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Moniqa

TURKEY

a cool spray on a hot day

Why I love Turkey?

“Turkey's charm lies somewhere between its stunning landscapes such as Cappadocia; the constant surprises provided by its storied history; and the hearty locals, who are always ready to chat over a çay or Efes beer. As the old Turkish saying goes: 'A cup of coffee commits one to 40 years of friendship.' This proverb nails the addictive qualities of the Turkish lifestyle, enjoyed by people who are blessed with a land...”

James Bainbridge - Writer

Turkey Country Information


Cities of Turkey

Istanbul


Due to her geographic location, Istanbul has always been a settlement area from early ages onwards. And besides connecting the two continents, Europe and Asia, Istanbul has become a center where various cultures and religions are combined, surrived and succeeded each other.

Istanbul of the day conforms the definition of a great city, not only with her population and the area she covers but also with the variety of cultures and ways of living. This cultural structure which enables a good number of elements that contradict with each other and yet exist together even one in another, is the produce of an accumulation of about one thousand years. Although first settlements in Istanbul were observed in prehistoric periods, continual settlements, however, have started in the colonial period. Foundations of Istanbul of our days were laid during recent periods of the Roman Empire. Byzantium and Ottoman periods are the most significant stages in the history of Istanbul. In both of these periods, Istanbul has preserved her features of being a political and religious center and has become the religious center of both, the Christianity and the Islam. Therefore, she was ornamented with many great monuments with different functions belonging to these  two religions. Although Ankara was elected to be the capital during the Republic period, Istanbul conserved her characteristic of being the cultural capital.

Istanbul is a city that wears its cultures and history well, blending them into an exciting city that has much to offer travelers from around the world. Founded during Neolithic times, Istanbul today is a modern city that remains true to its historic heritage through its mosques, basilicas and cathedrals, and ancient bazaars. Standing between the East and the West, Turkey’s largest city offers an aura of intrigue and charm that will appeal to all visitors. An overview of the top tourist attractions in Istanbul:


Galata Tower

At 67 meters (219 feet) high, the Galata Tower rules over the Istanbul skyline, offering great views of the old city and its surroundings. The medieval stone tower, known as the Tower of Christ, was the tallest building in Istanbul when it was built in 1348. It still stands tall over Istanbul today. The tower has been modified over the centuries, at one time being used as an observation tower to spot fires. Today, its upper reaches include a café, restaurant and a night club, both reached by elevator in the nine-story building, where one can find the stunning vistas.

Istanbul Archaeological Museum

One of the most important museums in Turkey, the Istanbul Archaeological Museum is actually three museums: the Archaeological Museum, the Ancient Orient Museum and the Tiled Kiosk Museum. The three museums combined contain more than 1 million objects from civilizations around the world. Founded in 1891, it was the first Turkish museum, and was located on the Topkapi Palace grounds. The Tiled Kiosk dates back to 1472. The museums contain thousands of precious artifacts, including the sarcophagus of Alexander the Great.

Chora Church

The Chora Church may be a little bit off the beaten tourist path, but visitors say the beautiful Byzantine art is well worth the effort to get there. Magnificent mosaics and frescoes depict the life of Jesus and his mother, Mary. Known as the Church of the Holy Savior in Chora, it has been described as one of the most beautiful surviving works of Byzantine architecture. Dating back to the days of Constantine, the Chora was a monastery in its early years; a few centuries later, it became a mosque, and in 1948, it was converted to a museum.

Basilica Cistern

The Basilica Cistern has been providing Istanbul residents with water since the sixth century when it was ordered built by the Roman Emperor Justinian I. A visit leaves travelers raving about the technology the ancient Romans used to build this architectural wonder that was very advanced for its day. The underground cistern, just a few steps away from the Blue Mosque, was built on the site of a basilica that was constructed in the third century. Known as the Sunken Palace, the cistern can hold up to 2.8 million cubic feet of water. The cistern is one of the locations used in From Russia with Love, a James Bond thriller filmed in 1963.

