Konya is known as the tourism capital of the Islamic world. Things to do in Konya Turkey include;
- Mevlana Museum and Selimiye Mosque
- Karatay Madrasa
- Hacıveyiszade Mosque
- Black Swans
- Alaaddin Hill Park
- Ecdad Park
- Konyaspor Stadium
- Travel Konya to Ankara
I highly recommend you stay at least 2 nights in Konya to see the sights. Possibly longer as the hotels are excellent value and it makes an excellent base for day trips.
The top thing to do in Konya Turkey is visit the mausoleum of Jalal ad-Din Muhammad Rumi, also known as Mevlana or simply, Rumi. His sarcophagus lies beneath the iconic green dome. Rumi is the most famous Persian poet to have lived. As a matter of fact his work has been translated into several languages and is extremely popular in the United States. How did this famous Persian poet come to be buried in Konya, Turkey? When his father died, the Sultan invited him to Konya to bury his father in a rose garden. When Rumi died, he was buried beside his father in what is now the Mevlana Museum.
Did you know you can visit the Mausoleum of the North Korean Eternal Leaders in Pyongyang? Additionally, you can visit the mausoleum of Mohammed V in Rabat, Morocco.
Adjacent to the Mevlana Museum is the picturesque Selimiye Mosque. Don’t be afraid to go inside and view the stunning interior. However, avoid prayer times! This mosque is stunning and photographs beautifully from nearby buildings as well as from Alaaddin Hill Park.
The Karatay Madrasa is a 13th century religious school. It’s an example of Selcuk architecture. Finally, the interior features beautifully preserved Selcuk tiles.
Konya is famous for the Mevlana museum and also the mosque beside it. As a matter of fact, most tourists won’t explore much further than here. However, if you do explore the city you’ll find one of the most stunning mosques in the world. Known as the Hacıveyiszade Mosque, it’s named after Hacıveyiszade Mustafa Kurucu Hoca Efendi. Lastly, it is Ottoman architecture and was built in the 16th century.
Hacıveyiszade Mosque Interior
If you have visited the Istanbul landmarks, you’ll know several of them are mosques. However, the wait to enter the mosques is often huge. In addition, they are full of tourists. In Konya, it’s free to enter the Hacıveyiszade Mosque and there are no selfie taking tourists inside. All you must do is avoid prayer times. Once inside, you’ll witness incredible artwork on the domed roof as well as a peaceful feeling.
Have you ever seen a black swan? The Hacıveyiszade Mosque Courtyard features a huge park. As well as beautiful gardens there is a lake which has not only swans but also fountains and water features.
Alaaddin Hill Park
In the center of Konya is Alaaddin Hill Park. This hill is in fact the remains of the former capital of Sultanate of Rum. The Sultanate of Rum existed from the 11th to 14th centuries. In the park is a mosque as well as other ruins including tombs of the former sultans. Finally, Alaaddin Hill is a top sunset location in Konya due to the panoramic views over the city.
Old Town Markets and Restaurants
In comparison to the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul, Konya Bazaar is more tranquil. Vendors are less aggressive and it’s highly likely shoppers will love this area. Additionally, there are several restaurants and cafes speckled throughout the old town area. Baklava is particularly good in this part of the world!
As you explore the streets of Konya, not only will you find ancient mosques but also powerful looking government buildings.
I stumbled upon Ecdad Park by accident as it’s close to the bus station. Photographers will be rewarded during a visit to the park. Not only are there well kept gardens but also a huge lake surrounded by castle walls. Along with Alaaddin Park, Ecdad Park is a top Instagram spot in Konya Turkey. As a matter of fact, newlyweds frequent the park to make their wedding photos. Lastly, there are souvenir shops and cafes inside the park.
Istanbul is the Turkish city famous for football. Konya however, has its very own Super League team in Konyaspor. Check the fixture list to see if they’re playing when you’re in town. I promise, the atmosphere during a Turkish football match is electric! Read about my experience at Konyaspor Stadium on my Travel Blog.
How to Travel from Konya to Ankara
Konya is a major Turkish city and of course Ankara is the capital. For this reason, it’s incredibly easy to travel between the two. Firstly, you have the option of train which takes less than 2 hours. Alternatively, you can travel by bus which takes almost 4 hours. The bus is cheapest, however the train is also excellent value. Enjoy your ride to the Turkish capital.
Ankara to Cappadocia (Goreme via Nevsehir)