One Week in Turkey

One Week In Turkey Itinerary

The one and only, unique and authentic Turkey where you can visit the only city in the world, Istanbul, that lies on two continents, Asia and Europe. This fact alone inspires many to visit, see, and learn what the city has to offer, yet this is only a small fragment of it. With that, let me pave the way to the most thrilling one week in Turkey.

The country is a crossroad of the Balkans, Caucasus, Middle East, and Mediterranean, so you can only imagine how diverse the culture is. It is on you to enjoy its historic development, travel to the past and experience modern Turkey and all the possibilities it gives you to enjoy as a tourist.

The capital city of Turkey is Ankara, while the largest city and a seaport is Istanbul. This city is also a cultural and economic centre. Stretching over 6,000 km, the city’s borders are defined by its coastline along the Black and Aegean Sea, and the Mediterranean, including the narrows of Bosphorus and Dardanelles.

Our full guide covers:

  1. Basic Introduction
  2. Where to stay in Turkey
  3. How to get around
  4. What to see in Turkey
  5. Things to do in Turkey
  6. Tickets you have to buy before – must read
  7. Food and Restaurants
  8. Day Trips from Turkey
  9. Itinerary for Turkey
  10. Packing List
  11. City Map

Turkey is a mountainous country although the lower land is a coastal region.

Many civilizations and empires such as Byzantine and Ottoman, then Greek and Persian were nestled in Turkey, so the diversity in culture, cuisine and historical landscapes is what makes this country very special and fascinating. It is a cultural and historical connection between Asia and Europe and a great choice for a nice, content, interesting and unforgettable one week in Turkey.

Due to the location and the land extension, there is a big diversity in climate. The summers can be very hot, while the winters are generally mild. So depending on the region and part of the year you are visiting Turkey, take advantage of the varying temperatures as they can really make your vacation exciting, especially if you’re planning to spend a lot of time outdoors!

Undoubtedly, you will make unforgettable memories during your one week in Turkey.

1. Basic Introduction

I will start my one-week in Turkey guide by listing some basic information you should be familiar with before travel.

Currency: Turkish lira ( ₺ )

Language Spoken: Turkish

Population: 84.78 million (2021)

Known for: rich history; diverse cultural heritage; stunning landscapes, and unique blend of Eastern and Western influences; traditional food

Accommodation: hotels, hostels, boutique guesthouses, and rental apartments

Find more details in our where to stay in Turkey section below.

Public Transport: buses, trams, metro systems (in some cities), and inter-city trains

More under how to get around.

Safety: It is considered a safe destination for tourists.

City name: OPTIONAL

Electricity: 230V/50Hz (European plug). Remember to pack your travel plug adapter.

2. Where to stay in Turkey

The decision to spend your holiday in Turkey is the best you could have made! This country has a lot to offer to all types of travellers, so rest assured your demands and expectations will be catered to with the utmost hospitality.

It is a great destination to visit and gives you a variety of opportunities when it comes to accommodation, and places to visit so you can explore the history, architecture and the country’s modern way of life Feel the blend of traditional and modern in this multi-continent surrounding and savour every moment in this magnificent country. Here’s what to see in Turkey for 7 days:

2.1 Where to stay in Istanbul?

Offering a diversity that meets everyone’s needs and expectations, being a cultural hub and a traditional centre, Istanbul offers many interesting districts to stay. Sultanahmet is the historic neighbourhood of Istanbul, Beyouglu and Besiktas fall on the trendier scale, while the rest of this megalopolis offers thousands of cozy and decent hotels to warmly welcome you.

Hotel Esve Istanbul

When wondering where to stay in Turkey, specifically Istanbul, the Hotel Esve is the ideal place where you can feel the country’s one-of-a-kind hospitality. Located in the heart of the city, this hotel is steps away from all the major landmarks, so you can explore it with ease.

In terms of the amenities, every room is air-conditioned, and equipped with a minibar and complementary toiletries. You can enjoy your mornings with a buffet or continental breakfast, providing the best energy kick before you start exploring this magnificent city.

Book Hotel Esve Istanbul here

Relax and unwind at Hotel Esve Istanbul

Arena Hotel – Special Class

Visiting Istanbul on a budget is not a mission impossible, because in the historic district of Sultanahmet, you can stay and feel great in Arena Hotel which is a 2-minute walk from the Blue Mosque.

