak├Ây G├╝ll├╝o─člu in Istanbul.

Food Markets & Street Food

A food market and street food guide

Istanbul Street Food

Explore the bustling streets of Istanbul to find delectable street food like simit (sesame-encrusted bread rings), balik ekmek (grilled fish sandwiches), and midye dolma (stuffed mussels) near the Galata Bridge.

Kadikoy Food Market

Head to Kadikoy to experience a vibrant food market offering a wide array of fresh produce, spices, and delectable street food such as lahmacun (thin, crispy pizza-like dish) and d├Âner kebab.

Dietary Restrictions

Navigating dietary restrictions locally

Vegetarian and Vegan Options

While Turkish cuisine heavily features meats, many restaurants offer vegetarian and vegan-friendly dishes like mercimek k├Âftesi (red lentil kofte) and freshly made dolmas (stuffed vegetables). Look for 'etsiz' (meatless) options on menus.

Vegetarian, Vegan

Gluten-Free Dining

Dishes like grilled meats, mezes, and rice-based pilafs are inherently gluten-free. However, those with gluten intolerance should communicate their needs clearly, as wheat-based ingredients are common in Turkish cuisine.

Gluten-Free

Restaurants & Caf├ęs

Best places to eat and drink in Turkey

Çiya

Renowned for its authentic Anatolian cuisine, often featuring forgotten or lesser-known recipes from different regions of Turkey. A paradise for food enthusiasts in Istanbul.

Namli Gurme

A gourmet deli in Istanbul with an array of Turkish cheeses, olives, and cured meats, perfect for a leisurely brunch or lunch.

Things to do in Turkey

Unique local experiences...

Popular cities in Turkey

Explore local food, attractions and more!

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