15 days in Turkey & United Arab Emirates Itinerary

Make it your trip
Istanbul, Turkey
— 4 nights
Goreme, Turkey
— 3 nights
Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
— 2 nights
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
— 4 nights


Istanbul, Turkey — 4 nights

Queen of Cities

A physical and cultural bridge between Europe and Asia, the transcontinental city of Istanbul serves as a living reminder of the Roman, Byzantine, and Ottoman empires.
Get outdoors at Bosphorus Strait and Deepist Diving & Travel. Head to Kapali Carsi and Soul of Anatolia - Galatafor plenty of shopping. There's much more to do: contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Sultan Ahmed Mosque, admire the landmark architecture of Hagia Sophia Mosque, slough off your stress at Ayasofya Hurrem Sultan Hamam, and take a stroll through Ortakoy.

To find photos, ratings, maps, and more tourist information, read our Istanbul online tour planner.

Kolkata (Calcutta), India to Istanbul is an approximately 14.5-hour flight. The time zone difference moving from India Standard Time (IST) to Turkey Time (TRT) is minus 2.5 hours. Expect colder weather when traveling from Kolkata (Calcutta) in December: highs in Istanbul hover around 7°C, while lows dip to 7°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 5th (Mon) early enough to catch the flight to Goreme.
Find places to stay Dec 1 — 5:

Goreme, Turkey — 3 nights

Famed for its landscape of unusually shaped stone formations and churches cut into the natural rocks, Goreme sits in the central part of the country, an area originally settled during Roman times.
Start off your visit on the 6th (Tue): push the limits with Ekwo Travel & Outdoor, then take a stroll around Kapadokya Sanat ve Kultur Muzesi., and then stop by Alaturca Taner. On the next day, take a pleasant ride with a tour on horseback, get outside with Outdoor Activities, and then get to know the fascinating history of Goreme National Park.

For ratings, more things to do, photos, and tourist information, use the Goreme visit planning website.

You can fly from Istanbul to Goreme in 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of train and bus. Plan for little chillier nights when traveling from Istanbul in December since evenings lows in Goreme dip to -3°C. You will have some time to spend on the 8th (Thu) before leaving for Abu Dhabi.
Side Trips
Find places to stay Dec 5 — 8:

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates — 2 nights

Take a trip to Abu Dhabi to discover a modern metropolis built on a strip of land jutting out into the Persian Gulf.
On the 9th (Fri), take in the spiritual surroundings of Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, then enjoy the sand and surf at Corniche Beach, then browse the different shops at Marina Mall, and finally contemplate the long history of Heritage Village. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 10th (Sat): admire the masterpieces at Louvre Abu Dhabi, make a trip to The Corniche, and then steep yourself in history at Qasr Al Hosn.

For ratings, maps, and other tourist information, go to the Abu Dhabi day trip planning app.

Fly from Goreme to Abu Dhabi in 10.5 hours. Due to the time zone difference, you'll lose 1 hour traveling from Goreme to Abu Dhabi. Plan for much warmer temperatures traveling from Goreme in December, with highs in Abu Dhabi at 30°C and lows at 20°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 10th (Sat) to allow enough time to drive to Dubai.
Parks · Historic Sites · Outdoors · Beaches
Find places to stay Dec 8 — 10:

Dubai, United Arab Emirates — 4 nights

City of Gold

Take a holiday in Dubai to experience a mix of excitement, entertainment, and relaxation.
Get a sense of the local culture at Dubai Museum & Al Fahidi Fort and Bastakia Quarter. Step out of the city life by going to Jumeirah Public Beach and Dubai Creek. Spend the 14th (Wed) spotting exotic species with a safari tour. There's much more to do: buy something for everyone on your list at The Dubai Mall, enjoy breathtaking views from Burj Khalifa, indulge your taste buds at Food & Drink, and get some thrills out on the water with a waterskiing or jet-skiing adventure.

To see reviews, maps, and other tourist information, you can read our Dubai trip maker site.

You can drive from Abu Dhabi to Dubai in 1.5 hours. Other options are to do a combination of bus and subway; or fly. In December in Dubai, expect temperatures between 31°C during the day and 21°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 14th (Wed) to allow enough time to fly back home.
Tours · Outdoors · Wildlife · Parks
Find places to stay Dec 10 — 14:

Turkey travel guide

Rich in culture and customs and brimming with hospitality, natural beauty, and historical heritage, Turkey serves as a crossroads between Asia and Europe. The landmass known as Anatolia on which Turkey thrives has been home to numerous civilizations and their faiths and cultures, as attested by the 13 World Heritage Sites and countless religious sites you'll find here. Relive the ancient world through the ruins, customs, and traditions that are among the nation's most precious heritages. Adventure-seekers have plenty do to here, including mountain climbing, scuba diving, rafting, and skiing. A holiday to Turkey is incomplete without a cup of Turkish coffee, the pinnacle of Turkish cuisine inscribed on the Intangible Cultural Heritage List.

United Arab Emirates travel guide

Observation Decks · Fountains · Shopping Malls
Though most people associate United Arab Emirates only with Dubai, nicknamed the "City of Gold," the federation of seven emirates boats a surprisingly rich historical and cultural heritage and provides a good starting point for visitors interested in discovering the Middle East. A trip to United Arab Emirates reveals a modern nation with a dynamic atmosphere and a landscape that quickly changes from futuristic cities to remote deserts, mysteriously silent places where only the shifting sand dunes mark the passage of time. Add the eastern coastline to your United Arab Emirates itinerary to find a string of outstanding beaches and some of the finest diving and snorkeling opportunities in the region.