Dolmabahce Palace

Luxurious, plush and beautiful are just some of the adjectives used to describe the Dolmabahce Palace, which has been compared to the Palace of Versailles. Built in the 19th century using 14 tons of gold leaf, Turkey’s most glamorous palace blends traditional Ottoman architecture with the European styles of Neoclassical, Baroque and Rococo. Home to six sultans from 1856 to 1924, it also is home to the world’s largest Bohemian crystal chandelier, a gift from Queen Victoria. The Dolmabahce Palace’s setting is stunning: It was built along the Bosphorus coastline.

Suleymaniye Mosque

Visitors to the Suleymaniye Mosque say its beauty and peacefulness gives them an inspiring sense of spirituality. Located on the Third Hill of Istanbul, the mosque was ordered built in 1550 by the Sultan Suleyman the Magnificent. The mosque, indeed, is magnificent, blending the best of Islamic and Byzantine architecture. The mosque was extensively damaged over the years, including during World War I when a fire broke out while the gardens were used as a weapons depot. It was restored in the mid-20th century. The mosque is marked by four minarets, indicating it was built by a sultan. When it was built, the dome was the highest in the Ottoman Empire.

Grand Bazaar

Travelers who love to shop shouldn’t miss out on a visit to the Grand Bazaar, with 5,000 shops making it one of the largest indoor marketplaces in the world. Receiving more than a quarter-million visitors a day, the bazaar features such items as jewelry, carpets that may or may not fly, spices, antiques and hand-painted ceramics. The bazaar dates back to 1461 and today is home to two mosques, four fountains, two hammams or steam baths, and the Cevahir Bedesten, where the rarest and most valuable items have been found traditionally. Here is where shoppers will find old coins, jewelry with precious gems, inlaid weapons and antique furniture.

Topkapi Palace

Topkapi Palace is one of the must-see attractions in Istanbul that combines history and stunning scenery in an experience that is not to be rushed. Rich in the history of the Ottoman Empire, the Topkapi Palace is surrounded by five kilometers (3.1 miles) of stone wall with 27 towers. Topkapi, which dates back to the 15th century, is situated on a hill overlooking the Sea of Marmara, the Bosphorus and the Golden Horn. At one time it was an official royal residence of the Ottoman Empire sultans and seat of Turkish government, but is now a museum that is considered the largest and oldest palace in the world. Visitors can get a glimpse of the harem’s quarters, where the government worked, a collection of old weapons used by the sultans, the palace kitchens with a huge porcelain collection, and the treasury with its collection of jewels and clocks.

Blue Mosque

The Blue Mosque, built in the early 17th century, remains an active house of worship today. This means visitors need to time their visits carefully, as the mosque is closed to sightseers during the five daily prayer times for Muslims. All visitors must remove their shoes and women must cover their hair. This is a small price to pay for seeing its priceless treasures that include 20,000 ceramic tiles in various tulip designs and 200 stained glass windows, all with intricate designs. The mosque, built by Sultan Ahmet, takes its name from the blue tiles on the dome and the upper levels of the interior.

Hagia Sophia

The Hagia Sophia was once a house of worship that served several religions well over the centuries. It started out as a Greek Eastern Orthodox basilica that was home to the Patriarch of Constantinople when it was built in 537. For almost six decades in the 12th century it was a Roman Catholic church. It became a mosque in 1453, remaining that way until 1931, when it was closed. It reopened as a museum in 1935. At one time, it was the largest cathedral in the world at one time, and served as the inspiration for other mosques, including the Blue Mosque, as it was such a great example of Byzantine architecture. It is most famous for its mosaics depicting various religious scenes.


Grand Bazaar - Istanbul

Kiz Kulesi

Ankara


Did you know that Ankara is larger than most cities in the United States except New York City, Los Angeles and Chicago? What’s more impressive is that Ankara has almost doubled in size since 1990. That kind of growth and development, combined with an incredibly diverse history spanning thousands of years, creates an interesting melting pot of old and new, tradition and modernization. Although it may not be blessed with the stunning landscapes of Cappadocia or the cosmopolitan sizzle of Istanbul, Ankara has a lot to offer its guests. Here are just a few things to do should you find yourself visiting Turkey’s second largest city.

