Straddling two continents, Turkey is a country steeped in history, culture, traditions, ancient monuments, and a heritage uniquely its own. It is a place where you can fall in love with the people, places, cultural landmarks, architecture, and nature areas. Not to mention the fantastic Turkish cuisine. Whether you are planning on hot air ballooning in Turkey to see the surreal fairy chimneys of Cappadocia or exploring the many attractions of Istanbul, here are some of the best things to see and do for the bucket list.

1. Admire the stunning architecture and the impressive interior of Aya Sofya (Hagia Sophia).

2. Take a hike at the rock valleys of Cappadocia or go on a balloon ride for the amazing vista of the spectacle below.

3. Explore the spectacular rock formations in the Goreme National Park (Goreme Milli Parklar).

4. See the monuments and ruins of the ancient city of Ephesus. Some of the unmissable sights you need to see are the Church of the Virgin Mary, Gymnasium of Vedius, the Stadium, the Harbor Baths, the Great Theatre of Ephesus, Serapeion, the Marble Street, the Library of Celsus, and so much more.

5. Marvel at the otherworldly beauty of the Pamukkale Thermal Pools.

6. Visit the abandoned Sumela Monastery and explore its mesmerizing frescoes.

7. Explore the beautiful structures and ruins in the Silk Road city of Ani.

8. Seek out the famous attractions and hidden gems of Istanbul. Visit the city’s most popular landmarks including its ancient mosques, the Grand Bazaar (Kapali Carsisi), and more. Enjoy the local cuisine and indulge in some of its delicious sweets like baklava and Turkish delights paired with traditional Turkish coffee or tea.