Arena Hotel has historic architectural style characteristics and antique furnishing inside. The spacious rooms are decorated with rich fabrics in warm colours. You are welcomed with cookies and coffee in the most relaxing atmosphere. Finally, in addition to the excellent breakfast buffet options, you can even attend a cooking class where you’ll learn how to make classic Turkish delicacies

Book Arena Hotel here

Have a great time at Arena Hotel

2.2 Where to stay in Cappadocia?

An extraordinary region of Cappadocia famous for its caves, chimneys, rock formations and unexpecting uniqueness is a popular tourist site. There are a variety of accommodation facilities in this land of impressive landscapes of the Göreme Valley.

The whole region is also covered with ash because of volcanic activity that happened in the olden days. During your one week in Turkey, do not miss the underground cities such as Kaymakli and Derinkuyu and try the most famous dish there – Testi Kebabi.

Cappadocia Pyramid Stone House

The Pyramid Stone House is the ideal place to stay in Cappadocia for luxury travellers due to the abundance of sophisticated amenities, some of which include a minibar, espresso machine, and spacious balconies where you can take in the mesmerizing views this region has to offer.

You can start the day with an American or vegetarian breakfast and start exploring the Zelve Open-air Museum and the Nikolos Monastery.

Book Cappadocia Pyramid Stone House here

Private room at Cappadocia Pyramid Stone House

Hotels Crazy Horse

If you are a solo traveller looking for where to stay in Turkey, the Hotels Crazy Horse might just offer everything you need – and more! The rooms have a seating area and a private bathroom, and few offer a balcony.

The location is in Ortahisar, close to the monastery of St. Nikolos, so you’ll have plenty of opportunities to explore the surroundings. After a whole day of sightseeing, take a dip in the hot tub and call it a day!

Book Hotels Crazy Horse here

Make yourself at home at hotels crazy horse

2.3 Where to stay in Antalya?

Antalya is located on Turkey’s Mediterranean coast and is a very popular and attractive tourist destination. Boasting fascinating beaches, ancient ruins and a vivacious atmosphere during the day and night, this place appears to be a great stop during your one week in Turkey. Additionally, Antalya is the place to be for families looking for a relaxing holiday as the city features tons of luxurious resorts where each family member can experience a world of fun!

Akra Hotel

Offering balconies with astonishing views of the Mediterranean Sea, Akra Hotel is located in the eye of the city centre, placing you directly in all the trendiest restaurants and bars. The rooms are ultra-comfortable and stylish, featuring a very calm and tranquil atmosphere, making this place perfect for a designer traveller.

Furthermore, there is a wellness center with a Turkish bath, sauna and massages within the property as well as a gym and tennis court. The hotel restaurant, located on the 10th floor, serves international and traditional Turkish dishes, so rest assured you’ll have excellent meals before setting your 1 week in Turkey itinerary in action.

Book Akra Hotel here

Experience comfort at Akra Hotel

Rixos Downtown Antalya – The Land Of Legends Access

The Rixos Downton Antalya is a luxury hotel located in the exotic gardens of the Ataturk Cultural Park, overlooking the sea and the Taurus Mountain. The hotel offers very bright rooms, balconies with city views and the Mediterranean, a private beach, and a lagoon-style pool.

The Rixos Lounge boasts an amazing terrace where you can try international and local specialties and enjoy exotic cocktails. You can also use the shuttle to visit the Land of Legends Theme Park during the summer months.

Book Rixos Downtown Antalya here

Enjoy your stay at Rixos Downtown Antalya

2.4 Where to stay in Pamukkale?

This “Cotton Castle” is a natural wonder situated in the province of Denizli. Postcard images of the white terraces, thermal pools, and ancient ruins are what make this place instantly recognizable and famous. Its other name is Hierapolis and it is an absolute must when considering what to see in Turkey for 7 days. There is a variety of accommodations as well, so you can choose by your preferences, although my advice will be to stay as close to the travertine terraces as you can.

Hotel Goreme Sakura

Hotel Goreme Sakura is perfect for budget travellers, offering a garden with a pool and a restaurant where you can try traditional Turkish cuisine. All the rooms have balconies, air-conditioning and a private bathroom. The travertine terraces are only a few minutes away, so you’ll be in the eye of all the action!

Book Hotel Goreme Sakura here

Have a great time at Hotel Goreme Sakura

Venus Suite Hotel

You can have a perfect stay with your family in the Venus Suite Hotel. Previous travellers have loved its breakfast variety, and their service has been dubbed second to none! Even though it’s a bit further away from the town center, the bus station is just five minutes away from the hotel – take the 230 bus which will take you directly to Pamukkale Town.

Book Venus Suite Hotel here

Have a pleasant stay at Venus Suite Hotel

3. How to get around

Many transportation options will meet your needs, no matter if it is in between cities, regions, or across the whole country.

