When looking at tourism in Turkey, don’t underestimate this powerful destination. So far this year, 39.1 million people have visited Turkey to enjoy various touristic delights. With the government expecting to host 50 million tourist arrivals before the year-end, tourism has bounced back to pre-covid figures, proving that in this sector, Turkey is invincible and a significant player for tourism in western Asia.
There is a reason for the driving determination. Tourism is a substantial contributor towards the Turkish economy, with the government aiming to achieve 44 billion USD this year in tourism revenues. In 2021, Turkey became the world’s fourth most popular destination for tourists’ numbers. A testament to what Turkey has to offer tourists arriving for the first time.
About Tourism in Turkey
1: Why is Turkey So Popular with Foreign Tourists?
- Frequent and cheap connections for international flights through award-winning airports
- Hundreds of seaside resorts to choose from
- Masses of ruined cities and historical sites to explore
- Ideal Mediterranean climate for beach holidays
- Sailing the Turkish riviera
- The fascinating history of the ottoman empire and other civilisations
- Unique culture and traditions that welcome visitors
- Masses of restaurants in popular tourist destinations
- 7000 kilometres of coastline from the black sea to the Mediterranean
2: Visit Istanbul – King of Tourism in Turkey
As the most popular tourist destination in Turkey, millions of foreign tourists enjoy the delights of northwest Istanbul every year, despite the city not being the capital. The Turkey tourism campaign regularly features this destination since Istanbul attracts everyone’s attention from around the globe, and the two biggest airports in the country sit here.
With most of Istanbul in western Asia but with a small part in Europe, tourists need a lifetime to explore the city thoroughly. Therefore, most foreign visitors head to the UNESCO Sultanahmet district to see tourist attractions like the Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia. Hotels in Istanbul range from budget to luxury establishments that attract millionaires worldwide.
3: Attractions in Cappadocia
The Cappadocia region in the heart of Turkey attracts most tourists, and in recent years, many Turkish citizens flocked to holiday here. Hotels in Cappadocia include the famed cave theme, keeping in line with the UNESCO World Heritage site of the Goreme open-air museum. In addition, this history destination features many ruined 14th and 15th-century churches.
Life in Cappadocia is much slower-paced, emphasising the great outdoors. Tourists enjoy hot air balloon trips and exploring attractions like Ihlara Valley and Derinkuyu underground city. Don’t expect a beach holiday in Cappadocia, but do expect buckets of adventure and history.
4: Tourists in Mediterranean Antalya
Most countries have beach resorts, but Turkey excels in them, and the south Antalya region is considered the best. As well as hosting some of Turkey’s best beaches, Antalya attracts lovers of history and adventure sports enthusiasts. The hotels rank as the country’s best, and although life is modernised, tourists can still find culture and traditions on every corner.
As well as the main city centre, the region promotes other towns like Side, Kemer and golfing Belek. Also, expect top-notch restaurants that excel in fine dining. Many round-the-world travellers head to Antalya after Cappadocia and Istanbul. More about Antalya in Turkey.
5: Visit the Historical Site of Ephesus
This isn’t a town but one of the world’s most famous historical sites. Ephesus on the Aegean Sea coast of Turkey nearly outranked Rome in terms of importance and is the country’s top tourist attraction. As a destination on the old silk road of Asia and mentioned in the New Testament, the city has Biblical significance. Hence, the nearby house of the Virgin Mary attracts hundreds of pilgrim tourists weekly. This is just one big open-air museum with landmarks like the Celsius library, amphitheatre, and Roman terrace houses.
6: Trabzon in the Northeast Black Sea Region
Many western tourist arrivals stay away from Trabzon, yet this city of Turkey appeals to Middle Eastern tourists who love similar culture, food and traditions. The conservative town has many sites of interest for history lovers, but take a trip into the countryside to visit places like Uzungol and Ayder Plateau. In addition, Trabzon is the closest place to visit Sumela Monastery in Macka Park, an unusual tourist attraction nestled into the side of a cliff.
7: About Eastern Turkey
Although Eastern Turkey isn’t popular with mainstream tourism, it excels in cultural tourist niches. The history is impressive, especially in the southeast, which sits on the edge of ancient Mesopotamia. Mardin old town, Gaziantep city, and Sanliurfa attract visitors looking for a unique experience, thanks to their cultural sites like the castles and Pool of Abraham. Van is home to Turkey’s largest lake with many Armenian churches, and Turkish citizens say you can find Turkey’s best breakfast here. Meanwhile, head up to Kars, and tourists can explore Ani, the city of 1001 churches.
8: Holidays in Bodrum – Turkey
Visitors to Bodrum are instantly wowed by this vacation destination that screams wealth. Sitting on Turkey’s Aegean coast, vacations in Bodrum are nothing short of amazing, thanks to different world atmospheres. All flights go into the peninsula’s airport, but holiday makers have various destinations to choose from, including the town centre, Gumbet, Torba, and Bitez. In addition, the Bodrum peninsula is home to Yalikavak, one of the world’s top yachting destinations, because of the marina that can host mega yachts and that features top-notch shopping, cafes and restaurants.
- Area guide to Bodrum and why it is a major tourist hub
- Famous faces in Bodrum
- About Bodrum – Three fun facts to know
Also About Turkey Tourism
Best Cities in Turkey: When looking at cities, Turkey offers foreigners many metropolises to visit and live in. As the world’s 37th largest country, Turkey comprises 81 official cities. However, some cities in Turkey remain off the grid for foreign tourism and expat circles, while others stand out as the best and most popular. This article looks at which cities are ideal places to visit and live in Turkey.