33 Turkish Things Turkey Is Famous And Known For

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Planning a trip and wondering what is Turkey famous for?

When most people think of Turkey, they probably think of two things: the first is its long and rich history, which is on display in every corner of the country. The second is its incredible food, which has rich flavors that are unmatched anywhere else in the world.

But there’s so much more to discover in Turkey. For starters, it’s home to some of the most stunning landscapes and architecture in the world.

From the impressive mountains of the east to the turquoise waters of the Mediterranean, Turkey has something for everyone. Here are some things that Turkey is known for.

Food Turkey is Famous For

Turkish cuisine is known for its flavor and variety, there is influence from the Ottoman Empire, Central Asia, the Middle East, and the Mediterranean. These are just some food that Turkey is famous for.

Turkish Delight (Lokum)


Turkish Delight is a type of confectionery that is popular in many countries, with its origins in Turkey. It is made from starch, sugar, and water. The mixture is boiled until it thickens and then poured into a tray to cool.

Once it is solid, it can be cut into squares or other shapes. You can find Turkish Delight in a variety of flavors, such as rose, mint, and lemon. It is easily available in Turkey as it is one of the most popular Turkish desserts and sweets.



Baklava is a dessert that is made from thin layers of phyllo dough, filled with chopped nuts, and sweetened with syrup or honey. It is popular in many countries in the Middle East and the Balkans. The crunchy exterior with the moist, sugary interior is a killer combination for a great dessert or snack.

Turkish coffee


Turkish coffee is a type of strong coffee that is prepared using very fine coffee grounds. It is brewed in a special pot called a cezve, and the resulting coffee is served in small cups. Turkish coffee usually comes with some sort of sweet treats, such as Turkish delight or Baklava.

Turkish Tea


Tea is a similarly popular drink option in Turkey as Turkish Coffee.

Turkish tea is a type of black tea that is brewed with loose leaves. It is usually served in small glasses, with or without sugar. Turkish tea has a strong flavor and aroma and is a great drink after meals to help everything go down.

Iskender Kebab


Iskender Kebab is a type of doner kebab that originates from the city of Bursa in Turkey. It is made from slices of meat that are grilled on a vertical rotisserie and served with warm pita bread, yogurt, and tomato sauce.

It is popular in many countries and becoming rather international. There are different Kebab variations as well, that go with a variety of sides, such as rice, salad, and bread.



Kofta is a type of meatball that is popular in many Middle Eastern and Balkan countries. It is made from ground meat (usually lamb or beef), mixed with spices and herbs, and then grilled or roasted. Kofta is often served with rice or bread, and it can also be used in a number of different dishes, such as stews and casseroles.

Simit (Turkish Bagel)


Simit is a type of bagel that is popular as a breakfast food in Turkey or snack. It is made from dough that is formed into a spiral shape and then dipped in molasses before being baked. You can have Simit plain or it also goes well with cheese, honey, or jam.

If you want to get a local’s knowledge of all the good food that Turkey has to offer, food tours are one of the best ways to get a dive into the food scene.


History, culture, and traditions Turkey is known for

Turkish culture is a unique blend of East and West, which can be seen in its architecture, music, and food. Turkey is also known for its rich and varied history. The country has been home to some of the world’s most powerful empires, such as the Ottoman Empire and the Byzantine Empire.

Here are some history, cultural elements, and long traditions that Turkey is famous for.

Turkish Baths (Hammam)


A Turkish bath is a type of public bath that was developed in the Ottoman Empire. It is a steam room that is usually heated with marble. The walls and floor are often decorated with beautiful tiles. Turkish baths were once used for hygiene purposes, but now they are more commonly used for relaxation.

You can find Turkish baths in many cities across Turkey, and they are a great way to relax after a long day of sightseeing.

The Whirling Dervishes


The Whirling Dervishes are a group of Sufi Muslim monks who perform a ceremonial dance known as Sema. The dance is a form of meditation, and it is based on the principle of love and tolerance. The Whirling Dervishes wear white robes and spin around in a circle while chanting and playing music. You can catch these traditional Dervishes performances throughout the country.

Turkish Carpets


Turkish carpets are some of the most famous in the world due to their intricate designs and high quality craftsmanship. They are made from wool or cotton, and they often feature geometric designs. Turkish carpets can be found in homes and businesses all over the world. They are usually quite expensive, but they are definitely worth the investment.

The Evil Eye


The Evil Eye is a belief that certain people have the ability to curse others by simply looking at them. It is a very old superstition, and it is still quite prevalent in Turkey. You can find evil eye charms all over the country, and they are often used to protect against bad luck. It is a common symbol in souvenir shops so you will definitely see them when traveling around Turkey.

