Welcome to Konya, a city steeped in history and spiritual significance located in the heart of Turkey. As a travel blogger, I had the pleasure of exploring this enchanting destination, and I am thrilled to share my experiences and recommendations with you. Join me on this immersive journey as we uncover the hidden treasures, ancient landmarks, and delightful culinary offerings that make Konya an extraordinary place to visit.
The Mevlana Museum
As I stepped into the Mevlana Museum, I was immediately immersed in the world of Sufism, the mystical branch of Islam. This museum is dedicated to the life and teachings of the renowned poet and philosopher Mevlana Rumi.
At the heart of the museum complex lies the mausoleum, where Mevlana Rumi and several of his family members are laid to rest. The mausoleum exudes a tranquil atmosphere, inviting visitors to reflect and pay their respects. The beautifully decorated tombs, adorned with intricate calligraphy and green turbans, create a serene and sacred ambiance.
The museum also serves as the spiritual home of the Mevlevi Order, famously known as the Whirling Dervishes. These Sufi practitioners engage in the mesmerizing ceremony, a form of whirling dance that symbolizes spiritual ascent and union with the divine. The museum offers the opportunity to witness live performances of the Whirling Dervishes, a captivating and profoundly spiritual experience.
- Opening Hours: 9:00 am – 5:00 pm (Closed on Mondays)
- Admission Fee: 40 TL
This historical building, constructed in the 13th century, served as a theological school during the Seljuk period. It now houses the Museum of Tile Works and Ceramics, where you can see a remarkable collection of intricate tilework and ceramics.
Stepping into this architectural gem of the Karatay Medrese, I was immediately enthralled by the ornate beauty that unfolded before my eyes. The Karatay Medrese, a Seljuk-era theological school, boasts stunning examples of Islamic art and architecture. What truly captivated me was the exquisite collection of Seljuk tiles adorning the walls and ceilings, each displaying intricate geometric patterns and vibrant hues. These magnificent tiles, meticulously crafted centuries ago, offered a glimpse into the artistic prowess of the era. Exploring the medrese, I marveled at the serene courtyard, the elegant prayer hall, and the intricately carved wooden details adorned the structure.
- Hours: 9:00 am to 5:00 pm
- Admission: 10 TL
Ince Minaret Medrese (Stone Works Museum of Find Minaret)
Another Seljuk-era theological school, the Ince Minaret Medrese, is known for its elegant architecture and detailed stone carvings. It currently serves as a museum showcasing various artifacts and calligraphy.
As I ventured through the historic streets of Konya, my curiosity led me to the magnificent Ince Minaret Medrese. This architectural gem stood as a testament to the artistic brilliance of the Seljuk period. Stepping inside, I was immediately captivated by the intricate stone carvings and the graceful minarets atop the medrese. The Ince Minaret Medrese is a 13th-century theological school that exudes an aura of elegance and tranquility. What fascinated me the most was the delicate craftsmanship exhibited in every detail, from the ornate portal to the exquisite turquoise tiles that adorned the interior. As I wandered through the medrese, it was indeed a glimpse into the rich cultural heritage of Konya.
- Hours: 9:00 am to 5:00 pm
- Admission: 10 TL
Wandering through the historic streets, I came across the enchanting Azizia Mosque, a hidden gem that showcases architectural beauty and spiritual serenity. Stepping inside, I was immediately fascinated by the tranquil ambiance that enveloped the mosque. The elegant design, with its graceful domes and intricate calligraphy, spoke of the rich Islamic heritage that thrives in this city. A visit to the Azizia Mosque is a must for anyone seeking a deeper connection to Konya’s spiritual essence and a moment of reflection amidst its architectural splendors.
Konya Archaeological Museum
As a passionate explorer of history and archaeology, I couldn’t resist the allure of the Konya Archaeological Museum during my visit to this enchanting city. Nestled amidst the cultural tapestry of Konya, this museum offered a captivating journey through time and a deeper understanding of the region’s rich historical heritage.
The Konya Archaeological Museum, with its extensive collection of artifacts and archaeological treasures, was a true gem waiting to be discovered. The museum showcases various exhibits spanning various periods, from prehistoric times to the Byzantine era, shedding light on the diverse civilizations that once thrived in this region.
In my opinion, the most significant highlight of the museum was the awe-inspiring collection of Roman-era mosaics. These meticulously crafted artworks adorned the floors of grand villas and public buildings, and their vibrant colors and intricate designs mesmerized me. The level of detail and artistry displayed in these mosaics was genuinely remarkable, transporting me back to the days of the Roman Empire.
- Hours: 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, except for Mondays when it is closed.
