The vibrantly colorful timeline of Turkey’s history signifies that it is one of the world’s most iconic countries, awash with historical sites dating back to many civilizations. The country is the richest in terms of culture and historical heritage with more than 95% of Muslim population.

Repeatedly termed as the bridge between West and East, Turkey is undoubtedly the most exquisite locations in the world. It is a nation straddling between Western Asia and Eastern Europe with cultural links to Roman, Persian, Greek, Byzantine and Ottoman empires.

The cosmopolitan city of Istanbul, situated on the Bosphorus Strait serves as a home to the iconic Hagia Sophia consisting of soaring high domes and Christian mosaics. The great 17th century Blue Mosque and Topkapi Palace are also some exotic locations to visit.

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Steeped in history, Turkey attracts thousands of visitors every week; there are many locations in terms of adventure, fun and holiday savings that are a must-visit for all tourists.

Here is a list of 19 best places to visit in Turkey; Have a look!

1. Sultan Ahmed Mosque

Also known as the Blue Mosque on account of colour of the tiles in the interior of the mosque, it has one dome and 6 minarets

2. Sulemaniye Mosque

The second largest mosque in Istanbul, it was constructed by the famous Ottoman architect Mimar Sinan

3. Hagia Sophia

This grand monument made in Byzantine architectural style, was first a church, then a mosque and currently a museum since 1935

4. Grand Bazaar

Since 1461, the bazaar is one of the oldest and largest covered markets with over 5000 shops

5. Galata Tower

Built in the 13th century as a watchtower, it later became a prison during the Ottoman Empire. Today it is a tourist attraction providing spectacular views of the city from the Observatory on the 7th floor.

6. Dolmabache Castle

This glamorous palace built in the19th century was home to the last 6 Ottoman Kings. It contains the largest crystal chandelier in the world.

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7. Chora Church

Constructed in the Byzantine architectural style, the interior is covered in beautiful mosaics and frescos.

8. Ephesus

Built in 117 AD , it contained almost 12,000 scrolls and is one of the most beautiful sites in the ancient Roman city

9. Capadochia

This unusual landscape was the result of volcanic eruptions forming unusual rock formations called fairy chimneys. The area is a popular tourist attraction with hotels inbuilt in caves

10. Bodrum Castle

Bodrum Castle
Built in the 15th century by the knights of the Rhodes, the castle overlooks the harbour and was built during the crusades.

11. Basilica

This underground cistern was built in the 6th century by Roman Emperor Justinian to provide water to the city of Istanbul.

12. Aaspendos Theatre

Aaspendos Theatre
Aaspendos is popular for having the best-preserved theatre of antiquity with a diameter of 96 metres (315 ft).

13. Mount Nemrut

Mount Nemrut
Nemrut is a 2,134 m high mountain in southeastern Turkey, known for the summit where several large statues are erected.

14. Kocatepe Mosque

Kocatepe Mosque
The Kocatepe Mosque is the largest mosque in Ankara, the capital of Turkey. The mosque was built between 1967 and 1987 in the Kocatepe in Kızılay.

15. Topkapi Castle

Topakapi castle
The Topkapı Palace is a palace in Istanbul, that was one of the major residences of the Ottoman sultans for almost 400 years in their 624-year reign.

16. Pamukkale

Pamukkale is in western Turkey known for the mineral-rich thermal waters flowing down white travertine terraces on a hillside.

17. Sleeper’s Cave

Sleepers Cave
The Sleeper’s Cave is famous for The Seven Sleepers of Ephesus-legendary people who hid inside a cave outside the city of Ephesus around 250 AD, to escape a persecution.

18. Celsus

A library holds compilation of the famous 2nd-century Greek philosopher, Celsus. He is known for his extensive literary work.

19. House of Virgin Mary

House of virgin Mary
The House of the Virgin Mary is a Catholic and Muslim shrine located on Mt. Koressos. Catholic pilgrims visit the house believing Mary here by Saint John.

Turkey Visa Requirements

  • Submit visa applications in person, at least four weeks prior to intended date of travel.
  • Passports should be valid at least six months at the time of visa application.
  • Visa Application Form and two biometric photos (5cmX5cm / white background)
  • Photocopy of a valid passport (1st and 2nd pages only)
  • A copy of the ticket reservation is accepted for entry visa applications
  • The visa applicants are kindly requested to submit their certificates proving that concerned person has received Oral Polio Vaccine.
  • Bank statement original stamped and account maintenance letter, which covers the transactions of the last three months. Recommended to have $50 per person per number of days visit.
  • Accommodation / hotel reservation for your period of stay.
  • In case the applicant is employed, a statement from the employer mentioning the title, salary, duration of the employment and purpose of the travel. Tax return and NTN certificate for self-employed individuals.
  • Covering letter requesting the Visa officer for issuance of visa.
  • Holder of valid long duration visa holders for U.S.A may apply for online visa

When to Visit and purchase air ticket

  • Try visiting in the off season. Up to 30% off during off season
  • Air tickets are the biggest expense. Plan ahead and Book early.
  • Look for periodic off-season discounts run by many airlines to get a good deal on airlines
  • October- November (Off season, autumn time, weather is neither cold nor hot)

Budget (7 days/nights vacation to Istanbul)

  • Air tickets: Rs 54,000 per person
  • Visa                                          Rs   6,000 per person
  • Accommodation (3star)     Rs 15,000 per person (twin sharing)(City Center)
  • Transportation                      Rs   5,000 per person (using bus, and Metro)
  • Food/ Entertainment          Rs 35,000 per person ( Fast food, local street food, tours)
  • Expenses                                Rs 10,000 per person
  • Total                                       Rs 125,000 per person

The calculation has been done based on the following:

  • Cheapest air ticket from Karachi- Istanbul (Ticket price comparison website prices)
  • Accommodation prices from world’s top hotel booking engine
  • Transport (Transfer from Airport to Istaklal Avenue using shuttle bus 25 Turkish Lira per person (one-way), using metro where necessary 5 Lira per person per trip)
  • Food and Accommodation @ $50 per person per day. ($7 per meal= $21+$30 for tours/museum entry per day)
  • Expenses to be spent for buying souvenirs at the end of trip $100
  • 1 Turkish Lira= Rs 35-40
  • Carry USD from Pakistan and convert them to Liras in Turkey. You are bound to get a better rate.
  • Calculations are per person based on twin sharing accommodation
  • Accommodation Prices may vary by 40% if you go for budget accommodation or luxury accommodation.

Source: Travel Package Compare

A Pakistan Travel and Tour empowerment website where various tour operators provide several packages offered for travel purposes. So discover the world today, by signing up with Travel Package Compare and enjoy a carefree vacation to some of the world’s exotic destinations.

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Stay tuned to Brandsynario for more information on exotic travel destinations.