Must-Visit Ancient Cities in Turkey

Welcome to a journey through time and a land steeped in history! There are so many must-visit ancient cities in Turkey that it is really hard to choose…

Turkey, a mesmerising country where East meets West, is home to some of the most enchanting ancient cities in the world. The remnants of mighty empires to the architectural wonders left behind by civilizations long gone… These ancient cities are a testament to the rich and diverse heritage that shaped Turkey’s past.

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The legendary Trojan War… If you are fan of even just the movie itself, Troy is one of the must-visit ancient cities in Turkey for you!

The ancient city of Troy is in the northwest of Turkey. Visitors can explore the ruins and see the reconstructed wooden horse, which has become an iconic symbol of the city. The ruins of Troy are a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Archaeological excavations at the site began in the 19th century and continue to this day, shedding light on the ancient city’s history and confirming its existence. The city of Canakkale serves as a convenient base for those wishing to visit Troy and other nearby attractions.


Pergamum or Pergamon is an ancient Greek city located in modern-day Turkey. It was in the historic region of Mysia in western Anatolia, near the present-day town of Bergama.

It was founded in the 3rd century BCE and became the capital of the Attalid dynasty, a Hellenistic kingdom of the Attalid dynasty. The city is famous for its impressive architectural and cultural achievements. Pergamon was home to one of the most famous libraries in the ancient world, known as the Pergamon Library. It housed thousands of scrolls and was second only to the Library of Alexandria in terms of its collection and significance.


The famous ancient city Ephesus is one of the most well-preserved ancient cities in the Mediterranean region. It was once a prominent Greek and Roman city and is famous for its magnificent Library of Celsus, the Temple of Artemis, and the Great Theatre. Ephesus is also significant for its connections to early Christianity. Some believe that it is one of the seven churches mentioned in the biblical Book of Revelation. The apostle Paul wrote the Epistle to the Ephesians, one of the books of the New Testament, to the early Christian community in Ephesus.

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Assos or Behramkale is a small town located on the western coast of Turkey that we would definitely consider as the must-visit ancient cities in Turkey.

The philosopher Aristotle lived and taught in Assos for three years during the 4th century BC. The city flourished under the rule of the Pergamon Kingdom and the Roman Empire before declining in the Byzantine era. Today, Assos is a popular tourist destination, attracting visitors with its well-preserved ancient ruins and picturesque surroundings. The most notable attraction is the Temple of Athena, a Doric temple dating back to the 6th century BC. The temple is on a hilltop overlooking the Aegean Sea and offers stunning panoramic views.


One of the most notable features of Myra is its Roman theatre, which dates back to the 2nd century AD. The theatre has a capacity of about 11,000 spectators and is still used for performances and events today. The site also contains other fascinating ruins, including rock-cut tombs, a Roman bath complex, a Roman agora (marketplace), and a necropolis.

Myra is also notable for being the home of Saint Nicholas, the historical figure who inspired the legend of Santa Claus. Saint Nicholas served as the Bishop of Myra in the 4th century AD. His tomb is supposedly in the Church of St. Nicholas, which stands in the centre of the ancient city.

After seeing the must-visit ancient cities in Turkey, looking for some summer destination recommendations? Then, Summer Destinations in Turkey is what you need to read! 🏖️


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