Things to Do in Turkey

20 Best Things to Do in Turkey

The eastern state occupies a special place in the global tourism industry. Its unique nature, ancient monuments, luxury hotels, numerous entertainment complexes are a mix of traditions, modernity, exoticism, legends and innovations. Entertainment in Turkey is aimed at all categories of tourists, including parents with children.

Also, you can read our latest post about Best Beaches in Turkey here.

Best Things to Do in Turkey

An important nuance: recreation areas, water parks, museums, shopping centers in the country are located not only in megacities. Provincial towns have a ton of entertainment venues. If we add to this the democratic prices, high level of service, it becomes clear why Europeans choose holidays in Turkey, where tourism is one of the main sources of income for the population.

1. Pamukkale

The resort in the Denizli province is famous for its geothermal springs, amazing landscapes reminiscent of distant planets. Salt deposits on the surface of the earth here formed huge baths with pure mineralized water. It is here that those who suffer from cardiovascular diseases, disorders in the work of the musculoskeletal system, respiratory organs, and nervous system rush.

Miracle springs heal various diseases, relieve the effects of stress, increase vitality, and strengthen the immune system. An interesting point: swimming is allowed only in Cleopatra’s pool. But when tourists were stopped by the bans. Travelers pay for the entrance to the territory where the springs are located, then swim as they see fit.

The natural baths are located on a hill with magnificent views. Drinking water from the springs of Pamukkale is also considered healing. This place will be interesting for those who like to tickle their nerves: in ancient times, under strange circumstances, an ancient settlement was destroyed here (of its buildings, temples were best preserved), later Christians buried their saints, and mystics claim that you can get to the Underworld from Pamukkale.

2. Hot Air Balloon Ride in Cappadocia

Amazing walks allow you to admire the unique alien landscape of the territory from a bird’s eye view. More than 20 companies are involved in this entertainment industry in this corner of Turkey, so there will be no problems with organizing a flight. The best seasons for walking in the sky are from May to October.

You can fly in a hot air balloon from November to April, but in some cases, the excursion will have to be canceled due to low temperatures and changes in wind intensity. Tours last at least 45 minutes. After the end of each flight, instructors and guides present the travelers with special personalized certificates.

The excursion schedule depends on the flow of tourists. Air rides start in the morning and end before dark. The baskets can hold from 2 to 35 people. Individual group excursions are divided into 3 categories: standard, luxury, premium. Flights are allowed for children over the age of 10 if minors are accompanied by adults.

Insurance payment is included in the price of each ticket. However, no company will reimburse for a cold or heatstroke. Therefore, you need to take care of suitable clothing, hats, sunglasses, and other means in advance.

3. Bosphorus Cruise

Strait tours are equally impressive at any time of the year. The cost of cruises depends on the carriers. A long tour will cost about 20-30 liras. If you choose the services of a private owner or a small company, it will be higher. When determining the travel option, you should pay attention to the excursion program.

The most popular sailing places for travelers are Eminonu, Bakirkoy, Yuskudar marinas. If you have a museum card, you are guaranteed to get a discount from the official carriers, but it is still better to take care of the tour ticket in advance. Experienced travelers are advised against buying tickets from travel agencies due to overpayment. This is a very biased opinion.

For those who are for the first time in Turkey, it makes sense to do exactly the opposite because travel agencies provide transfer services from hotels to marinas and back. The most budgetary options are two-hour tours. Traveling along the strait on a full moon, at sunrise or sunset, is in the highest demand among tourists.

Long tours take from 6 hours. They include long stops in front of historical monuments, a visit to an old fishing village, fortresses, Islamic and Christian shrines.

4. Floria Aquarium

Open to the public every day. The giant oceanarium is striking in its scale. It has 17 thematic departments, where 1500 species of living beings are represented. By the number of representatives of the water world living in it, “Florya Istanbul” is considered the leader in Istanbul. Here you can see fish from all the seas and oceans of the planet. Conditions identical to their natural habitat have been created for them.

In order for visitors to create a lasting illusion of immersion under water, interactive technologies of a new generation are used to decorate the aquarium space. The unique object is located on the territory of the Aqua Florya shopping center. There is also a cozy restaurant with panoramic views, souvenir shops, cafes and cinemas.

