Our alphabetical A to Z guide of Turkey, showcases Turkey’s diversity, break taking beauty and fascinating history.
Our A to Z guide only scratches the surface of this must-see destination, but it’s enough to make sure you’ll be adding Turkey to your travel bucket list now! So without further ado, our A to Z guide of Turkey:
Where religions meet and symbolise harmony and peace, Ayasofya (Hagia Sophia), is one of the most impressive buildings in Istanbul. Formerly a church, which was converted into a mosque for over 480 years and since the 1930’s now lives on as a museum.
B. Bosphorus Strait
The Bosphorus strait connects the Black Sea to the Sea of Marmara, and separates European and Asian parts of Istanbul. Make sure to take a sunset cruise and catch a glimpse of Istanbul’s main sites.
Çay or Turkish Tea is served with no milk in small tulip shaped glasses with saucers. Çay or coffee is usually offered as a sign of hospitality and friendship, and is ingrained into Turkish culture.
Doner is one of the most famous dishes in Turkey and is popular all over the world. It’s meat cooked on a rotating vertical spit and cut into thin shavings.
Ephesus is an ancient city built in around the 10th century BC, and was an important centre of commerce as a port city. It also holds one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, the Temple of Artemis, as well as other impressive buildings such as a the Library of Celsus.
Get a dose of vitamin sea and visit the buzzing town of Fethiye. With beautiful scenery, markets, and epic nightlife it’s a must-see when visiting Turkey’s stunning turquoise coastline.
The Gallipoli peninsula is located in the southern part of East Thrace on the European part of Turkey, and this historic site protects the cemeteries and battlefields of the ANZAC campaign.
Hamman, or traditional Turkish baths usually follow a three step process which includes a sauna and steam, full body scrub and massage. A must-try experience which will leave your skin feeling silky smooth.
Istanbul, the city which expand over two continents and blends together a rich fusion of history, traditions and cultures. Famed for it’s mosques and epic architecture, lively bazaars, vibrant nightlife and melting pot of history and culture, it’s a city you can’t miss out visiting.
J. Jeton (token)
To get around large cities like Istanbul, why not try using the public transport system. You can buy single fare jeton (or tokens) to use for ferries, buses and metro.
K. Kapadokya (Cappadocia)
Known for its underground cities, and moon like landscapes, Cappadocia is just as magical as you think it would be. Don’t forget to see the hot air balloons fill the skies over the dramatic landscapes.
L. Lâle (tulip)
Fun Fact: Tulips are the national flower of Turkey, and are native to the region. They are often embroidered into clothing and woven into tapestries and carpets.
To greet someone hello in Turkey you say Merhaba, which is pronounced mare-ha-ba.
N. Nazar Boncugu (Blue Evil Eye)
Nazar Boncugu is an eye shaped amulet which is believed to protect you against bad luck.
O. Ottoman Empire
The Ottoman Empire grew to be one of the most powerful states in the world during the 15th and 16th centuries, and has influenced Turkey’s history books.
Pammukale which means cotton castle, is a UNESCO stamped site known for it’s mineral rich thermal waters which flow down white terraces.
Q. Turkish Quote
Mustafa Kemal Ataturk’s famous speech in 1934 in memory of the allied soldiers who fell during the Galipoli campaign, “…You, the mothers, who sent their sons from faraway countries wipe away your tears; your sons are now lying in our bosom and are in peace, after having lost their lives on this land they have become our sons as well.”
Turkey’s national drink, Raki, which is made of twice-distilled grapes and aniseed. One too many cups of Raki and you’ll be dancing on the tables all night long.
Simit is similar to a bagel, a sesame encrusted bread rings that are usually eaten as a snack or for breakfast with feta, cucumber, olives and tomato.
No, not just a Brad Pitt movie, Troy is an ancient city that sets the scene for Homer’s ‘The Iliad’. As well as the famous ‘Wooden Horse,’ you can also see ancient ruins and many archaeological findings.
U. Urfa Kebap
Named after one of Turkey’s famous cities, Urfa Kebap are made of ground beef and lamb kneaded together with onion, garlic and spices, than packed around skewers. It is usually served with grilled vegetables, onions, tomatoes and rice. Yum!
Cappadocia is renowned for it’s breath-taking landscapes, including many valleys and unusual rock formations. Our favourites that are must sees include: Ihlara Valley, Pigeon Valley and Love Valley.
Carpet weaving is one of the most ancient crafts in Turkey, with carpets still being handmade today. They are made differently to other carpets made elsewhere, and are double knotted which makes the rug sturdier and more durable. A Turkish carpet will last for hundreds of years, and usually become family heirlooms passed down for generations.
X. eXtreme Sports
If you’re a thrill seeker and adventure junkie, make sure to check out some of Turkey’s extreme sports such as paragliding or white water rafting in Fethiye to hot air ballooning in Cappadocia.
Y. Yerebatan (Basilica Cistern)
One of Istanbul’s most magnificent ancient buildings, Yerebatan is a big underground water reservoir. Visitors are captivated by it’s marble columns rising from the water and Medusa heads which support two of the columns.
Zelve open air museum, once housed one of the largest communities in Cappadocia region and is a cave town with honeycombed dwellings and religious chambers, which you can now explore and visit.
After reading our A to Z guide, there is no doubt you’ll want to make Turkey your next holiday destination! Book one of our Turkey tours which range from 4 to 19 days, including combo tours which also include Egypt, Greece and the Balkans, with different ways to explore and enjoy everything Turkey has to offer! See more here.