Anıtkabir – Mausoleum of Atatürk

The magnitude of Atatürk’s legacy is undeniable when you first witness his lavish memorial. It’s hard to not be impressed by its sheer size and grandeur – it’s simple, yet powerful. It reminded me of Ho Chi Minh’s Mausoleum in Hanoi, Vietnam and sends a similar message to its visitors. This extravagant tomb and memorial are particularly important to the city of Ankara because it was Atatürk, the revolutionary founder and first president of the new Republic of Turkey, who designated Ankara as the country’s new capital city. On the 69th anniversary of his death, over 550,000 people visited the mausoleum to pay respect to the Father of Modern Turkey. Think about that for a moment!

Get social in trendy Kizilay

Kizilay is the epicenter of Ankara’s business and social scene, with endless designer retail shops, department stores, outdoor markets, stylish restaurants and dizzying nightclubs and bars. It’s the “downtown” area of Ankara, a busy transportation hub and magnet for Ankara’s youth. Kizilay Square is also home to many important monuments and memorials that are worth checking out. After a lengthy outdoor patio session, you can burn off lunch by exploring nearby Ataturk Meydani, Güven Park and the Grand National Assembly of Turkey, to name a few.

Explore Ankara Citadel

For fantastic city views of Ankara, head to the Ankara Citadel, situated in the Ulus Bentderesi District in the Old Quarters. Ankara has many interesting archaeological sites scattered throughout the city, however only a few structures surrounding the citadel have survived its appetite for development and modernization. The citadel surrounds Old Ankara and is free to enter and explore. But be forewarned, there are no barriers or handrails to protect clumsy walkers or those with a paralyzing fear of heights – and it’s a long way down.

Wander the streets of the Old Quarter

Combine your visit to the Ankara Citadel with a walking tour of the historical Old Quarters. Tight single-lane cobblestone roads twist and turn, revealing old red-roofed Ottoman houses, thick fortified walls and cluttered merchant shops selling everything from jewelry to water pipes to textiles. It’s a fairly touristy area, at least for Ankara standards (but it’s far less busy than the Old Quarters in Istanbul), meaning there are lots of overpriced restaurants and street touts selling cheap souvenirs and trinkets. The merchants here like to bargain hard, so if you’re up for some spirited bargaining then you’ll surely enjoy this part of town.

Admire the elegance of Kocatepe Mosque

Stunning, glorious, powerful, seductive, magnificent, brilliant. Whatever adjective you choose, it still won’t come close to accurately capturing the style and grace of Ankara’s largest and most impressive place of worship. A visit to Kocatepe Mosque is a must during any trip to Ankara.

Panoramic views from Atakule Tower

Located in the trendy and modern shopping district of Cankaya, Atakule Tower offers visitors the highest viewpoint in Ankara. Without question, the panoramic views from Atakule are the best in the city, as the photo above illustrates. It’s quite interesting to see the lay of the land from a bird’s perspective, knowing that the Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman civilizations made this land home once upon a time. If you look closely, you can see Kocatepe Mosque in the above photo – it’s located on the far left, towards the top.

The Museum of Anatolian Civilization

Arguably the most important museum in central Anatolia, the Museum of Anatolian Civilizations contains priceless artifacts from the Paleolithic and Neolithic eras as well as the Hatti, Hittite, Phrygian, Urartu and Roman civilizations. Some people travel all the way to Ankara just to visit this museum and witness its fine collection. The museum is located within two beautifully restored Ottoman buildings on the south side of Ankara Castle, so visitors can easily check out the Ankara Citadel, Ankara Castle, Old Quarters and Museum of Anatolian Civilizations all in one visit. If you’re a history buff, this museum has your name written all over it.

Eat some Street Meat

Turkish food is quite diverse, fusing Middle Eastern, Central Asian and Balkan cuisine, and offers something for every palate. That said, vegetarians consider yourself forewarned – Turkish food is all about the meat. To validate this statement, look no further than the above photo. Now that is one HUGE rotating skewer of meat! This local Dönerci near the bus station (Otogar) in Kizilay serves up its famous “döner kebap”, a seriously mouth-watering dish that Ankara has become widely known for. In fact, Ankara was home to the world record-breaking doner kebab, weighing in at whopping 1,198 kilograms!

