The Best Things to Do in Konya: Sufi Heart of Turkey

Explore Konya's fascinating blend of history and culture. Experience the best from Rumi's mausoleum to the mesmerizing dance of the whirling dervishes.
Konya city (Mevlana Museum)

Discovering Konya: The Best Things to Do in This Historic City

When you think of the perfect getaway that’s a blend of history, culture, and delicious cuisine, where does your mind wander? If you’re searching for an unforgettable journey, consider Konya, Turkey’s gem, overflowing with fascinating experiences. So what are the best things to do in Konya? Strap in, my friend, we’re about to embark on a captivating exploration.

Selimiye Mosque Konya

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Introduction to Konya: A City Shrouded in Mysticism

Is Konya a Tourist Destination?

Absolutely! Konya, one of the oldest inhabited cities in the world, is a treasure trove of experiences. Famous for its architectural wonders, Sufi mystic traditions, and tantalizing Turkish cuisine, Konya is a must-visit destination for any travel enthusiast.

1. Dive into History: Visit the Mevlana Museum

Known as the resting place of the famous Sufi mystic Rumi, the Mevlana Museum is a must-see attraction. Housed in a stunning turquoise dome, the museum offers a deep dive into Rumi’s life and teachings. Besides the shrine, you can marvel at a collection of Islamic art and manuscripts.

1.1. Feel the Spiritual Pulse at a Sema Ceremony

The Sema ceremony, or the Whirling Dervishes performance, is a spiritual dance that serves as a form of meditation. This fascinating ceremony, usually held at the Mevlana Cultural Center, is an integral part of Konya’s culture, offering a surreal, ethereal experience.

2. The Alaeddin Mosque: A Peek into the Seljuk Era

The Alaeddin Mosque, constructed during the Seljuk Empire, is the oldest and largest mosque in Konya. Its imposing architecture and historical significance make it a must-visit site.

2.1. Climb the Alaeddin Hill for a Panoramic View

After a visit to the mosque, ascend the Alaeddin Hill. A panoramic view of Konya awaits you at the summit, a sight that’s truly a feast for the eyes.

3. Culinary Adventures: Taste Konya’s Signature Dishes

No visit to Konya would be complete without sampling the local cuisine. Try ‘Etli Ekmek,’ a pizza-like dish topped with minced meat, or ‘Fırın Kebabı,’ a delightful slow-cooked lamb dish. Finish off your meal with ‘Büryan,’ a local pudding, to experience the full gastronomic range of Konya.

3.1. Sip a Cup of Menengiç Coffee

Relish the unique taste of Menengiç coffee, a traditional non-caffeinated drink made from wild pistachio. It’s a perfect cap-off to a delicious meal.

4. The Best Things to Do in Konya: Discover the Karatay Madrasa

One of the best things to do in Konya is to explore the Karatay Madrasa, an ancient Islamic school now serving as a ceramic museum. The intricate tilework and the celestial dome will leave you spellbound.

4.1. Delve Deeper at the İnce Minareli Medrese

The İnce Minareli Medrese, another educational institution of the Seljuks, now houses the Museum of Stone and Wood Art. The elaborate stone carvings are a testament to the craftsmanship of that era.

5. Unearth the Mysteries at the Archaeology Museum of Konya

A journey to the past awaits at the Archaeology Museum of Konya. Exhibits include Paleolithic era artifacts, Roman sculptures, and Byzantine mosaics, each narrating a unique historical tale.

5.1. Step into the Past at the Atatürk House Museum

The Atatürk House Museum, dedicated to Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the founder of modern Turkey, gives you a glimpse into Turkish history and Atatürk’s life.


What are the best things to do in Konya?

The best things to do in Konya range from exploring historical monuments like the Mevlana Museum and the Alaeddin Mosque, attending a Sema ceremony, sampling local cuisine, and visiting the various museums the city has to offer.

Is Konya worth visiting?

Yes, Konya is definitely worth visiting for its rich history, cultural heritage, spiritual significance, and delectable cuisine.

What is Konya famous for?

Konya is famous as the home of the Sufi mystic Rumi, making it a significant spiritual center. It is also known for its historical architecture and delicious Turkish cuisine.

What is the best time to visit Konya?

The best time to visit Konya is during the spring (April to June) and fall (September to November) when the weather is pleasant and perfect for sightseeing.

What food is Konya known for?

Konya is known for its ‘Etli Ekmek,’ a pizza-like dish, ‘Fırın Kebabı,’ a slow-cooked lamb dish, and ‘Büryan,’ a sweet pudding. Don’t forget to try Menengiç coffee as well!

Can I attend a Sema ceremony in Konya?

Yes, you can attend a Sema ceremony in Konya. They are usually held at the Mevlana Cultural Center and offer a unique spiritual experience.


From historical attractions to cultural experiences and culinary delights, Konya offers an unforgettable journey. Whether you’re a history buff, a foodie, or a spiritual seeker, the best things to do in Konya cater to all interests. So why wait? Pack your bags, and let the captivating city of Konya welcome you!

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