15 days in Turkey & United Arab Emirates Itinerary

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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.
Give yourself a bit of retail therapy at Kapali Carsi and Soul of Anatolia - Galata. Do some cultural sightseeing at Hagia Sophia Mosque and Galata Tower. There's much more to do: contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Sultan Ahmed Mosque, admire the landmark architecture of Basilica Cistern, contemplate the waterfront views at Bosphorus Strait, and admire the masterpieces at Chora Museum.

To find traveler tips, photos, reviews, and tourist information, read Istanbul tour itinerary planner.

Kolkata (Calcutta), India to Istanbul is an approximately 14.5-hour flight. The time zone changes from India Standard Time (IST) to Turkey Time (TRT), which is usually a -2.5 hour difference. When traveling from Kolkata (Calcutta) in December, plan for cooler days and slightly colder nights in Istanbul: temperatures range from 7°C by day to 7°C at night. 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.
On the 6th (Tue), surround yourself with nature on Ekwo Travel & Outdoor, then take a stroll around Kapadokya Sanat ve Kultur Muzesi., and then look for gifts at Alaturca Taner. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: trot along with a tour on horseback, then see Off-Road Tours, and then appreciate the extensive heritage of Goreme National Park.

For traveler tips, photos, maps, and tourist information, refer to the Goreme sightseeing planner.

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'll have a few hours on the 8th (Thu) to wrap things up before traveling to Abu Dhabi.
Tours · Outdoors · Wildlife · Historic Sites
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.
Start off your visit on the 9th (Fri): contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, then stroll through Corniche Beach, then buy something for everyone on your list at Marina Mall, and finally contemplate the long history of Heritage Village. On the 10th (Sat), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: explore the world behind art at Louvre Abu Dhabi, then go for a walk through The Corniche, and then contemplate the long history of Qasr Al Hosn.

To find maps, photos, other places to visit, and other tourist information, go to the Abu Dhabi online route planner.

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 hotter temperatures traveling from Goreme in December, with highs in Abu Dhabi at 30°C and lows at 20°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 10th (Sat) to allow time to drive to Dubai.
Historic Sites · Beaches · Parks · Museums
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 some cultural insight at Dubai Museum & Al Fahidi Fort and Bastakia Quarter. Visiting Jumeirah Public Beach and Safaris will get you outdoors. The adventure continues: buy something for everyone on your list at The Dubai Mall, get some thrills out on the water with a waterskiing or jet-skiing adventure, relax and rejuvenate at some of the best spas, and take in panoramic vistas at Burj Khalifa.

To see where to stay, reviews, other places to visit, and more tourist information, read Dubai road trip planning tool.

Drive from Abu Dhabi to Dubai in 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and subway; or fly. In December, daytime highs in Dubai are 31°C, while nighttime lows are 21°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 14th (Wed) so you can catch the flight 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.