10 Historical Places in Turkey That You Should't Miss Out!
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Best Turkey Attractions

Historical Places to Visit in Turkey

1. Mount Nemrut
2. Van Castle
3. Goreme Open Air Museum
4. Aphrodisias
5. St. Nicholas Church, Myra
6. Gobekli Tepe
7. Kayakoy
8. Aspendos
9. Bodrum Museum Of Underwater Archaeology
10. Sumela Monastery

Nestled in the middle east, the historical places in Turkey are nothing less than a haven for history lovers. The country was occupied by the Seljuq, Byzantines, and Ottomans and has left a lot of monuments that are worth visiting. While places like St Nicholas Church are a testament to the Eastern Orthodox sect of Christianity, Mount Nemrut, influenced by Greece and Persian deities like Helios, Apollo, and Commagene-Tyche, make it a must-visit destination for those exploring Turkey tour packages. Visit Gobekli temple which is famously known as one of the first man- made monumental infrastructures. The country is also well known for its castle and one of them is Van Castle, which is used to perform religious rituals. You can uncover the St. Nicholas Church, which is dedicated to the social worker St. Nicholas.

One of its kind Bodrum Museum Of Underwater Archaeology is an underwater museum that will let you discover the ancient shipwrecks in the Aegean Sea. Over the past, Turkey has witnessed sects of Christianity and religious orders set up places of historical significance that are worth considering. Attractions like Mount Nemrut and Goreme Open Air Museum, along with cities like Aphrodisias are Turkey's historical places to visit and are also recognized by UNESCO as World Heritage Sites. Explore these wonders with specially curated Europe tour packages.

Here are some of the best  historical places in Turkey:

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01

Mount Nemrut

  • Mount Nemrut is a dormant volcano whose name has its origin in King Nimrod, a Biblical character who also ruled this region 2100 ago.
  • It is a world heritage site declared by UNESCO and is 2150 meters tall. 
  • Today the mountain is filled with leftovers of giant statues that once existed on this mountain. 
  • Tourists visiting this place can check out the status of Greco-Persian deities like Zeus, Apollo, Helios, and Commagene-Tyche.
  • The mountain is easily accessible by walking and it is an uphill journey of 600 meters.
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02

Van Castle

  • Alternatively known as the Fortress of Van, this is a massive stone fort built by the Urartu kingdom between the 7th and 9th century BC during the iron age and is one of Turkey's historical places to visit. 
  • It is located on an elevated rock that overlooks the banks of Van Lake and comes with facilities like an armory, entrance gates, warehouses, and towers. 
  • The fortress was originally built by the Urartu Kingdom and was occupied by different conquerors like the Persians, Armenians, and Arabs. Later, the fortress was restored by the Ottomans. 
  • After the 2011 earthquake, the fortress was restored along with the museum and today it introduces visitors to the different types of Urartian castles spread across this region.

Location: Yal, 65040 Merkez/ipekyolu/Van, Turkey 

Timings: 8 AM to 5 PM

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03

Goreme Open Air Museum

  • Located in Cappadocia, the Goreme Open Air Museum are rock cut monasteries with eye-catching frescoes that are as old as the 10th century. 
  • It is one of Turkey’s historical places to visit that was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1985 and consists of churches, houses and monasteries carved out of soft lava rocks by the local communities during the 10th century BC after they chose to spend a life of austerity. 
  • These structures resemble chimneys and are locally known as “fairy chimneys” in Goreme. 
  • Some of the important landmarks in this open air museum that are still intact and worth checking out are the Karanlik Kilise Church and the Tokai Kilise.

Location: 50180 Göreme/Nevehir Merkez/Nevehir, Turkey

Timings: 8:30 AM to 7:30 PM

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04

Aphrodisias

  • Aphrodisias was once a small ancient Greek city located in the Caria cultural region of Turkey’s western Anatolia. 
  • It is known for the sanctuary of Aphrodite and the sculptures made out of marble as it also shows the interaction between the ancient Greeks and Romans.
  • This is one of the historical places in Turkey that has been visited by tourists since the 18th century and was also prone to scientific exploration. 
  • It's got carvings and inscriptions that talk about the social lives of the local people who lived there and is also a World Heritage Site declared by UNESCO. 

Location: Geyre, Aydin Province, Turkey

Timings: 8:30 AM to 7:30 PM

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05

St. Nicholas Church, Myra

  • The St Nicholas Church is known to be one of the most important religious structures for the Byzantines in Anatolia. 
  • It was constructed in 520 AD after St Nicholas died and was later buried in that church. Over time, the church underwent damage due to earthquakes and war but was restored several times 
  • Visitors can check out the Sarcophagus of St Nicholas, the 3 chapels and the different types of frescoes that highlight the different stages of St Nicholas's life. 
  • Every 6th December the church commemorates St Nicholas, the Archbishop of Myra in Lycia and is celebrated by Orthodox Christians spread across the world. 

