Turkey is a country that sits on the crossroads of Europe and Asia. There’s lots to explore from the thriving former Byzantine and Ottoman city of Istanbul to the otherworldly landscapes of Cappadocia, gorgeous Mediterranean beaches and the wild Eastern Anatolia region.

I’ve visited Turkey on multiple occasions while travelling overland between China and the UK. In 2022 I spent over two months backpacking around the country and exploring places far from the trampled tourist trail.

I’ve crossed the entire country by bus three times, from Bulgaria and Greece in the west to Georgia in the east. This large country has many different landscapes from the plains of Mesopotamia to the mountains of Erzurum, the Black Sea and Mediterranean coastlines and a lot more besides. 

top cities to visit in turkey

Landmarks in Turkey - Hagia Sophia


Istanbul sits either side of the Bosphorus Strait separating Europe from Asia Minor. The city has a long history dating back which includes stints as part of the Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman empires.

There’s lots to see in Istanbul from the old city to the Grand Bazaar, the Basilica Cistern and of course the architectural marvels such as Hagia Sophia and the Blue Mosque.

Bodrum Harbour


Bodrum is a coastal resort in the southwest of Turkey famous for its beaches, bars and lively nightlife. Highlights include the picturesque harbour, the many fine restaurants and majestic Bodrum Castle.

Best Things to do in Diyarbakir - City Walls


Diyarbakir is a city in southeastern Turkey and hopme to the country’s laregst Kurdish population. There are lots of incredible sights from the Roman city walls to the famous Hevcel Gardens and the Ten Eyed Bridge.

Read my complete guide to Diyarbakir.

Main Square


Mardin is an absolutely gorgeous town high on a hill overlooking the plains of Mesopatamia. Climb Zinceriye Madrasa for the most incredible views, or sip Turkish coffee in one of the many rooftop bars.

Read my complete guide to Mardin.

Early Morning in Erzurum


Erzurum is Turkey’s outdoor playground and home the country’s premiere ski resort at nearby Palendoken Mountain. There’s lots to see and do from skiing and hiking to exploring the citadel and many mosques and madrasas.

Read my complete guide to Erzurum.

View of Lake Van from the Castle


The city of Van sits on the shores of Turkey’s largest lake, Lake Van. From swimming in summer and hiking, to exploring the ancient castle, there is lots to see and do in this plesant city.

Read my complete guide to Van.

How to Get to Turkey

By Air

It’s easy to reach Turkey by air with flights from around the world to airports in Istanbul, Ankara and beyond. Trip.com has some of the best deals on flights to Turkey.

Check Trip.com for prices

By Train

There are international trains to Turkey from Bulgaria, Romania and Iran.

By Bus

There are bus services between Turkey and some of its neighbours including Bulgaria, Greece, Iraq, Iran and Georgia. I’ve taken the bus to and from Turkey on multiple occasions. These are some of the routes I have done:

Tbilisi to Istanbul

Erbil to Diyarbakir

Athens to Thessaloniki

Sofia to Istanbul

You can book tickets to Istanbul with Flixbus which is the service I always use when travelling around Europe. Click here to book your ticket.

travel to turkey

Kos to Bodrum Ferry

Istanbul Bosphorus Ferry

Diyarbakir to Erbil Bus

Travelling the Silk Road

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