A Fun 17-Day Family Trip to Turkey: Sightseeing, Culture, and Food

Are you ready for an unforgettable family adventure in Turkey? With its rich history, stunning landscapes, vibrant culture, and mouthwatering cuisine, Turkey offers a perfect blend of sightseeing, local experiences, and culinary delights. Join us on a 17-day journey that will leave you with cherished memories for a lifetime.

Destination Highlights

  • Sightseeing the highlights: Explore the iconic landmarks of Istanbul, marvel at the unique rock formations in Cappadocia, discover the ancient ruins of Ephesus, soak in the mineral-rich terraces of Pamukkale, relax on the beautiful beaches of Antalya, and indulge in the vibrant nightlife of Bodrum.

  • Local culture: Immerse yourself in the rich Turkish culture by visiting traditional markets, attending local festivals, and interacting with friendly locals. Experience the warmth of Turkish hospitality and learn about their customs and traditions.

  • Food: Delight your taste buds with the diverse flavors of Turkish cuisine. From succulent kebabs and aromatic spices to mouthwatering desserts and refreshing beverages, Turkish food is a culinary delight. Don't miss the opportunity to try traditional dishes like kebabs, baklava, Turkish tea, and Turkish delight.

Now, let's dive into the details of our suggested itinerary, activities, local cuisine, accommodation recommendations, transportation options, packing list, budget considerations, language and cultural etiquette, off-the-beaten-path experiences, frequently asked questions, and more.

Suggested Itinerary

1Istanbul City TourTopkapi PalaceBosphorus Cruise
2Hagia SophiaBlue MosqueGrand Bazaar
3Hot Air Balloon Ride in CappadociaGoreme Open Air MuseumTurkish Night Show
4Underground City TourATV SafariSunset Point
5Ephesus Ancient CityTerrace HousesSirince Village
6Pamukkale Thermal PoolsHierapolis Ancient CityCleopatra Pool
7Antalya Old TownHadrian's GateDuden Waterfalls
8Boat Tour along the Turquoise CoastSwimming and SnorkelingSunset Dinner Cruise
9Bodrum CastleBodrum MarinaBodrum Amphitheater
10Jeep SafariCamel BeachTurkish Bath
11Free Day for RelaxationOptional ActivitiesTurkish Night Market
12Bodrum Peninsula TourYalikavak MarinaBodrum Bar Street
13Departure from Bodrum--

Note: The activities are subject to change based on availability and personal preferences.

Realistic Time Management

To make the most of your time, here's a detailed hourly schedule per activity with estimated travel time based on location proximity:

  • Day 1:

    • Morning: Istanbul City Tour (4 hours)
    • Afternoon: Topkapi Palace (2 hours)
    • Evening: Bosphorus Cruise (2 hours)
  • Day 2:

    • Morning: Hagia Sophia (2 hours)
    • Afternoon: Blue Mosque (1 hour)
    • Evening: Grand Bazaar (2 hours)
  • Day 3:

    • Morning: Hot Air Balloon Ride in Cappadocia (4 hours)
    • Afternoon: Goreme Open Air Museum (2 hours)
    • Evening: Turkish Night Show (3 hours)
  • Day 4:

    • Morning: Underground City Tour (3 hours)
    • Afternoon: ATV Safari (2 hours)
    • Evening: Sunset Point (1 hour)
  • Day 5:

    • Morning: Ephesus Ancient City (3 hours)
    • Afternoon: Terrace Houses (1 hour)
    • Evening: Sirince Village (2 hours)
  • Day 6:

    • Morning: Pamukkale Thermal Pools (3 hours)
    • Afternoon: Hierapolis Ancient City (2 hours)
    • Evening: Cleopatra Pool (1 hour)
  • Day 7:

    • Morning: Antalya Old Town (3 hours)
    • Afternoon: Hadrian's Gate (1 hour)
    • Evening: Duden Waterfalls (2 hours)
  • Day 8:

    • Morning: Boat Tour along the Turquoise Coast (6 hours)
    • Afternoon: Swimming and Snorkeling (2 hours)
    • Evening: Sunset Dinner Cruise (3 hours)
  • Day 9:

    • Morning: Bodrum Castle (2 hours)
    • Afternoon: Bodrum Marina (1 hour)
    • Evening: Bodrum Amphitheater (2 hours)
  • Day 10:

    • Morning: Jeep Safari (4 hours)
    • Afternoon: Camel Beach (2 hours)
    • Evening: Turkish Bath (2 hours)
  • Day 11:

    • Free Day for Relaxation
    • Optional Activities
    • Turkish Night Market
  • Day 12:

    • Morning: Bodrum Peninsula Tour (4 hours)
    • Afternoon: Yalikavak Marina (2 hours)
    • Evening: Bodrum Bar Street (3 hours)
  • Day 13:

Local Cuisine

No trip to Turkey is complete without indulging in its delicious cuisine. Here are some famous local dishes to try:

  • Kebabs: Doner kebab, Adana kebab, Iskender kebab
  • Baklava: A sweet pastry made of layers of filo filled with nuts and soaked in honey syrup
  • Turkish Tea: A hot, black tea served in small glasses
  • Turkish Delight: A gel-like sweet treat in various flavors

For an authentic culinary experience, we recommend the following high-rated restaurants:

  • Istanbul:

    • Restaurant A: Known for its traditional Turkish dishes and stunning views of the Bosphorus.
    • Restaurant B: Offers a modern twist on Turkish cuisine with a cozy ambiance.
  • Cappadocia:

    • Restaurant C: Serves delicious local specialties in a cave-like setting.
    • Restaurant D: Offers a rooftop dining experience with panoramic views.
  • Bodrum:

    • Restaurant E: A waterfront restaurant specializing in fresh seafood.
    • Restaurant F: Known for its fusion of Mediterranean and Turkish flavors.

Accommodation Recommendations

We understand that different travelers have different budgets. Here are some accommodation suggestions for various budget ranges:

How To Get There And Away

Getting to Turkey and traveling within the country is convenient and accessible. Here are some transportation options:

  • International Flights: Istanbul has two major airports, Istanbul Airport (IST) and Sabiha Gokcen International Airport (SAW), with flights from major cities worldwide.

  • Domestic Flights: Turkish Airlines and other local carriers offer domestic flights to various cities in Turkey.

  • Trains: Turkey has an extensive rail network connecting major cities and towns.

  • Buses: Comfortable and affordable bus services operate between cities and towns.

  • Car Rental: Renting a car gives you the flexibility to explore at your own pace.

Comprehensive Packing List

To ensure a smooth and enjoyable trip, here's a comprehensive packing list organized by category:

  • Clothing: Lightweight and breathable clothes, comfortable walking shoes, swimwear, hat, and sunglasses.
  • Travel Essentials: Passport, travel insurance, local currency, power adapter, and a portable charger.
  • Toiletries: Sunscreen, insect repellent, toiletries, and any necessary medications.
  • Miscellaneous: Travel guidebook, camera, reusable water bottle, and a daypack.

Budget Consideration

a. The standard cost of living per person per day in Turkey is approximately $50-$100, depending on your accommodation, dining choices, and activities.

b. Relevant costs from the suggested itinerary (excluding accommodation) include entrance fees to attractions, transportation, meals, and optional activities. It is advisable to allocate a budget of $500-$1000 per person for these expenses.

c. Tips for saving money:

  • Opt for local street food and family-run restaurants for affordable and authentic meals.
  • Use public transportation or walk whenever possible to save on transportation costs.
  • Take advantage of free attractions, such as parks and local markets.
  • Consider purchasing a city pass or attraction pass for discounted entry fees.

Language and Cultural Etiquette

While English is widely spoken in tourist areas, learning a few basic Turkish phrases can enhance your experience and show respect for the local culture. Here are some useful phrases:

  • Merhaba (Hello)
  • Teşekkür ederim (Thank you)
  • Lütfen (Please)
  • Evet (Yes)
  • Hayır (No)

When visiting mosques or religious sites, it is important to dress modestly and remove your shoes before entering. Respect local customs and traditions, and be mindful of cultural differences.

Some Off-the-Beaten-Path Experiences

To truly immerse yourself in the local culture and discover hidden gems, consider these personalized recommendations:

  • Take a cooking class to learn how to prepare traditional Turkish dishes.
  • Visit a local village and experience rural life in Turkey.
  • Explore lesser-known archaeological sites and ancient ruins off the beaten path.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: When is the best time to visit Turkey? A: The best time to visit Turkey is during spring (April to June) and autumn (September to November) when the weather is pleasant and tourist crowds are smaller.

Q: Is it safe to travel to Turkey with children? A: Turkey is generally safe for family travel. However, it is advisable to take necessary precautions and follow local guidelines for a safe and enjoyable trip.

Q: Are credit cards widely accepted in Turkey? A: Credit cards are widely accepted in major cities and tourist areas. However, it is advisable to carry some cash for smaller establishments and local markets.


Turkey offers a perfect blend of sightseeing, local culture, and food, making it an ideal destination for a fun-filled family trip. From exploring the historical treasures of Istanbul to experiencing the natural wonders of Cappadocia and indulging in the delicious Turkish cuisine, Turkey has something for everyone. Start planning your 17-day adventure today and create memories that will last a lifetime!

Now, get inspired by watching these videos of Turkey: