Things to do in Turkey

From awe-inspiring ancient ruins to spectacular sandy beaches and lush mountain valleys, this country is a haven for culture seekers and nature enthusiasts. If you fancy a break away from the beach, or need something for the kids to keep them happy, here are some of the best things to do in Turkey.

Yivli Minare

While on holiday in Antalya, a visit to the iconic Yivli Minare is a must. It’s one of the most impressive landmarks in Turkey. Standing tall above the city, the fluted minaret was originally built in the 13th century, and is now one of the most photographed attractions in Turkey. This gorgeous tower is 38 metres high, and it’s home to the Antalya Ethnographic Museum. Climb the 90 steps to the top and you’ll be rewarded with superb views of the coast and the city centre.

Hadrian’s Gate

Transport yourself back to the Roman era as you walk through Hadrian’s Gate; one of Antalya’s most impressive archaeological highlights. It’s spectacular, so make sure you’ve got your camera with you!

Head to Izmir’s Kadifekale Castle

Hike or drive to Kadifekale Castle which lies on a hillside in the city. The castle dates to the Roman times and was created when Izmir was known as Smyrna.

Visit Turkey’s stunning Blue Lagoon

Visit the iconic Blue Lagoon in Ölü Deniz for beautiful, turquoise waters and magnificent, unspoilt landscapes. The protected lagoon is surrounded by lush, green woodlands where the nearby Butterfly Valley can be found. For magical photos, make sure this is on your list of things to do.

Visit the ancient city of Ephesus

One of the most famous landmarks in Turkey. See the spectacular ruins of this ancient Arzawan capital, which dates back around 3,000 years. Walk around the Temple of Artemis, widely considered to be one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, and see the Library of Celsus, one of the biggest libraries of the Roman Empire.

Have a go at scuba diving in Kusadasi

Head over to the Activity Blue Diving School and dive below the crystal-clear blue waters to find what wonders lie below. If you’re new to diving, the PADI-approved, qualified instructors will teach you all you need to know. If you’re an adrenaline seeker, don’t forget to include this on your itinerary of things to do in Turkey.

Make a splash at Atlantis Waterpark

Just a 20-minute drive away in Marmaris is the brilliant Atlantis Waterpark. This family-friendly waterpark is right along the beach and is an ideal day trip for families. With a wave pool, exciting slides, a children’s pool, bowling, and miniature golf, it’s guaranteed to keep the whole family entertained all day long.

Visit the Kursunlu Waterfall Natural Park

One of the best things to do for nature lovers. A 19km from Antalya, this beautiful natural park is home to one of Turkey’s most impressive waterfalls. Which is best admired in the winter, spring or autumn. A much quieter and more tranquil alternative than the beach, this pine forest is rich in wildlife and perfect for picnics. However, if you’re visiting in summer, remember that this is the dry season, so the waterfalls will be little more than a trickle at this time of year!


1. Lara Beach Nightlife

After spending your time sunning it up on the beach or relaxing by the pool, the only thing left to do is head out for a night of fun. While Lara Beach nightlife might not be a clubbers’ paradise
Find out more

3. Kusadasi Waterpark

If you’re going on holiday with the little ones, you’ll want to know that the kids are catered for and that you’re not going to hear those two dreaded words
Find out more

4. Nightlife in Hisaronu

Hisaronu might be small in size, but it’s big on character and it certainly knows how to let the good times roll. You’ll find it just inland from Turkey’s Turquoise Coast perched on the side of a mountain.
Find out more

6. Antalya Nightlife

Located on Turkey’s western Mediterranean coastline, Antalya is a buzzing seaside resort with beaches, restaurants, museums, and ancient architecture.
Find out more

9. Kemer Carnival

Tucked away between the turquoise-blue sea and amazing views of the Taurus mountains, Kemer is one of Antalya’s most popular holiday resorts.
Find out more

10. Yivli Minare

While on holiday in Antalya, a visit to the iconic Yivli Minare is a must. Standing tall above the city, the fluted minaret was originally built in the 13th century, and is now one of the most photographed attractions in the city.
Find out more

11. Kursunlu Waterfalls

Take a break from the beach and discover the captivating natural beauty of Turkey with a trip to the Kursunlu Waterfalls, hidden at the end of an unforgettable trail in tranquil shady forests.
Find out more

12. Karaalioglu Park

To escape the hustle and bustle of the city, go for a walk through the picturesque gardens at Karaalioglu Park. Found near the Old Town, you can easily get to the park by walking from the centre of Antalya or by taking the tram.
Find out more

13. Hadrian's Gate

Transport yourself back to the Roman era as you take a walk through Hadrian’s Gate; one of Antalya’s most impressive archaeological highlights.
Find out more

