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Konya is a city in Central Anatolia in Turkey, known as the city of whirling dervishes and for its outstanding Seljuk architecture.
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Points of Interest in Konya
- Mevlana Museum/Mausoleum of Rumi (Mevlana Müzesi) (Once downtown around Mevlana Cad., just follow the signs toward Mevlana Muzesi). 9AM-5PM. This must see tourist destination of Konya, is the tomb of the famous mystic/sufi/thinker Rumi (known shortly as Mevlana in Turkish, or with the full name Mawlana Jalal ad-Din Muhammad Balkhi-Rumi in English literature), as well as the neighboring museum that displays relics of his life and his time. The items on display in the museum range from old manuscripts, hand written copies of the Koran, musical instruments used at Rumi's time, as well as numerous art works dating from the Seljuk era. 3 TL.
- Iplikçi Mosque (İplikçi Camii). This old mosque dating from the 13th century was restored about 50 years ago and is still open for prayer service. It is a nice example of the Seljuk architecture to be seen in Konya, conveniently located b/w the city center and the Mevlana Museum. Free.
- Ince Minare Museum (İnce Minare, literally 'thin minaret'), Alaaddin Meydanı, ☎ +90 332 351 32 04. Tu-Su 8:30AM-12:30PM/1:30PM-5:30PM. İnce Minare is the remains of a 13th-century madrasah (school) built by the Anatolian Seljuks. Located close to the city center near the northern end of "Alaaddin Tepesi", this minaret and the surrounding small buildings today serve as a museum that displays various artefacts from the Seljuk and Ottoman eras. It is a popular tourist attraction, owing mostly to the noteworthy ornamental architecture which has been very well preserved over the centuries.
- Alaaddin Hill (Alaaddin Tepesi). This is an artificial hill that was built by the Seljuk Sultan Alaaddin Keykubat. Today it stands right in the middle of the city, and serves mostly as a park. Even though the small hill or the park on it may not be very interesting in themselves, the two places to stop by and see are 1) the Alaaddin Mosque, and 2)the remmants of an old palace with partly earthen construction located on the north end of the hill - this old structure is protected from the elements with a concrete umbrella.
- Meram. This is the district of Konya which lies somewhat away from the city center, with lighter construction and more greenery. The name "Meram" also refers to the popular picnic area located in the farther corner of the Meram district. Near this picnic area there are a few historic buildings to see, some of which are the "Tavus Baba Türbesi" and the "Ateşbazı Türbesi".
- Seljuk Palace remains (on the Alaaddin Tepesi Hill). Just one piece of the Seljuk Alaadin palace. Built by Seljuk Sultan Kilicarslan II, restored by Seljuk sultan Alaadin Kekubad
Popular events in Konya in the near future
Konya was once the capital of Sultanate of Rum, known in Turkish as Anadolu Selçukluları, a situation which resulted in much of the architectural heritage visible today. The poet and Sufi thinker Rumi also settled in the city during this period.
Despite rapid growth in recent years, and the arrival of many students from out of town in the Selçuk University (Selçuk Üniversitesi), founded in 1975, Konya still retains the air of an Anatolian provincial town. Even though the influx of tourists from the west has increased considerably visitors are still left in peace, and do not have to suffer the hassles they get in Istanbul. On the downside perhaps is the fact that fewer people speak English (or any other foreign language), but the natural hospitality of the people of Konya usually makes up for that. Be careful with taxi drivers, who sometimes have no scruples about ripping off visitors to their city.
Konya is also one of the most conservative cities in Turkey with more women covering their heads with headscarves. Dress modestly if you want to fit in with the local population, although not many people will bat an eye lid if you choose not to.
The city lies on a totally flat ground, with the sole exception of a small hill called Alaattin Tepesi in the very centre of the city—which is actually a man-made hill, erected during the Seljuk period so noble residents could easily watch the city below from their palace. Almost nothing remained of the palace and the hill now serves as the central park, which is a quite pleasant and shady one.
