Diversity is Turkey’s middle name. A blend of oriental and modern, Turkey is a bridge between Europe and Asia and is a land of contrasts. When you visit Turkey expect to get warm hospitality, unmatched scenic beauty, vibrant cities and a world class cuisine to pamper your taste buds.
A Peep In To Turkey History:
Turkey has been a cradle bed of civilizations with great empires like Troy, the Anatolian Greeks, the Romans and the Ottomans. The result is that there is a confluence of various cultures like Islamic, Turkish, Christianity etc in Turkey.
You can visit famous churches in Turkey (Hagia Sophia, St. Nicholas church, etc) or get a glimpse in to Turkish culture by visiting their mosques (the spectacular Blue Mosque), or get hypnotized with the Sufi dances performed by people known as Dervishes.
What to See
For true cultural exploration of Turkey, check out the old city of Istanbul and visit the Blue Mosque, the Topkapi Palace, Hagia Sophia museum and check out the whirling Dervishes.
And don’t forget the self inhibition breaking Turkish bathes.
For nature lovers, check out the Coruh River valley, Mount Ararat, Lake Van, Goreme National Park etc.
You can even take a cruise holiday in Blue cruise which takes you through lovely beaches and coves.
If you are a shopping fanatic visit the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul for ceramics, spices, embroideries, Turkish coffee, pipes, perfumes, antiques etc. The experience is truly overwhelming.
That’s not all. Mountainous, cave explorations, mystic monasteries, tombs and Mediterranean cities await you in Turkey.
Must Do Things in Turkey
The street food and desserts are not to be missed in Turkey. The reason is, it is fresh, tasty and is a mix of flavors and tastes from Europe, Asia and the Middle East.
Try their fresh baked breads like lavash (wafer bread), or the flat bread and their classic crepes, called the Gozleme. Flavorsome snacks like mezze (small appetizers), fried/stuffed mussels, and shepherd’s salad are not to be missed either.
For larger meals try the grilled kebabs (fish, meat, vegetable, chicken, lamb…the list goes on) or stick to traditional Turkish cuisine with a Turk.
Flavored teas like apple tea, lemon tea and cherry tea is not something to be missed either.
And last for desserts try the Turkish delight and a wide variety of delightful fruits like melon, peach and apricots.
Helpful Tips for Sightseeing in Turkey
It is good to learn few words of greetings in Turkish language and carry sufficient exchange money with you.
For transportation, use a Dolmus (mini bus), which turns out to be convenient for sightseeing.
Dress appropriately, when you are visiting religious sites. Check out their dress code on web sites, or with seasoned travelers beforehand, so that you do not get in to any sort of hassles later.
Drink bottled water or purchase water from any market, and avoid drinking tap water.