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Travel Turkey

Nestled between the Black Sea and Mediterranean Sea, Turkey is where Europe and Asia meet.  Inhabited since the Paleolithic era, Turkey has seen many ancient civilizations and was once a formidable empire in the world.  Invaded by the Romans, Greeks, Turks, and Ottoman empires have all left their imprint on the land and culture of the people there creating a not only architecturally stunning cities and villages, but also a rich heritage.  Here are the best places to visit while in the Republic of Turkey.


The capital city of Istanbul was once known as Constantinople after the Roman Emperor Constantine.  The city was a formidable power both economically and militarily at its height and it remains an important and historically significant nation in Europe. The Aya Sofia church was originally built in 537, was converted into a Mosque, and now is a museum that attracts millions of visitors every year.  The beautiful architecture is unique and as you enter, the massive dome is truly inspiring.  There is impressive art and mosaics dating back over a thousand years.  This museum has absorbed the history, cultures, and religions that have passed through its doors and is certainly one of the best places to visit while in Istanbul.

Nearby is Topkapi Palace, home to a long line of powerful Ottomans who lived here for over four hundred years.  The legends and tales of the people seem to spin straight out of a movie so if you can join a guided tour, you’re in for an entertaining treat.  You’ll enter the Imperial gates into a cobblestone courtyard where you can find fountains and sculptures while picturing the daily life that used to occur there.  Some of the courtyards were once reserved exclusively for the royal family and honored guests.  Within the palace you can tour the harem, though for an additional price.  Once the home of the imperial family, the harem primarily housed the enslaved women kept for the emperor and it a truly thought provoking place to visit.

Because Istanbul is such a religious melting pot, visitors have a unique chance to visit historical holy sites such as the Blue Mosque which was built to rival the beauty of the Aya Sofia and many believe that it did just that.  Istanbul has a slew of basilicas, like the Basilica Cistern, built in 532, cathedrals, and palaces to keep a visitor entertained for weeks.  Take a guided boat tour, visit the Galata Tower, or the Prince’s Islands, or perhaps one of the many art or archeological museums.  There is so much to see and do Istanbul certainly is a must-see location on your trip to Turkey.


On the southern tip of Turkey is the beach resort town of Bodrum.  One of the most popular sites to visit though is not as much the beaches, but rather the large Castle of St. Peter that overlooks the bay waters below that dates back to the crusades.  The castles is now home to a fantastic archeological museum. The ruins of an ancient Mausoleum are here as well, the first one of its kind in the world and once one of the Seven Wonders of the World.  It is the burial place of King Mausolus, coining the word “mausoleum”.  There is also an ancient Greco-Roman theatre where ancient games used to be played.  While in the town you take boat excursion out into the water or even visit other nearby beach towns if you are ready to take a break from all the historical sites and relax by the ocean for a few days.


The legendary stories of the battle of Troy have permeated history and cultures around the world for centuries.  You can visit the ancient battlegrounds and start your journey in Canakkale.  Minibuses regularly travel from the village to the site of Troy which is approximately 30 km to the south.  You can see reconstruction of the iconic Trojan horse and soak in the history of the gods all around you.  Fan of mythology will also marvel at the nearby Mount Ida, where the Greek gods once battled.  Off the coast is Bozcaada where you can see an ancient city that is better preserved than Troy.

Turkey is a very safe country for foreigners to travel.  If you have a car, you can drive through the countryside and come across picturesque villages all along the Mediterranean Sea that all are post card perfect.


Another quaint small town is Daylan that was once a small fishing village.  It is close to Iztuzu beach and is most famous for the mud baths that attract tourists and locals alike.  It is located on the Mediterranean Sea and has a great local market and charming shops and restaurants to relax in as you stroll along.  Most notably is their beloved endangered sea turtle population.

Oliver Tucker