A Comprehensive Guide to The Perfect Turkey Honeymoon

Honeymoon Couple in Turkey

From the Best Areas for Couples to What to See and Do: The Only Guide to Planning a Honeymoon or Romantic Getaway in Turkey You’ll Need!

With its rich history, stunning landscapes, and vibrant culture, Turkey invites honeymooners in search of an unforgettable adventure. From the bustling streets of Istanbul to the surreal landscapes of Cappadocia, this enchanting country offers countless opportunities for couples to craft a once-in-a-lifetime romantic getaway.

In this guide, we’ll take you through the ins and outs of planning your dream honeymoon in Turkey. We’ll give you all the information you need to feel confident in crafting your own perfect itinerary. From choosing luxurious accommodations to uncovering the must-see spots and activities, you’ll have the know-how to design a honeymoon that truly reflects the charms of Turkey, tailored just for you.

Get ready to immerse yourself in the charm of ancient cities, bask in the tranquillity of sun-kissed beaches, and jump into adventures that ignite your wanderlust. Let’s explore how to honeymoon in Turkey!

Why Choose Turkey for Your Honeymoon

Bodrum Sunset Turkey
Bodrum Sunset Turkey

Turkey is an enticing choice for honeymooners. Its blend of rich cultural heritage and diverse landscapes promises an unforgettable start to your life together. From idyllic beaches to majestic mountains, Turkey’s fusion of ancient traditions and modern allure creates an ideal backdrop for couples.

Luxurious Escapes

Pamper yourself in the opulent retreats of Turkey’s upscale resorts and hotels in picturesque locations. These accommodations offer stunning vistas and ensure a peaceful retreat for honeymooners seeking relaxation.

Historical Wonders

Cappadocia, Turkey
Cappadocia, Turkey

Turkey is home to many UNESCO World Heritage Sites, which offer a glimpse into the country’s rich history. From the bustling streets of Istanbul to the picturesque valleys of Cappadocia, each site has its own story to tell. You can explore ancient ruins that stand as a testament to bygone eras and experience local traditions that add to the unique charm of your visit.

Delightful Discoveries

Experience the best of Turkish culture through its renowned cuisine and traditional baths, offering a blend of history and luxury perfect for adventurous and romantic couples.

Topkapi Palace seen from water
Topkapi Palace

Intriguing Heritage

Turkey is a country where various cultures from East and West come together. You can visit famous places such as the Hagia Sophia and Topkapi Palace to learn about the country’s rich history. You can also explore modern culture, such as Istanbul’s lively art scene and the relaxed atmosphere of Alacati.

Delectable Cuisine

When you honeymoon in Turkey, you’ll be taken on a culinary adventure through the tantalising flavours of Turkish cuisine. From street food to fine dining, Turkey offers a diverse gastronomic experience that will tantalise your taste buds. Try traditional dishes such as kebabs, mezes, and Turkish tea.

Breathtaking Scenery

Whether you’re exploring the surreal landscapes of Cappadocia or basking in the serenity of Bodrum’s beaches, Turkey’s natural beauty will leave you spellbound. With its varied landscapes, the country offers endless opportunities for adventure and relaxation, ensuring a honeymoon filled with cherished memories.

Navigating Istanbul: Where Continents Converge

Istanbul At Sunset
Istanbul. Photo: Nikolai Sorokin.

Istanbul is brimming with excitement, its profound and eventful history stretching over 1,700 years as an imperial capital, ensuring this Turkish megacity remains one of the most distinctive destinations on the planet! As a bridge between the Orient and the West, it showcases a dynamic fusion of cultures, beliefs, ideologies, and culinary treasures. Once known as Constantinople, its historical significance still persists to this day. For honeymooners seeking an enriching experience, Istanbul offers an abundance of delights. Here are a few things to put on your honeymoon itinerary for Istanbul.

Blue Mosque Turkey
Blue Mosque

The Blue Mosque

Dominating Istanbul’s skyline is the magnificent Blue Mosque, also known as the Sultan Ahmed Mosque. Renowned for its stunning domes and six towering minarets, this architectural marvel dates back to the 17th century. Serving as an active place of worship, it beckons visitors with its grandeur and historical significance.