Hazelnut Exports


Turkey is the world’s largest producer of hazelnuts, accounting for almost 70% of the world’s production. They export a large percentage of them as well. Turkish hazelnuts are used in many different products, such as chocolate, ice cream, and Baklava. You can find hazelnut-flavored anything in Turkey, and it is worth trying some of the local specialties.

Tünel underground funicular railway

Tünel is a funicular railway in Istanbul that was opened in 1875, making it the second oldest underground railway in the world after the London Underground. It runs for about 500 meters between two of Istanbul’s most popular tourist districts, Beyoglu and Karaköy. The ride only takes about two minutes, but it is a great way to avoid the city’s notorious traffic.



Tulips are one of the most well-known symbols of the country, and they are certainly something that Turkey is famous for. These beautiful flowers were first introduced to Turkey in the 16th century and became popular within the Ottoman Empire as a symbol of wealth and power.

They have been a part of Turkish culture ever since. You can find tulips everywhere in Turkey, from parks and gardens to public squares and even on carpets and towels.

History of the Ottoman Empire


The Ottoman Empire was a Muslim, Turkic state that was founded in 1299. It lasted until the early 20th century, and it was once one of the largest empires in the world. The Ottomans were known for their art, literature, and architecture, as well as their military prowess. The Ottoman Empire was a major power in the Mediterranean and the Middle East for centuries, and its legacy can still be seen in Turkey today.

Turkish Towels


Turkish towels, or Peshtemals, are a type of towel that is made from cotton or linen. They are usually quite thin and lightweight, which makes them ideal for use in hot weather. Turkish towels are often brightly colored and they make great souvenirs. You can find them in any souvenir shop, and they make a great addition to any beach bag.

Traditional Gulet Boat and Sailing


A gulet is a traditional Turkish sailing vessel that is used for both pleasure and commercial purposes. They are usually quite large, and they have a wide variety of uses. Gulets can be used for chartering, fishing, transportation, and even as floating hotels. Sailing on a gulet is a great way to see the Turkish coast, and it is an experience that you will never forget.

Turkish Bazaars


Turkish bazaars are a must-see for any traveler. They are usually quite large and they offer a wide variety of goods, from food and drink to clothes and souvenirs. Bazaars are a great place to bargain, and you can often get some great deals if you know how to haggle.

Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar is the most famous bazaar in Turkey, and it is definitely worth a visit.

Cities And Travel Destinations Turkey Is Famous For

Turkey is an extremely popular travel destination receiving over 15 million tourists annually. It is no surprise that the country has so much to offer, from its vibrant city life to its stunning landscapes. Here are some of the cities and travel destinations that Turkey is famous for.



A unique fact about Istanbul is that it is one of the only few transcontinental cities that straddles across two continents, Europe and Asia.

It is safe to say this is probably the most famous city in Turkey. With a history going back over 2,000 years, Istanbul boasts a rich culture and art scene.

The city is home to many iconic Turkish landmarks such as the Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia and Topkapi Palace. Istanbul is also a food lover’s paradise, with a wide variety of cuisines on offer. As you can imagine, there are many interesting things to do in Istanbul, Turkey which makes it such a popular travel destination.



A town in southwestern Turkey, home to the famous white travertine terraces. The terraces are formed by calcium carbonate deposits, and they are a UNESCO World Heritage Site. They are also known as Pamukkale’s cotton castle representing the white visuals of the landscape. Pamukkale is also home to the ancient city of Hierapolis, which was a Greco-Roman thermal spa city.



Ephesus is an ancient city on the west coast of Turkey that was once an important trading hub in the Roman Empire. Today, the ruins of Ephesus are a major tourist attraction, and it is one of the most popular travel destinations in Turkey. The ancient city is home to many well-preserved ruins, such as the Library of Celsus and the Temple of Artemis.



An area in central Turkey featuring an otherworldly landscape of volcanic rock formations, known as fairy chimneys. The area is a popular destination for hot air ballooning, and there are many cave hotels where you can stay. The impressive view of the landscape from the skies during sunrise is simply unbeatable. There are also many caves and underground cities to explore in Cappadocia.



Many might mistake Istanbul for the capital city of Turkey, which would be correct in the past. However, that title today belongs to the city of Ankara, in the central Anatolia region. Ankara is a modern city with a long history, and it is home to many important cultural landmarks. Ankara is also the political center of Turkey, and it is home to the Turkish Parliament and the Presidential Palace.



A city on the Mediterranean coast of Turkey, and one of the most popular tourist destinations in the country. Antalya is known for its beautiful beaches, as well as its rich history. The city is home to many ancient ruins, such as Hadrian’s Gate and the Temple of Apollo. Antalya is also a great place to try the local cuisine, which is a mix of Turkish and Mediterranean influences.

