Turkey is an incredible country to explore, being the gateway between the east and the west. There is a fascinating blend of cultures within the country, which means there are lots of fascinating historical and cultural attractions in Turkey to explore.
We’re going to give you a bit of information about some of the best places to see while you’re travelling in Turkey – if you need any assistance with booking a getaway to the country, get in touch with Monarch Holidays.
Cultural Attractions in Turkey
Hagia Sofia, Istanbul
There are many outstanding landmarks in Istanbul, with the city displaying a staggering array of architectural styles across its many buildings which is why there are many cultural attractions in Turkey
Hagia Sofia is a fantastic example of how Turkey’s cultural heritage blends into one. The building was originally constructed in the 6th century as a church, was later converted to a mosque and now serves as a museum.
Inside are some breathtaking mosaics, while next to the main building are several tombs belonging to Ottoman sultans and their families.
Museum of Anatolian Civilisations, Ankara
This museum is also housed in historical surroundings – namely two buildings dating from the time of the Ottoman Empire that are located in the ancient citadel. Its exhibits focus on every part of Turkey’s history, making it a fascinating place to explore.
Artefacts from the Neolithic, Paleolithic, Hittite and Uratu eras are among the things on show here, with the museum’s entire collection covering every civilisation that has had a presence in Anatolia over the centuries.
Xanthos, near Antalya
The ruins of the ancient city of Xanthos, once the capital of Lycia, are a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a brilliant place to explore when you’re on holiday in Turkey.
The remains of the city are easily accessible from some of the country’s top seaside resorts, too, so it’s a good choice if you want to inject a bit of culture into your beach break.
Although there are few structures still standing, you can clearly make out what’s left of the homes, temples and streets. The funerary monuments are the most complete things left at the site and are quite intriguing. They stand over the ruins and are a fantastic example of Lycian design.
Xanthos is also important because some of the longest inscriptions of the Lycian language ever found were discovered in the remains of this city and at the neighbouring site of Letoon.
Bodrum Museum of Underwater Archaeology
Due to its long stretches of coastline, Turkey has been a famous seafaring nation throughout history. One place where you can learn more about this side of the country, as well as uncover fascinating stories from the past, is at the Bodrum Museum of Underwater Archaeology.
This museum is housed in Bodrum Castle and showcases artefacts recovered from shipwrecks off the Turkish coast, in addition to exhibits where you can see the remains of wrecks that have been raised from the seabed.
For instance, the Uluburun, which was excavated between 1984 and 1995, is on show here. This wreck dates from the 14th century and it was carrying a cargo of copper and glass ingots when it sunk.
This is just an overview of a few of Turkey’s top cultural attractions; there are many more just waiting to be discovered on your next holiday to the country. cultural attractions in Turkey