Where to go, what to do and how to get there
All About Turkey
Find out everything you need to know about visiting Turkey, from the top hotels and best beaches to food, nightlife and must-see attractions.
Planning a trip to Turkey can be overwhelming, especially if it’s your first time visiting the country. Not only are there heaps of things to see and do during the day but there are countless hotel options, lots of places to eat, and plenty to enjoy once the sun has set.
If you’re thinking about heading to Turkey soon and want to make the most of your time there, here’s what you need to know before you go.
Top Hotels in Turkey
You booked your flights and now need to choose your accommodation, and the good news is that there are plenty of great hotels in Turkey. To make things a little easier for you, here is a list of some of the country’s top hotels worth considering.
Hillside Beach Club
Set on its own private Blue Flag beach, Hillside Beach Club is a luxury hotel in a rural setting, perfect for couples and families. This five-star hotel is situated 4km from the centre of Fethiye, a popular area with interesting places to visit and where you can find cafes, shops, bars and restaurants.
Granada Luxury Belek
The five-star Granada Luxury Belek offers spacious modern accommodation and a fantastic spa, making it the ideal choice if you want to indulge in some relaxation. Located in the glamourous Antalya region, the hotel has a huge range of other facilities on site, including swimming pools, an aqua park and a fitness centre.
The Land of Legends Kingdom Hotel
Boasting a waterpark and theme park, the Land of Legends Kingdom Hotel is a popular choice among families. But this five-star hotel in Belek isn’t just for kids or adults who are young at heart. You can also fully relax at the Turkish bath and award-winning spa or shop till you drop at the shopping centre attached to the hotel.
Green Nature Resort and Spa
This five-star hotel has something for everyone, from outdoor pools and waterslides to a Jacuzzi and a relaxing spa and wellness centre. Green Nature Resort and Spa is surrounded by a stunning pine forest and situated a few minutes from the beach and Marmaris town centre.
Titanic Beach Lara
Set in a building that looks like a huge cruise ship, Titanic Beach Lara is a beachside hotel on the Antalya coast offering four restaurants, luxury spa treatments and a bar with a bowling alley. You can also expect to find swimming pools, on-site entertainment and world-class service at this luxury five-star ship hotel.
Best Beaches in Turkey
Turkey has dozens of beach options, making it a fantastic destination for beach lovers. But which beaches should you visit? You can take your pick from the six listed below.
Belek Beach: One of the finest beaches on the Turkish coast, Belek Beach is 16km long and offers soft white sand, spaced out sun loungers and water sports activities.
Oludeniz Beach: Set along a beautiful blue lagoon, Oludeniz Beach is arguably the most famous beach in Turkey and the perfect spot to chill out or swim in crystal clear waters.
Lara Beach: Listed among the longest beaches in Turkey, Lara Beach is home to miles of fine golden sand and is lined with a gorgeous promenade with cafes and beach bars.
Gumbet Beach: Blessed with calm seas and shallow waters, Gumbet Beach is safe for swimmers of all ages and provides sunbeds and umbrellas to help you relax and unwind.
Sarigerme Beach: A family-friendly beach with a lovely café, Sarigerme Beach is framed by pine-clad mountains and is a popular spot among those who enjoy the stunning natural scenery.
Konyaalti Beach: With a gorgeous backdrop of mountains, Konyaalti Beach in Antalya is covered with beautiful pebbles and furnished with showers, sun loungers and changing cabins.
Best Things to Do in Turkey
When it comes to what to do and see in Turkey, the decision-making is ultimately up to you. But the important thing is to make sure you know your options when you get there. Here are some of the best things to do to make your trip more memorable.
Experience a traditional Turkish bath
Taking a Turkish bath (or Hamman in Turkish) is a must-do activity when visiting Turkey. But what exactly is a Turkish bath? Well, it’s similar to a sauna in that you detox in a hot room, then you move to another room to wash in cold water. After that, you can chill out in a cooler room or receive a full body wash and massage. This traditional bath culture dates back to the Ottoman Empire and is the first thing that comes to mind for locals when they want to cleanse the body and relax the mind.
Visit Turkey’s old towns
It’s easy to lose yourself in some of Turkey’s old towns, so be sure to set aside plenty of time to visit at least one or a few. Side Old Town has a rich history and is home to various ancient ruins, such as a Greek amphitheatre and the Apollo Temple. Kaleici, the old town of Antalya also contains historic sites and narrow cobbled streets lined with pretty Ottoman houses.
Discover Turkey’s captivating waterfalls
Go on a waterfall hunt when you want to take a break from the beaches and the town centres of Turkey. You won’t be disappointed. The Duden waterfalls in Antalya are among the most famous in the country, and the Manavgat waterfalls in the protected forests of the Tauras Mountains are a unique sight worth seeing.
Explore the islands of Gocek
You will find plenty to do in Gocek, which lies on the Gulf of Feyithe. One of the most enjoyable things to do when you’re here is sail around its twelve islands, hidden beaches and peaceful diving spots. Gocek offers all types of boat trips to suit your taste, from relaxing island-hopping tours to action-packed experiences.
Paragliding over Oludeniz Beach
If you love paragliding or want to try it for the first time, Turkey is a top destination to take to the skies. Many resorts have centres offering flights, but the most popular spot for paragliding is Oludeniz Beach, known for its breathtaking panoramic views and excellent weather conditions.
Must-Try Food in Turkey
Turkish food is very diverse and among the best in the world and, even if food isn’t your passion, a culinary tour of Turkey’s cuisine is highly recommended. Let’s take a look at some of the food and dishes you should try when you’re in this sun-soaked country.
Manti: Tiny dumplings (made from a dough similar to pasta) stuffed with minced beef or lamb and topped with yoghurt, melted butter and dried chilli flakes.
Dolma: Rice and meat stuffed into vegetables, like peppers, tomatoes or zucchini.
Sarma: Rice and meat tucked into grape or vine leaves and sometimes drizzled with a sauce.
Ezogelin Soup: A thick and satisfying soup made from rice, bulger and red lentils with herbs, spices and vegetables.
Gozleme: Layers of pastry stuffed with all kinds of fillings, including cheese, potatoes, spinach and parsley.
Pide (Turkish pizza): Wood-fire-oven-baked flatbread perfected with a variety of toppings, such as meat, cheese and vegetables.
Baklava: Layers of filo pastry filled with nuts and covered with syrup or sweet honey.
Best Nightlife in Turkey
Turkey is a great place to enjoy nightlife, whether you’re looking for pubs and restaurants or dance shows and night cruises. Three of the most popular places where you can find the best night-time events and entertainment include:
A hotspot area where you can take your pick of a wide range of bars, clubs and evening shows. Bodrum Bar Street in the heart of the old town is packed with bars and clubs appealing to all tastes, or you can try Bodrum Marina Yacht Club to watch live music whilst enjoying amazing views of Bodrum Harbour and Bodrum Castle.
There are plenty of pubs and cocktail bars in Marmaris where you can relax with a refreshing drink, and many nightclubs, perfect for when you want to let your hair down. You can also find lots of Turkish taverns and romantic terraces in this lively part of Turkey, as well as cabaret shows and venues that host Turkish music and dance performances.
If you want to stay away from the areas with crowded bars and nightclubs, Antalya will be right up your street. It’s more laid-back but still has enough variety to keep you happy and entertained. The area has plenty of cosy authentic taverns, waterfront bars and cocktail venues, along with sports bars where you can watch the latest games. Antalya also has some great concert venues and nightclubs where you can enjoy live music into the early hours.