Tourist’s guide to Konya – the religious center of Turkey

Resort Turkey is familiar to many, but spiritual, religious Turkey is known only to a few. The state has such a rich and diverse culture that it is not possible to study everything in one short trip. Therefore, if you are interested in the traditions of Islam and its history, or if you would just like to see the country from a different, more elevated perspective, then you should forget about the golden beaches and the gentle sea for a while and go to the city of Konya, Turkey. Perhaps you are hearing about this place for the first time, or maybe you have been planning to visit the province for a long time – in any case, you will be curious to read our article in which we examine in detail the main religious city of the Turkish Republic.

Konya city

General information

The city of Konya in Turkey is located in the southern part of Central Anatolia. It is the capital of the province of the same name and covers an area of ​​about 39 thousand square meters. km This is an ancient city with a rich history, which is considered the religious center of the country. On its territory live more than 2 million people.

Konya city in Turkey

And although Konya was founded in 1500, the area itself was first inhabited in the fourth millennium BC. In ancient times, the Hittites ruled here, then these lands passed to the Greeks, and soon they completely became colonial territories of the Romans. In the 11th century, the Seljuks came here, and the city not only became part of the Sultanate, but also for several decades acted as its capital. It was in Konya that the famous Sufi mystic Rumi lived, who became the founder of the Order of the Dervishes of Mevlevi.

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The majestic Taurus mountain range
Taurus mountain range

It is noteworthy that the province of Konya spread out over a vast territory, famous for its fertile soil. To get to the city from the Mediterranean coast, you must overcome the majestic Taurus mountain range, following the winding serpentines to the plain, where, in fact, the province stretches.

Today, Konya attracts tourists from all over the world with its cultural and religious monuments, which allow you to plunge into the history of Islam and imbue the spirit of the Mevlevi Order. Visiting this colorful city, tourists discover a completely different Turkey, highly spiritual and conservative, immortalized in many attractions.

sights

The sights of Konya in Turkey are quite diverse, so if you decide to go on a city tour, it is important to decide what is worth visiting and what can be avoided. Below we list the most noteworthy objects that may cause you interest.

Aziziye Mosque
Aziziye Mosque

One of the most beautiful mosques in Konya can be called Aziziye Mosque. This building, built at the end of the 17th century and restored in the 19th century, combines several architectural styles at once: here elements of the Ottoman Baroque and European Rococo are fancifully intertwined. Huge arched windows and graceful minarets built of chiseled stone give this mosque an original look. The visitor’s imagination is also struck by the interior of the building with its pacifying lamps and a large beautiful chandelier, gilded stucco molding and Arabic calligraphy.

  • Aziziye Mosque is located in the heart of Konya, near the Mevlana Museum.
  • For sightseeing purposes, the mosque can be visited daily in the morning and afternoon.
  • Admission is completely free.
Mevlana Museum
Mevlan Museum, Konya

This is one of Konya’s most visited attractions. The museum is dedicated to the great poet and philosopher Jalal-Ad-Din Rumi, who became the founder of the Order of the Dervishes of Mevlevi. The Mevlana complex consists of several structures, including a library, a mausoleum with a tomb of the mystic, training rooms and a semahane (a hall where the dervishes perform their rotations). The poet’s personal items, several copies of the Koran of different eras and sizes are exhibited here.

Wax figures

There are separate small halls where waxworks of followers of Mevlana, their life, as well as musical instruments, items of clothing and household goods of that time are demonstrated. It is noteworthy that Mevlana is not only a museum, but also a functioning mosque where everyone is invited to pray. A special atmosphere reigns in the walls of the building, and the peaceful energy penetrates the air. Outside, the complex has a garden, there are several souvenir shops.

  • The attraction is located in the heart of the city.
  • It is open daily from 9:00 to 16:40 (October-April) and from 9:00 to 18:30 (April-October).
  • Entrance to the complex is free for all visitors.
Butterfly Garden (Konya Tropical Butterfly Garden)
Butterflies at Konya Tropical Butterfly Garden

The Butterfly Garden opened in 2015 and became a real sensation not only for Konya, but also for the whole of Turkey. This unusual museum, built in the shape of a huge butterfly made of glass, is a tropical paradise for more than 6 thousand insects and 20 thousand plants. Here you can watch the butterflies in their natural habitat, which was made possible thanks to a glass dome with its own microclimate.

