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Things To Do In Konya
Konya is a Turkish city steeped in history and rich in tradition. The Sufi Order was founded here, also known as Whirling Dervishes in the west, which forms an important part of Konya's culture. There are many things to do in Konya, including visiting museums and mosques, along with enjoying beautiful landscapes and nature. Konya is the 7th most populous city of Turkey and so offers quite a variety for its tourists and locals. A visit to Turkey would be incomplete, without visiting this so-called conservative city and doing all the things that true people of Konya do.
There are many museums in Konya which can take you on a spiritual, historical and architectural journey of the city:
Start with the Mevlana Museum to get a deeper understanding of the Sufi order founded by Jalal ad-Din Muhammad Rumi, a famous 13th-century philosopher and poet, and also visit his tomb.
Visit the Karatay Madrasa or Tile Museum, which has a beautiful collection of Seljuk tiles, and is an important part of the city's history and culture, as Konya was once the capital of the Seljuk empire.
The Archaeological Museum of Konya:
This museum houses displays of sarcophagi and other antiquities from Çatalhöyük. Exhibits from the Neolithic, Bronze Age, Iron Age, Classical, Roman, Hellenistic & Byzantine periods can also be found. Especially look for the beautiful marble sarcophagus dating 3rd century BC, which depict the life of Hercules.
Sahip Ata Museum:
Slightly less famous, but equally beautiful is the Sahip Ata Museum, which not only exhibits some beautiful Seljuk tiles but also stone carvings, woodwork pieces, rugs, metal door knockers, turquoise mosaic panels and more. Not to be missed is the Seljuk sarcophagus.
Others include, the Independence War Museum tells, the story of Turkish independence and the lives of the soldiers during that time and the Konya Ethnography Museum.
Explore The Village Of Sille
Sille Subaşı is a small village, located in a narrow valley close to Konya. It was inhabited by Greeks for over 800 years, where, even when the rest of the country was in turmoil, they lived peacefully alongside the Turks. The reason for this peace and harmony was Jalal al-Din Muhammad Rumi and you can learn more about his story and the connection between the two at the museum there. It is now a historical site and is open to tourists. Grab a coffee and walk around this picturesque village.
Awaken Your Spirituality
There are many mosques in Konya, and you can never visit too many, as they are all so beautiful. So do some soul searching and awaken your spiritual side by visiting the best ones.
The Alâeddin Mosque can be found on top of the Alâeddin hill, which was once the site of the citadel of Konya. It was once the Mosque Of The Throne to Seljuq Sultans of Rum and is almost 800 years old.
Aziziye Mosque is an Ottoman mosque built in the 17th century. It has a baroque and traditional Ottoman architectural style. Almost 200 years after it was built, it was ruined by a fire and was re-commissioned to be restored again.
Selimiye Mosque is a traditional Ottoman styled mosque with beautiful mosaic and tile work. It was built in the 16th century.
Don't forget to be appropriately dressed while visiting any of these mosques.
Visit Japan in Turkey
You don't need to fly 8500 km across Asia to reach Japan. If you're in Konya, you can visit the Kyoto Japon Parkı which is a Japanese-themed garden, and enjoy the flavours of Kyoto! The gardens are beautifully landscaped and also have an artificial lake. The entrance is free for all, so enjoy your time in the greenery and enjoy a picnic lunch; or you can try some Japanese cuisine at the Kahvalti restaurant within the gardens.
Photography at the Salt Lake (Tuz Golu)
Tuz Golu which literally means Salt Lake is the 2nd biggest lake in Konya and also one of the biggest hypersaline lakes in the world. During summer, you can see a thick white layer of salt, as the water dries up and the colour of the water also changes to a shade of pink. Rest of the time, the water is still very shallow at only 1 ft deep. There isn't much else to see or do, except take beautiful pictures of the sparkling sight of the lake and some bird watching. Many birds like Flamingos, White-Fronted Goose and Kestrel breed here.
Go On A Space Adventure!
The Konya Science Centre is a great place to spend a few hours, especially with kids. The entry is free and is a fun and educational experience for all. Visit the Planetarium for some awesome 3D presentations of the universe. Some of the other exhibits are about Our World, New Horizons, Our Body, The Universe etc. There are also miniature reproductions of famous monuments of Turkey which can be found in the outdoor area. There is a gift shop as well as a cafe to keep you energized.
Enjoy The Wilderness of Konya
There are many nature parks and lakes around Konya that can make for great day-outings. A favourite is Beyşehir National Park. The park contains a variety of flora and fauna. Lake Beyşehir found in this national park is a freshwater lake of Konya and is home to 16 different species of freshwater fish including Carp, Zarte and Zander. There are also 153 species of water birds found around the lake along with some amphibians and reptiles. There are also some outdoor activities that you can do, from here like trekking, mountain biking and hiking. You can also do a short boat ride on the lake. There are picnic spots and campsites available here and the best time to visit this park is between May and October.