Intercity Buses: These buses are operated by private companies and that is a great opportunity to get to and from major cities. The buses are comfortable for long destinations and offer very affordable prices.

Trains: Turkey offers a well-developed train network. It is local and international using high-speed, mainline, regional and tourist trains.

Metro and Trams: Istanbul, Ankara, Izmir and Bursa have a metro and tram system which provides quick transport in the urban areas.

Taxis: This is the most convenient way to transport yourselves during your one week in Turkey. You can use taxis in smaller cities where the public transportation is less developed. The taxis are metered but note that you can haggle for a better price before your ride starts.

Car Rentals: Similarly to taxis, renting a car is the best way to travel around relaxed and with no rush. There are many local and international car rental companies operating in Turkey. However, traffic in Istanbul can get really hectic, so if you’re a beginner driver, you might want to avoid this option.

Ferries and Boats: These are essentials when you consider transportation, because of the coastal location of most places. Ferries connect parts of cities in the Bosphorus and boats are very popular in Istanbul, İzmir and Bodrum.

Istanbul: City Transport Card for Bus, Metro, Tram & Ferries

4. What to see in Turkey – The Must-Do’s

Wondering what to see in Turkey for 7 days? Check out my list of recommendations:

The must-dos are:

More great sights to see in Turkey are:

  • Ani (Kars)
  • Aphrodisias Ancient City Museum (Caria)
  • Trabzon
  • Assos (Behram)
  • Safranbolu (Karabuk Province)

Visit Aphrodisias Ancient City Museum (Caria)

5. Things to do in Turkey

Wondering what do to in Turkey for a week? These suggestions will surely provide an experience of a lifetime!

Hot Air Balloon Ride in Cappadocia

During this unforgettable experience, you will be immersed in the beautiful panorama, overlooking old villages, rocky terrain, valleys,and unique landscapes such as Göreme National Park, Love Valley, and Ürgüp.

The hot air balloon rides take place at sunrise, and last for about an hour or an hour and a half. Since this is an unmissable experience, it is best to book in advance as many people can’t wait to witness the amazing sights. Please do not forget the camera and enjoy the after flight party!

Visit the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul

Kapaliçarsi is one of the iconic and must-do things in Istanbul. Located in the heart of the city and surrounded by some significant places like the Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia, it is interesting, traditional and very easily accessible.

There are more than 4000 shops, and exploring the narrow streets within the bazaar is quite an amazing experience. You can take a guided tour or experience by yourself and also be prepared for a big crowd, so my advice is to keep an eye on your belongings.

Hike the Lycian Way

This very demanding hiking tour is best for spring months and you need to be very fit. It starts in Fethiye and ends at a 530 km distance in Antalya. The trail is beautiful and you will cross pine forests, coastline, picturesque villages, sandy beaches, and cliffs.

There are also some historic sites such as Xanthos and Myra. It is a marked trail, so you will easily locate your spot, and of course, plan some stops to rest during the night and continue. No worries, because there is plenty of accommodation on your way.

Sail the Turquoise Coast

A dreamy sail in a yacht or a wooden gulet means enjoying from Bodrum Peninsula to Antalya. This tour is great for those who like to anchor and visit historical and natural sites. No doubt that on your way you will taste authentic Turkish cuisine. It is an unforgettable memory to take back home.

Visit the Hagia Sophia and Blue Mosque

You must not miss these two places. Hagia Sophia, built as a Christian church in the 6th century has been transformed into a mosque and is well-known for its unique architecture, the massive dome and fascinating mosaics. A great mix of the Roman, Byzantine and Islamic styles attracts people from around the world.

The Blue Mosque is near the Hagia Sophia and is very famous for its blue-tailed indoor walls. It is still an active mosque. Both the inside and outside are astonishing, because of the ornaments, glamorous chandelier inside, fountains, and gardens

Relax in a Turkish Hammam

Relax, rejuvenate, and relieve stress for both mental and physical well-being. Hammams have warm-up rooms and hotter rooms. Your outfit will be based on a towel and wooden slippers.

By sweating you will release toxins and by “kese” or scrubbing your skin will be baby-clean and gentle. Then a foam bath with a soap massage, and rinsed off with clear water which is the most you can do to pamper yourself in the mood for complete refreshment.

Take a Boat Trip in Fethiye

This is a relaxing experience. You will see the fascinating coastline in whatever boat you choose. Visiting the Twelve Islands, Butterfly Valley, Blue Lagoon, and St. Nicholas Island you will be given opportunities to swim, sunbathe and immerse in the crystal clear waters of the Mediterranean Sea. All the tour operators prioritise safety and offer you food and refreshment drinks onboard and the traditional Turkish meze.