Beetle exhibits

Around the building is a large green park with a total area of ​​more than 38 thousand square meters. m. On its territory there are several shops, cafes and playgrounds. The park is decorated with six artificial ponds and an amphitheater, designed for 1 thousand spectators.

  • The attraction is open from Tuesday to Sunday from 9:00 to 17:00.
  • Monday is a day off.
  • The cost of admission on weekdays is $ 2, on weekends – $ 2.5.
  • Address: Parsana Mah. Ismail Kaya Cad. No: 244 Bunyamin Sok. | Sille Parsana, Konya 42250, Turkey.
Shams Tabrizi Mosque and Tomb (Sems-i Tebrizi Tomb & Mosque)
Shams Tabrizi Mosque and Tomb

Konya in Turkey is famous for another iconic attraction. It is dedicated to Shamsa Tabrizi, a Persian philosopher who once became the spiritual mentor of Jalal-ad-Din Rumi and forever changed his life. Today, a mosque with a tomb, built in honor of the saint, is a holy place for Muslims where pilgrims come from all over the world. Inside the building is the beautiful tomb of Shamsa Tabrizi, which is a cenotaph (a monument without the remains of the deceased). The story goes that the mentor was killed by spiteful critics, and his body was never found. A unique magical atmosphere reigns inside the mosque, allowing you to penetrate Muslim traditions.

Tomb of Shams Tabrizi
  • The facility is surrounded by a small square with benches where Turkish tea is served, there are several fruit shops nearby.
  • You can visit the mosque in the morning and afternoon, after the prayer ends.
  • Entrance for all visitors is free.
  • The attraction is located near the Mevlana Museum at Sems Parki Sems Mahallesi Karatay, Konya 42050, Turkey.
Village of Sille
Museum-Church of St. Helena in Silla
Museum Church of St. Helena

After restoration, the former Greek village, located in the vicinity of the city of Konya in Turkey, became an ideal place for excursions. In Silla, you can visit the museum and church of St. Helena, founded at the end of the 4th century, climb a hill and explore the chapel, as well as ancient cells in the rocks. Ancient frescoes and halls have been preserved here, there are burials. A small river flows in the village, decorated with numerous bridges and fountains.

Cafes and restaurants

There are cozy squares, cafes and restaurants around where you can taste traditional Turkish dishes at an inexpensive price. This picturesque place with its unique flavor is a must-see for everyone traveling around Konya.

  • Cille is located 10 km northwest of the city.
  • You can get to the village from Konya by bus number 64 in 20-25 minutes.
  • Visiting attractions is free.
Aladdin Park (Alaeddin Hill)
Aladdin Park

Aladdin’s Hill is a pretty park in the heart of the city. Once there was a fortress, the remains of the walls of which are today stored under a special dome. In the park there is a mosque with the tombs of the Seljuk Sultans. There are several cafes on the territory, this is a great place for unhurried walks and contemplation of the beauties of the area. On the hill you can take beautiful photos of Konya, a completely different Turkey. On weekends, locals relax with their families and have picnics in the open air.

  • Aladdin Park is located in the heart of the city, a 20-minute walk from the Mevlana Museum.
  • Trams come here from all points of the city, so it’s easy to get to the sights.
  • Entrance to the park is free and open at any time.

Archaeological Museum (Ince Minare Museum)
Archaeological Museum of Konya

Near the Aladdin Park lies a very interesting attraction of the city of Konia in Turkey – the archaeological museum. The building itself is curious: after all, it was built in the middle of the 13th century and today creates a unique atmosphere of the ancient era. Decorated with carved columns, the building with an openwork facade is divided into several parts, including a dome courtyard and terraces. The museum exhibits carved wooden and stone products of the Ottoman period, which were discovered during excavations of the Seljuk palace.

