Top 11 Things Turkey Is Famous For

turkey is famous for
Contributing Writer
| 4 min read

Turkey, a transcontinental country also known as the Republic of Turkey, is a tourism hotspot. This stunning destination has so much to offer so you shouldn’t miss out on adding Turkey to your travel list. Or maybe you’ve already added this history-rich place to your itinerary and on the search for some places and things to explore. We think you’re at the right place! From things to eat to places to go and even types of souvenirs to bring home, we’ve got you covered. Read on if you want to find out more about the top things Turkey is famous for.

1. Cappadocia

Top Things Turkey Is Famous For
Source: Photo by Flickr user Teo Romera used under CC BY-SA 2.0

We will start the ball rolling with places to go - and that’s Cappadocia! Cappadocia is a region in central Turkey. On days when your wanderlust takes over and you start browsing on places to travel to, you might probably recall seeing some hot air balloons set against a fairytale-like backdrop with hills and rock formations. That’s one of the highlights of Cappadocia. Apart from riding on a balloon and taking some pictures for the gram’, there are also other interesting things to do while in the region - hiking for remarkable sunset views, observing the rock formations at Love Valley, and learning more about the Goreme Open-Air Museum.

Tip from Content Creator

Apart from the well-known hot air balloons, there are of course more things to discover in Cappadocia. Here are 4 more things to do in Cappadocia: 

- visit an open-air museum 

- hike through the Red & Rose Valley 

- make a quad safari tour 

- watch the sunrise/sunset on a rooftop bar & enjoy the view of the many balloons

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2. Pammukale Thermal Pools

Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Mstfynr used under CC BY-SA 4.0

You can walk your way to the Pammukale Thermal Pools from the town of Pamukkale located near Denizli in Turkey. This site is one of the most popular places to visit while in Turkey. It is open all year round and for 24 hours a day. However, we recommend visiting during the summer season if you want to soak in the pools at the right temperature. While you’re there, remember to give the ruins at Hierapolis some viewing time.

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3. Turkish coffee

Turkish coffee
Source: Pixabay

Where are my coffee lovers at? You must have a cup of Turkish coffee made with authentic ground coffee beans while in Turkey. If you have the chance to observe the process of making Turkish coffee while visiting a local coffeehouse, make sure you ask if you can take a video too. You will notice that it is made using a cezve, a small copper pot with a long handle. Thinking of bagging some Turkish coffee home? Look out for this vendor - Kurukahveci Mehmet Efendi - whose products can be widely found in supermarkets.

Tip from tour guide

Turkish coffee

Turkish coffee isn't just a beverage; it's a window to the future. Fortune-telling using coffee grounds is a traditional practice. Your barista might be your future seer, predicting your destiny one sip at a time. It's like a caffeine-fueled crystal ball that leaves you both awake and enlightened.

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4. Hand-painted ceramics

Source: Wallpaper Flare

Depending on the quality, ceramics can range from a few US dollars to even hundreds. For a range to choose from, you can head to Turkey’s largest covered market known as Grand Bazaar in Istanbul. But especially for hand-painted ceramics, you may want to check out Iznik, a town in Bursa, Turkey which has a connection with ceramics dating all the way back to 7000 BC. Admire the range of ceramics from Roman to glass types at Iznik Museum of Art.

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Turkey Tour Guide

Rose TheGuide

Rose The Guide

Professional Tour / Travel Guide and Photographer Certified by Turkish Republic Ministry of Culture and Tourism. I am a knowledgeable and motivated individual with years of experience in organizing group tours in several areas; have the ability to motivate different sets of audience; have the ability to communicate effectively and possess high degree of energy and enthusiasm.

5. Baklava

Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Sakaman used under CC BY-SA 4.0

Friends with a sweet tooth, you have to give this sweet pastry a taste. It contains chopped nuts (usually pistachio) in between layers of dough mixed with butter, syrup, or honey. Try a couple from the stores in Istanbul and see if you can notice any differences? We heard that the quality differs from the type of flour, thickness, and the portion of honey used. To tell whether it is well done, it must first have a pleasant creamy-rich butter fragrance and second, a perfect crispiness.

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6. Evil eye

Evil Eye
Source: Wallpaper Flare

The name already sounds interesting at first glance. Make a trip to Turkey and you will realize that this ‘evil eye’ can be commonly found on plates, pottery, and glass. Its name is also known as Nazar in Turkish and has a history that relates back to the ancient days. The evil eye is meant to protect you against evil forces and if you believe in this magical power, then you should get yourself an evil eye in the form of an amulet to bring back to your home country as a souvenir.

