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 a sense of the local culture at Hagia Sophia Mosque and Galata Tower. Take a break from the city and head to Bosphorus Strait and Deepist Diving & Travel. And it doesn't end there: contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Sultan Ahmed Mosque, admire the masterpieces at Chora Museum, steep yourself in history at Historic Areas of Istanbul, and get engrossed in the history at Topkapi Palace.

For traveler tips, more things to do, other places to visit, and more tourist information, read our Istanbul trip site.

Kolkata (Calcutta), India to Istanbul is an approximately 14.5-hour flight. Due to the time zone difference, you'll gain 2.5 hours traveling from Kolkata (Calcutta) to Istanbul. When traveling from Kolkata (Calcutta) in December, plan for cooler days and a bit cooler nights in Istanbul: temperatures range from 7°C by day to 7°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 5th (Mon) so you can fly 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): head outdoors with Ekwo Travel & Outdoor, get into the urban bustle at Kapadokya Sanat ve Kultur Muzesi., and then stop by Alaturca Taner. Keep things going the next day: trot along with a tour on horseback, see Off-Road Tours, and then get to know the fascinating history of Goreme National Park.

For traveler tips, more things to do, ratings, and tourist information, read Goreme travel planner.

Traveling by flight from Istanbul to Goreme takes 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of train and bus. Plan for slightly colder nights when traveling from Istanbul in December since evenings lows in Goreme dip to -3°C. On the 8th (Thu), you'll have the morning to explore before heading off to 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.
Kick off your visit on the 9th (Fri): contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, kick back and relax at Corniche Beach, then browse the different shops 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, don't miss a visit to The Corniche, and then contemplate the long history of Qasr Al Hosn.

To see maps, more things to do, and tourist information, go to the Abu Dhabi travel route builder site.

Getting from Goreme to Abu Dhabi by flight takes about 10.5 hours. The time zone difference moving from Turkey Time to Gulf Standard Time is 1 hour. Prepare for warmer weather when traveling from Goreme in December: high temperatures in Abu Dhabi hover around 30°C and lows are around 20°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 10th (Sat) so you can drive to Dubai.
Parks · Outdoors · Beaches · 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 outdoors at Jumeirah Public Beach and Dubai Creek. Get some cultural insight at Dubai Museum & Al Fahidi Fort and Bastakia Quarter. Spend the 14th (Wed) spotting exotic species with a safari tour. Next up on the itinerary: browse the different shops at The Dubai Mall, indulge in some personalized pampering at some of the best spas, enjoy breathtaking views from Burj Khalifa, and savor the flavors at Food & Drink.

To find traveler tips, ratings, other places to visit, and more tourist information, read our Dubai visit planner.

Drive from Abu Dhabi to Dubai in 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and subway; or fly. Expect a daytime high around 31°C in December, and nighttime lows around 21°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 14th (Wed) early enough 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.