5. Aktur Park

The huge complex is located in Antalya. It is equally popular with fans of noisy entertainment and supporters of quiet relaxation. Prices in Aktur Park are very affordable. For a small amount by European standards, you can spend time here with the whole family, get a sea of ​​adrenaline, joy, pleasure.

There are slot machines, 5D cinemas, cafes on the territory of the complex. Favorite selfie spot for visitors to the park: a miniature castle at its entrance. “Aktur Park” tourists call the Turkish miniature Disneyland. The entrance to the complex is free. On weekdays it is open from 17.00 to 02.00 hours, on weekends – from 15.00 to 02.00 hours.

If you plan to ride the Ferris wheel, visit the fear room, have fun on extreme and other attractions, you will need to purchase a plastic card at the entrance to the complex. Points for replenishment in Aktur Park are located all over the place.

6. The Land of Legends Theme Park

The entertainment complex “Land of Legends” is also often compared to Disneyland. The Land of Legends is an integral part of the Rixos premium hotel chain, whose guests have free access to all attractions. The Land of Legends has been compared to a city within a city. The complex is aimed at tourists who prefer to combine leisure and shopping. The Land of Legends became publicly available for residents, guests of Turkey just a few years ago.

The structure of the “Land of Legends” includes a water park of the same name with ordinary wave pools, a lazy river, numerous slides, various water attractions, the famous Chapito tent circus. Land of Legends is famous for its dolphin show, light animation performances, singing fountains, original sculptural compositions, interesting themed entertainment programs.

Parades of fairytale heroes start here at 22.00 hours (events do not take place on Mondays). They represent a unique enchanting spectacle.

7. Koprulu Canyon

The attraction is located in the national park in the province of Antalya. The nature reserve is open 24 hours a day for free. Length of the canyon: 14 kilometers. Its main value: unique nature.

On the territory of the canyon, while walking, you can see more than 500 species of trees, shrubs, rare plants, various birds, giant sea turtles, and watch fish frolicking in crystal clear water. The reserve staff have developed special hiking and horse trails, programs for fans of mountain climbing and rafting.

The most popular points in the list of visitors to the Köprülü canyon: the Altinbeshek Magarasi karst cave (considered a place of power), the Oluk bridge built in ancient times, preserved fragments of the richest ancient Greek city of Selge. Experienced instructors are always ready to help those who decide to take a boat trip along the Keprjuchay River.

Rafting groups are formed on-site. The flow of the mountain river is uneven, but the difficulty of a 12-kilometer descent is no more than 3 points. Children can participate in this water adventure if accompanied by an adult.

8. Quad Safari in Goynuk Canyon

One of Antalya’s favorite activities for adventure seekers, it is organized with all safety requirements in mind. Safari routes allow you to get a colossal adrenaline rush, enjoy the contemplation of high-mountain landscapes, admire the turtles and other inhabitants of the gorge. The length of Goynuk is 14 kilometers.

Previously, wild tribes lived here. Therefore safari allows you to plunge into the world around ancient people. For exciting ATV rides, you will need to take care of a supply of drinking water, sunglasses, and other means. Professional instructors who accompany the vacationers give the safari participants helmets and remind the driving rules before the trip.

Bathing in mountain rivers is included in the routes of almost all trips through the canyon. And another important nuance: travel photos and videos are performed only by safari organizers. This limitation is due to commercial benefits and issues of ensuring the safety of movement in mountainous terrain.

9. Isfanbul Amusement Park

Isfanbul complex in Istanbul is equated with the competitor of the famous Disneyland. It was built on the site of swamps and today is considered one of the leaders among Turkish parks in terms of area occupied, the number of attractions, natural waterfalls, fabulous castles, and extreme recreation areas. There is a large shopping complex in Isfanbul, there is an opportunity to go water skiing.

The park is divided into 3 thematic zones dedicated to the ancient world, adventure rides, and children’s games. Entrance for kids under 3 years old is free of charge. In “Isfanbul” you can plunge into the times when Istanbul was called Constantinople and was a city for which Christians and Muslims fought.

Among the popular entertainments of the complex, a special place is occupied by the attractions “Breathtaking”, “Royal Swing”, “Tower of Justice”, “З60”. They allow you to admire the metropolis from a bird’s eye view. “Isfanbul” is famous for cafes and restaurants with original cuisine; it attracts fans of shopping with discounts on goods of famous brands.

