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Christian Travelers' Guide to the Cities Visited by Apostle Paul in Turkey

Updated: Oct 23, 2023

Have you ever thought about retracing Paul's steps and visiting the places he journeyed during his missionary expeditions? Many of these significant locations are found in modern-day Turkey, and the historical and spiritual value they offer is truly remarkable. In this article, we'll delve into the cities Paul visited in Turkey, their historical and biblical significance, and how you can enhance your journey by exploring these biblical sites.

Over time, many of the places have changed their names - as cities have come and gone. But it is still possible to visit the remains of many early churches and see the history of the Roman rulers of that time period.

Christian Tour of Turkey

Paul's Missionary Journeys in Turkey

The Apostle Paul embarked on four remarkable missionary journeys as documented in the Book of Acts (Acts 13-14, Acts 15:36-18:23, Acts 18:24-21:14, and Acts 26:30-28:30). These journeys took him through various countries, but a substantial portion of his efforts was dedicated to what is now modern-day Turkey.

Cities Visited By Paul In Turkey

Paul's First Trip

  • Antioch: The starting point of his journeys!

  • Seleucia: The port city where Paul and Barnabas embarked on their missionary journey.

  • Perga (Pamphylia): Paul and Barnabas visited Perga, an important city in ancient Pamphylia.

  • Antioch (Psidium Antioch): Known as Antioch of Pisidia, this ancient city holds the memory of Paul's first sermon.

  • Iconium (Konya): Iconium witnessed the establishment of one of the earliest Christian communities.

  • Lystra: A city where Paul famously healed a lame man and was briefly mistaken for a deity.

  • Derbe: The final destination of Paul's first journey, Derbe marks an essential milestone in early Christian history.

Paul's Second Trip

  • Antioch: The city from which Paul and Silas set out on their journey.

  • Derbe, Lystra, Iconium (Konya): Places that Paul revisited during his second trip.

  • Troas: The place where Paul had a vision leading to his journey to Europe.

  • Ephesus: Paul would write a letter to Ephesus, known as the book of Ephesians.

Paul's Third Trip

  • Antioch: The starting point of Paul's third journey.

  • Tarsus: Paul's hometown

  • Derbe, Lystra, Iconium (Konya, Antioch (Psidium Antioch), Ephesus, Troas: Places that Paul revisited on his third journey.

  • Assos: Where Paul rejoined his travel companions.

  • Miletus: Paul gives a farewell speech to his friends from Ephesus.

  • Cos and Rhondes: Island that Paul visited

  • Patara: Paul and his companions changed ships to continue their journey.

Paul's Fourth Trip

  • Myra: A city traditionally associated with Paul's journey to Rome.

  • Cnidus: As a prisoner, Paul may have docked here on his way to Rome.

If you want to check out an interactive map and follow his footsteps, we highly recommend Viz Bible Map of Paul's Missionary Journeys.

The Significance of These Locations

Understanding the historical and biblical significance of these cities is essential for a more enriching experience. Each place has its unique story and spiritual relevance, which can deepen your understanding of the early Christian church and the teachings of Paul.

Enhancing Your Journey

To make the most of your biblical exploration in Turkey, consider the following options:

Seven Churches of Revelation Tour

Consider joining a "Seven Churches of Revelation Tour" to visit the churches mentioned in the Book of Revelation. This tour provides a deeper connection to the biblical history of the region.

Private Biblical Tours

If you prefer a more personalized experience, private biblical tours offer flexibility and the opportunity to delve deeper into the historical and spiritual aspects of these locations.

Daily Tours in Turkey

For a shorter but still immersive experience, daily tours are an excellent choice to explore one or more of the biblical sites in Turkey.

Navigating Your Biblical Journey

As you embark on your pilgrimage to explore the cities visited by Apostle Paul in Ancient Turkey, you can find local worship services and itineraries in our resource directory. Or, you can take an explore some of these other tips:

Planning Your Biblical Journey

Your journey through the ancient cities is a significant undertaking. Start by meticulously planning your itinerary. Dive into the historical and cultural context of each city, connecting with the customs, traditions, and challenges early Christians faced. Understanding each city's unique characteristics ensures you fully grasp their significance. Whether you're joining a group pilgrimage or a private excursion, a well-structured journey enables you to absorb the spiritual and historical layers of each site.

Expert Guides and Tour Options

Having expert guides and tour options at your disposal can greatly enhance your experience. Knowledgeable guides can provide in-depth insights and narratives about the biblical significance of each site.

Unveiling the Truth of the Bible

Your journey through these cities and the exploration of ancient Christian history can deepen your understanding of biblical events and teachings, bringing you closer to the truth of the Bible.

Insights on Biblical History and Archaeology

During your journey, take the time to explore the rich biblical history and archaeology in these cities. You'll be amazed by the historical artifacts and ancient ruins that tell the stories of the past.

In summary, retracing Paul's steps in Turkey is a spiritually enriching and historically fascinating journey. These cities offer a unique opportunity to connect with the roots of Christianity and gain a deeper understanding of the early Christian church. Whether you choose guided tours or self-guided exploration, these biblical sites in Turkey will leave a lasting impression on your spiritual journey.

To learn about what you can do at 5 Cities Paul Frequented, check out podcast episode 157!

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