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7. Istanbul

Istanbul skyline
Source: Photo by Flickr user Mike McBey used under CC BY 2.0

We’ve mentioned Istanbul a little throughout the article and if you’re wondering why, it’s because Istanbul is the largest city of Turkey. Built on two continents, this city is known both for its history-rich culture and modernity. Some of its top attractions include The Blue Mosque (Sultan Ahmed Mosque), Grand Bazaar, and Basilica Cistern. The Blue Mosque opened in 1616 and if you’re planning a trip to the religious site, do remember to dress modestly. Even if you do not like to shop, it’s still an experience to walk through the Grand Bazaar for some photo-taking opportunities. Make sure you don’t miss out on a trip to Basilica Cistern, a historical landmark often featured by the media.

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8. Carpets and rugs

Turkish carpets
Source: Photo by Flickr user Julian Fong used under CC BY-SA 2.0

Carpets and rugs are used both as decorations and practically to keep warm. You will probably come across two types in Turkey - kilim (flat-woven carpets) and halı (knotted rugs). If you’re planning to purchase one or a few, make sure you are able to distinguish between the quality handmade ones and the lower quality machine-made products. That being said, a lot of research is required. Also, the older the rug, the more expensive it can be. Feel free to bargain but do it respectfully if you want to be treated in the same way.

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9. Turkish delight

Turkish delight
Source: Photo by Flickr user dewet used under CC BY-SA 2.0

Turkish delight is a sweet treat from Turkey which will go very well with a cup of hot Turkish coffee. It’s also commonly known as lokum and has an origin dating back to the 1700s. The main ingredients are sugar and starch or cornflour, though you can expect to see lots of variations in Turkey. The more traditional ones are made with rosewater or lemon and the premium types may contain nuts and chopped dates. You can easily identify them in cubes dusted with powdered sugar.

Tip from tour guide

Turkish Delight

Turkish Delight Diplomacy: During diplomatic negotiations, the Ottoman Empire used Turkish delight as a sweet tool of persuasion. Ambassadors were offered these delectable treats to sweeten the deal. It's like saying, "Let's discuss peace over a plate of Lokum (Turkish delight), shall we?" A tasty way to resolve conflicts, if you ask me.

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10. Hair transplant

Hair loss
Source: Photo by Flickr user Roger Mommaerts used under CC BY-SA 2.0

We thought we would end this article of the top things Turkey is famous for with a peculiar idea - hair transplant procedures. Many are turning to Turkey to have new hair added because of its low prices than compared to the same service offered in other parts of the world. It is known to some people as ‘medical tourism’ and if you’re keen to consider getting one done, we heard that it takes about seven to eight hours and may vary between individuals.

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11. Hieropolis Ancient Theater

Contributed by Tour Guide, Rose TheGuide

Hierapolis Ancient Theatre
Source: Rose TheGuide

Discover the grandeur of Hierapolis Ancient Theatre, where history resonates through time, and engage with the architectural marvels of the past. The theatre dates back to the 2nd century AD and showcases impressive Roman architecture. It’s said to have had a seating capacity of around 15,000 spectators and was a grand venue for theatrical performances and gatherings. The theater’s hillside location also provides a breathtaking panoramic view of the surrounding landscape.

Over the centuries, the amphitheater has stood as a testament to Hierapolis’ historical significance and architectural prowess. Its well-preserved stage and orchestra also offer a glimpse into the cultural richness of the ancient city.

Which are your top favourites?

Thank you for staying with us till the end of this article! So, which of the top famous things in Turkey caught your eye? If you’re a foodie, do not miss out on Turkish coffee, Turkish delight, and baklava. Make memories at Cappadocia, Pammukale Thermal Pools, and Istanbul, and bag home some evil eye amulets or handmade carpets as souvenirs. Have a safe trip!

Any must-sees we missed? Tell us about them in the comments section or write a post here to help out fellow travelers!

In light of the February 2023 earthquake that devastated Turkey and Syria, Trip101 urges you to be apprised of the latest news if you have any plans to travel to Eastern Turkey. Other parts of the country remain open to travelers.

Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.


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Celeste, a writer and traveler, embraces the transient nature of life. She believes that life is a fleeting mist that lingers briefly and then dissipates. Celeste also encourages savoring every...Read more

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