Skip to content

Turkey For Families

When I was in 10th grade, my dad took me out of school on a month-long round the world trip. Being a keener, I asked every teacher which assignments I needed to do while I was gone. The smartest of all of them told me I would learn more on my trip than in any assignment he could give.

He was right. Travel is the most incredible introduction to history you can ask for. At the same time, historically rich destinations can be dry for kids and teenagers if they aren’t done right. Enter Turkey—where else can you show the kids the history of both Asia and Europe in the same morning?

Why It’s Great for Families
Turkey is a place with so many engaging activities, you can’t help but be taken in. Balloon over a moon-like landscape, spend days cruising and swimming, throw pottery, or explore underground cities. It beats grade 10 geography every time.

How To Plan
Even though Turkey has plenty of regions and a wide variety of terrain, short domestic flights make it easy to get around, and it’s surprisingly uncomplicated to plan a great 10-15 day trip (which means the junior members of your party won’t fall far behind in their classes). The key is to split your trip into a few chunks: urban, village, and coastal.

We suggest beginning with two days in Istanbul’s old town of Sultanahmet, getting your grounding in classical Turkey by visiting the Hagia Sophia, Grand Bazaar, Blue Mosque, and Topkapi Palace. Then allow three nights to see Cappadocia, where you can go hot air ballooning, cave exploring, and horseback riding (among other things). Next, visit Bodrum on Turkey’s coast to cruise on a traditional wooden gulet, climb up into a castle overlooking the harbour, and check out the underwater archaeology museum, where gold ingots and treasure from sunken ships are all on display. From there it’s just a short trip to see the ruin of Ephesus—an abandoned Roman city ripe for kids to explore—before heading back to Istanbul for a final day or two before your departure. Your kids (and their history teachers) will thank you.

Amy Smithers misses the days when all of her travels were parent-paid. Take advantage while you can, kids.

Where else can you show the kids the history of both Asia and Europe in the same morning?

Destination Details