Ankara may not be the most attractive city in the world and it won’t show up on Lonely Planet’s top destination list anytime soon, but it does offer visitors a different side of modern Turkey. If you find yourself travelling to Turkey, plan to spend a couple days in Ankara and soak up its progressive vibe. Most international flights to Turkey arrive and depart from Istanbul, but many of Europe’s central hubs have direct flights to Ankara Esenboğa International Airport (we flew direct from Munich to Ankara on Lufthansa Airlines). Because Ankara is centrally located, it’s an ideal stopover for overland travelers passing through central Turkey. It’s also the centre of the Turkish rail network and can be reached from most cities in Turkey.


Ankara City Centre

Ankara Castle

Izmir


Izmir is Turkey's third largest city and is a bustling commercial centre surrounded by mountains forming a stunning natural harbour. Although most tourists don’t come to Turkey for the cities unless we’re talking Istanbul, there is a lot to see in and around Izmir and it has its fair share of lively bars and clubs, top class restaurants and great shopping opportunities at local bazaars. Additionally the city has plenty of archaeological interest having been inhabited for over a millennia. 

Izmir Clock Tower

A favourite with regular travellers to Izmir, the pretty clock tower is set in a picturesque plaza where you can sit and people watch whilst sipping a cooling drink. The area is very photogenic and especially if you cross the plaza to the small domed building opposite the clock tower where the plaza looks out over the sea. There is also a large government building on the plaza which was built to fit in with the ambience of the place. A good venue to relax and watch the world go by. 

Kemeralti Bazaar

Trying, and coming close to emulating the Grand Bazaar of Istanbul, Kemeralti Bazaar should be on every Izmir visitor’s list. Just as in Istanbul, the place is crowded and packed floor to ceiling with an array of everything you could ever need and more. Once again, the stall holders appreciate a bit of haggling and as long as you offer sensible prices and aren’t rude, you’ll often walk away with a bargain. Make sure you grab a guide to the bazaar as it is easy to get lost in its maze-like interior.

St. Polycarp Church

This church can be found where Gaziosmanpaþa Boulevard crosses Necatibey Boulevard. The building was built in 1625 in honour of St. Polycarp, who was killed in A.D. 155 in Kadifekale at the age of 86 because of his strong beliefs and faith. It is said that they tried to burn him at the stake but the flames wouldn’t touch him so he was stabbed to death. The church is part of the seven churches of the revelation and a lasting symbol of the Christian settlement in Smyrna.

The Agora

The Agora, which was eventually a Roman market place, was the largest of its kind in the world and was established in 333 BC by Alexander the Great on the slopes of Mt. Pagos. An earthquake in AD 178 destroyed it but it was rebuilt soon after by Marcus Aurelius. The Agora was originally partially excavated in 1932-41, revealing an open square (140x140m) bordered by porticoes and a huge civic basilica on the north side. Digging started again in 2002 and is still in progress; hundreds of roman graffiti’s have been found in the basement of the Basilica. Inscriptions also indicate the existence of a church. Interestingly, this Roman bazaar is only a stone’s throw away from the Ottoman bazaar. 

Ethnography Museum

This museum is located opposite the Archaeology Museum and is located in Bahribaba Park, south of Konak. The beautiful stone building that houses it was once a hospital, built in 1831. The exhibits include a comprehensive collection of folk art which is displayed on the first two floors and which showcases the lifestyle, customs and traditions of Izmir and its environs in the 19th century. There are also displays of traditional handicrafts such as felt making, wood block printing, clog making, blue bead making, tin processing, rope weaving and pottery as well as many costumes, textiles, jewellery, kitchen utensils and camel saddles and finally an exhibition about camel wrestling!

The Archaeology Museum

With so much history nearby you’d expect a central place for its display and that place is the Izmir Archaeology Museum located in Bahribaba Park, just to the south of Konak. Here you see displays from all of the many cities from different civilisations that have been excavated within the Izmir area including; Bayrakli (ancient Izmir), Ephesus, Pergamon, Miletus, Aphrodisias, Clazomenae, Teos and Lasos from which the displays of sculptures, ceramics, coins and jewellery come. The most famous exhibits are the Terra-cotta Sarcophagi and a bronze statue of a runner.

