Central Anatolia: Places to Explore


  • Ankara

    Right after the War of Independence, Ankara was made the fledgling Turkish Republic's new capital, in part because it was a barren, dusty steppe city more or less in the middle of nowhere, and therefore... Read more

  • Avanos

    Avanos is a fun little town on the banks of the Kızılırmak (Red River), so named for the red hue of the clay lining its banks. The town is primarily known for the pottery made from this clay, which vies... Read more

  • Göreme

    This bustling town with a cluster of restaurants and numerous hotels is the most convenient base for exploring Cappadocia. Traditionally, Göreme has been more or less inundated with backpackers, who still... Read more

  • Hacıbektaş

    You're likely to find Hacıbektaş a bit boring and unexceptional—unless you're there for the lively festival celebrating the town's spiritual namesake in mid-August. Hacı Bektaş Veli founded a Muslim sect... Read more

  • Hattuşa and the Other Hittite Cities

    The ancient ruined sites of the Hittite Empire are contained within a triangle in northeastern Central Anatolia bounded by Hattuşa, Yazılıkaya, and Alacahöyük. All the Hittite cities can be seen in a day... Read more

  • Ihlara Valley

  • Kayseri

    Kayseri is an old, socially conservative city famous for its Seljuk mosques, an imposing 6th-century citadel, and carpets. The city is now experiencing an industrial boom, which many believe is largely... Read more

  • Konya

    Konya is famous for being the location of Rumi's tomb, and is also known throughout Turkey as a very religious and rather conservative city. Its religious attractions draw Muslims on pilgrimages and Turkish... Read more

  • Niğde

    Niğde is a town with a lot of new factories and old farms, a lot of dust and not a whole lot that's worth seeing. The city flourished under the Seljuks in the 13th century. They built the triple-domed... Read more

  • Safranbolu

    Tucked into the hills two hours north of Ankara is one of Turkey's loveliest treasures, a preserved slice of Ottoman past that has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Once a wealthy trading town... Read more

  • Uçhisar

    A beautiful village on a hill, dominated by the Uçhisar Castle, the highest fairy chimney in all the land, Uçhisar has some of the nicest places to stay in Cappadocia. There are some carpet and rug shops... Read more

  • Ürgüp

    With a central location and a busy (for Cappadocia) town center due to its higher population (17,000) than Göreme or Uçhisar, Ürgüp is a logical base for exploring the surrounding area. In recent years... Read more