17. Antalya Events

The Antalya region on the Mediterranean coast of Turkey is the second most popular holiday destination in the country. This prestigious status comes about for many reasons. As part of the scenic Turkish Riviera, it attracts yachting enthusiasts and the famous Lycian trail, a 516-kilometer walk covering ancient ruins is a favoured trek for history lovers.
Find out more

19. Walks around Çeşme

Wander through the coastal town and up into the stunning green countryside to breathe in the fresh Turkish air. The picturesque setting is perfect for photo opportunities.
Find out more

22. Explore Çeşme Castle

Escape the hustle and bustle in the centre of town and head to the picturesque coast for stunning views of the ocean and a chance to uncover the resorts history by visiting Çeşme Castle.
Find out more

23. Explore Izmir’s Konak Square

Visit southern Izmir to see the traditional Konak Square between the bazaar and downtown waterfront. Visit the Yali Mosque and the interesting clock tower then stroll over to the Museum of Modern Art.
Find out more

25. Festivals in Izmir

During the spring and the summer the city plays host to festivals featuring top names in the world of music. If you fancy dancing the night away then travel in March for the European Jazz Festival.
Find out more

33. Day trip to Kusadasi from Ozdere

If you’re in need of a slightly livelier atmosphere, why not head over to bustling town of Kusadasi? Between the attractive beaches and the vibrant market streets, it’s home to an array of fascinating sights and activities making it a popular destination for holidaymakers.
Find out more

34. Browse Ozdere market

When staying at this beautiful resort, make sure you check out the local market that takes places every Saturday. Sitting in the heart of Özdere, the open air market is stocked with a wealth of fresh fruit, vegetables, fish and spices.
Find out more

35. Explore the ancient ruins of Ephesus

For a break away from the beach, take a day trip to the impressive archaeological site of Ephesus, which is just a 35 minute drive away in the small town of Selcuk. Pictures don’t do the stunning ruins of Ephesus justice,
Find out more

36. Walk the Lycian Way

The beautiful weather and stunning scenery makes the local area ideal for hiking holidays And perfect for travelling along one of Turkey’s most famous walking trails, the Lycian Way.
Find out more

39. Patara Beach

If you feel like a change from Olu Deniz Beach, head further south around the coast and spend a day relaxing in the golden sunshine at Patara Beach.
Find out more

40. The Grand Ucel Aqua Park

Enjoy a fun day out for the whole family with a visit to the Grand Ucel Aqua Park. As part of a hotel, the water park is a good size and has plenty of slides to keep your little ones entertained.
Find out more

41. Kidrak Natural Park

To experience the true beauty of Turkey’s spectacular Turquoise Coast, make sure you visit the Kidrak Natural Park. With its incredible scenery and picture-perfect beach, it’s an ideal way to see more of the local area.
Find out more

43. Babadag

For breathtaking panoramic views, a trip up Babadag mountain is an absolute must while you’re in Olu Deniz.
Find out more

48. Water sports

Kalkan has several beautiful beaches, some of which are sandy whilst others are more pebbly. The shallow shores are famous for its crystal clear waters and gentle waves
Find out more

49. Visit Fethiye from Kalkan

Just over an hour’s drive away from Kalkan is the stunning resort of Fethiye. A long stretch of soft sand and shallow, crystal clear waters make up a glistening cove that reflects the mountainous backdrop.
Find out more

57. Visit Fethiye from Hisaronu

Fethiye has lots of Turkish charm and is a short 15 minute bus ride from Hisaronu. Spend the day exploring the cobbled streets, mosques and jumble of shops of the Old Town and pick up souvenirs
Find out more

59. Calis Beach

To enjoy the warm Mediterranean waters and hot Turkish sunshine, make sure you spend a day or two at Calis Beach. The beach is a peaceful place right next to Fethiye, just a short distance from the centre of town.
Find out more

60. Letoon

Explore an important ancient sanctuary when you pay a visit to Letoon. Four kilometres south of Xanthos, this fascinating place is perfect if you’re interested in archaeological sites. It should
Find out more

61. Tlos

If you love ancient sights and exploring while you’re on holiday, don’t miss the fascinating ruins of Tlos. Around 40 minutes from Fethiye by car, you can drive yourself if you have a hire car, catch
Find out more

62. Saklikent Gorge

If you love to explore and be active while you’re away, make sure you visit the incredible Saklikent Gorge on your holiday to Fethiye. Around 45 minutes away by car, it’s one of the deepest canyons in
Find out more

63. Kabak Koyu

Look forward to an incredible experience when you pay a visit to the beautiful Kabak Koyu nature park. Around 30 kilometres south of Fethiye, it’ll take less than an hour to reach Kabak Koyu, and there
Find out more

