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Top 6 Things to Do While Vacationing in Turkey

Turkey might share its name with a traditional holiday bird, but that’s not the only interesting thing about the country. If you’re thinking about paying a visit to this Eastern European locale, here are six awesome things you have to check out.

1. Shop at The Grand Bazaar

After arriving to Istanbul via Turkish Airlines, you can easily satisfy your shopaholic urges at the Grand Bazaar. This covered market is one of the oldest of its kind in the world and draws a massive amount of tourists every day. Use your haggling skills to buy jewelry, clothes, books, spices, and snacks, just like the local Turks do. Just make sure your shopping haul can fit in your luggage.

2. Visit Hagia Sophia

You can’t leave Istanbul without visiting one of its most famous landmarks. Though Hagia Sophia (Aya Sofya to the locals) now serves as a museum of Turkish history, the building originally served as a Catholic church, then a Mosque. Whether you have a passing interest in theology, consider yourself devout, or have just recently read Dan Brown’s Inferno, Hagia Sophia is one of the coolest places to see.

3. Watch Whirling Dervishes

Another perfect attraction for the religious sort is the Whirling Dervishes of Konya. You may have heard of these ascetics but never really figured out why they spin. The practice of Sufi whirling is an Islāmic ceremony meant to honor the poet Rumi and to achieve a sort of spiritual ecstasy. You can learn the symbolism of the Dervish uniform and their whirling ceremony while enjoying a glimpse into Turkish culture.

4. Experience Cappadocia

When you’re tired of the bustle of the city, take a detour to Cappadocia. This ancient city is completely carved out of rock and is full of surreal shapes you have to see to believe. You can even take a hot air balloon ride over the landscape and marvel in the beauty of it. While you’re in the air, keep an eye out for the scenery used in some of the Star Wars films.

5. Explore the Trojan Horse

You might have thought that the story of the Trojan War was just a Greek myth, but the ancient city of Troy is a real place you can visit while you’re in Turkey. Although the giant wooden horse on display is not the same contraption the Greek heroes used to get into the city, it’s a great attraction for anyone who might have read some Greek myths in school. You can even climb up into the horse to feel like an ancient warrior.

6. Eat Kebabs

No international trip would be complete without sampling some of the local cuisine. Turkey is famous for its food, from the classic kebab to the delectable baklava. Turkish food is so delicious you can find variations of it all over the world, but you won’t have a better Doner meal anywhere other than Turkey.

It isn’t the most popular European destination, but there’s so many awesome things to see and do in Turkey. It’s in your best interest to check them out for yourself.