Why Does Turkey Seem To Feature On Everyone's Bucket List?

Turkey is the gateway to Asia and one of the most populous countries in the world. Not only that but because of its unique geographical location, it has a rich history that stretches back many thousands of years, almost to the dawn of civilization itself. For people with wanderlust, this country on the edge of Europe is almost always on their bucket list. Here’s why.

The Shopping Opportunities
If you’ve never been shopping in Turkey, prepare yourself for an eye-opening experience. It’s nothing like shopping in the West. For starters, malls are rare here. If you travel out of the big cities to tourist hotspots like Marmaris or Ephesus, you’ll find traders lining up in traditional marketplaces, offering everything from dried fruit to silk scarves. Don’t be surprised if they are a little pushy: that’s the culture here. The culture of selling is very different from other parts of the world. Be prepared to haggle and say no - it’s a regular part of the experience. 

Turkish Baths
Turkey is famous not only for Turkish delight but also for Turkish Baths - a spa experience that originated right here in its eponymous country. If you’ve never had a Turkish bath before, you’re in for a treat. There’s nothing like being massaged and scrubbed as a way to unwind after a long day of sightseeing. 

The Beaches
No Turkey tour would be complete without visiting one of the country’s many incredible beaches. Top of the list should be Fethiye, Izmir, and Antalya. Despite their popularity among tourists, many of these beaches remain almost entirely unspoiled. What’s more, they each offer something different. Some focus on all-night parties and loud music while others provide a relaxing secluded environment where you can bathe in the sun in peace. 

The Food
The food is undoubtedly one of the biggest reasons why so many people have Turkey on their bucket list. The reason for this is the distinctiveness of the flavors and the myriad surrounding cultures that have influenced the cuisine over the years. Food in Turkey is a hodgepodge of different styles, emanating from the surrounding Meditteranean basin. Ottoman classics include seafood and meze, breakfast spread, and unique pickled vegetable dishes. While you can pick up a delicious kebab, Turkey is about way more than doner and pitas. 

The Striking Architecture

Istanbul is famous all over the world for its striking architecture and impressive monuments. Many people forget that the city was the seat of the Roman Empire for over a thousand years after the sack of Rome in the fifth century. Constantinople - as it was then called - continued many of the traditions of the original Roman Empire and persisted for an impressive 1,000 years, providing a stronghold of civilization in an otherwise chaotic world.

The architectural relics from this era are impressive. You’ll find palaces, mosques, churches and much more if you visit the city. If you head out of Istanbul, make sure that you head to places like Mardin and Ephesus. Here you can find ancient forts and temples, many of which built more than one thousand years ago.