Hagia Sophia

Hagia Sophia Turkey
Hagia Sophia

Adjacent to the Blue Mosque lies the awe-inspiring Hagia Sophia, symbolising Istanbul’s rich history and cultural heritage. Originally constructed as a cathedral and later converted into a mosque, it now stands as a museum, offering insight into both Byzantine and Ottoman eras.

Topkapi Palace

Topkapi Palace

A visit to Istanbul would be incomplete without exploring the majestic Topkapı Palace, also known as the Seraglio. This 15th-century Ottoman complex served as the seat of power for nearly four centuries, housing the sultan’s court and administrative offices. Its sprawling grounds, adorned with lush gardens, intricate frescoes, and ornate mosaics, provide a glimpse into the opulent lifestyle of the Ottoman rulers. A highlight of any visit is a stroll through the sultan’s harem, once home to many concubines and their eunuch guards.

Grand Bazaar

Grand Bazaar Istanbuil

Step into the fascinating world of Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar, a labyrinthine marketplace that has been a hub of trade and commerce for centuries. With its maze of narrow alleys and bustling stalls, it offers an unparalleled shopping experience, where one can find everything from exquisite carpets and intricate textiles to traditional handicrafts and aromatic spices.

Süleymaniye Mosque

Süleymaniye Mosque

Perched atop the third hill of Old Istanbul, the Süleymaniye Mosque is a stunning example of Ottoman architectural prowess. Unlike the ornate Blue Mosque, Süleymaniye Mosque boasts a more understated elegance, drawing fewer crowds and offering a tranquil atmosphere for reflection. Built in the 16th century by the renowned architect Mimar Sinan for Suleiman the Magnificent, it exudes grandeur and magnificence. Don’t miss the chance to explore its sprawling courtyard and visit the historic cemetery, where intricate carvings on each tombstone reveal the deceased’s social status.

Taksim Square

Taksim Square Istanbul

Situated in the heart of Istanbul, Taksim Square is a prime example of the city’s vibrancy. It anchors the popular pedestrian avenue, Istiklal Caddesi, and embodies the dynamic spirit of Istanbul. At one end, the imposing Taksim Mosque commands attention, while at the other, the contemporary Ataturk Cultural Center adds a modern flair. Istiklal Caddesi itself, a car-free boulevard, embodies Istanbul’s essence with its eclectic mix of Ottoman-era and Art Nouveau architecture, housing an array of establishments ranging from boutique shops to quaint cafes and bustling nightspots.

Cendere Sanat

Formerly a pumping station, Cendere Sanat has been transformed into a vibrant art gallery and cultural centre as part of Istanbul Municipality’s Miras restoration project. Nestled within a historic setting, it offers modern amenities, including a glass pavilion designed by Zemberek Design. Visitors can enjoy a stroll through the garden, admiring the landmark plane tree that adds to the charm of the surroundings.

Ottoman Bank Museum

Discover the fascinating history of Ottoman finance at the Ottoman Bank Museum, housed in the basement of SALT Galata. Once the epicentre of financial power in the Ottoman Empire, the bank played a pivotal role in shaping the region’s economic landscape. Explore its exhibits and learn about the bank’s significance amid the geopolitical upheavals of the time.

Bosphorus Cruise

Istanbul at Sunset
Istanbul at Sunset

Be sure to enjoy a scenic Bosphorus cruise—it’s the best way to see Istanbul’s beauty from a unique perspective. Glide along the tranquil waters of the Bosphorus Strait, where Europe meets Asia, and marvel at the stunning vistas of the city’s skyline. As you sail past iconic landmarks and hidden gems, soak in the rich tapestry of history and culture that defines this mesmerising cityscape.

