Konya is one of those cities that seems to get overlooked a lot. It isn’t a beautiful city by any means and is regarded as the most conservative city in Turkey. Many people also think the only draw is the tomb of Mevlâna (otherwise known to the world as Rumi). That’s not entirely true, but it’s definitely the biggest draw and the reason most tour buses roll through the area (and the top reason I went).
Other than Rumi, there are a few more pleasant surprises to keep a visitor busy for a day, including several historic Ottoman and Selçuk mosques and buildings. They’re not all-star attractions, but they’re interesting in their own right. All of the sites took me just one day to see. I started at 10am and finished around 5pm, including an hour stop for lunch and tea. For a more relaxed pace, you might want to take two days, but it’s easily done in one.
I flew into Konya early in the morning with Pegasus Airlines on an extremely cheap flight (look ahead of time – it seems like Konya is always on sale!). Outside the doors of the small airport, I located the Havaş shuttle and hopped on for a ride into town. The Havaş stop is about a 10 minute walk into the city center. I’ve never used the bus station, but to get into the city center from there, use the tram to Alaaddin Tepesi.
Getting around Konya is very easy. Everything you need to see in Konya is within walking distance and pretty much on a straight line along Mevlana Caddesi. You don’t need to use any public transportation.
I stayed at the very centrally located Bey Hotel. It was very reasonably priced and clean, but there were a few issues with comfort. The pillows were rock hard, and there was a lot of street noise during the day. I attempted a nap in the afternoon and was completely unsuccessful because of the nonstop honking of the minibuses outside. However, at night until about am, everything was nice and peaceful. I guess as long as it’s quiet during prime sleeping hours, that’s what counts. But those pillows. Yeah.