Are you looking for things to do in Afyon Turkey? Afiyon is a small city in western Turkey that is often overlooked by tourists. However, there are many things to do in Afiyon and it is worth a visit.
This beautiful city has a rich history and culture that can be explored through its many historical sites and museums. Additionally, there are plenty of outdoor activities to enjoy in the surrounding mountains and countryside.
Here are the top ten things to do in Afiyon, Turkey.
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Where is Afyon located in Turkey?
The city of Afyonkarahisar is located in the center of Western Turkey. In a sense, one could say that it is in the Midwest of Turkey. This small city has the major cities Eskisehir to its North, Izmir to the East, Antalya to the South, and Kayseri to the West. Afyonkarahisar is linked to all these cities by major roads and train lines.
How to get to Afyon, Turkey
The best and quickest way to get there would be to take a car or bus from Eskisehir. It would take about 2 hour’s drive by car. Other major cities like Izmir and Antalya are considerably further away. There is also the option of taking a train there from Eskisehir or Konya. However, this is not a high-speed train.
What is Afiyon famous for
The region of Afyon has been a significant, prosperous, and much-contested area for millennia. It is called Afyon, after the Poppy flower, which is processed into Opium. In fact, the name Afyonkarahisar means Poppy-black-castle.
The second part of the name comes from the iconic ‘Black Castle’. The region of Afyon became extremely rich off Opium production, which became outlawed in the 1960s. Instead, the poppy plantations are now used to produce pharmaceutical morphine, which is a major industry in Afyon.
Afyon is also popular for its farming and livestock sectors, which are highly regarded all over Turkey. It is also internationally known for its unique marble mined there, which can be found in cool places like the Hagia Sophia.
Lastly, Afyon is remembered by those who know their national history as the setting for a decisive victory for Turkish independence during the Greco-Turkish war in 1922.
Top Things to do & see in Afyon Turkey
Afyon Grand Mosque (Ulu Cami)
Built in 1272, The Afyonkarahisar Grand Mosque is a classic example of early Seljuk Architecture. This beautiful place of worship is designed with a wooden beamed roof and is supported by 40 wooden pillars.
Some say that it is also called ‘The Mosque of 40 Pillars’. It is a great monument of the early influence of Islam in Anatolia and stamps the unforgettable strong presence of the Seljuks in Western Anatolia.
Avdalaz Castle and Phrygian Valley
Another amazing Phrygian ruin is the interesting Avdalaz Castle. This structure, which is considered to be part of the Phrygian Valley, is a multi-story dwelling carved out of a huge rock.
The castle, which was made during the Phrygian period, was later used by the Roman and Byzantine rulers. Today, the structure still exists, though severely damaged by time.
The Black Castle “Karahisar”
Towering on a mountain high above Afyon is the castle or fortress that gives the city its name, The Black Castle or Karahisar. This name, Karahisar, is the Turkish name given to the city by the Seljuk Turks when they captured the city in 1071.
However, the origins of this mammoth castle go back to the Phrygian period, B.C. It is a wonder that the castle still stands today. This is the postcard picture of Afyonkarahisar, a true masterpiece.
Afyon Eber lake
Afyon Eber lake is a beautiful natural lake that is surrounded by mountains. It is a great spot for picnicking and bird-watching. The lake has unfortunately dried up in recent years, but it is still a lovely place to visit if you are in Afyon.
Afyon Thermal Spas
The thermal sector in Afyonkarahisar is well established. The city is Afyon is usually referred to as the Turkish capital of Thermal Spa. With five different springs, people come from all over to experience the benefits of these natural thermal spas that are believed to have healing properties.
Afyon famous food
The city of Afyonkarahisar is often associated with authentic Turkish cuisine. Most notable are the sucuk (a Turkish sausage), kaymak (fresh cream), and lamb kebab. The first two items are especially well-known in Turkey as part of Afyon’s heritage.
Also, we can’t talk about food in Afyon without mentioning the famous Turkish delight, Afiyonlu Lokum. Lokum is a type of candy that is popular all over Turkey, but Afyon is famous for its particular variety of treats.
Afyon Archeology Museum
Another attraction to visit when you are in Afyon is the Afyon Archeology Museum. The museum is located in an old castle in Afyonkarahisar and it houses a large collection of Roman and Byzantine artifacts. If you are interested to learn a little bit about the history of this ancient city and its surroundings, Afyon Archeology Museum would be a good place to start.
Where to stay in Afyon, Turkey
One of the best Afyon hotels for enjoying the thermal spa experience is Ikbal Thermal Hotel & Spa Afyon. The hotel has its own on-site thermal spa with a pool, sauna, and Turkish bath. The hotel also has a restaurant serving Afyon cuisine, as well as a bar and lounge area. The only downside of Ikbal hotel is that the staff don’t really speak English but I think it adds to the authenticity of the experience
Another great option thermal spa hotel option in Afyon is Korel Thermal Resort. The hotel has an outdoor pool, an indoor pool, and a thermal spa with a Turkish bath.
NG Afyon is a bit more upscale than the previous ones and it shows in the prices. It is a great Afyon hotel with several on-site thermal pools and an outdoor pool with a small water park play.
NG Afyon also offers a few restaurant options serving traditional Turkish cuisine as well as international dishes.
Midas city day Trip from Afyon
Many are unaware of the rich history of Afyon. It was a major city belonging to the ancient Phrygian Kingdom, which ruled over parts of Western Anatolia in the 8th century B.C. The remains of the city can be viewed in the vicinity of the greater Afyonkarahisar region.
These old structures include palaces carved out of rock, tombs, and ancient engravings. The surrounding hills of Midas are very beautiful. One can only imagine how amazing ancient Phrygia might have been.
Unfortunately, little remains of the history and language of the Phrygian people, who subsequently became assimilated completely with the dominating influences of the Greek, Roman, Persian, and Turkish peoples, respectively.
Weather in Afyon
The weather in Afyon is more or less similar to the general conditions in Turkey. It is not as cold as the Uludag nor as hot as the Southern coast. In the summer months, May- September, the temperatures range between 21 and 29℃.
In the winter, November-March, the temperature averages just below zero. You want to make sure that you are well-prepared for winter. The bonus is being able to enjoy the ‘Thermal’ hot springs during the winter.
There is no doubt that Afyonkarahisar is well worth a visit, even if just for a day. Unfortunately, due to its remote location and immense distance from other major tourist centers, it is not as easily accessible.
Thus, you won’t be able to squeeze Afyonkarahisar into your weekend Istanbul itinerary. But still, as you become a more seasoned traveler in Turkey, you might find yourself journeying to some of the less-known places, and that is when you will really be able to visit and enjoy some of the less-known gems like Afyonkarahisar.
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