Turkey for Tourists and Dual Citizenship Holders: The 7 Best Places to Visit First

The Republic of Turkey has more to offer than Turkish pastries, Turkish delight, Turkish coffee, and Turkish carpets.

This transcontinental country has a rich, fascinating culture and history, and a variety of stunning natural and human-made attractions.

All these elements make Turkey one of the most popular destinations among travelers, earning a spot on the list of various travel and tourism websites and magazines every year.

People obtaining their Turkey citizenship by investment soon will be delighted by the variety of these attractions as well.

Turkey’s Top Attractions

Whether you are a tourist visiting or a Turkish passport holder settling in Turkey soon, below are the seven attractions you have to see first:

  1. Hippodrome

Although Istanbul is not the capital of Turkey, it is its largest city. Because of this, it has plenty of must-visit attractions, one of which is the Hippodrome.

The Hippodrome, which was the idea of Septimius Severus, was a historical public arena used mainly for chariot races. It also became a venue for gladiatorial games, official ceremonies, celebrations, protests, and other events.

Today, the Hippodrome retains a small section of the gallery walls on the southern side.  However, a park now stands in the area, which is home to several monuments.

These include a fountain, which was given by the German Emperor William II to the Ottoman sultan in 1898.

In the southwest area, you will find three ancient monuments: a 20-meter-high Egyptian obelisk from Heliopolis, the Serpent Column brought by Constantine from Delphi, and a stone obelisk originally clad in gold-covered bronze plating, which was stolen in 1204.

  1. Blue Mosque

The Blue Mosque, or Sultan Ahmet Camii, is Sultan Ahmet I’s greatest architectural gift to Istanbul.

Construction of the mosque started in 1609 and was completed in 1616. When it was unveiled, it caused an outcry throughout the Muslim world since it had six minarets, the same number that the Great Mosque of Mecca originally had.

To calm down the dissent, a seventh minaret was gifted to the Great Mosque of Mecca.

The Blue Mosque gets its moniker from the thousands of Iznik tiles inside the infrastructure. The spatial and color effect you will see inside the interior won’t fail to take your breath away.

When visiting this attraction, take the time to explore the beautiful gardens found between the Blue Mosque and the Aya Sofya.

  1. Aya Sofya

The Church of the Divine Wisdom, or Aya Sofya, is one of the most impressive and significant buildings ever constructed in history.

The Aya Sofya was built in 537 AD by the Byzantine Emperor Justinian. It was a statement of his empire’s wealth and technical ability to the world.

The church’s expansive, flat dome was considered a daring engineering feat at that time. Even today, many architects are still amazed at the structure’s numerous innovations.

The Aya Sofya also has a fascinating history. Mehmet the Conqueror converted it into a mosque soon after he conquered Istanbul in 1453.

In 1935, Kemal Atatürk realized the world-historical significance of the Aya Sofya. He had it proclaimed a museum. However, it was restored as a mosque once again in 2020.

  1. Anitkabir

Turkey’s capital city also has several must-visit attractions. These include Anitkabir or Atatürk Mausoleum.

The Anitkabir is the most visited attraction in Ankara and the most important modern pilgrimage site in Turkey.  

The actual mausoleum serves as the resting place of Kemal Atatürk. However, it is not the only feature of this popular tourist attraction.

Anitkabir is a massive plaza, which contains a large museum complex. It features exhibits on the War of Independence, a historical event led by Atatürk that paved the way to the country being a modern nation.

The museum also has exhibits on Atatürk’s life.

Outside the complex, you will also be able to see stunning views of the city.  

  1. Museum of Anatolian Civilizations

The Museum of Anatolian Civilizations is the only place in Turkey where you can have a full, clear picture of the country’s pre-classical era of human history.

Its many remarkable displays include a wall painting, which some archaeologists say is the world’s first town map, and a renowned fertility goddess statue, both of which came from the Neolithic village site of Çatalhöyük.

The central Stone Hall houses important stone reliefs and sculptures from different eras. An example of the displays you will find here are the various finely detailed orthostat reliefs from the Hittite site of Carchemish.

All in all, the museum houses more than fascinating historical 200,000 objects and artifacts.

  1. Antalya

Antalya is a massive, vibrant city found along the scenic Turkish Riviera on the Mediterranean coastline.

It is a popular destination for both local and international tourists since it has several beautiful resorts, hotels, and beaches. The city also has a number of well-known bars and restaurants.

The city’s main beaches are Konyaalti and Lara, which are known for their white sands and clear blue waters. There are water parks, amusement parks, and a zoo near these coastlines as well.

You will also be amazed by the lush green mountains dotting the city.

While in Antalya, visit the Kaleiçi or the Old Quarter. The area boasts of Roman gates, maze-like streets, and historic structures, including the Clock Tower and old churches, temples, and mosques and temples.

  1. Marmaris

Marmaris is a popular port city and tourist spot in southwest Turkey. Its resorts and beaches are nestled on picturesque pine-clad mountains and near white sands and turquoise waters.

It is a tourist paradise that has plenty of amazing sightseeing opportunities, exciting water sports, fantastic dining spots, and buzzing nightlife. It also has several family-friendly water parks and Turkish baths.

The city is also known for its historic architecture. It has its own Old Quarter, where you will find charming cobblestone streets and various historical structures.

Paying a visit to the 16th-century Castle of Suleyman the Magnificent is also one of the best things to do here.

Another unique must-try activity here is going on a horse safari. This journey will take you through lush pine forests, orange groves, and rustic villages, and around pristine bays and stunning waterfalls.

With these highlights, Marmaris is one of the best places to use as a lavish, romantic engagement venue on National Proposal Day.

A Word on Turkey’s Citizenship by Investment Program

If you are interested in obtaining a second passport, Turkey’s Citizenship by Investment Program or CIP offers one of the fastest and most cost-efficient pathways.

To acquire a Turkish passport, you need to invest in an approved real estate property worth at least USD 250,000. This amount is one of the lowest required by countries with CIPs.

Once you have your passport, you will enjoy the benefits of having dual citizenship. You can enter and live in Turkey whenever you want. You will also have visa-free access to more than 110 countries.

Additionally, you won’t be subjected to personal or worldwide income tax.

Aside from obtaining a tourist visa, if you want to enter and leave Turkey anytime, stay here for long periods, and have your own home here, getting a second passport through the country’s CIP is an option you can consider.

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