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Thoughts on Anniversary in Turkey

My husband and I are celebrating our ten year wedding anniversary next April (and twenty years together). Turkey is on my shortlist as the destination to visit to celebrate our special occasion. We have only traveled internationally in Europe so this will be an entirely new experience for us, which in and of itself might be a fun way to mark our new decade together.

There are so many knowledgeable and insightful travelers here on the forum, I would love to hear from you in regards to Turkey - would you consider it a romantic destination? What are your pros and cons? What did you like (or not like)?

I’m asking at this specific moment because there’s a pretty good deal on airfare right now for us so I’m thinking about pulling the trigger and booking the flights! So curious to hear your thoughts! :)

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6391 posts

We were there in March 2020. Sent you a PM with some info you may find useful in planning. Cheers.

Posted by
571 posts

Turkey offers lots of options for romantic destinations, depends on what interests you. My first choice would be a gulet cruise around the coast; lovely small towns, archaeological sites, wonderful scenery, good food. Many such cruises operate out of Fetye or Bodrum, just Google gulet cruises, though April might be a bit early.

Never been to Cappadocia but think that would be a great place for a few days of romance.

Istanbul is an interesting city but it is busy and crowded and noisy, still worth a couple of days, the Sultanhamnet neighbourhood would be a good base as it’s near the Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia and lots of the hotels are older Ottoman buildings.

You might consider RS’s tour, a good guide to help you navigate some of the pitfalls (annoyances really) is really useful. Main bugbear for me is the bargaining in the markets and the hassles to buy as soon as you stop to look at something

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10323 posts

Istanbul is in Europe, across the Bosphorus to the other side is Asia.
Are thinking of spending your actual anniversary in a city like Istanbul or in a smaller town on the Asian side? There are many wonderful choices along the water.

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674 posts

Thank you all for your responses - I’ve just realized I’ve got some messages to respond to as well. I actually purchased the airfare tickets but my husband and I talked and we decided it would be better for his work schedule for us to go in October. Which from what I can tell should also be a nice time to go. I’m still not 100% settled on Turkey (Greece looks wonderful too and we’ve never been there either). Either way, I canceled the tickets within the 24 hour window so no issues there. Now with COVID ramping up again I think I’m back in a bit of a wait and see mode again until we get a bit closer!

Suki, if we go to Turkey, I was thinking of doing something along the lines of a “Premium Turkey in Depth” that Intrepid Travel offers. I need to start penciling in desired stops and days and figure out what we might be able to accomplish. I have never been one for lounging on a beach; I’d rather see ruins and nature and museums and such.

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We just returned after a 15 day tour. I would tell you first that there's something for everyone to enjoy in Turkey and it's a very unique and special country.

I think Cappadocia would be my first choice for a romantic trip. Take a hot air balloon ride, do some hiking, visit the museums, and enjoy the beauty of the area. I shared this on a separate post, but I highly recommend staying at Cappadocia Estates in Mustafapasa! It's beautiful, QUIET, and they offer the best amenities in their cave rooms.

If the beach is more your style, I would also recommend a visit to Kusadasi (on the Aegean Sea) or Antalya (on the Mediterranean). We spent two nights in Kusadasi and it has some great restaurants and nightlife. I have a friend who has a house in Antalya and she said it's a very popular area.

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Please DO NOT click the link above in obaidk071’s
post. It’s Spam. Check their 2 posts and you’ll see what I’m referencing. Reported to Webmaster.

Took the RS Istanbul tour a number of years ago. Guide was Mert Tanner. Great guide, great trip.

Istanbul is a fabulous city to explore. Fascinating history.

I’d love to return and spend more time in Turkey to visit archeological sites such as Gobekli Tepe and Catalhoyuk. I was fascinated by Istanbul. The older city neighborhoods and the modern shopping streets. An intriguing mix of centuries old architecture and ultra modern buildings.

In Istanbul be aware you’ll see countless stray cats.

Hearing your first call to prayer will be memorable.

Julie remember to take a scarf to cover your head to enter a mosque. Men and woman who wear shorts will be denied entry into any mosque. Same issue with sleeveless blouses and tank tops.

Respect the culture, show decorum.

Lastly, the Hagia Sophia is one of the most impressive structures I’ve been privileged to see in over 50 years of travel. Utterly astonishing..

Is it a romantic city? I thought so because it’s so different for any other European city I’ve explored.

Make note some sales people can be pushy. Simply look them in the eye, utter a strong “ No,” and move away. Being a couple will make any encounters like this easier. As a female who prefers to meander solo I quickly learned not to smile and be forceful in my reply.

The Gulhane Park near the Topaki Palace is a pleasant spot to walk about. You can also sit and people watch. On one stroll in the park discovered 5k marathoners crossing the finish line. Quite a pleasant surprise.

Lastly stay updated on the country’s political situation. April 2022 is months away but it’s always smart to stay informed about the country you want to visit.

I do know reading the RS guidebook was a focal point before I took the tour. Provided practical intel that helped me make decisions while I was there.

Happy 2022 Anniversary!