Where to Stay in Istanbul:

The Ciragan Palace Kempinski Istanbul

The Ciragan Palace Kempinski Istanbul

Nestled on the shores of the Bosphorus, the luxurious Kempinski Ciragan Palace transports you to a bygone era with its regal palm trees and opulent marble-floored lobby. Gaze out from this historic sanctuary and behold the mesmerising vistas of Istanbul, adorned with elegant minarets and majestic palaces.

Originally constructed as an Ottoman palace in the 17th century, the Kempinski Ciragan Palace now stands as a haven for honeymooners seeking an enchanting retreat. Immerse yourself in the luxury of your room, adorned with exquisite four-poster beds, tulip-patterned headboards and marble bathrooms.

Indulge in culinary delights at the riverside restaurant, Tuğra, offering fine dining experiences, or rejuvenate your senses at the original palace hammam. With its blend of historic grandeur and modern luxury, the Kempinski Ciragan Palace sets the stage for a truly romantic honeymoon in the heart of Istanbul.

Ecole St Pierre Hotel

Ecole St Pierre Hotel istanbul

Located near the iconic Galata Tower, Ecole St Pierre Hotel seamlessly blends classic charm with contemporary luxury. Since its opening in September 2021, this hotel has become a haven for honeymooners, offering a perfect fusion of history and sophistication. Boasting 17 exquisitely designed rooms and suites, the hotel creates a serene ambience that harmoniously complements the bustling energy of the surrounding city.

With its French name, 18th-century Italian architect, and the ancient Genoese walls at its heart, Ecole St Pierre epitomises the rich multicultural heritage of Galata, one of Istanbul’s most diverse districts.

The hotel’s Italian restaurant and lounge, overlooking a lush courtyard with captivating views of the Galata Tower, promise a culinary experience steeped in history and grandeur. Remains of the 13th-century Genoese ramparts of Constantinople are incorporated into the restaurant, making dining here a journey through time.

Related: Your travel guide to Turkey for Two!

Experience the Magic of Cappadocia

Cappadocia Turkey
Seeing the sunrise over the Cappadocia moonscape will be an unforgettable experience.

The flight from Istanbul to Cappadocia is just a little over an hour, but it feels like landing in another world. Perched on a plateau in central Anatolia, Cappadocia is a surreal landscape of volcanic ash shaped into fantastic formations—some say it’s like being on the Moon because it’s so out of this world.

Millions of years of erosion have shaped soft volcanic rock into “fairy chimneys” in dust-strewn canyons. And if the otherworldly beauty wasn’t enough, hundreds of beehive homes and secret churches are carved into the soft rock.

Cappadocia is renowned for its romantic ambience, accentuated by the vibrant hot air balloons adorning the sky—a must-experience for honeymooners visiting the region. Several balloon operators offer private tours designed for special occasions, with departures usually scheduled in the early morning, around 5 to 5:30 a.m., depending on the season, as wind conditions are most favourable at sunrise. Even when you’re not aboard the balloons, witnessing them drift across the dawn horizon makes for an exquisite backdrop to your photos — and a honeymoon memory that will last forever.

Related article: Top Ten Destinations in the World to Propose

Göreme open-air museum
Göreme open-air museum

Apart from the famous hot air balloons, Cappadocia offers a wealth of attractions to explore. Begin with the Göreme Open-Air Museum, a UNESCO World Heritage site featuring rock churches, cave refectories, and dwellings carved into hillsides. These structures showcase Byzantine art dating back to the ninth century.

Historically, Cappadocia served as a sanctuary for persecuted Christians during invasions from the east and south, leading to the creation of remarkable underground cities like Derinkuyu—an absolute must-visit during your time in the region.

Derinkuyu Turkey
Derinkuyu Ancient Underground City

With up to 20 floors, though only eight are accessible to the public, Derinkuyu lies more than 85 meters beneath the famed fairy chimneys of Cappadocia. Originally named Elengubu, this ancient city was continuously inhabited for millennia, evolving across various civilisations from the Phrygians to the Persians and finally to the Byzantine Christians.

The best times to visit are in the pleasant months of April through May or the cool, refreshing weather of September through November.

