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Why This Country Is Now One Of The Most Visited In All Of Europe

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Traveling in Europe is back to its best, with favorites such as France, Spain, and Portugal reporting bumper years for visitor numbers, particularly from the United States.

But away from the mainstream, a lesser-known country is gaining popularity very quickly and looks set to challenge the traditional nations when it comes to the most-visited European countries.

That country is Turkey (or Türkiye) – an exotic, enchanting, and eclectic place that lies at the very eastern edge of the European continent, with much of the nation overlapping into Asia.

Attractive beautiful girl with covered clothes looks Turkish map with view of Sultan Ahmet Mosque on background in Istanbul,Turkey.Travel Concept

Latest figures from the Turkish Culture and Tourism Department show that Turkey has recorded about 45 million international visitors so far this year, putting it among the most popular destinations in Europe.

Data from the latest WTM Global Travel Report in association with Tourism Economics also forecasts that Turkey is well on course to record a 15% increase in visitors this year compared to 2019.

View Of Antalya Old Town Kaleici, Antalya, Turkey

So, it seems that Turkey is hot right now, but why is this the case?

Unique Culture

Because of its hugely significant location spanning two continents, Turkey has long been an important place for many civilizations throughout history.

Heavily influenced by the Romans, the Greeks, the Hittites, and then later the Ottomans, Turkey has a dazzling array of important monuments and interesting archeological sites.

the olympos ruins in antalya in turkey

Highlights include the Olympos Ruins near Antalya, the many Bazaars of cities like Istanbul, and the Göbekli Tepe ritual complex located near Urfa, which is thought to be thousands of years old.

Turkey is also a majority Muslim country, so it has a huge array of fantastically beautiful mosques and other religious architecture to explore and take in.

Something For Everyone

Turkey really is a country that offers almost every kind of trip you could imagine.

From the ancient, bustling streets of Istanbul where you’ll find European and Asian cultures colliding, through to the stunning and still relatively quiet beach resorts of the Turkish Riviera (or Turquoise Coast) in places like Antalya – Turkey is truly diverse.

woman looking out over Kaputas beach in antalya region of turkey

Whether you love exploring exotic cities, sunning yourself on the beach by the Mediterranean or the Black Sea, or even enjoying some epic scenery while hiking in the central mountainous regions, Turkey can cater to all.

Very Affordable Almost Everywhere

It has been well documented that the Turkish currency, the lira, has been falling steadily in value since around May 2023.

At the time of writing, it’s at its lowest level versus the United States dollar for almost 20 years (about 29 lira to one U.S. dollar), which makes it a very cheap place for American travelers to visit right now.

A night in a hostel should cost you around the $15 mark, while a night in a basic hotel outside of big cities like Istanbul can come as cheap as $50.

sunset over the blue mosque in istanbul turkey

Public transport is also incredibly affordable, while your food budget could easily be taken care of with about $20-$30 per day if you partake in street food and small local restaurants (you simply must try an authentic Turkish kebab).

A Fairyland For Foodies

Turkish food is a pretty life-affirming affair, and perhaps the most iconic of its national dishes is baklava.

This sweet, layered pastry has many different variations and is as important to Turkish culture as just about anything else.

It is thought to date back to the 1400s and you can really immerse yourself in this dish on the annual World Baklava Day on 17 November.

turkish baklava being served on colorful plates

You’ll also find a staggering array of different kinds of kebab or kofte (Turkish meatballs) – each region has its own twist on these classics, which can be made from lamb, beef, and sometimes chicken too.

There’s also plenty for vegetarians, such as Imam Bayildi (a stuffed eggplant dish).

men working on food stall in the grand bazaar in istanbul turkey

The best way to sample some of the best flavors of Turkey is to try a meze, which is a set meal of many small dishes, similar to tapas in Spain.

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