Konak Pier

Formerly very run down, Konak Pier has been renovated and turned into a chic shopping district selling only top brand designer labels. If you can’t afford the ticket prices in the shops, at least take a stroll around the area watching the boats ply to and fro. In the evenings the enticing restaurants get very popular and a warm friendly atmosphere prevails. If you’re in the city, try to book a meal here, for the view – and for the delicious food

Pamukkale

Further inland, Pamukkale is an amazing geographical phenomenon. Unique in the world it is like an iced wedding cake with dozens of tiers. The mini plateaux hold the hot spring water as it flows down from the top of the mountain. On its way it adds layers of brilliant white limestone to the ancient plateaux that cascade to the bottom of the mountain. Visitors to Pamukkale can bathe in the waters which are reputed to have health giving properties. 

Wreck Dives

The Aegean has been a busy and important waterway for thousands of years and despite the tranquil looking water on a hot summer day, countless storms over the centuries have accounted for many ships. From Izmir and the surrounding resorts, dive companies will take you scuba diving out to some of the well known wrecks and let you see history on the seabed as well as the amazing variety of sea life that has made the wrecks their home. For the less adventurous, much of the watery fauna can be seen by snorkelling from the beaches or taking a glass bottom boat trip.

Wonderful Beaches

Ok, you may be in a city and a big industrial and commercial area but you don’t have to go far to find natural beauty on a beautiful beach. A short drive west of Izmir leads to an area renowned for picture postcard coves and gorgeous beaches. The pretty resorts of Cesme, Alacati and Altinkum are some of the best beaches on the Aegean coast with pristine white sands, warm seas and secluded, protected bays, ideal for families or those wanting to take part in water sports.


Asansor - Alsancak

Clock Tower - Konak Square

Bursa


Apart from being the first capital of the Ottoman Empire, Bursa is famous for being a green city, where the government efficiently enforces environmental laws, making the town a refreshing sight. Bursa holds a very rich history, but you may be surprised to see modern city buildings side by side with remarkable ancient structures.

Saitabat Waterfall

Nature lovers must not miss Saitabat, a gushing 3-feet waterfall that originates from a canyon. It got its name from the Saitabat variety of pigeons that flourishes in the area. It is found at the foot of Mt. Uludag, about 12 kilometers from Bursa. There are water sports that you may enjoy in the Saitabat Waterfall, but what actually draws people to the falls is the chance to eat a freshly-caught, grilled on-site trout that is cooked with butter, so you may want to time your visit around lunch or late afternoon. Make sure to bring your camera because photo ops are a must. 

Koza Han

The silk cocoon industry from China found its way to Bursa in the late 15th century, with the Koza Han being the center ever since. Koza Han, which translates to “silk cocoon market”, is where silk cocoon farmers deposit their products for spinning and the end product of which can be bought from the various shops found in the center. People go to the Koza Han to buy silk, but the design of the han itself is worth seeing as well, especially its courtyard. There are a few cafes outside the Koza Han, where people can enjoy Turkish coffee and delicacies.

Cumalikizik Village

What you would like about Cumalikizik Village is that no matter how plenty of tourists visit the historical place, it still has been able to preserve its ancient structure- in all its charm and glory. Its origin can be traced to the Ottoman Empire’s period and now serves as an ethnography museum in itself.

The main attraction at the Cumalikizik Village is the beauty of the 270 houses that are made out of adobe, rubble stones and wood. Also interesting are the Byzantine church ruins that were discovered in 1969. Cumalikizik Village is found at the foot of Mount Uludag, about 10 kilometers east of Bursa.

Emir Sultan Camii

An early Ottoman mosque, the 14th-century Emir Sultan was named for Sultan Bayezit I's son-in-law and adviser, a Persian scholar-dervish. Today's structure reflects renovations made after a 1766 earthquake, in the then-fashionable Ottoman Baroque style, echoing the romantic decadence of Baroque and Rococo – rich in wood, curves and outer painted arches.

Renovated by Selim III in 1805, the mosque was damaged by the 1855 earthquake and rebuilt by Sultan Abdülaziz in 1858, receiving more touch-ups in the 1990s.The interior is surprisingly plain, but enjoys a nice setting beside a tree-filled cemetery overlooking the valley. Emir Sultan's tomb is here, and the oldest of several historic fountains dates to 1743.

Dolmuşes and buses marked 'Emirsultan' travel here. Walking along Emir Sultan Caddesi, another cemetery en route contains the graves of the İskender kebap dynasty, including the creator of the famous kebap, İskender Usta .

