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Gay Friendly Guide • TÜRKIYE | Itineraries, Tips and What to See | Practical and Complete LGBT Guide

GAY FRIENDLY TÜRKIYE

Travel solutions with itineraries to discover all the wonders of this destination, places not to be missed, advice on where to sleep and what to eat, and above all special suggestions to make the most of your trip!

Welcome to Türkiye, an enchanted land of contrasts and age-old wonders. Explore the ancient ruins of Ephesus, immerse yourself in the vibrant culture of Istanbul and savor the unique flavors of Turkish cuisine. Discover breathtaking landscapes, from the beaches of the Turkish Coast to the majestic rock formations of Cappadocia.

GAY FRIENDLY TÜRKIYE?

In Türkiye, LGBT culture has faced unique challenges and progress in the regional context. Despite some legislative improvements, such as the ban on discrimination based on sexual orientation in the country's Constitution, many social and cultural barriers still persist. However, there are vibrant communities and organizations working to promote the rights and visibility of LGBT people in Turkey. Big cities like Istanbul offer inclusive spaces and events, while the Turkish LGBT movement continues to fight for greater acceptance and equality. Visiting Turkey offers the opportunity to understand the country's complex cultural dynamics, including those related to the LGBT community, and to support progress towards a more inclusive and tolerant society.

SUGGESTED ITINERARIES

Visiting this destination at its best depends essentially on how long you have to fully enjoy it. Here is a solution based on the number of days available to you:

  • Day 1 - EUROPE / Istanbul / Izmir

  • Day 2 - Izmir - Alaçatı - Efeso - Kuşadasi - Google Maps

  • Day 3 - Kuşadasi - Aphrodisias - Pamukkale - Google Maps

  • Day 4 - Pamukkale - Konya - Caravanserraglio Sultanhan - Göreme - Google Maps

  • Day 5 - Cappadocia "RED TOUR"

(Uçhisar Castle - Göreme Open Air Museum - Love Valley View Point - Çavuşin - Avanos Village - Paşabağ Fairy Chimney - Zelve Open Air Museum - Devrent Valley/Imagination Valley - Ürgüp) - Google Maps

  • Day 6 - Cappadocia "GREEN TOUR"

(Göreme Panorama View - Kaymakli Underground City - Ihlara Valley - Belisırma - Selime Cathedral - Ağzıkarahan Caravanserraglio - Pigeon Valley) - Google Maps

  • Day 7 - Cappadocia "BLUE TOUR"

(Three Beauties of Ürgüp - Mustafapaşa - Taşkınpaşa - Sobessos Ancient City - Şahinefendi - Soganlı Valley - Soganli Village - Derinkuyu Underground City) - Google Maps

(By opening the Maps with Google, you can easily follow our path)

 

Click'n'Go - Click on the places to find them on the Map

 

WHAT TO SEE in TÜRKIYE?

BEST THINGS TO SEE in TÜRKIYE

Istanbul

Istanbul is the only metropolis in the world located on seven hills that belongs to two continents: Europe (Thrace) and Asia (Anatolia). This contrast allows us to admire the memories of the great Ottoman Empire and the contemporaneity of a metropolis. Its old city reflects the cultural influences of the numerous empires that have settled there.

Cappadocia

Cappadocia is Turkey's natural wonder: a panorama carved into honey-colored rock for several kilometers. These lands have been occupied by man over time and now it is possible to admire Byzantine rock churches, underground cities and accommodation obtained inside ancient caves.In many of these buildings from past centuries it is also possible to admire wonderful frescoes. In short, you could define these places as almost unlikely and fairytale-like in their singular beauty. Among its canyons, its caves and underground tunnels, there are also small reliefs of volcanic rock known as "The Fairy Chimneys". Unique experience not to be missed in this indescribable place? Undoubtedly a hot air balloon ride to admire its extreme beauty! The most popular destination for these panoramic tours is the Göreme valley, today considered a National Park and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Smirne (Izmir)

Formerly known as Izmir, Izmir is located on the western coast of Türkiye. It is a city full of remains of its Roman past and for this reason it offers several archaeological sites and museums, including: the Agora Open Air Museum and the Archaeological Museum of Izmir. In addition to this there are some castles of historical interest such as Kadifekale Castle.

Pamukkale (“Cotton Castle”) and Hierapolis

Among the natural wonders of Türkiye, Pamukkale is probably the most astonishing. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, here you can admire shining white waterfalls that create an almost surreal context: this is why this place is also called the "Cotton Castle". A breathtaking view! A few steps from this almost fairy-tale place you can visit the archaeological site of Hierapolis, also a UNESCO World Heritage Site and an emblem of the charm of Greco-Roman architecture.

Info & Prices - click here

Ephesus (Ephesus)

Ephesus is the Turkish archaeological site par excellence and the best preserved one which preserves the precious remains of the ancient city dating back to the Roman Empire. Here you can stroll along the Curetes Street or visit the Library of Celsus, the Temple of Artemis and the Temple of Hadrian.

Info & Prices - click here

Bodrum

Bodrum is the Turkish resort renowned in particular for its beaches but it is also a city that preserves important monuments such as: the Castle of St. Peter and the Mausoleum of Halicarnassus, included among the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.

Antalya

Antalya is the largest coastal city in the state and can offer everything from beaches to traditional markets, archaeological sites and mosques. Furthermore, a short distance from this location it is possible to visit the theatre of Aspendos: the best preserved Roman theater in the world.

Ankara

Ankara has been the capital of Turkey since 1923. It is located in a strategic position and thanks to this it has been an important meeting point between the main trade routes. Today it is one of those typical cities with modern profiles made of glass and steel and without a real historic center. It is the city of work, efficiency, progress!

Aphrodisias Ancient City

Immerse yourself in the ancient grandeur of Aphrodisias, a city rich in history and charm, known for its extraordinary archaeological remains, including the Theatre, the Temple of Aphrodite and the magnificent ancient sculptures that tell millenary stories.

Info & Prices - click here

Alaçatı

Explore the enchanting beauty of Alaçatı, famous for its narrow cobbled streets and characteristic stone houses, which are very reminiscent of Greece and create a unique and charming atmosphere. In addition to its beautiful beaches, Alaçatı is also renowned for its windy conditions ideal for windsurfing and kitesurfing.

Çeşme

Near Alaçatı, don't miss Çeşme, a fascinating destination on the Turkish coast, with enchanting beaches, crystal clear waters and a relaxed atmosphere that makes it perfect for an unforgettable beach holiday. Its wonderful castle is worth visiting.

Konya

Konya is a historic city located in central Anatolia, famous for being the spiritual center of the whirling dervishes and the tomb of the mystical poet Rumi. Known as one of Turkey's oldest cities, Konya offers a fascinating mix of culture and religion. Explore the Mevlana Museum and admire the Seljuk architecture. The city is also renowned for its traditional cuisine and the warm hospitality of its inhabitants.

Kuşadası

Kuşadası is a lively tourist resort located on the Aegean coast of Türkiye. Known for its splendid beaches and Mediterranean climate, it is an ideal destination for those seeking sun and sea. Kuşadası Port is also a major cruise port, offering easy access to historic sites such as Ephesus. The city perfectly combines the relaxed holiday atmosphere with the rich cultural heritage of the region.

Sultanhanı Caravanserai

The Sultanhanı Caravanserai is one of the largest and best preserved caravanserais in Türkiye. Located on the historic Silk Road, between Aksaray and Konya, it was built in the 13th century during the reign of the Seljuks. This imposing stone building served as a safe haven for traders and their animals during their long journeys. Today, the Sultanhanı Caravanserai is a major tourist attraction that offers a fascinating look at medieval history and architecture. Visiting this place allows you to immerse yourself in the rich history of trade and cultures that crossed Anatolia.

MAP of CAPPADOCIA in TÜRKIYE

WHAT TO DO in TÜRKIYE

Hot Air Balloon Flight

Without a doubt, a hot air balloon flight over Cappadocia is unmissable. You will be able to admire the colors of the dawn reflected on the gullies: an incredible and majestic landscape that penetrates the narrow valleys dug by atmospheric agents over time.

The Whirling Dervish show

Not to be missed is the ritual of the Whirling Dervishes, a Sufi brotherhood founded by Mevlana. Often, this show takes place in old caravanserais. In fact, during this dance, man tries to become the point of connection between the earthly and the divine world, accompanied by a hypnotic song.

Sunset Cruise on the Bosphorus

Among the things to do in Türkiye there is also the Bosphorus Cruise. This is an excursion that lasts about an hour and a half and takes place at sunset. It will allow you to enjoy the view of both banks of the Golden Horn illuminated by the pink light of the setting sun. During the excursion you will be able to observe the Yali from the water's point of view, the typical wooden villas on the water's edge, the sultan's luxurious summer residences and ancient Byzantine fortresses.

BEST EVENTS in TÜRKIYE


Tulip Festival (April-May)

The Tulip Festival is a well-known Turkish festival that takes place in Istanbul during March-April. The tulip is the symbol of Turkey and this festival represents the entrance of spring and highlights the beauty of these flowers, which are culturally and historically significant in Turkish society. The city, parks and public spaces are decorated with beautiful displays of tulips. The event includes various cultural activities, such as musical performances, art exhibitions and workshops on tulip cultivation and floral design.


