Turkey is an attractive country for tourists. It was the center of an ancient empire that has lasted well into the modern ages and yet is brimming with new life, vitality and progress. It is a country of peace and conflict. It is a place of contrasts, of rugged landscapes, of smooth and sandy beaches, of spectacular views. Turkey has very different faces so naturally there are so many tourist destinations there.
Which places do tourists flock to in Turkey? Here are the top ten tourist destinations in Turkey.
1. Antalya. People say that Antalya is the unofficial tourism capital of Turkey. Antalya has beautiful beaches, said to be among the cleanest in the Mediterranean, and has a rich archaeological heritage. The architecture here boasts of Lycian, Hellenistic, Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman influences, among the others.
2. Istanbul. The largest city of Turkey is Istanbul. In the past, the city was the capital city of two successive empires: the Byzantine and the Ottoman. It is the only city in the world that bridges between two continents and two worlds. You can see all the contrasts of Turkey in Istanbul, being an ancient city of cultural significance and being a cosmopolitan, global city at the same time. Shopping is also very popular in this city, it is also one of the shopping capitals of Europe; shopaholics name Istanbul as one of their favorite tourist destinations in Turkey.
3. Cappadocia. The most famous thing of Cappadocia is its stunning geological formations, particularly its fairy chimneys. Cappadocia is A UNESCO World Heritage site. These geological formations were the result of erosions that created magnificent natural pillars and columns that look like minarets.
4. Ankara. Ankara is the capital city of Turkey and also the center of its trade and commerce. Beside, tourists can find many museums and other cultural, historic and artistic attractions in Ankara, it is also known to be the tourist destination in Turkey where one can get the best native handmade Turkish crafts at bargain prices.
5. The Turkish Riviera. Mediterranean coastline of Turkey is known as The Turkish Riviera and also known as the Turquoise Coast. In this area you can find many wonderful beaches and rich archaeological sites. The beaches on the Turkish Riviera are said to be the cleanest in the whole of the Mediterranean.
6. Ephesus. One of the most popular tourist destination in Turkey is Ephesus, owing to the many Greek and Roman ruins dotting the landscape. It is the site of one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, the Temple of Artemis. The Cave of the Seven Sleepers and the House of the Virgin Mary are also the places which tourists must definitely see.
7. Troy. The Iliad, the site of the battle sung by Homer in his immortal classic, would be interesting for anyone. Of course, Troy is currently a site of archaeological ruins, but the romance of The Iliad has made it a popular tourist destination in Turkey.
8. Diyarbakir. Turkey is a country full of ancient archaeological ruins, and one of the most notable of them is Diyarbakir. Among Diyarbakir's treasures are the still-intact city walls that were commissioned by Emperor Constantine and its numerous ancient minarets.
9. Hierapolis. Tourists visit frequently Hierapolis which is another ancient archaeological ruin. Hierapolis was once a leading spa resort during the Roman times, and the remains of the public baths still stand there. Like Cappadocia, Hierapolis is one of the tourist destinations which are protected as a UNESCO World Heritage site.
10. Mardin. Mardin's chief visitors are those who want to make pilgrimages to its many monasteries, particularly the Deyr'ul Zafaran Monastery. The unique ancient stone houses is also famous and private for Mardin.