Yeşil Camii

Built for Mehmet I between 1412 and 1419, Yeşil Camii represents a departure from the previous, Persian-influenced Seljuk architecture. Exemplifying Ottoman stylings, it contains a harmonious facade and beautifully carved marble work around the central doorway. The mosque was named for the interior wall's greenish-blue tiles.

Diverse calligraphy exists on the main door's niches. Entering the ornate interior, you'll pass beneath the hünkar mahfili (sultan's private box) and into a domed central hall with a 15m-high mihrab (niche indicating the direction of Mecca). A narrow staircase leads to the sumptuously tiled hünkar mahfili, where the sultan stayed when in town; the harem and household staff enjoyed less plush digs on either side.

Muradiye Tombs

The Muradiye cemetery's 12 tombs (15th-16th centuries) include that of Sultan Murat II (r 1421–51). Although his son, Mehmet II, would capture Constantinople, Murat did all the earlier hard work, annexing territories from enemy states during his reign. Like other Islamic dynasties, the Ottoman's did not practice primogeniture – any royal son could claim power upon his father's death, which unsurprisingly resulted in numerous bloodbaths. The tombs preserve this macabre legacy: all the şehzades (imperial sons) interred here were killed by close relatives. While man tombs are ornate and trimmed with beautiful İznik tiles, others are simple and stark, like that of the ascetic and part-time dervish Murat II.

Explore the downtown bazaar area

Bursa’s sprawling, labyrinth central bazaar area is a fantastic place for shopping, eating, sipping tea, watching people, taking photos, experiencing the culture, interacting with locals, and wandering aimlessly. Koza Han and the Ulu Cami’i (Grand Mosque) are two highlights in the central bazaar area. If you can find it, have a cup of tea in the quiet and hidden Çukur Han.

Window shop for souvenirs and handmade crafts

Looking for something neat to buy in Bursa? Visit the artisan shops in places like Kayhan Pazar, Irgandı Bridge, or Balibey Han. Or visit the souvenir and antique shops in the Yeşil neighborhood or in the central bazaar (our favorite is Anadolu Gift Shop in Yeşil). Handmade goods like silk scarves, ebru painting, filmography, ceramics and tiles, calligraphy, metal art, Ottoman-period antiques, and wool clothing make for interesting shopping. 

Walk through a museum or two

Bursa is home to a number of neat little museums. Museums such as the City Museum, Archaeology Museum, Clothing and Jewelry Museum, Ottoman House Museum, Hünkar Köşkü, Atatürk House, Forestry Museum, Karagöz Museum, and others highlight the human and natural history of the Bursa area. The recently opened Science and Technology Museum is well-done and interactive, while the Immigration Museum, Textile Industry Museum, and Energy Museum are all located at Merinos Center. Though most are not large, Bursa’s museums are interesting and generally well curated. Even our children enjoy visiting Bursa’s museums.


Bursa City Center

Ideal Ski Destination

Antalya

Antalya was founded by Attalos the 2nd , a King of Pergamum in 159 B.C., who ordered his men to find him a paradise, and the city was also named Attaleia after him.

This city is a cross-road of ancient Pamphilia, Psidia and Lycia and was established in the most fertile geography of Anatolia. Antalya has been the centre of culture, art, architecture and mythology throughout its history. With it’s nature made up of dark blue seas, spectacular Taurus mountains, fervent waterfalls, boulevards lined with palm trees, award winning marina and world known holiday villages is what makes Antalya the capital of Tourism.

Every year millions of tourists from all over the world visiting Antalya for its beauty also benefit from the Antalya Airport with its modern building, latest technology and service provided. Antalya, with its faultless beautiful beaches is and their main attraction by the millions of tourists that visit every year. The clean and beautiful beaches of Antalya, where natures colours blue and green unite, is what makes the areas beaches blue flag. Besides all these natural beauties, Belek, with its International standard Golf courses is well on the way in becoming Europe’s biggest golf centre.

Another reason which has made Antalya the centre of attention in world tourism is its climate, high quality standards in hotels and the fast increase in football tourism. The football fields in the Belek, Kundu, Manavgat and Kemer regions host over a 1000 national and international football teams who come here for camp.

