Top 10 Ancient Cities in Turkey

Story Highlights
  • Ancient Cities
  • Historical Places in Turkey

You’ve probably heard the saying “Turkey is an open air museum” for years. Turkey has a magnificent cultural background. Here are the 10 ancient cities that must be visited in Turkey.


Ephesus is located in Selçuk district of İzmir. Its history goes back to 6000 BC before Christ. It is also important for Christianity. It is one of the few cities mentioned in the Bible where the helpers of the Prophet Jesus are located. In fact, it is necessary to evaluate this place according to 3 different periods. These are the Neolithic, Hellenistic and Roman periods. But in general, many people see Hellenistic and Roman period works today. The ancient city of Ephesus is actually the ancient city with a large commercial volume, but with the alluvium brought by the meander river, the harbor started to fill up and declined.


The city is located 42 km from the center of Kars. Due to its location, it is in a convenient position for trade and defense of the city. Therefore, it can be said that it has become an attraction center. In addition, the fact that the silk road passes here and this place serves as a link has made a great contribution to the city. And it is a very important place where cultural and religious motifs coexist. The structures built by the Armenian rulers of the time and later by the Seljuks can be seen together. Mosques, churches and cathedrals coexist. It was a city with 4500 meters long and 8 meters high walls.

Ani Kars


This is a Hittite city. It is approximately 80 km from the center of Çorum. In its time it was the central point of the Hittite state and was its capital. It is also on the Unesco World Heritage list. It was first announced to the world in 1834 by a foreign archaeologist, and mainly foreign archaeologists’ work was brought to light in many areas and artifacts, and the city gained its present appearance. During the excavations, many ruins belonging to different periods were found. These are ruins from Phrygian, Assyrian, Hittite, Hatti, Byzantine, Galatian and Roman periods.

Hattuşaş – Çorum


Göbeklitepe is more of a cult than a city. The gathering area is a place like a living center. Although it is not a city, it is a place that paved the way for cities and shed light on our history. Its importance is that it has a feature that changes the history we know. According to current studies, it takes our civilization to about 12,000 years ago. Göbeklitepe contains extremely important information that will change our ideas about hunter-gatherer human societies.

Göbeklitepe – Şanlıurfa


It is an ancient city located in the Datça district of Muğla. The feature of this city is that it attaches importance to science and art and raises important people in this field. The famous scientist Eudoksus in the field of astronomy and mathematics, the medical scientist Euryphon, the painter Polygnotos, and Sostratos, the architect of the Lighthouse of Alexandria, one of the seven wonders of the world, were also from here. In addition, because the city administration was afraid of the Persian invasion, they wanted to make the half island an island completely and attempted a project that ended in failure. As in many Hellenistic and Roman ancient cities, there are various theaters and temples here.

Knidos – Datça/Muğla


Çatalhöyük is an ancient city dating back to the Neolithic period. It is one of the first cities in the Mediterranean region and is by far the best preserved Neolithic settlement. It is estimated that the population of Çatalhöyük, located in the southeast region of Konya, has reached 10,000. The buildings were established very close to each other.

Çatalhöyük – Konya


Zeugma is one of the 4 important settlements in the former Commagene kingdom. The region takes its name from a series of boats that bridge the Euphrates River, namely Zeugma. The region was founded by Seleucus Nicator, one of the generals of Alexander the Great. It is said to have 80,000 people during its peak population. The present-day city is located in the Gaziantep region.

Zeugma – Gaziantep


Myra is located in Kale (Demre) district of Antalya. it is the birthplace of Myra Santa Claus, or Saint Nicholaos, famous for its striking rock tombs between Kaş and Finike. The magnificent theater of Myra has survived to the present day in a very solid state. The cavea of the theater, which was established on the slope of the steep mountain behind it, was mostly carved into the rocks. The theater was later used as an arena. In Myra, famous for its rock tombs, the tombs were gathered in two places, right above the theater and in the place called the river necropolis on the east.

Myra – Antalya


There are many ancient cities called Aphrodisias, but the most famous is the one in Aydın Karacasu. It was discovered after the accidental disappearance of Turkey’s most famous photographer Ara Güler in the region.

Afrodisias – Aydın


The city is located in Fethiye. Just 4 km away is the ancient city of Letoon. It is the administrative center of ancient Lycia and is a very important place. The history of the city goes back to 8th century BC. It was dominated by Persia and then by Rome, respectively. After that, it came under the rule of the Byzantine Empire. The cultural and historical heritages of the civilizations that came with them in turn enabled this city to develop and to have a different appearance. The city has been included in the Unesco World Heritage list.

Xanthos – Antalya

Expat Guide Turkey

Expat Guide Turkey is a news website that shares important events in Turkey and news concerning foreigners in Turkey. It also contains a guide to undiscovered places, city and district about Turkey.

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