Things to do in Turkey

With its epic history, Turkey offers many attractions that look far into the past. The BC kind of past. So if you’re an ancient history lover, you’ll be in awe of Turkey. Of course, there’s a lot of modern history to explore too. Every Anzac Day, many Aussies and Kiwis make the trip to Gallipoli to honour the lives of our fallen World War I soldiers. Each year over 10,000 people attend the dawn service, now held at the Anzac Commemorative site on North Beach. You can still visit where it was held for many years though – the Ari Burnu Cemetery at Anzac Cove.

If you have some special connections to the Anzacs, perhaps your grandfather or great-grandfather fought, you might want to pop Anzac Day 2015 in your diary. It’ll be the 100-year anniversary of the landing in Gallipoli, so you can be sure the celebrations will be huge in Turkey.

As well as history, there are loads of awesome cultural experiences to try in Turkey. Top of the list is a traditional Turkish hamam or bath. You can visit a historic haman or one in a hotel and chose whether you wash yourself or have someone wash you. After you bathe, you enter a heated room where you’ll be massaged and scrubbed. It’s not exactly a gentle experience, but an experience you should have, none the less.

For cosmopolitan culture, Istanbul and Antalya have wonderful shopping malls, market bazaars, teashops and lovely restaurants too. Party people will love Taksim Square in Istanbul and if you’re a sun lover, you’ll dig the pebbled beaches in Antalya. For more of our favourite things to do in Turkey, we’ve come up with a must-do list for you.

Hagia Sophia

This place brings religions and history together. This site was once a Greek Orthodox church, then later an imperial mosque and now it’s a museum in Istanbul.

Topkapi Palace

Here in this ancient Ottoman palace within Istanbul, you’ll find one of the most significant relics of the Muslim world, Mohammed’s cloak and sword.

Pamukkale

Let’s just call Pamukkale the best accident ever. Thousands of years ago, earthquake activity brought mineral-rich water to the surface, which piled on layer after layer to form its famous natural terraced pools.

Temple of Artemis

Constructed in the 6th century BC, Turkey’s Temple of Artemis is considered to be one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World because of its grandeur, size and location.

Mount Nemrut

This UNESCO World Heritage site, on the eastern Taurus mountain range in Turkey, bears one of the most valuable monuments from the Kingdom of Commagene.

Göbekli Tepe

It's not as well known as Stonehenge, but this Turkish stone masterpiece is older, predating the famous Stonehenge by 6,000 years.