- Go shopping at Kulesite shopping center. You can also shop in the small streets of Konya where you can find a lot of clothes and presents for a low price.
- Go chill at Alaattin Tepesi.
- Have a cup of coffee at Meram (Aydincavus), with a sight of Konya from above.
- Go to Fuar (the funfair).
- Visit Kapu Mosque and Aziziye Mosque each with different styles of minarets (towers).
- take a walk at Zafer Street.
- Sema (Whirling dervish ceremony), Mevlana Cultural Centre (around 20 minutes walk from the Mevlana Museum, down the same road, away from the centre. The building is on the right side — a big, modern white building with a pyramide roof). Highly recommended! A free sema (whirling dervish ceremony) is held at the Mevlana Cultural Centre every Saturday at 8PM, as of Oct 2011, taking one and a half hours. You don't need to arrange tickets in advance, but you might want to ask at the Tourist Information centre right behind the Mevlana Museum in case there have been changes. The hall is very big so there will probably be free seats but it is recommended to arrive a bit earlier to allow time for luggage screening and a cup of tea. A lecturer from the local university gives an OK lecture about Mevlana in English at 7PM just before the ceremony. The ceremony begins with a long introduction in Turkish before the actual music and ceremony start. People say this is the closest you can get to a real sema. No flash photography or applauding during the ceremony (so as not to disturb the dervishes). Free.
Traditional local cuisine mainly depends on wheat/bread and mutton - the major agricultural products of Central Anatolian steppe on which Konya is situated.
Local delicacies include:
- Etliekmek — some sort of long and thin pizza (with meat or cheese) which can possibly exceed 1 mt in length! Available at a lot of restaurants in Konya.
- Gülbahçesi Restaurant (at the backside of Mevlana Museum), ☎ +90 332 353 07 68, e-mail: email@example.com. Traditional Turkish/Central Anatolian cuisine served in traditionally decorated rooms. A nice view of Mevlana Museum and its garden.
- Adanali Köfteci Osman (near the train station). "Adana"-style kebab, grilled meat. Not expensive.
- Asya Restaurant. Traditional cuisine.
- Kösk Mutfagi, Piri Esat Cad. (at the end of Mengüc Cad., approx. 500 mt from Mevlana Museum), ☎ +90 332 352 85 47, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Traditional cuisine. Located in a renovated historical mansion. No alcohol served. Has a carpark in front. Not expensive.
- Restaurant Mahmut Keten, Israsyon-Feritpasa Caddesi Mahmuruiye Mah. Keten Apt (right next to the train station), ☎ +90 0332 322 22 03. The place is not used to tourist, the menu is in turkish only and the staff not fluent in english. But they are extremely helpful and friendly. They have tasty salads and meats. Try their thinly cut lamb in butter sauce. No alcohol. YTL 10 for main.
- Mithat Tirit (Very close to Aziziye Mosque. Also around Mevlana Museum). One of the delicious and famous restaurants of Konya. It's famous for with the special kebap Tirit.
- Fast food — Burger King, McDonald's and some other American-style fast-food restaurants, as well as ever omnipresent döner, are also available around the city.
- The open-air café at Alaaddin Tepesi is good for a relief and some shade while watching the city during a summer day.
- Mevlevi sofrası is one of the best place that have panaronic view of Mevlana museum and gulbahcesi. You can have a drink with traditional desserts.
- Trinkets related to Rumi (and whirling dervishes).
- Traditional Mevlana-candy (white with a mint taste).
- Kulesite, Kule Cad. 8, Selçuklu, ☎ +90 332 234 32 72, fax: +90 332 234 32 78, e-mail: email@example.com. Modern shopping mall.
- Kipa (approx. 2 km to Sille Kavsagi, opposite of the Dedeman Hotel). A big mall including cinemas.
- M1 Tepe, Dç. Dr. Halil Ürün Cad.. Modern shopping mall.
This article is based on Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike 3.0 Licensed text from the article Konya on Wikivoyage.