Top 20 best historic sites in Turkey

Get mesmerize as you will be exploring some of the wonderful historic sites in Turkey. Visiting the historic landmarks in Istanbul and other cities of Turkey will give you a lifetime experience.

20 best see historic sites in Turkey

1. Hagia Sophia


best historic sites to visit in Turkey


Hagia Sophia is an architectural-religious landmark in the city of Istanbul. It has a rich history that date backs to 4th century rule of Constantine the Great, who ordered the construction of the building.

The building was later turned down into ashes and a new one was raised under the rule of Byzantine emperor, Justinian the Great.

It was a religious building of the Christian orthodox order. Later in the 15th century, Ottoman Turks conquered Istanbul and turned the church into a mosque.

Other parts such as minarets and mihrab were built by the Ottoman rulers. The building has a great significance for both the Muslim and the Christians. It now serves as a museum as commenced by the Turkish republic.

2. Blue Mosque


Sultan Ahmet mosque or The Blue Mosque is a dazzling landmark that shines in the sky of the Istanbul city. Construction of the building was ordered by Sultan Ahmed I, but he died before the competition of the work. The project was completed in 1616, when it was opened to the public.

Built-up with 20000 ceramic tiles, Blue mosques rivals Hagia Sophia, which is only a few step far from the Blue Mosque. It is opened to the tourists, especially after prayers times. Tourists must be dress in appropriate dresses before they visit the Blue mosque.

3. Topkapi Palace

best historic sites in Turkey

Photo by Darren Foreman CC by 2.0

Topkapi palace is a grand palace complex where have resided some of the great lords and ladies of the Ottoman Empire. The construction of the palace was started in 1459 on the order of Sultan Mehmed II, conqueror of Byzantine constantinople. It has hundreds of rooms and chambers, accessible to tourists visiting the palace.

4. Ephesus


Ephesus is an ancient city where lies the iconic Temple of Artemis, which is incorporated as one of the Seven Wonders of Ancient World. Beside the temple, there are other several building in Ephesus, including Temple of Hadrian, stone carvings of Goddess Nike, gate of Augustus, and several other historic and religious sites.


5. Istanbul Archeological Museum

It is trio complex of three museums including archeological museum, ancient orient, and museum of Islamic art. There are several historic artifacts in the museums. Such as ancient greek exhibition, statue of valentinian II, Tabnit Sarcophagus, and other statues of iconic figures in the Turkish history.

6. Mount Nemrut

Mount Nemrut is a statue in Southeastern Turkey, where are erected hundreds of statues of Nemrud or Nemrut, as referred by Arabs. Several tombs are erected; and the site is incorporated as the UNESCO World heritage site.

7. Grand Bazaar


top 10 places to visit in Turkey

Photo by Jon Blathwayt CC by 2.0

Grand Bazaar is one of the most visited sites in the World. It comprises of 40 streets all covered up with 6500 shops. The bazaar receive 250000 to 400000 visitors both tourists and local every day of the week. It was also also as the World’s most visited site in 2014, receiving a total of 91,250000 visitors.


8. Fethiye

top 20 best historic sites in Turkey

Top 20 best historic sites in Turkey

Fethiye is an ancient-modern city in the Aegean region of Turkey. It was developed centuries back by the Lycian and their successors. The city has a large population of British people. So most of the tourists are from Britons, that visit the city in the months of Summer. The city houses the Tomb of Amyntas and many other ancient artifacts.

9. Sirince


Sirince is a village of 600 inhabitant in the Izmir province of Turkey. It was built when Ephesus was abandoned in the 15th century. There is also another story, that said that the village was built by freed greek slaves. It was given the name Cirkince (means ugly). The name was later changed to Sirince, means beautiful.

10. Alanya Castle

Alanya castle was built by the Seljuq Sultan of Rum over the remnants of castle of Byzantine and Roman empires. It is protected by mediterranean side, from three sides. During the Ottoman empire rule, castle was used by their lords and ladies as their residencies. In the present day Turkey, castle serves as a museum for tourists visiting the Alanya city.

11. Bodrum Castle


Bodrum Castle was built in 1402 by the knights of St John. It served as a refuge of Christians in Asia minor. After defeating the knights in the Bay of Marmaris, Sultan Suleiman asked to surrender the Bodrum castle in the term of peace treaty. Chapel inside the castle was turned into the mosque, with additional minarets.

12. City of Safranbolu


City of Safranbolu was an important trade center for the Ottoman empire. The city got its name from Saffran and Polis, Greek work. The city has a large growth and sale of Saffran. There are many Ottoman houses in the city. Due to its historic important, UNESCO incorporated the city as a World heritage site.

13. Myra

Myra was the ancient greek town in Lycia, present day Antalya province of Turkey. The town is located on the river Myros. Centuries back people of Myra used to pray the Artemis Eleutheria, protective Goddess of the Greek people. Then came Romans who built their own building and theatres.


After the fall of Roman empire, the city turned to be the home of Christian believers. St. Nicholas church was built in the 6th century. A monastery was added later in the second half of the 11th century.

14. Aspendos

best historic sites to visit in Turkey

Aspendos is an ancient Greco-Roman city in Pamphylia, 40km east of Antalya. There are several ancient landmarks in the city including a Roman theatre, aqueduct, and The Basilica building. It is one the must visit historic sites in Turkey.

15. Kayakoy

Kayakoy is ancient village, 8km east of Fethiye. It was a Greek speaking city in the Lycia province of Roman empire. Even in the Ottoman era, greek speak people continued to live in the village. There are many abandoned churches in Kayakoy. Ghost town and abandoned churches are the places of interest for tourist that visit Kayakoy every year.

16. Basilica Cistern


Basilica cistern is one of the famous cisterns that were made under the city of Istanbul. It was built during the rule of Justinian I of Byzantine empire. There are two medusa column based inside the cistern.

During the rule of Justinian I, a water filtration plant was used to provide water to the Great Palace of Constantinople. Later after the Ottoman rule, It keep providing water to the Topkapi palace of the Ottoman rule.

17. Castle of Simena

Simena is located in the village of Kaleykoy, Antalya Province of Turkey. The castle was used to fight pirates nested in Kekova. There is a small theatre inside the castle. People can visit the castle in any day of the week.

18. Sumela Monastery

Sumela Monastery is a christian orthodox monastery located on the Mela mountain. There are two column of medulla inside the monastery, a cafe, and few other features. The monastery in Justinian rule provide water to the Palace of Constantinople. Later in Ottoman empire, the water system provided water to the Topkapi palace of the Ottoman lords and ladies.

19. Aphrodisias

Aphrodisias city is one of most visited historic sites in Turkey. The city was made at the name of Aphrodite, goddess of Love. There are several artifacts and ancients building in the city. Temple of Aphrodite, Bouleuterion, stadium, and Sebasteion are a few sites that you can see in Aphrodisias city.

20. Cappadocia

20 historic sites in Turkey

historic sites to visit in Turkey

Cappadocia is a wonderful historic site in Turkey, famous for its bizarre landscape and cave houses. There are several underground and cave house in Cappadocia, used by believers of early Christianity. In modern day Italy, it is a great tourist spot. Hot air ballooning is very popular in Cappadocia, especially for tourists.

Take your time to visit all these amazing historic sites in Turkey.

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