Turkey in 5 Days: The only travel itinerary you need
There are numerous prime travel destinations in the world but none quite stand out as much as Turkey, now known as Türkiye. Spread over two continents and serving as a bridge between them, the country offers a uniquely holistic experience full of food, culture, art, and architecture. Increasingly popular thanks to its favourable climate, deep blue skies, hot air balloons, baklava, and Turkish coffee, there is much ground to cover in the transcontinental country.
Here is the perfect itinerary to experience Turkey!
The first stop: breath-taking Istanbul. And what better place than the Grand Bazaar to give you an infusion of the city's rich history and culture? Dating back to the 15th century, this bazaar has 5000 shops selling everything from spices to clothes and perfumes. Be sure to pause at one of the tea shops for a hot cuppa before you make your way out.
One of the architectural wonders of the world, the Hagia Sophia has its home in Istanbul and it is a crime to leave the city without a visit to this place. Originally built as a church and later converted to a mosque, the Sophia is steeped in history and art.
Istanbul is only half explored without a cruise on the mighty Bosphorus. Cutting across the city, the river divides it into its continental halves — look to the European side that is picturesque and historic and then to the more modern, Asian side to complete the Turkish portrait.
Another masterpiece in Istanbul is the Blue Mosque, a visual treat, and an architectural wonder. The gleaming blue interiors, covered with more than 20,000 blue Iznik tiles, will have you awestruck from the moment you enter until you exit.
The city of Istanbul is as beautiful underground as it is above. The Basilica Cistern is a testimony to the magnificent underbelly of the city. A few centuries old, the magnificent structure was responsible for bringing water to the city. Dimmed lights and the sound of dripping water make the place romantic as well as eerie.
A lively town square located in the Beyoglu district, Taksim Square has shops, restaurants and cafes peppered all over it. The Taksim Republic Monument is also located in the area and locals and tourists flock to it to enjoy Istanbul's nightlife.
Not too far from Taksim Square is the Galata Tower, a watchtower and one of the city's most iconic structures. It was the tallest structure in the city in 1348 A.D. and used to spot fires. The 60m tall tower now offers a panoramic view of the city and makes for an apt farewell to it.
Take the next two days to visit the beautiful Mediterranean Antalya. It is known for its laidback lifestyle, complete with beaches and hammams. For your first day here, choose some tranquility for yourself. The Çıralı beach, tucked into the secluded downtown, offers peace, quiet, and a majestic view of the mountains. A short ride away is the Old Harbour, with its quaint cafes and magnificent yachts. Spend an uneventful afternoon soaking in the sun, walking the cobblestone streets to the market for some coffee, or a visit to the local mosque.
Spend the last day visiting the Antalya Museum, especially for its galleries of mosaics from Seleukeia, silver hoard display from Aspendos, and divinity statues from Perge. End your trip with a visit to the popular local markets of the city, to shed the touristy image and immerse in the local vibe that Antalya offers.