What Is Turkey Famous For? 12 Fascinating Places And Customs!

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Many people only know a couple of things about Turkey, like kebabs and Istanbul. But the ones who have been to the country know that it’s much more than these stereotypical things!

First of all, we have beautiful cities like Cappadocia and Antalya. We also have delicious cuisine, Turkish language, Turkish coffee and tea, hammams, tulips, and cats. Wait, cats? Yes! The list goes on forever so we better get to the blog post and answer your question “What is Turkey famous for?” in detail!

What Is Turkey Most Known For?

1. Istanbul: Turkey’s Most Famous City

Once called Constantinople, Istanbul is the number one tourist destination in Turkey. It’s located on two continents, Europe and Asia, and connects them through the Bosphorus. Some of the most famous places to visit in Istanbul are the Grand Bazaar, Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque, Topkapi Palace, and Galata Tower.

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Nevşehir, Turkey

2. Cappadocia And Hot Air Balloon Rides – Kapadokya Ve Sıcak Hava Balonu Gezileri

Cappadocia is located in the Central Anatolia region and is a world-famous tourist destination. You may have seen its hot air balloons rising into the air at sunrise in travel magazines or blogs. But there’s so much more to see and do there, like visiting the Göreme open-air museum, 15th-century ancient churches, and underground cities. You can also enjoy the endless hiking valleys with fairy rock chimneys. Read our Cappadocia hiking guide to discover beautiful hiking trails in the area!

3. Ephesus Ancient City – Efes Antik Kenti

If you’re planning to travel to Turkey, you should visit the ancient Ephesus ruins, which are a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Selcuk, Izmir region. This ancient city was once one of the world’s most prominent cities. You can take a walk around the ruins and see restored landmarks, including statues, Roman terrace houses, the Celsius library, the agora, temples, the famous gladiator theatre, the temple of Artemis, and the house of the Virgin Mary.

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Fethiye, Turkey

4. Traditional Gulet Boat And Sailing – Geleneksel Gulet Ve Yelken

If you visit an Aegean or Mediterranean vacation resort in Turkey, you should try sailing! The Turkish coasts stretching from the west of the country to the south, sometimes called the Turkish Riviera or the Turquoise Coast, are a sailor’s delight.

Traditionally, Turks use gulets to get around, but nowadays some marinas also host international mega yachts. You can sign up for daily boat tours on the harbor to go to beautiful bays and hidden beaches. If that sounds like you, you can visit these cities: Antalya, Bodrum, Marmaris, Kalkan, Kuşadası, and Fethiye.

5. Pamukkale Travertines – Pamukkale Travertenleri

Travel to Pamukkale to see Turkey’s mind-blowing natural beauty! These pools, with water flowing down the hillside, are Turkey’s most famous symbol of natural beauty. You can sign up for a guided walking tour to fully appreciate this natural landmark, and read our Pamaukkale travel guide to learn more about this amazing place.

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Antalya, Turkey

6. Famous Lycian Way Tombs – Ünlü Likya Yolu Mezarları

The Lycian civilization once dominated much of southern Turkey. They left behind many monuments and destroyed cities that are now important archaeological sites. Historians show great interest in the Lycian tombs that appear here and there like Fethiye, Myra, Simena, Kaş, and Tlos. Built for royalty atop the hillsides, they are not only a famous tourist attraction but also an ancient artifact of history. Additionally, the coastline they are located in, the Lycian Way, is also a world-famous trekking route.

7. Turkish Cuisine – Türk Mutfağı

Turkish cuisine is one of the most famous things about Turkey. Anyone who has visited before says that Turkish foods go far beyond the stereotypical kebabs and doners. Although dishes vary from region to region, each recipe is a part of Turkish culture. So, when you visit, try as many Turkish foods as you can, from soups and mezes to main courses and desserts like baklava.

8. Tulips – Laleler

Many people associate the humble tulip with the Netherlands but it actually originated in Turkey and is Turkey’s national flower. You can look at any iconic mosque to see mosaic tiles with tulip motifs. Likewise, many Turkish souvenirs also feature tulips. We still maintain the tulip’s importance today, when the month-long Istanbul tulip festival transforms the city into a vibrant riot of color every April.

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Maiden Tower, Istanbul, Turkey

9. Turkish Black Tea – Türk Siyah çayı

Turkish tea became a popular beverage in the 19th century and eventually beat coffee. Çay has a special place in Turkish culture, representing friendship, warmth, and hospitality, because we drink tea all day long! Even research showed that Turkey is the most tea-drinking country, consuming about 3.16 kg per person each year. Whether it’s at home, work, or social gatherings, serving and drinking tea is a common sight in Turkey.

10. Turkish Bath – Türk Hamam

Whenever you visit Turkey, take time to pamper yourself in a traditional Turkish bath. This deep-rooted tradition began with the Romans, but the Ottomans adapted it to fit their cultural lifestyle. When you walk around Topkapi Palace in Istanbul, you can see private baths used by the sultans. Furthermore, the original Turkish baths dating back 500 years ago are still open to the public in the city center. The experience starts with steaming to open the pores, then soap bubble massage, and finally exfoliation with a kese.

11. Turkish Coffee – Türk Kahvesi

Coffee isn’t just a drink in Turkey; it’s a cultural cornerstone, symbolizing social connection and longevity with the Turkish saying, “A cup of coffee is remembered for forty years.Turkish coffee is also a tool for cultural rituals, such as serving salted coffee to the groom and fortune-telling using coffee grounds. I highly recommend trying Turkish coffee with delicious Turkish delight during your trip, and consider bringing home some finely ground coffee as a memento of your cultural journey.

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12. Cats Of Istanbul – Istanbul’un Kedileri

After walking around for ten minutes in any street in Istanbul, you’ll see that the city belongs to the cats. People of Istanbul grow up with them, both in their houses and outside, sharing the city with them. Cat lovers (a cat mom to two here) all over the city take care of them by placing bowls of food and water, paying for their medical expenses if they are sick or injured, and placing small cat houses and feeding stations.

It’s also common for Turkish people to carry cat food with them in case they run into a hungry furry friend on the way. The thing is, no one officially owns these cats, they are stray. But somehow, they are adopted by everyone.

So, What Is Turkey Famous For?

When you are walking on Istanbul’s streets, enjoy a quick Turkish tea at a local cafe, buy and eat Turkish ice cream (if you can catch it) from a street vendor, and admire the beauty and labor of famous Turkish carpets displayed on the shopfronts.

Now you have even more reasons to visit Turkey and see these beautiful places, taste delicious foods, and have unique cultural experiences. If you’re planning to travel to Turkey soon, why don’t you start learning some useful Turkish phrases with the Ling app? Download it from the App Store or Play Store and get a 7-day free trial today!

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