Book Boat Trip here

Book a Boat Trip in Fethiye

6. Tickets you have to buy before (Must Read)

The more things you’re able to plan beforehand, the more convenient your one week in Turkey will be. To be on the safe side and avoid long queues, you can book and buy the following tickets in advance:

You can use this link to make an online reservation for whatever activity you are interested in: Tours, Tickets and Activities – Book Online – Avoid the Crowds

7. Food & Restaurants

Below are a few recommendations for authentic Turkish specialities and restaurants that are respected:

  • Kebabs
  • Mezes
  • Köfte
  • Kumpir
  • Lahmacun
  • Pide
  • Manti
  • Baklava
  • Simit
  • Rakı


  • Mikla (Istanbul)
  • Ciya Sofrası (Istanbul)
  • Asitane (Istanbul)
  • Nusr-Et Steakhouse (Various Locations)
  • Datlı Maya (Cappadocia)

Enjoy the authentic Turkish kebab

8. Day Trips from Turkey

Istanbul: Hagia Sophia; Blue Mosque (Sultan Ahmed Mosque); Topkapi Palace;
Cappadocia: Göreme Open-Air Museum; Hot Air Balloon Ride; Devrent Valley (Imagination Valley)
Antalya: Kaleiçi (Old Town); Antalya Archaeological Museum; Aspendos
Pamukkale: Pamukkale Terraces; Hierapolis; Cleopatra’s Pool; Travertine Pools

9. Itinerary for 7 days

Day 1-2: Istanbul

The usual first stop in Turkey is Istanbul, a city with the biggest airport in Europe, a cultural hub for Turkey and a lively city with a lot to see and visit upon arrival at the hotel. During the first day, depending on your accommodation area you can find an appropriate transport and come to the historic area to visit the Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia and the Topkapi Palace.

There are many restaurants and cafes on your way, so having lunch and relaxing with traditional Turkish baklava and coffee will be such a delight. Having dinner is also a great experience, because restaurants are almost on every corner in this city.

The next day you can enjoy walking and exploring with a visit to Taxim Square, Spice Bazar and Kapali Carsi.

A Bosphorus cruise can be a perfect choice to relax and enjoy the views from the water.

Day 3: Cappadocia

There are many ways to get to Cappadokia, but a morning flight is both fast and a good idea. Set at the hotel and start exploring this fascinating place. Göreme Open Air Museum, the Monks Valley and the Devrent Valley are places you should definitely visit. Enjoy lunch and dinner in one of the authentic restaurants on that first day in Cappadocia.

Day 4: Cappadocia

The next morning by sunrise you can enjoy a Hot Air Balloon Ride in Cappadocia and immerse in stunning panoramic views. Change the feeling of liberty in the skies and get down on earth or even under and explore Derinkuyu or Kaymakli, the underground cities. Then visit the authentic pottery shops where you can realise why the region is famous for ceramic artistry.

Day 5: Pamukkale

Well, another morning flight, so you can get to Denizli and visit Pamukkale, the amazing and fascinating home of the travertine terraces and thermal pools.
Then, visit Hierapolis, the ancient town of ruins such as a necropolis, a theatre and the Roman Baths.
Try the power of staying in the thermal pools in Pamukkale and rejuvenate in an authentic place.

Day 6: Ephesus and Sirince

Think about a day visit to Ephesus and Sirince. The Ephesus ruins are worth visiting together with the Library of Celsius, the Temple of Artemis and the ancient theatre.

The most significant is the House of the Virgin Mary which is believed to be her resting place.

In the afternoon do not miss the small charming village of Sirince, very close to Izmir. Try the local offer of widely famous fruit wines, olive oil, honey and spices. The best place to learn about rural Turkish and its life.

Day 7: Back to Istanbul

A flight back to Istanbul from Denizli and get ready to pack your things, memories, get some souvenirs if you haven’t bought enough and head to the airport, so you can leisurely end your one-week stay in Turkey.

Experience Hot Air Balloon Ride in Cappadocia

10. Packing List

There are a few things we recommend for your packing list Turkey.

Optional but always useful:

Packing List Europe

11. Printed Guides & Map

These guides are best for the ones looking for a printed version.

Once you come to Turkey, you will also receive a paper map of the city.

Here is again our map of Turkey with the recommended hotels and neighborhoods.

There’s more

Questions? Contact us

I tried to make this guide as useful and complete as possible. However, chances are you still have questions left.

Therefore, any questions? Anything not clear?

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