Location: Geyre, Aydin Province, Turkey

Timings:
8:00 AM to 7:30 PM

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06

Gobekli Tepe

  • Translated as Potbelly Hill, the Gobekli Tepe is a World Heritage Site declared by UNESCO and is an archeological site dating back to the Neolithic period.
  • This site consists of some of the world's oldest megaliths and historical places in Turkey dating back to more than 10,000 years ago. 
  • Today tourists visiting this place can find structures that resemble T-shaped stones and are filled with motifs of animals like lions. 
  • There are day trips available from Sanliurfa and come with amenities like a visitor center and facilities for tourists using a wheelchair or a stroller.

Location: Örencik, 63290 Haliliye/anlurfa, Turkey

Timings: 8:00 AM to 7:00 PM
07

Kayakoy

  • Located in the southwestern part of Turkey, Kayakoy has been a ghost town and an abandoned village in the Lycia province of Turkey since the 1920s. 
  • Historians suggest that both Christians and Muslims used to live in this place in harmony but due to the population exchange, the city has been abandoned ever since. 
  • Today a lot of structures in this place are left to crumble and are a hidden gems waiting to be discovered. and although 
  • Today, it is one of the historical places in Turkey located close to the city of Hisarönü, and is also a hidden gem waiting to be discovered

Location:
Mugla province, Turkey

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08

Aspendos

  • Aspendos is an ancient Greco-Roman city located 40 kms from the city of Antalya in Turkey. 
  • It is an acropolis that was originally built by Emperor Marcus Aurelius and is located on the top of a flat hill amidst some monuments like the Market Building and Odeion.
  • Today, the venue is still in use for events like operas, concerts and events like the Antalya Film Festival, and the annual Aspendos Opera and Ballet Film Festival.
  • This place is easy to travel by both car and bus and the best time to check out this place would be from March to June. 

Location:
Serik, Antalya province, Turkey

Timings: 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM

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09

Bodrum Museum Of Underwater Archaeology

  • Apart from being a prominent partying destination, Bodrum is home to the Bodrum Museum of Underwater Archaeology. 
  • The origin of this museum dates back to when this was originally a castle and was built on the top of a Byzantine church between 1406 and 1522.
  • Later it was restored and used as a venue to protect the findings from the underwater excavations in the 1960s. 
  • Today, the museum houses artifacts dating back to the 14th century BC and continues to function today as a museum.
  • Tourists visiting this museum must buy a ticket preferably by booking them well in advance. 

Location: car Mg 48400 Bodrum/Mugla, Turkey
Timings: 8:30 AM to 6:00 PM
10

Sumela Monastery

  • Alternatively known as the Monastery of Virgin Mary, the Sumela Monastery is a 1500 year old Greek monastery of the Orthodox Christianity faith and is located within the Pontic mountains of Turkey's Trabzon province. 
  • The monastery overlooks the Alt?ndere valley and is more than 1500 years old. 
  • This historical place in Turkey is also a World Heritage Site declared by UNESCO that was built in 385 AD.
  • The monastery’s name is derived from the word ‘mela’ meaning dark, as it was built on Karadag mountain (locally translated as a dark mountain)
  • Later, when the Ottoman sultans established the powerful Ottoman kingdom, they preserved and restored the monastery. 

Location: Altndere, 61750 Maçka/Trabzon, Turkey

Timings: 9:00 AM to 7:00 PM

People Also Ask About Turkey

  1. Which are some famous museums in Turkey?

    1. Bodrum Museum of Underwater Archaeology- A unique underwater museum that was once a palace and later turned into a storage facility for artifacts recovered from underwater archeological expeditions.

    2. Goreme Open Air Museum-
    Tourists visiting the Goreme Open Air Museum can check out the rock cut monasteries and churches with eye-catching frescoes. They have been carved out of soft laval rocks and are now recognised as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.

    3. Van Castle Museum-
    Popularly known as the Fortress of Van, this is a stone fort built that overlooks the Van lake and was originally used as a storage facility and an armoury. It was damaged due to an earthquake in 2011 and was later restored to its present structure.
  2. Which are the best places to visit in Turkey?e

    • Van Castle
    • Mount Nemrut
    • Aspendos
    • Kayakoy
    • Sumela Monastery
  3. What is Turkey's most famous landmark?

    Hagia Sophia is one of the most famous historical places in Turkey which originated from the Byzantine and Ottoman empires. It was once a Christian Basilica and was later converted into a mosque. It has undergone a lot of rounds of restoration and is one of the most sought-after landmarks by tourists planning to Turkey historical places to visit.
  4. What is the best month to go to Turkey?

    April, May, September, and October are the best months to visit the historical places in Turkey. These are the months when the country witnesses the peak tourist season. However, tourists can also plan a visit during the shoulder season which usually ranges between November to March and explore Turkey historical places to visit. This is the time when the weather becomes slightly chilly but it is also pleasant enough to plan a trip and check out Turkey's historical places to visit.
  5. How many days are enough to visit Turkey?e

    It is advisable for tourists to plan a visit to Turkey for up to 10 to 14 days and explore a select few historical places in Turkey. This will also give you plenty of time to check out the prominent cities in the country and visit their historical attractions and beaches.
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