Antalya is also host to congresses and conferences held by many famous companies in different fields from all over the world. In addition Anfaş is one of the known exhibition centers both Turkey and Europe with successfully organized national and international activities. With its traditional architecture the picturesque old city of Kaleiçi, with its narrow winding streets and wooden houses abut the ancient city walls.

Things to do:

Old Town (Kaleiçi)

The maze-like Kaleiçi neighbourhood was made for strolling. Perfectly restored whitewashed and red-roofed Ottoman mansions line the cobblestone streets, now home to a plethora of boutique hotels, souvenir shops, art galleries and restaurants. Although it's more a place to simply breathe in the old world ambiance, there are also plenty of small tourist attractions for those who want to sight-see. The main square(Kale Kapısı) has a fortress gate and stone-clad clock tower, while the 18th centuryTekeli Mehmet Paşa Mosque is worth a look just for its stunning interior tile work. Along Hesapçı Sokak you'll find the graceful Kesik Minare (truncated minaret). Destroyed by fire in the 19th century, this is all that is left of a building that started its life as a Roman temple, was converted into a Byzantine church and finally became a mosque.

Old Harbour

Nestled into a recess in the cliffs, Antalya's old harbour is a picturesque huddle of boutiques, pretty cafés, bazaars and gently bobbing yachts that look out over a shimmering Mediterranean. With its peaceful pleasure-boat atmosphere now, it's difficult to imagine this place was once Antalya's major economic hub. But from the 2nd century up until the mid-20th century this was the main port, bringing trade and prosperity to the city and surrounding region. These days you come here to shop and then watch sunset over the sea while you sip a coffee. Or, head out on to the Mediterranean on one of the many excursion boats before spreading out your towel on an empty beach.

Antalya Museum

If you're at all interested in Turkish history don't miss this excellent museum. The dazzling exhibits here showcase all the best finds from excavation sites across the Turkish coast. Even better, the collection is displayed in exemplary fashion making Turkey's rich (and rather complicated) history easy to understand. The large archaeological section offers displays from the Bronze Age to Byzantium with a particular emphasis on ruins in the nearby area. If you're short on time make a beeline for the galleries containing the mosaics from Seleukeia, the silver display fromAspendos, and divinity statues from Perge.

Clock Tower

Only the tower called “ Clock Tower “ has survived through the present day among the towers of the citadel surrounding the city of Antalya. In the past the total number of these towers was 80. In the period of the republic a beautiful Karaalioglu Park built on the cliffs.

Next to the Karaalioglu Park , Hidirlik tower is situated on the cliffs. It is a two storied structure. While the upper floor has a circular plan, its lower floor has a square plan.

This tower’s function was serving for has not been able to be understood. It is claimed to be lighthouse or mausoleum and dates back 2nd century A.D.

Kursunlu Waterfalls

Waterfalls in any place can tempt a tourist to put it at the top of their visit list. Set amid pine forests, these waterfalls might not be as impressive or majestic as Duden Waterfalls on the beachbut its secluded and remote location gives it a unique charm. Located 20 minutes away from Central Antalya, there are plenty of sauntering opportunities, especially alongside Aksu River.

Kurşunlu Waterfall Nature Park is about 19 km away from Antalya, Turkey. The waterfall stems from one of the tributaries of the Aksu River, where the tributary slips from Antalya's plateau to the coastal plain. Alongside river, you would find plenty of spots for picnicking. The park is shaded and complete with walkways, steps, and bridges, accompanying the spectacular view of waterfalls. The greenery is soothing to the eyes. You would be delighted to find lush green vegetation and lime green ponds with clear water. This calm and remote place is almost like a secret getaway. Down by the river, you can see kingfisher, frogs, and lizards. Explorers would be delighted to visit the nearby caves that curve around the back and sides of the falls. During summer, the water level drops. So plan the visit accordingly.


Düden Waterfalls

Kaleiçi Harbour

Turkey City Guide

Restaurants

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The best restaurants in Turkey, including address and telephone numbers.

Hotels

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Hotel Information of Turkey with description and contact details.

Nightlife

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Turkey seems to glow from within when the sun sets, and the exciting times begin!

Things to do

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There are lots to do in Turkey. Here you can find a detailed guide.

Beaches

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Uniquely beautiful beaches of Turkey.

Wild Life

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Every corner of Turkey is blessed with natural beauty.