3 Must-See Cultural Sites in Turkey

Ani, Turkey
Ani, Turkey. Photo by Huseyin Kaya on Unsplash

Turkey is chock-full of historical and cultural sites that are fascinating for any tourist. In fact, it is home to no less than 17 UNESCO world heritage sites! It might be hard to narrow down where exactly to visit because there is just so much good stuff. So here are a few of the best options to get you started.

Bursa and Cumalıkızık

If you’re a history buff, then one of your goals in Turkey is probably to learn about the Ottoman Empire. Bursa is known as the first capital of the Ottoman state, serving as such from 1335 to 1363. You can here view a wide range of classic Ottoman architecture, including the Ulu Camii Mosque and the Orhan Gazi Tomb.


Another great site for history buffs is Hattusa, the ancient capital of the Hittite Empire from the Bronze Age. The viewing options in this spot include rock art, a very well-preserved ancient temple, ancient gates, and more.


Ani, now an archaeological site, was once the capital of the kingdom of Bagratid Armenia, at Turkey’s present-day border with Armenia. Ani was a successful trade location along the Silk Road and several Anatolian trade routes and was the spiritual center of the Armenian church. You can there see the remains of many palaces, churches, and citadels from ancient times.