Lantern Festival (February)

The Turkish Lantern Festival is a traditional Chinese festival celebrated on the 15th day of the first lunar month and represents the conclusion of the Chinese New Year celebrations. During this occasion, vibrant lanterns are lit and hung. People engage in lantern games. This famous festival in Turkey embodies the spirit of the arrival of spring, encouraging family gatherings and hopeful wishes for a prosperous year ahead.

WHERE TO STAY in TÜRKIYE?

BEST LGBT FRIENDLY HOTELS, VILLAS & APARTMENTS in TÜRKIYE

Istanbul - Meroddi Barnathan Hotel

Istanbul - Endless Suites Taksim

Istanbul - Magnova Vitality Boutique Hotel

Istanbul - Santa Sophia Hotel ***

Pamukkale - Pamukkale Melrose Viewpoint Suites ***

Pamukkale - Pamukkale Sahin Boutique Hotel

Smirne - Hotel 86 By Katipoglu ***

Smirne - Pir Efes Konakları

Kuşadasi - Eliada Hotel

Kuşadasi - Hotel Ilayda

Bodrum - Akkan Hotel

Bodrum - Manzara Hotel

Antalya - My Home Hotel Gulluk ***

Ankara - Bugday Hotel ****

Ankara - The Ankara Hotel ***

WHERE TO EAT in TÜRKIYE?

BEST TYPICAL RESTAURANTS in TÜRKIYE Quality/Price

Istanbul - €€€ - Roof Mezze 360

Istanbul - €€€ - Istanbul Turkish Restaurant

Istanbul - €€ - Olive Anatolian Restaurant

Göreme - €€€ - Cappadocia Senza Restaurant

Göreme - €€€ - Cratus Premium Restaurant

Göreme - €€ - TUMA Restaurant

Pamukkale - €€ - Meshur Denizli Kebapcisi

Pamukkale - € - Mom Eve Restaurant & Pub

Smirne - €€ - Donerci Vedat Usta

Smirne - € - Gozlemecim

Kuşadasi - €€ - Kybele Gastro - Restaurant

Kuşadasi - €€€ - Gió Rooftop Restaurant

Bodrum - €€ - Dinç Restaurant Cafe&Bar

Antalya - €€ - Terrace Steak House Restaurant

Antalya - €€ - SALAŞ BALIK & RESTAURANT

Ankara - €€€ - L'avare Stage & Street

Ankara - €€€ - Duveroglu

WHAT TO EAT in TÜRKIYE?

BEST TYPICAL DISHES of TÜRKIYE


Kebab

Enjoy the iconic flavor of Türkiye with this marinated and grilled meat dish, served with rice or bread.


Baklava

Delight your taste buds with layers of phyllo dough, chopped walnuts and sweet syrup in a dessert delicacy.


Doner

Savor the meat roasted on a vertical skewer, served in a sandwich or with fresh accompaniments.


Köfte

Delight in lamb meatballs flavored with local spices, served with sauce and rice or bread.


Meze

Explore a variety of appetizers and appetizers, including aubergine pate, yogurt with cucumber and marinated olives.


Lahmacun

Enjoy a thin and crispy Turkish pizza, covered with tomato sauce, minced meat and fresh vegetables.


Mantı

Try these small ravioli filled with meat or cheese, topped with yogurt sauce and melted butter.


Pide

Delight in a boat-shaped Turkish pizza, stuffed with a variety of ingredients such as meat, cheese and vegetables.


Pilav

Accompany your meal with this classic dish of steamed rice, enriched with spices and vegetables.


Simit

Enjoy a donut-shaped bread, crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside, perfect for a snack on the go.


Börek

Börek are yufka rolls (phyllo dough) stuffed and baked with a series of variations, they are a bit like pasta for us.


Dolma

This dish is vine leaf rolls typical of all those areas included in the former Ottoman Empire. The most common version is the one with a filling made of minced meat, rice or wheat, or different types of vegetables. They are very spicy and are usually served with yogurt alongside.


Kabak Tatlisi

It is a dessert made with pumpkin, sugar syrup and orange liqueur. It may sound a little strange, but Turkish cuisine often uses ingredients in ways that are unusual for us.


Lokma

These are pancakes made with highly leavened dough and potatoes, immersed after frying in a syrup made with water, lemon juice and orange blossom water.


Imam Bayildi

Eggplants stuffed with tomatoes, onions and plenty of oil.

