By Justin Mays:
Turkey is a diverse country with many cities, so it can be hard to decide where to visit first. Make this your go-to checklist for the must-see trendy and touristic cities in Turkey. From Mediterranean party towns to ancient centers in the East, these are the must-see urban areas in Turkey.
Must-see city for the Jet Setter
Bodrum is considered the San Tropez of Turkey, and with luxury hotels and restaurants like Aman and Hakkasan opening outlets here, you know the label is well deserved. Trendsetters who love the jet set life will enjoy checking out the gorgeous Yalikavak Marina filled with superyachts, great shopping and dining opportunities, or relaxing beachside at the stunning Mandarin Oriental. Bodrum also throws a good party, and there is ample opportunity to spend the night dancing alongside A-list celebrities and billionaires.
Must-see City for the Adventurer
Goreme is not much of a city, but it is the best base to explore the popular Cappadocia region. Book a cave hotel in one of the fairy chimneys to make the most of your visit. For people with an adventurous spirit, the hiking, and horseback riding opportunities are bountiful. Reserve your spot in an early morning balloon ride forever to capture the vast volcanic landscape in your memory. Cappadocia also produces good wines and has delicious local cuisine. The region's rich history also draws in history lovers with its frescos and early cave churches.
Must-see City for the Cosmopolitan
Istanbul is listed as one of the largest cities in the world and suits the well-traveled, sophisticated visitor. Culturally diverse with something for everyone, you can spend weeks here discovering all its treasures. Walk along its extended coastal areas, the Golden Horn, Marmara Sea and Bosphorus Strait observing its unique architecture and stopping for numerous tea breaks. Visit Seraglio Point and the historical peninsula and return to the Ottoman and Byzantine eras. Evenings can be spent in the vast array of restaurants and rooftop locales looking out over the lit-up city that never ends.
Must-see City for the Foodie
Gaziantep is the culinary capital of Turkey and is listed in UNESCO's Creative Cities Network gastronomy category. Famed for its meat dishes and baklava, this is the place to go to try the best of Turkish cuisine.
Must-see City for the History Buff
Sanliurfa in the Mesopotamian plains was not always the first stop for a tourist in Turkey. Still, with its rich biblical history and the opening of Pre-Pottery Neolithic Gobeklitepe, people are flocking to it. The discovery and study of the Gobeklitepe site have turned traditional ideas about how ancient humans lived upside down.
Must-see City for the Beach Lover
Laid-back coastal Izmir looks out over Aegean turquoise waters. Reserve a table for meze and fish in the Konak neighborhood for sunset dinners. Less than a thirty-minute drive away, you will find yourself at some of the best beaches in Turkey. You cannot go wrong with the sandy, pristine cooling waters surrounding this city.
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