Ancient Sites and Cities You Should Visit in Turkey

Turkey is home to a huge number of Ancient Greek ruins
Turkey is home to a huge number of Ancient Greek ruins | © Jan Wlodarczyk / Alamy Stock Photo
Photo of Feride Yalav-Heckeroth
3 September 2021

The number of ancient sites in Turkey is truly staggering. Here are some of the most popular and some of the more remote (though equally stunning) ancient sites in the country.

Now you can explore the history and culture of Turkey with Culture Trip – book a place now on our exclusive 12-day small-group Turkey adventure.

Ephesus

Archaeological site
Map View
Library of Celsus, Ephesus Ancient City, Izmir, Turkey
© Jan Wlodarczyk / Alamy Stock Photo

Certainly the most popular and well-preserved of the archaeological sites, Ephesus dates back to the 10th century, and combines Greek, Roman and early Christian culture. The most famous structures here are the Library of Celsus and Temple of Artemis, as well as the nearby House of the Virgin Mary.

Göbekli Tepe

Archaeological site
Map View
Gobekli Tepe, Turkey
© Robert Landau / Alamy Stock Photo

Discovered by German archaeologist Klaus Schmidt in 1994, Göbekli Tepe was an astounding find that completely altered what was known about prehistory. It’s believed that the temple structures were built during the 10th millennium BCE, and therefore are the oldest example of such large-scale architecture in the world.

Termessos

Archaeological site
Map View
Termessos, Antalya
© Joana Kruse / Alamy Stock Photo

Another very well-preserved ancient site, Termessos is notable for having a theatre that looks out over the breathtaking Taurus Mountains, at an altitude of more than 1,000m (3,281ft). Once a Pisidian city, the site is almost entirely concealed by beautiful pine forests. You can visit with Culture Trip on our action-packed 12-day Turkey trip, led by our local insider.

Hattusha

Archaeological site
Map View
Hattusha, Turkey
© ollirg / Alamy Stock Photo

Once the capital city of the Hittite Empire, Hattusha is an important archaeological site, dating back to the Bronze Age – which you can explore with Culture Trip on our exclusive small-group Turkey adventure. The remains continue to stun visitors, including a sophisticated library, as well as underground tunnels, temples and palaces.

These recommendations were updated on September 3, 2021 to keep your travel plans fresh.

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