List of Most Visited Monuments in Turkey

Turkey straddles two massive continents, Europe, and Asia, and has the best geographical attributes of both continents. But the country is also incredibly rich in history and culture, with diverse civilizations like Romans, Seljuk, Greeks, Ottomans, and the Byzantines leaving a solid presence there. The numerous historical treasures will leave you speechless with their beauty, whether it is the magnificent palaces, fascinating ruins, remarkable ancient cities, grand mosques, or charming rock-cut churches. Let’s look at some of the most visited monuments in Turkey that have a lot of historical significance.

Antalya Museum

Antalya is known for its stunning coastline, but the city is also extremely rich in history. Head to the Antalya Museum, one of the nation’s most prominent museums. It consists of 13 exhibition halls and an open-air gallery tracing the history of the Mediterranean and Pamphylia regions. You can find the most notable exhibits excavated from the surrounding areas and findings from the Stone Age, Bronze Age., and the Byzantine era.


Ephesus was built in the 10th Century BC and is one of the oldest cities in the world. This ancient Greek city is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is brimming with enchanting ruins, numerous relics from the Roman Golden Age, and marble-columned streets that are a sight to behold. Some of the key highlights of this place are the Temple of Artemis, which was one of the seven wonders of the ancient world, the Roman Amphitheater, the Library of Celsus, the Temple of Hadrian, and the House of the Virgin Mary.

Hagia Sophia

The iconic Hagia Sophia represents Istanbul and Turkey like none other. This breathtaking landmark was constructed as a cathedral during the time of Emperor Justinian in 537 AD. It was converted into a mosque during the rule of the Ottoman empire in 1453. Hundreds of years later, it was transformed into a museum, and in 2020, it again declared a mosque. The complex history and jaw-dropping interiors make it one of the most visited and extraordinary places in Turkey.

Dolmabahce Palace

Located on the banks of the Bosphorus River, the opulent Dolmabahce Palace in Turkey is one of the most visited landmarks. The façade of this palace is made of pure white marble and has a European baroque style architecture combined with an oriental influence. The palace’s interiors are equally captivating, with extensive use of crystals, glass, gold ceilings, and ornately painted walls. The palace holds the world’s most comprehensive collection of Bohemian and Baccarat crystal chandeliers and touring this place and witnessing the décor is a visual treat.


You may have seen photos of the ice-like travertine terraces of Pamukkale on screensavers and wallpapers. Pamukkale is translated as Cotton Castles in the Turkish language, and this place is renowned for its splendid hot springs that served as a spa and a healing center back in the day. The city is also famous for Hierapolis, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This ancient Greek city has several ancient ruins flanking it. Some prominent attractions are the Temple of Apollo, the Necropolis, the Theater, the Sanctuary to Pluto, St. Philip Martyrium, and the Shrine of the Nymphs.


Cappadocia is known for its colorful hot air balloon rides that paint a mesmerizing picture against the city’s skyline. However, the city boasts a deep-rooted history with several marvelous historical places. The Goreme Open Air Museum is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that comprises a collection of many refectory monasteries and old churches that are carved into the rock. It is also famous for its fairy chimneys naturally formed from volcanic lava. Cappadocia is also known for its underground cities of Derinkuyu and Kaymakli, which are connected by narrow tunnels.

Mount Nemrut

One of the unique landmarks in Turkey is the giant statue heads on Mount Nemrut. Located in the Tauras Mountain range, it is believed that King Antiochus I of Commagene built this as a tomb and sanctuary in 62 BC. The huge statue of the King himself is one of the top attractions of this place. You can also see statues of many other Greek and Iranian Gods, two eagles, and two lions. Each sculpture is around 10 meters in height and weighs approximately 6 tons. The best time to visit Mount Nemrut is at sunrise or sunset when the light falls on the statues perfectly and looks alluring.

Göbekli Tepe

The archeological site Göbekli Tepe is considered the world’s oldest temple, preceding Stonehenge by almost 6,000 years. It represents enormous megalithic carved stones that are over 11,000 years old. They are believed to be assembled by prehistoric humans without any access to metal tools or pottery. Historians are still decoding these ancient structures and artifacts, and there are still many mysteries surrounding them.


Aspendos is famous for its striking Greco-Roman ruins and is easily accessible from Antalya. Many tourists take a day trip here to see the vast amphitheater especially. Historians believe the theatre is one of the best-preserved structures in the world. It was used by the King to organize wrestling matches for common people in the olden days. Today it is open during the day, and you can stroll around to capture its immense beauty. The arena can seat approximately 15,000-20,000 people and sees a lot of crowds during the Aspendos Opera and the Ballet Festival that are held annually here.

Topkapi Palace

The majestic Topkapi Palace is another great example of beautiful architecture. It was formerly the principal residence of the Turks and was later converted into a museum. You can explore the sprawling gardens, courtyards, kitchens, grand rooms, and museum. It houses an impressive collection of artifacts like jewelry, costumes, manuscripts, armor, porcelain, and weapons. The Harem is one of the main highlights of this place where women of the royal household lived in the past.

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