10. Aqualand Water Park

The water entertainment complex was opened at the end of the last century in Antalya. Over the years, it has not lost its leading position, and this fact speaks volumes. Aqualand is open seasonally from May to October, the cost of visiting it for different age categories and days of the week varies. Children under 6 years old have the right to be in the aqua complex for free, there are discounts for students.

“Water Country” daily holds colorful shows, performances in the dolphinarium. Attractions “Aqualand” are diverse. In addition to traditional slides of all possible heights, fountains, a jacuzzi in the “Water Country,” there is a huge wave pool, a children’s playground on the water, a recreated section of a mountain river for rafting. The price of a ticket to Aqualand initially includes payment for one-time meals, drinks, changing rooms, lockers, visits to all attractions.

11. Sealanya Sea Park

The water park in Antalya province is often compared to an interactive marine aquarium. In this place, you can observe the life of the inhabitants of the water depths, including sharks, swim, play with dolphins, stroke stingrays, admire coral reefs, flocks of nimble colorful fish, take pictures with seals.

On the territory of the complex, there is a cozy beach, a section of an artificially created river, 15 swimming pools, a specially equipped place for kids to rest, cafes, bars, restaurants. For a number of water park services, you need to pay extra, including for photography with dolphins, fur seals. Tickets for visiting the entertainment complex and the show in the dolphinarium are separate.

Colorful performances with marine life are very popular with tourists. Experienced travelers advise to purchase tickets in advance. Only children under 3 years old can attend the show at the dolphinarium free of charge. If you are planning to travel to Turkey for the purpose of undergoing a course of dolphin therapy, please send requests for its sessions at Sealanya Sea Park in advance.

12. Karaalioglu Park

One of the most peaceful places in Antalya remains pleasant and cozy even on the hottest days. In Karaalioglu, there are paths for jogging, cycling, roller skating, scooters, and places for training on simulators. The recreational area is open to the public 24 hours a day. With the onset of darkness, the lights of lanterns, backlights are lit in Karaalioglu, and it turns into a fairyland.

At this time, many have the illusion that the park sculptures are moving to the melodies of street musicians. The play of light and shadow transforms the faces of Don Quixote, the poet Nazim Hikmet, the faces of funny frogs standing at the entrance. Those who are interested in history are eager to see the ancient Roman tower, rarities of the Ataturk Museum when visiting Karaalioglu.

The park has a theater, several viewing platforms, a large number of restaurants, cafes, teahouses with their own terraces. Its separate corners are occupied by a botanical garden with exotic plants, children’s playgrounds, a paid beach, and a flea market.

13. Gulhane Park

A famous landmark of Istanbul, the townspeople call an oasis in the metropolis. The recreation area is open to the public from early morning until late at night. The Bosphorus is clearly visible from here. Nearby is the Topkafa Palace, the ancient walls remind of the former luxury of the Ottoman Empire, during which its first trees were planted. Fountains and artificial reservoirs recreated according to old models are still associated with the splendor of a powerful state.

On 16 hectares of Gulhane, there is a huge number of flower beds; in warm weather, about 80 thousand rose bushes and 24 thousand tulips bloom. The main feathered inhabitants of the recreation area: green adorable parrots. On the territory, there are archaeological sites, a museum dedicated to Muslim scientists, a monument to Ataturk, an unusual children’s playground, small open-air cafes.

14. Damlatash Cave

The attraction is located in the very center of Alanya. This place is considered curative, it was discovered relatively recently (in the first half of the last century) during construction work. A unique natural monument is under the protection of the state, both levels of Damlatas are open for paid visits by tourists every day from 10:00 to the evening. Warmth and high humidity always reign in the cave, the air in it is ionized by nature itself.

The main “decorative elements” of the miraculous monument: luxurious stalactites, stalagmites. They have a varied color palette and create the illusion of lightness. The atmosphere in the cave has a beneficial effect on the respiratory organs; many foreigners and locals strive to undergo a recovery course in Damlatash. An important point: there is a separate time for morning procedures every day: from 08.00 to 10.00 hours. Attendance at breathing exercises is completely free.

15. Amusement Park “Moipark”

The entertainment complex is open every day from Tuesday to Sunday, its schedule depends on the season. The recreation area consists of various playgrounds for adults and children, some of the attractions are originally intended for family visits. Young fidgets in Moipark can ride carousels, toy cars, a Ferris wheel, visit the Adventure House, play with robots. For adults, there are slot machines, extreme rides, a Horror Hotel.