  • The attraction is open daily from 9:00 to 18:40 from April to October and from 9:00 to 16:40 from October to April.
  • The cost of admission is $ 1.5.
  • The property is located at: Hamidiye Mah. Alaaddin Bulv. No: 15 Meram Merkez, Meram, Konya, Turkey.
Karatay Medresesi Museum

The beautiful old museum building itself bears historical value. Its architecture is borrowed from ancient civilizations and has the characteristic features inherent in the structures of Arab masters. But the main interest is caused by the exhibits of the gallery – ceramic products of various eras, from ancient times to the modern period. The decoration of the museum, the floors and ceilings of which are tiled with intricate oriental ornaments, is largely reminiscent of a palace interior.

Karatay Museum of Madrasi
  • The attraction operates daily from 9:00 to 17:00 (October-April) and from 9:00 to 19:00 (April-October).
  • The entry price is $ 1.5.
  • The facility can be found at: Alaaddin Meydani, Konya, Turkey.

Accommodation

Room at Rumi Hotel
Rumi hotel

Although the city of Konya, where there are various attractions, has not yet won a massive tourist, there are many 3, 4, 5 star hotels, there are decent apartments. Since most of the iconic objects settled in the city center, it is better to rent housing in the center. As a profitable option, we advise you to consider 3 * hotels in which the prices for a double room vary between $ 18-30 per day. However, most offers include breakfast.

At Vav Apartments
Vav apartments

Apartments can become an alternative to the hotel, but their choice here is rather meager, and the cost is not at all lower and amounts to $ 25-30. To rent an apartment will be beneficial only if your group consists of three or more people. It is worth noting that 4 * hotels are very close in price to 3 * hotels, so we recommend paying attention to hotels of this category. In general, when selecting housing, it is important to consider the following factors:

  • Hotel location (best in the city center)
  • Free breakfast available
  • High reviews rating
  • Acceptable price

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How to get there

If you decide to visit Konya, then you should consider that there are no direct flights from Moscow and Kiev to the city. The easiest way to get to the province is from Istanbul or Ankara. And you can do this in three ways: by bus, train and plane.

How to get from Istanbul
Bus station Alibeyköy Otogar
Alibeyköy otogar

Konya is located 711 km southeast of Istanbul. There are several bus stations in the metropolis where regular buses depart from Istanbul-Konya every day. Not far from Ataturk International Airport, two bus stations operate at once: Alibeyköy Otogar (26.5 km to the northeast) and Esenler Otogar (19 km to the northeast). Travel time is about 11 hours, and the cost of the trip is $ 22. More information on the timetable is available here www.obilet.com.

It is also possible to get to Konya from Istanbul by high-speed train. The trains leave from Sirkeci Main Station and take 4 hours 16 minutes. The price of train tickets as well as a bus is $ 22. You can find out more about the schedule and cost here ebilet.tcddtasimacilik.gov.tr.

Turkish Airlines Plane

The fastest and most convenient option to get to Konya will undoubtedly be a flight. Turkish Airlines and Pegasus Airlines operate daily direct flights from Istanbul to the city. The flight lasts no more than 1 hour 15 minutes, and its cost can be even lower than the price of a bus and train ticket (starts at $ 20). Check the schedule and pricing information on the websites of the specified airlines or by using an air search engine.

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How to get from Ankara
At Aşti Bus Station
Bus station Aşti

Konya is located 263 km south of Ankara. More than a dozen buses leave Ankara-Konya from the main bus station of the capital Aşti daily. Travel time is 3.5-4 hours. The fare does not exceed $ 7.5. On the website www.obilet.com, where the country’s leading carriers are represented, you can familiarize yourself with the flight schedule and prices.

You can also get from Ankara to Konya by high-speed train. The first train leaves from the railway station of the capital Ankara Gari at 6:40, the last leaves at 21:40. Travel time takes about 2 hours. The cost of such a trip is about $ 8. More information on train schedules and prices can be found on the website ebilet.tcddtasimacilik.gov.tr

All prices on the page are for April 2018.

Direct flights from Ankara to the city of Konya, Turkey are not provided, therefore we do not consider this option.



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