Turkiye is exploding in popularity right now with travelers from all over the world visiting to explore its cultural hot spots and take advantage of its budget prices.
An incredible 49.2 million international tourists visited Turkiye during 2023. This means it was officially crowned the best-ever year for the Turkish tourism industry.
And the Turkish Culture and Tourism Minister has predicted that foreign arrivals to the country will reach 60 million in 2024.
Here’s why this affordable European destination is breaking all tourism records:
Turkey has a unique blend of history and culture. It is an east meets west destination and no city represents this better than Istanbul. One side of the Bosphorus that separates the city is in Europe, and the other in Asia.
Istanbul is Turkey’s second-largest city, and it is considered its cultural heart. The city is the most popular for tourists in the country who are attracted by its bustle, vibrancy, and incredible attractions.
Some of the best cultural attractions to explore in Istanbul are the Basilica Cistern, the Hagia Sophia, and the Blue Mosque.
Officials have recently introduced a 25 euro ($27) admission fee to visit the Hagia Sophia, but if you’re traveling on a budget, then the Blue Mosque is still free to access.
Female travelers will need to dress modestly and wear a headscarf to go inside. This is true of all mosques in the country, so throw a lightweight scarf in your luggage.
Culture vultures can also explore Cappadocia which has also broken all previous visitor records and welcomed almost 5 million tourists in 2023.
The region is famed for its beautiful hot air balloons, the Goreme Open Air Museum, and the beautiful palace ruins.
Turkey has an expansive Mediterranean coastline that is one of the most popular and beautiful in Europe.
When combined with the country’s rich cultural attractions, this means that it attracts a diverse range of different travelers, and it is a great destination to enjoy the best of both worlds.
The Turkish Riviera spans more than 600 km and is made up of 100s of distinct beaches. It is famed for its outstanding beauty, golden sand beaches, and mountainous scenery.
Though there are huge resort areas like Marmaris and Dalaman, where you will find typical tourist restaurants, bars, and clubs, there are also many small towns that offer a more authentic and intimate experience.
There’s never a bad time to visit the Turkish Riviera.
But the best time is right before or after the peak summer months of July and August when crowd levels can be particularly high.
Travel On A Budget
Looking to explore Europe without breaking the bank? Put simply you get more bang for your buck in Turkiye.
The cost of living in Turkey is lower than in most European countries which means goods and services are much cheaper too.
It’s a great place to buy an affordable souvenir or get a haircut!
Turkish cuisine is world renowned but it is also incredibly affordable.
You can sit down for a meal in a restaurant in the heart of Old Town Istanbul for around 330 Turkish Lira ($9.85) and a specialty coffee in a hotel bar will set you back 90 Turkish Lira ($2.50).
Street food such as simple breakfast rolls or freshly squeezed juices are considerably less expensive than this.
To stretch your budget even further in Turkiye consider traveling out of season. Accommodation is incredibly affordable in January and February. As an added bonus the streets feel empty and you will have many of the best tourist attractions to yourself.
If you want luxury without the luxury price tag then Turkiye is also a great choice. There are 421 five-star hotels in the Turkish region of Antalya alone. That’s more than the number of five-star hotels in the whole of Spain. But those 5-star facilities are still cheaper in Turkey.
The people of Turkey are warm and welcoming. They have embraced the tourism industry and the travelers that come with it.
You will be greeted as you walk through the streets, often by shopkeepers keen to show you their goods. And if you decide to browse or to shop don’t be surprised to be offered a seat and a glass of Turkish or apple tea.
Turkish people take hospitality very seriously and will go out of their way to make you feel as comfortable as possible. Their joy and enthusiasm are contagious, and the people are a huge part of what makes Turkiye such a popular destination.
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com
Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.