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Famous people from Turkey

Mustafa Kemal Ataturk

The founder and first president of the Republic of Turkey. He played a pivotal role in leading Turkey into a modern, secular democracy after the fall of the Ottoman Empire. Ataturk is considered one of the most influential figures in Turkish history, and his legacy is still evident in modern Turkey.

Suleiman the Magnificent

The longest-reigning Sultan of the Ottoman Empire, who ruled from 1520 to 1566. He expanded the empire to its greatest extent, ruling over 25 million people at one point. He is also responsible for creating a central legal system for the Ottoman empire and setting up Constantinople (now Istanbul) as the empire’s capital.

Suleiman the Magnificent is often considered one of the most powerful rulers in world history.

Orhan Pamuk

A Nobel Prize-winning novelist, Pamuk is one of the most famous contemporary Turkish writers. His novels often explore the theme of East-meets-West, and his work has been translated into many languages.

Architecture and Landmarks Turkey is famous for

With its long history stretching back to ancient civilizations, it’s no surprise that Turkey is home to many impressive architecture and landmarks. Here are some of the most famous Turkish landmarks.

Lycian Way Tombs


The Lycian Way is a long-distance walking trail in southwestern Turkey. The trail is approximately 500 kilometers long, and it takes walkers through some of the most beautiful scenery in Turkey. Along the way, there are many Lycian tombs that date back to the 4th century BC. These tombs are carved into cliffs and they are a sight to behold.

Hagia Sophia


The Hagia Sophia is a former Greek Orthodox cathedral that was converted into a mosque in the 15th century during Ottoman rule. It was then used as a museum for 80+ years before being reconverted back to a functioning mosque today.

Hagia Sophia is renowned for its architecture, and it is one of the finest examples of Byzantine architecture. It is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Turkey, and you can get tickets with a tour to better understand the history behind this cultural landmark.

Blue Mosque


The Blue Mosque in Istanbul is arguably the most famous landmark in Turkey. The mosque dates back to the early 1600s under the Ottomans. The Blue Mosque gets its name from the blue tiles that adorn its interior.

Both the exterior architecture and interior design are simply exquisite and breathtaking. It is one of the largest mosques in Istanbul and it can accommodate up to 10,000 people. The visual and cultural experience makes this a must-visit attraction in Istanbul.

Bosphorus Strait


The Bosphorus Strait is a natural waterway that separates Europe and Asia. The strait runs through the city of Istanbul and it is one of the busiest waterways in the world.

There are many ferry boats and cruise ships that ply the waters of the Bosphorus Strait, and it is a popular tourist activity to take a boat ride on the strait.

The Bosphorus Strait is also famous for its beautiful scenery, and it is a popular spot for photography.

The Historic City of Troy


The Historic City of Troy is an ancient city in northwestern Turkey. The city was made famous by the Homeric epic poem, the Iliad and of course all the movies depicting the legends. Today, the ruins of Troy is one of the most significant archaeological sites in Turkey. Troy is also a popular day trip tour from Istanbul as well.

Mount Nemrut


Mount Nemrut is a mountain in southeastern Turkey that is home to the tomb of Antiochus I Theos of Commagene. It is also notable for its large statues of Greek and Persian gods. The statues were carved into the mountain in the 1st century BC, and they are truly a sight to behold.

The summit of Mount Nemrut is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Turkey, and it is definitely worth a visit if you are in the area.

Many more things Turkey is known and famous for

If you’re looking for an amazing travel destination that offers a little bit of everything, then look no further than Turkey. This is just a small sample of what Turkey is famous for. There are many other things, such as Turkish pottery and lots more food.

This fascinating country is home to some of the most iconic landmarks and attractions in the world, and there’s something for everyone to enjoy.

From the bustling city streets of Istanbul to the stunning mountain scenery of Mount Nemrut, Turkey is a country that has it all. You are bound to discover more things that Turkey is known and famous for on your trip!



Book Your Flight

I usually use a combination of 2-3 of the following search engines to find cheap flights: Skyscanner, Momondo, Google Flights

Find Your Accommodation

Booking.com is my usual platform for finding accommodation options as they have one of the largest selections. Hostelworld is great for booking hostels. For more private or long term accommodation, Airbnb is my go-to platform.

Travel Insurance

Travel insurance is important for to protect yourself against unforeseen circumstances. I usually look at a few insurance companies depending on my travel needs.
  • SafetyWings for Travel Health Insurance
  • IMG Global for added Insurance when doing activities outside of usual coverage
Packing for your trip? Check out the packing list for ideas on what to bring

For more travel resources, check out my resources page for best platforms and companies to use when you travel.

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Welcome To NomadsUnveiled
This is Rax. For over a decade, I have traveled to over 60 countries - from a budget backpacker to a business traveler, expat and then a digital nomad. You can find insights and perspectives from myself and other world travelers that will inspire your journey of discovery.


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