Turkey Things to Do Tips by MalenaN Top 5 Page for this destination
Turkey Things to Do: 1,115 reviews and 1,738 photos
Balloon over Cappadocia
Have you never flewn a hot air balloon you should take the chance in Cappadocia. The wind conditions in the morning are perfect and the balloons take off almost every morning during the season.
It's an unforgettable memory!
I flew with Kapadokya Balloons which had been recomended to me. The pilots, Lars and Serhan, are experienced and really good, and as the only company in Göreme they start at different spots every morning - depending on the wind (other companies seems to hang around more just over Göreme).
We were two balloons flying together which was very nice as you can see the others take off, in the air and at the landing.
At the landing we got some champange (mixt with a fruit juice) and snacks. We also got a nice Certificate.
The long tour wish is about 1,5 hours costs 200 dollars
(290 000 000 TL). There is also a shorter, and less expensive, tour.
It is a lot of money but it is a great experiense I will never forget.
View over Sanliurfa
Sanliurfa is a large city with more than 800 000 inhabitants in southeastern Turkey. In Turkey it is often called Urfa, as “Sanli” (meaning glorious) was added as recently as the 1980s.
For many Muslims it is a pilgrimage town as Abraham is said to have been born here (not in Ur in today’s Iraq).
It is a nice town to visit with its pleasant parks with old pools of water (Gölbasi), the old bazaar, mosques and citadel. And near to Sanliurfa is the village Harran with its beehive houses of mud.
The otogar (bus station) is not to far from the city centre, but if you have laguage it is more convenient to take the local bus.
The old harbour
Lying on the Mediterranean coast, close to a big airport, Antalya is a well-visited town by tourists. As it is also a large city, with more than half a million inhabitants, it is not only a touristy place. It has a lot to offer!
I visited Antalya on both my trips to Turkey. Last year I stayed two nights and this year four nights. I have not spent time lying on the beach, but there are many other things to do in, or around, Antalya. I have been on boat trips, and rafting, and I have visited museums and Phaselis. Between those activities I have been strolling around in Kaleici and in the harbour. Both times I stayed in the old town Kaleici, which is a peaceful place with nice atmosphere.
Kaleici is full of old restored Ottoman houses now turned into pensions, hotels, restaurants and souvenir shops. Some tourists stay here, but many come just on a quick guided tour with a group – Kaleici deserves more time than that. Do not only walk the main roads, but take your time to discover the small back streets as well.
The harbour (Eski Liman) has got an old history; it dates back to Roman times. The harbour lies below Kaleici with citadel walls along the slopes. Around the harbour lie cafes, restaurants and shops for tourists.
In the harbour are tour boats lying on line. If you walk around here in the evening you will for sure be asked to go on a day tour the day after or on an evening trip that same moment.
One of the masterpieces in Istanbul is the Blue mosque in Sultanahmet.
Sultan Ahmet I had the mosque built in the beginning of the 17th century (1609 - 1616) and the architect Mehmet Aga constructed a mosque of great harmony and elegance. It has a typical Ottoman design.
There are benches in front of the mosque and it's nice to sit down, just to admire the view.
The Blue Mosque has got its name from the blue Iznik tiles on the walls (another name of the mosque is Sultan Ahmet Camii).
The weight of the cupole is held up by four huge pillars and the celeing in the cupole is finely decorated.
Shortly after the conquest of Istanbul Mehmet the conqueror started to build the palace. After that sultans lived here for almost 400 years until sultan Abdülmecid I left Topkapi for Dolmabahce Palace in 1853.
The palace is not one single building but several buildings around four big courtyards.
The Harem was the privat qaurters of the palace. It was the home of the women (the sultans mother, his wifes and concubines) and the children. The only men allowed to enter the harem was the sultan and his sons, and the eunuchs.
Last year (2003) the entrance fee to Topkapi Palace was
12 000 000 TL. But that is not enough. If you want to see the best parts, the harem and the treasury, you have to pay more. 10 000 000 TL for the harem and another 10 000 000 TL for the treasury.
I decided to see the harem but not the treasury as it would have been to expensive. But now I wish I had seen the treasury as well.
Istanbul is a city on two continents, where Asia and Europe meet in a great mix.
There is also a mix of old and new. With a long and interesting history the city has many old buldings, mosques and museums for the visitor to explore. In other parts you will find nice cafés and restaurants and modern shoppingcentres for great shopping.
Situated by the water and with its many mosques making wonderful siluttes against the sky it is one of the most beautiful big cities in the world. It is a city to fall in love with!
Ephesus is one of the best preserved cities from classical Greek and Roman time.
During the Roman period it was the most important harbour in the Aegean Sea
and the city had about 250 000 inhabitants. The city slowly lost its importance as
the harbour silted up.
Today it is very well visited by tourists.
Walking down Curetes Way you will in the end get a great view of the library. It
must be the most photografed structure in Ephesus with its impressive front.
The library was built between 114 - 117 by the consul Gaius Julius Aquila in memory of his dead father, the Roman governor Celsus Polemaeanus.
Once 12 000 scrolls were held in the library. In niches of the facade you can see statues of the four virtues: goodness, thought, knowledge and visdom.
There are two entrances to Ephesus and many people start at one of them and finish at the other.
The entrance fee is 15 000 000 TL.
From the old harbour in Kaleci, Antalya, you can take a boattrip for the day or evening. After spending weeks travelling without beeing neer the sea it was very nice to spend a day on a boat, relaxing, eating and swimming.
I paid 20 000 000 TL for a 6 hour boattrip. Lunch (fish, spagetti, sallad and bread) was included in the price.
It can be a good idea to compare a few boats and prices. If you are walking around in the harbour in the evening you can't miss all the people wanting to sign you up for their trip the next day.
Just above the Travertine pools of Pamukkale is the ancient site of Hierapolis. Hierapolis was founded by the king of Pergamum around 190 BC. It has been a cure centre both during Roman- and Byzantine time.
Here you can see among other things a big roman theatre, an agora, a colonaded street, archs and a large necropolis.
Beeing in a muslim country and not by the see, I was very surprised to see that many tourists walked from the Pamukkale Termal to the Roman theatre just in their swimingwear, like bikinis, and shoes.
The wall and the new part of the city
Diyarbakir is one of the biggest cities in eastern Turkey. Inside the citywalls you'll find the old city with narrow streets, mosques and churches. Outside the walls, to the west, is the new city.
The wall going round Diyarbakir is impressive. It is almost 6 km long (only the chines wall is longer and bigger) and it is built of black basalt. The present wall is from early Byzantine time but was improved by the Seljucs.
I didn't stay long in Diyarbakir, arriving late in the afternoon and leaving the morning after. I went for a walk in the old town and went to an Internet cafe (the first Internet cafe I visited in Turkey where smoking was not aloved and were classical music were played) just outside the walls.
Before going to Diyarbakir I had heard from other travellers that it could be an unpleasant place. I did not have any problems.
The otogar is a couple of km outside town. The buscompany (Best Van Tur) which I travelled with had free minibusservice from the otogar to the hotel.
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