Konya, a historically and culturally significant city in Central Anatolia, is situated very close to Ankara. It’s a pilgrimage site for Sufis who want to see the tomb of Mevlana’s founder, Jalaluddin Rumi, which is housed in the Mevlana Museum. While Konya does not appear to be a popular tourist destination, the city has a population of over 2 million people (Turkey’s 7th most populous city) and is renowned around the world for its whirling dervishes. If you are visiting this beautiful city as a tourist, there are far too many things to do in Konya, and we’ve compiled a list for you!
1- Visiting Mevlana Museum
One of the first things to do in the city is to visit the Mevlana Museum. Mevlana was an Anatolian mystic and Muslim saint who lived in the 13th century. His beautiful poetry and words of wisdom have been translated into many languages. This is the most well-known museum in Konya. In reality, it resembles a mausoleum and a museum. The museum is the home of Mevlana’s tomb, making it a prominent pilgrimage site for Sufi people. The museum itself was used as a dervish hall by Rumi (“tekke” in Turkish) in the old times. Every year, Pilgrims from all over the world come to visit his tomb, both Muslim and non-Muslim. The museum is open between 9:30 am to 5:30 pm, and the entrance is free.
2- Visit Alaaddin Tepesi
Alaaddin Tepesi is a town in Konya’s Karatay district. It is considered to be one of the most significant prehistoric settlements and dates back to 3,000 B.C. This hill’s significance in art history, architectural history, archaeology, and history research goes beyond saying. This hill was once under the control of the Hittite empire but was later taken over by the Lydians. It later became the capital of the Anatolian Seljuk State in the 11th century. The hill is now one of the best places for sightseeing. At the top of the hill, there is also a stunning mosque that houses a Seljuq dynasty mausoleum.
3- Try Local Tastes of Konya
Almost every city in Turkey has its own cuisine. Konya is a meat-loving city, and it’s nearly impossible to find dishes without meat as a local flavour. Etliekmek is one of Konya’s most well-known local delicacies. It appears to be “Pide” or “Lahmacun.” Ground meat, tomatoes, peppers, and onions are baked into flatbread. You can also try firin kebabs (oven-baked kebab) and yoghurt soup as Konya specialities.
4- Watch a Dance Show of Whirling Dervishes
If you are visiting Konya, this is definitely a must-do. Konya is the hometown of the Order of the Whirling Dervishes. You’ve probably seen photos or videos somewhere on the internet. The men in large white dresses are dancing while they are turning. This is a meditation of Sufism, which is a spiritual movement that dates back to the 8th century and is part of the Muslim religion. The goal of this dance is to enter a state of trance and thus get closer to God.