Where to Stay in Cappadocia

Argos in Cappadocia

Argos Cappadocia Splendid Suite
Argos Cappadocia Splendid Suite

At Argos in Cappadocia, honeymooners can stay in luxurious caves carved from the ancient volcanic landscape. These chambers offer modern comforts within their historic confines and provide an atmosphere of exclusivity and tranquillity. (www.argosincappadocia.com)

Hewn out of the side of a hill, this hotel boasts luxurious suites and great views. Choose from the Stonecutter’s Suite and the top-of-the-line Fantasy Cave Suite.

Museum Hotel Cappadocia

Divan Suite Museum Hotel
Divan Suite Museum Hotel

Said to be the first luxury boutique hotel in Cappadocia, the Museum Hotel overlooks the regions of Avanos, Göreme, Love Valley, Pigeon Valley, Red Valley, and Mt. Erciyes. The hotel even offers private in-room wellness treatments for those too tired to walk to the spa after their daily excursions.

Sun-Kissed Days in Bodrum

Bodrum Turkey

Located in Turkey’s rugged southwest, Bodrum is a stunning destination that entices couples with its blend of azure waters and rich cultural heritage. Surrounded by the Aegean Sea, it boasts sun-drenched beaches and historical sites that tell tales of ancient civilisations, enhancing its allure.

Its coastline, adorned with lush peninsulas extending towards the Greek islands, invites exploration by boat, revealing hidden coves and secluded islands. Nearby gems like Bozburun and Datça maintain their remote charm, which is accessible mainly by sea. With its picturesque white-washed houses set against the turquoise sea, Bodrum offers the perfect mix of relaxation and adventure for romantic getaways.

Mausoleum of Halicarnassus,
Mausoleum of Halicarnassus,

Located in the heart of Bodrum is the Mausoleum of Halicarnassus, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Although it is now in ruins, honeymooners can still wander through time and imagine the history of this ancient site. The town’s cobbled streets lead to marinas lined with yachts, providing a scenic stroll.

Bodrum offers endless possibilities for both beach lovers and history enthusiasts. Couples can spend their days sunbathing on the deck of a gulet or exploring ancient amphitheatres.

Where to Stay in Bodrum

Macakizi Hotel Bodrum

Experience pure indulgence at the boutique Macakizi Hotel Bodrum, an idyllic retreat tailored for couples seeking serenity along the tranquil shores of the Aegean Sea. With its contemporary elegance and awe-inspiring vistas, this establishment provides a peaceful haven that is particularly well-suited for honeymooners.

The Maçakizi Hotel offers a tranquil and peaceful atmosphere, featuring beautiful pathways adorned with colourful flowers. The entrances to the white villas are accented by clusters of purple bougainvillea, surrounded by green foliage. The terraces, which offer stunning views of the shining Aegean Sea, are surrounded by lush greenery, providing maximum privacy and exclusivity.

Guests are invited to indulge in gourmet cuisine while marvelling at the breathtaking sunset, completing the experience of tranquillity and luxury.

Mandarin Oriental, Bodrum

Alternatively, consider the Mandarin Oriental, nestled on a verdant slope overlooking Bodrum’s Paradise Bay. With its 109 guest rooms boasting panoramic views of the Aegean Sea, it sets the stage for a romantic honeymoon escape. From private gardens with infinity-edge pools to sophisticated dining experiences and decadent spa treatments, every aspect invites you to immerse yourselves in luxury and create unforgettable memories.

Vibrant Nights in Marmaris

Marmaris is a popular destination for honeymooners because of its lively nightlife and scenic resort atmosphere. During the day, visitors can enjoy the beautiful sun-soaked beaches, while at night, the town offers many entertainment options.

A boat trip to Dalyan is a must for those looking for adventure and romance. Travellers can explore the ancient city of Caunos and the famous rock tombs carved into a cliff. The excursion also includes a mud bath experience and a leisurely sail down the Dalyan River, where you can see endangered loggerhead turtles. A voyage to Cleopatra Island is another option, where visitors can walk on fine powder sands and swim in crystal clear waters.