- Admission: FREE (check website as prices may change)
As I walked through the enchanting streets of Konya, I couldn’t help but be drawn to the magnificent Selimiye Mosque, a true architectural marvel near the Mevlana Museum. Built-in the 16th century, Selimiye Mosque is one of the largest Ottoman mosques in Konya. Standing tall with its grandeur and intricate details, the Selimiye Mosque is a testament to the city’s rich heritage and cultural significance.
As I stepped into the mosque, I was immediately attracted to the stunning Ottoman architecture surrounding me. The domed ceilings, elegant minarets, and ornate decorations showcased the skilled craftsmanship of the artisans who brought this masterpiece to life. The sheer scale and symmetry of the mosque were awe-inspiring, leaving me in a state of reverence and admiration.
The sense of peace and serenity that envelops the mosque is truly appealing, and its proximity to the Mevlana Museum makes it a convenient stop for those delving into Konya’s spiritual and cultural riches.
Konya Tropical Butterfly Garden
For a different kind of experience, visit the Konya Tropical Butterfly Garden, where you can explore a tropical environment filled with colorful butterflies, exotic plants, and a small waterfall. This stunning oasis is a haven for nature enthusiasts and those seeking respite from the bustling city.
- Hours: 10:00 am to 6:00 pm
- Admission: 60 Turkish Lira pp
Alaaddin Hill and Seljuk Palace
Crowning the city, Alaaddin Hill offers breathtaking panoramic views of Konya. I climbed up the hill to visit the ruins of the Seljuk Palace, an ancient fortification dating back to the 13th century. Exploring the remnants of the palace, I couldn’t help but marvel at its grandeur and imagine the lives of the Seljuk rulers who once inhabited this majestic structure.
- Hours: 8:00 am to 6:00 pm.
- Admission: small fee to enter
Whirling Dervish Show
As a traveler seeking a deeper understanding of Sufi traditions, I was fortunate to witness the captivating Whirling Dervish Show in Konya. This mesmerizing spiritual performance takes place at the most renowned Mevlana Cultural Center. The show occurs on specific days and times, typically in the evenings, allowing visitors to experience the rhythmic whirling dance firsthand.
- Note: Tickets can be purchased at the venue or from authorized ticket sellers in Konya.
- Admission: The ticket prices may vary but are affordable, ranging from approximately 50-100 Turkish Lira.
Where To Eat
- Lokmahane offers a delightful culinary journey through Turkish cuisine. Indulge in traditional dishes, including mouthwatering kebabs, savory mezes, and decadent desserts. Don’t miss the opportunity to savor their signature dish, the lamb shank, cooked to perfection and served with aromatic spices.
- Nezih Konya Mutfağı is a culinary haven in the heart of Konya, offering a delightful array of traditional dishes bursting with authentic flavors. With its warm ambiance and attentive service, Nezih Konya Mutfağı is a must-visit destination for those seeking an unforgettable taste of Konya’s cuisine.
- Immerse yourself in the rich flavors of traditional Turkish cuisine at Mevlevi Sofrası Restaurant. This charming establishment offers a range of delightful specialties, including Etli Ekmek, a thin and crispy meat pie topped with minced meat, tomatoes, and peppers, and Pide, a mouthwatering Turkish-style pizza.
Where to Stay
- Nestled in the heart of the city, Hilton Garden Inn Konya offers elegant and comfortable rooms adorned with modern decor and plush amenities. Guests can indulge in spacious accommodations featuring cozy beds, stylish furnishings, and a range of modern amenities such as a flat-screen TV, mini-fridge, and complimentary Wi-Fi. The hotel also boasts a fitness center, an on-site restaurant serving delectable cuisine, and attentive staff to ensure a delightful stay. Price Range: Starting from $100 per night.
- Situated near the iconic Mevlana Museum, Rumi Hotel presents tastefully designed rooms that exude a blend of traditional charm and contemporary comforts. Guests can relax in cozy beds and enjoy amenities like air conditioning, a TV, and complimentary toiletries. The hotel offers a 24-hour front desk, a restaurant serving Turkish delicacies, and a terrace with panoramic city views. Price Range: Starting from $80 per night.
- Offering a luxurious retreat, Dedeman Konya Hotel & Convention Center features spacious and elegantly furnished rooms with a touch of opulence. Guests can indulge in amenities such as a flat-screen TV, a minibar, and a private bathroom with upscale toiletries. The hotel boasts a spa and wellness center, a swimming pool, multiple dining options, and impeccable service. Price Range: Starting from $120 per night.
Konya is a city that beautifully combines spirituality, history, and gastronomy. From exploring the Mevlana Museum to marveling at ancient architectural wonders and immersing oneself in the local culinary scene, Konya offers many experiences to satisfy every traveler’s curiosity.
Enjoy your travels! Please read my blogs about other exciting places around the world at Traveling Lens Photography.