Top 4 UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Turkey

Low angle view of The Library of Celus in Ephesus, Turkey near Cesme

Did you know there are over 15 ‘UNESCO World Heritage’ sites in Turkey alone? The ancient city of Ephesus in western Turkey was added to this illustrious list in 2015 as the 15th Turkish property, making Turkey an even more desirable destinations for travelers to visit. While you may be familiar with the more well-known heritage sites littered around the historic area of Istanbul, what about the lesser known – but equally impressive – sites scattered throughout the rest of Turkey?

What better way to explore history and celebrate the importance of cultural heritage than by visiting these iconic sites? Keep reading to learn about our ‘must-see’ Turkish UNESCO World Heritage sites located outside of Istanbul’s hustle and bustle.

The Ancient City of Ephesus

The latest addition of Ephesus is a must for anyone who is visiting the İzmir Province of Turkey. Originally famous for its Temples of Artemis, although, unfortunately little remains of today, this site still contains the ruins of the Library of Celsus and the Great Theatre, which are more than worth the trip. This landmark is perfectly located near the Radisson Blu Resort & Spa, Cesme which can be visited with an organised that will transport you to and from Cesme and the Greek ruins of Ephesus. If you're looking for more in-depth information about the formidable ancient Roman ruins of Ephesus, we've got just the blog for you!

UNESCO World Heritage - view of the Ancient city of Ephesus in Istanbul.

Archaeological Site of Troy

No trip to explore the ancient wonders of the Greek and Roman empires would be complete without a stop at the famous city of Troy. This 4,000 year old city was the setting of the Trojan War described in the Greek Epic Cycle and especially in the Iliad  and has inspired countless movies and plays to retell its legendary story. 
Ruins of ancient city of Troy - near Turkey

Pergamon

Rising high above the Bakircay Plain in the Aegean region of Turkey, this world heritage site is worth a visit for the view alone. Layered with the remains of the Hellenistic, Roman, East Roman and Ottoman periods, Pergamon is a virtually like a time machine for those interested in ancient civilizations. This historical site is vast and will require quite some time to explore, so we recommend you set out half a day to completely soak in the marvel of this multi-faceted landmark.

Bursa and Cumalıkızık

This ‘site’ is actually a series of nomination of eight component sites in the City of Bursa and the nearby village of Cumalıkızık, in the southern Marmara region. Bursa and Cumalıkızık are unique for both containing many structures from the Ottoman Empire that are still intact; as well as the tomb of Orhan Ghazi, founder of the Ottoman dynasty. You can get from Istanbul to Bursa easily by car in 2 hours, making it perfect for a day trip. After your trip to the ancient city, make sure you catch up on some much needed rest at the Radisson Blu Hotel, Istanbul Ottomare where you will find comfortable rooms, and delicious cuisine with a perfect view of the city at the Larder Restaurant & Terrace.

Cumalikizik in Bursa, Turkey

As you can see, there is lots to learn and plenty to see around Istanbul to get a feel of the history through the ages and see the progression of Turkey over the centuries. You can stay centrally in Istanbul in any of the 9 Radisson Blu hotels located around the city, or be close to the Ancient City of Ephesus at Radisson Blu Resort & Spa, Cesme. Whichever you choose, you are sure you enjoy your trip back in time when you visit these historic landmarks!

Visit Istanbul Radisson Blu Blog BannerDo you have any tips for first time travelers to these UNESCO sites? Share them with us on Instagram using the hashtag #RadissonBlu!

Tell us what you think