Where to Stay in Marmaris

D Maris Bay

D Marmaris Turkey

D Maris Bay is nestled on the Datça Peninsula, where the sea and forest intertwine. It offers an exclusive haven ideal for honeymooners with its luxurious Turkish-style accommodations and stunning views of the Aegean Sea. Here, wellness takes centre stage, with a blend of relaxation and adventure, from sunrise yoga sessions on Silence Beach to invigorating workouts and pampering spa treatments.

Amidst the tranquil enclave, D Maris Bay invites couples to create unforgettable memories, whether savouring romantic dinners overlooking the sea or unwinding with traditional Turkish hammam rituals. Beyond wellness, guests can enjoy various activities, including watersports and beachside relaxation.

Unique Experiences for Couples Honeymooning in Turkey

Make your honeymoon truly unforgettable by incorporating these exclusive experiences into your itinerary.

Hot Air Ballooning in Cappadocia

Hot Air Balloons over Cappadocia

Rise with the sunrise and embark on a breathtaking hot air balloon ride over the enchanting fairy chimneys of Cappadocia. Drift gracefully above the otherworldly landscape with this once-in-a-lifetime experience, which offers an unparalleled perspective of Cappadocia’s unique beauty.

Turkish Bath Experience

Turkish Bath istanbul

Immerse yourselves in the ancient tradition of the Turkish bath, known as the Hamam, for a truly indulgent and rejuvenating experience. Let the expert hands of skilled attendants pamper you with a series of cleansing rituals, including steam, scrubbing, and massage, leaving you feeling utterly relaxed and revitalised. This centuries-old ritual not only cleanses the body but also rejuvenates the soul, offering a serene escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

Sunset or Sunrise Horse Ride in Cappadocia

Dalton Brothers Ranch horses
Courtesy Dalton Brothers Ranch

Horseback riding during sunrise or sunset in Cappadocia is a fantastic way for honeymooners to experience the region’s stunning landscapes. Dalton Brothers Ranch, owned by Ekrem, a respected local known for his expertise akin to “The Horse Whisperer”, offers riding experiences tailored to various skill levels. Enjoy the breathtaking panorama as horses gracefully roam among the ancient rock formations while traversing the valleys and catching the best views of Goreme and the surrounding area. Our tip? You’re on your honeymoon, so consider booking a private ride rather than one of their group tours.

Culinary Experiences

Turkish Cuisine

Turkish cuisine is right up there with the best in the world – think French, Chinese, Italian. It’s like a delicious cultural mosaic of colours, flavours, and stories. Over centuries, Turkey’s cuisine soaked up influences from the Byzantine and Ottoman Empires, creating this fantastic culinary blend.

Immerse yourself in this gastronomic culture by participating in hands-on cooking classes, where you’ll master the art of crafting authentic Turkish delicacies using locally sourced ingredients. Alternatively, opt for a guided food tour, guiding you through bustling markets, hidden culinary gems, and cosy cafes, all while sampling a diverse array of mouthwatering dishes.

Essential Travel Information for Your Honeymoon in Turkey

Language: Turkish is the primary language in Turkey, but Kurmanji, Arabic, and Zazaki are also widely spoken. The official currency is the Turkish Lira (TRY).

Credit Cards & ATMs: Credit and debit cards, notably Visa and Mastercard, are widely accepted in most places. American Express is available mainly in high-end establishments. Carrying some cash is always a good idea, especially when shopping in markets. ATMs are prevalent, but using those attached to banks for safety and better exchange rates is recommended.

Safety: While tensions may exist in certain regions, tourist destinations like Istanbul, Antalya, and Cappadocia are generally safe with standard precautions. Stay updated with reliable sources, as situations can change.

Turkey is truly the perfect destination for a honeymoon, and every moment spent exploring this enchanting land will expose you both to unparalleled beauty and timeless charm. What more could any couple ask for when planning their dream romantic getaway?

All photos of hotels and resorts featured were sourced from properties.

Read more: The Ultimate Guide to The World’s Best Bucket-List Destinations for Couples

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