The park has its own legend: “Moipark” was formed at the site of a meteorite impact, when funny aliens saved the earth from a catastrophe. A family of cheerful one-eyed humanoids lives in the park to this day. Its representatives have created an amazing place with numerous attractions to amuse earthlings.

16. Wonderland Eurasia Theme Park

The giant entertainment complex in Ankara has recently opened. To visit more than 2 thousand attractions, it will take at least 10 days. It surpasses similar European parks and is one of the three world leaders in the number of roller coasters. Wonderland Eurasia’s laser tag site is considered the largest in the world.

One of the three flying cinemas on the planet is located here.

A significant part of the park facilities: huge indoor pavilions, where swings, carousels, roller coasters, slot machines work, car tracks, fantastic virtual realities are created. Park attractions – the railway, giant sculptures of transforming robots and dinosaurs – delight children and adults alike.

Prehistoric animals are captured in real size, they are perfectly visible from other parts of the city. Naturally, Wonderland Eurasia hosts the world’s largest dinosaur museum.

17. Aquapark “Adaland”

The complex in the city of Kudashasy was opened on the border of the millennium. For more than 20 years, Adaland has been one of the ten best water parks in the world and the most popular entertainment venues in Turkey. On its territory, there are green spaces, sports grounds, 13 different pools, 25 slides, a lazy river and a special water track for rafting.

In “Adaland,” you can experience all the charm of free fall and dance in a disco in the rain, whose atmosphere is more reminiscent of Indian rather than Turkish films. If you describe the image of the park in three words, you get the phrase: everything is huge here. The structure of the aqua complex (it is open to the public every day) includes a dolphinarium and a marine park. Adaland is adored by fans of unusual water shows.

18. A Ride on a Pirate Yacht

Tours with this name are offered by guides in different seaside Turkish cities. Funny animation teams, ship crews literally fight each other for the right to call their entertainment programs the most interesting, vivid and memorable.

The standard excursion scheme looks like this: “pirates” meet guests on board, the yacht sets off on a journey along the coast to a famous landmark, at this time a show program is underway, the latter transforms into a party with dancing in foam. The list of entertainment traditionally includes swimming in the open sea, selfies, face painting.

Basically, yacht trips are focused on family vacations, but ordering a youth, romantic party, anniversary or birthday celebration on the ship will not be difficult. The surcharge for program changes is very moderate.

19. Diving

Turkey is quite rightly called a paradise for scuba diving. The cost of one diving in the state starts from 40-50 dollars. Leaving pieces of coral and shells as a keepsake is strictly prohibited. Violation of this rule entails fines from tourists and local residents.

So that people do not greatly disturb the inhabitants of the deep sea, diving is allowed to be engaged in strictly defined places and with a special international certificate. What if the document is missing? Everything is very simple: you join any Turkish diving club, be listed in it for at least a day. And this gives the right to swim underwater.

If you are interested in military history, be sure to dive in Kemer to see what a sunken warship looks like. Here you can admire the games of dolphins and fur seals. Each dive site has its own flavor. In Kalhan, for example, sharks and giant turtles live, and in the bays of Kashe, Antalya there is a chance to touch the ruins of sunken ancient cities. Among the underwater caves among divers, the most popular are Gek, Suluin.

20. Dolusu Water Park

The entertainment complex Kemere attracts children and adults with its bright, fabulous attractions. It is located on the shore, and when viewed from the height of the water slides, it feels like its artificial pools are part of the sea. The structure of the complex includes a dolphinarium, where it is allowed to swim with dolphins, sharks, rays, fur seals, numerous areas for water shows.

DoluSu gourmets are attracted by the opportunity to taste traditional Turkish cuisine, fans of noisy entertainment – by exclusive exotic holidays. There are 26 water slides on the territory of the water park, there are pools with trampolines, extreme attractions that remind eerie legends of giant one-eyed cyclops, places where you can safely swim in inflatable boats, enjoy the darkness and silence of the cave, restaurants with a great selection of dishes.

For children under 7 years old, DoluSu has a special area with slides. Kids and adults are happy to visit floppy disks and mermaid performances in the water park. If a child is afraid of water, magical beauties will teach him how to dance in the pool, take a selfie together, surprise, and amuse him. Payment for all basic services of the water park is initially included in the cost of entrance tickets.

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