TRAVEL TIPS about TÜRKIYE by World Mappers

  • Respect local traditions, i.e. aware of the country's cultural and religious norms, such as appropriate dress in mosques and respect for fasting practices during Ramadan. Demonstrating respect for local traditions will not only improve your travel experience, but also your relationship with the local community and your understanding of Turkish culture.

  • The Museum Pass Türkiye offers unprecedented access to over 300 historical sites and museums across Turkey, allowing visitors to freely explore the country's cultural riches. Thanks to this card, travelers can enjoy a seamless experience by avoiding ticket queues and saving precious time. Valid for several days, the pass offers incredible flexibility to plan and customize your travel itinerary, ensuring limitless exploration of Turkey's artistic and historical treasures. With the Museum Pass Türkiye, travelers can fully immerse themselves in the country's history and culture, enjoying privileged access to its most iconic and fascinating sights.

  • In Turkish mosques, women must cover their heads with a hijab as a sign of respect and modesty while visiting.

  • The Uber service is only available in major Turkish cities such as Istanbul, Ankara and Izmir, offering a convenient alternative to traditional taxis.

  • There are several Tourist Passes that can be used in Türkiye to save:

    • Museum Pass Türkiye offers a convenient way to explore Turkey's cultural sites. Lasting 15 days, it includes access to over 300 museums and historic sites across the country.

    • Museum Pass Istanbul offers seamless access to Istanbul's top attractions. Lasting 5 days, it includes sites such as Hagia Sophia, Topkapi Palace and Istanbul Archaeological Museum.

    • Museum Pass Cappadocia is ideal for exploring the rich history of the region. Lasting 3 days, it offers access to sites such as the Göreme Open Air Museum and Derinkuyu Underground City.

    • Museum Pass Aegean offers a journey through the ancient and modern history of the region. Lasting 7 days, it includes access to sites such as Ephesus, Aphrodisias and the İzmir Archaeological Museum.

    • Müzekart+ is the ideal solution for those who frequently visit museums in Türkiye. Running for one year, it offers unlimited access to over 300 museums across the country.

    • Museum Pass Mediterranean is perfect for exploring the rich history and culture of the region. Lasting 7 days, it includes access to sites such as the Antalya Archaeological Museum and the Temple of Apollo in Didyma.

Info & Prices - click here

 

Discover some of the most beautiful cities like

 

Consult the Practical Information for the trip

 

Also discover other destinations nearby

 

CHEAP CAR RENTAL in TÜRKIYE 

To travel around Türkiye you need a rental car. We have chosen to rely on DiscoverCars.com, the best car rental website where you can search, compare and save up to 70%, a real bargain right? They will help you choose the perfect car for your next trip, without having surprises of car delivery surcharges, and where it suits you best. Then just download their App to manage your booking wherever you are.

 

TRAVEL INSURANCE for TÜRKIYE 

Before any trip it is good to take out insurance to cover any inconveniences that could ruin the experience. We always rely on HeyMondo which allows you to choose the right insurance for every need. We recommend that you always protect yourself with health insurance and coverage for any cancellations, delays and, if you use them, for theft or breakage of electronic equipment. Medical treatment in Türkiye can be very expensive. Health insurance in this country is not mandatory by law but is strongly recommended; without it, even a routine visit can make you shell out staggering amounts.

You will get an immediate Discount

 

INTERNET & PHONE CALL in TÜRKIYE - eSIM CARD

How many times do we go abroad and the first thing we do is call home to say we have arrived. How often are we in a city on vacation and we need to find a place to eat using Google Maps or the internet. How many times do we need to send messages and photos on WhatsApp without spending a salary.


Tired of spending millions when abroad calling or using the internet?

Here is the SOLUTION we use: Holafly, a new technology with eSIM. Order your eSIM on the website and within minutes you will receive an email with a QR code. Just scan it and you'll be connected to the internet right away. You save time, stress and above all do something good for the environment by not having a physical SIM. If you are in a hurry and have to leave tomorrow and have not thought about the internet problem, you can solve it very quickly with this eSIM, and there is no problem that you could accidentally lose it or damage it while traveling. Most importantly, with the eSIM you don't have to change or remove your regular SIM card, you can leave it in the phone and use the eSIM instead of the physical one.


Don't waste time and above all don't spend millions, activate your Holafly eSim.

It is very easy, but how to do it? It only takes 3 steps and voila!

Holafly also offers data plans with unlimited data to many of the main destinations in the world: for example USA, Indonesia, Europe, Mexico, Thailand and many more.


This is a "new" technology and not all devices are compatible with it, but you can check which phones are already compatible with the eSIM at this link: https://esim.holafly.com/how-to/esim-phones.


You will get an immediate discount of 5% with the "WORLDMAPPERS" Discount Code

 

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