66. Lycian Rock Tombs

Standing tall above Dalyan’s flowing river are the 2,000 year old Lycian Rock Tombs. The surrounding area just adds to the magnificence of this ancient site.
Find out more

67. Dalyan River and hot springs

Dalyan’s pretty setting is on the edge of a maze of fertile banks and pine trees. For a relaxing day trip take a calming boat ride along the Dalyan River to fill your senses with the stunning nature of the landscape.
Find out more

71. Check out Kalkan

If you’re feeling peckish, pop over to Kalkan where you’ll find lots of restaurants to choose from. This charming old fishing village rises up into
Find out more

72. Relax in a mud bath

One of the best ways to relax in Dalaman is with a long soak in a mud bath. People come from all over to take a dip in these baths because of the mud’s rejuvenating properties.
Find out more

79. Sample the nightlife

Gumbet has lots to do during the day and at night becomes a party paradise. There’s a large variety of discos, bars, clubs and restaurants each with its own brand of entertainment for you to enjoy.
Find out more

81. Boat trips

Why not head down to Bodrum’s picturesque coast for a boat tour that will have you sailing across the waves in the mystical Mediterranean Sea. If you want a party cruise or a more peaceful day,
Find out more

85. Visit the Castle of St. Peter

The magnificent Castle of St. Peter, also known as Bodrum Castle, sits proudly along the beautiful coastline protecting the harbour. Favourable among history buffs and those after a break from the energetic city,
Find out more

89. Experience local life

Altinkum is an exciting tourist destination with a traditional Turkish vibe. For the best authentic Turkish food you should take a trip to the local market at Didim;
Find out more

90. Have fun at the beach

Altinkum has three stunning beaches for you to choose from, and each has clean golden sands with safe shallow waters that are ideal for the kids to splash around in.
Find out more

91. Visit the Temple of Apollo

Travel just outside of Altinkum to Didim for a unique chance to explore a part of the ancient world. Get up close with the archaeological site; walk over the ancient stone, through winding passageways
Find out more

92. Shopping in Turkbuku

In need of some retail therapy? Then head over to the town of Tϋrkbϋkϋ. Spend the day wandering the picturesque streets, taking in the traditional beauty of the area. The town is split down
Find out more

93. Relax on Bitez Beach

More than just a beach, Bitez Bay is a gorgeous area to unwind in. The sandy shores can be found just seven kilometres from Bodrum town. Archaic Greek church ruins with beautiful dolphin mosaic
Find out more

96. Experience the nightlife

Side has a buzzing nightlife with lots of different bars, restaurants and cafes for you to try. There’s plenty for music and sports fans with many bars showing live sport or music.
Find out more

99. Visit the Old Town

Side has a well-kept old town that is also a National Heritage site; it’s great for exploring and taking in the rustic views. In Old Side you’ll find a museum with Greco-Roman exhibits
Find out more

109. Kayaking in Goynuk Canyon

For a fun and memorable adventure, experience kayaking in the cool waters of Göynük Canyon Park. From the moment you arrive, the natural beauty and serene setting will have you captivated.
Find out more

114. Take a Jeep safari

One of the best ways to see the Taurus Mountains is on a jeep safari. It starts at an animal park where you can see some of the animals that live around the canyon.
Find out more

115. Visit Kemer Market

To get a real taste for Goynuk and the surrounding area, spend some time wandering around Kemer Market; you’ll find lots of local products including fruit, vegetables, clothes and shoes at low prices.
Find out more

119. Take time out on the golf course

Belek’s unique tourist development has shaped the land into six huge championship golf courses, which have seen the likes of Tiger Woods grace its greens. With almost 20 courses in total dotted around the luscious pine forest
Find out more

120. Take a day trip to Manavgat

Why not take a day trip out of Alanya to its neighbouring town of Manavgat, which less than an hour away? Take a bus or drive across the coast to see picturesque, traditional buildings and magnificent waterfalls hidden in a scenic setting.
Find out more

122. Alanya Castle

Alanya’s famous landmark was built in the 13th century and is situated 250 metres high on a rocky peninsula, providing magnificent panoramic views of the glistening turquoise water.
Find out more

123. Explore Antalya City

The city of Antalya is the largest on the western Mediterranean coast and has many bustling shops and restaurants that you’ll struggle to pull yourself away from.
Find out more

125. Visit the ruins of Phaselis

Turkey has an intriguing history and Phaselis is the perfect place to learn about it. Located near Tekirova and just a short journey from Beldibi, this former Roman port town has some of the best ruins in all of Turkey.
Find out more

126. Explore Beldibi Cave

Beldibi has a rich history and much of this is evident at the Beldibi Cave. The cave has been home to many different civilisations that have left behind lots of clues into their lives.
Find out more