Turkey is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world. More than 42 million foreign tourists visited Turkey in 2014. (It was the best year in the country's tourism industry in recent years and Turkey was the 6th most popular tourism destination in the world.) The popularity of Turkey among tourists began to increase again from 2018.
The warm sea, comfortable climate, a large number of hotels and attractive prices make Turkey one of the best holiday destinations for residents of European countries. The country has 463 beaches in total awarded with the Blue Flag certification in 2019. You will find a lot of useful information in our Turkey holidaymaker's guide.
Turkey smaller part is located in Southeastern Europe and its larger part in Western Asia. Turkey is bordered by eight countries: Bulgaria to the northwest, Greece to the west, Georgia to the northeast, Armenia, Iran, Azerbaijan, Iraq and Syria to the southeast.
The Mediterranean Sea is located to the south of Turkey. There are most popular resorts located on the Mediterranian coast. Turkey also bordered by the Aegean Sea to the west, and the Black Sea to the north. The Sea of Marmara, the Bosphorus and the Dardanelles straits are located in the western part of Turkey and separate Europe and Asia.
There was a significant decrease in the number of tourists after 2015, but the number of foreign visitors started recovering in 2017. Turkey is one of the safest holiday destinations in Europe. But in any case need to be careful with your personal possessions when traveling like in any country.
Tourism in Turkey
What attracts people in Turkey? What attracts people to Turkey? It is a warm Mediterranean climate, warm sea, large number of historical attractions, good service and low prices. All fans of travel like these features and it attracts a large number of tourists to Turkey.
Most tourists prefer to spend holidays in comfortable hotels. Five-star and four-star hotels often offer accommodation on the system "All inclusive." They are the most attractive for those who want to escape from everyday worries during the holidays. There are also cheap hotels and campsites for people who are not seeking extra comfort.
Countries - sources of foreign tourists in 2018: Russia 15%, Germany 11%, Bulgaria 6%, United Kingdom 5.7%, Georgia 5.2%, Iran 5% and Ukraine 3.5%. A significant increase in the number of tourists from Germany is observed in 2018. The number of tourists from China is also increasing.
Most beach resorts are located along the southwestern and southern coast, called the “Turkish Riviera”. The area of the Mediterranean coast near the city of Antalya is considered the most popular in Turkey. There are located such resort cities as Kemer and Side. Antalya is often called as the tourism capital of Turkey. Bodrum, Fethiye, Marmaris, Kuşadası, Çeşme, Didim and Alanya are also among major resort towns.
Turkey is very interesting country for history lovers. Anatolia, the Asian portion of Turkey, is the birthplace of many history and legends figures, such as the poet Homer, King Midas, Herodotus (philosopher) and Saint Paul.
Two of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World were located in Turkey: the Temple of Artemis at Ephesus and the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus in Bodrum. The oldest known human settlement in the world (dating to 6500 B.C.) is located in Catalhöyük. The world’s first landscape painting was found on the wall of a Catalhöyük house, illustrating the volcanic eruption of nearby Hasandag.
Turkey has 13 UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Cultural attractions include the sites of Ephesus, Troy, Pergamon, House of the Virgin Mary, Pamukkale, Hierapolis, Trabzon, and the ruined cities and landscapes of Cappadocia.
Istanbul, Turkey's largest city, is one of the most famous cities in the world. There are many attractions, hotels, cafes in the city. Istanbul attracts both vacationers and visiting professionals. There are many major attractions derived from its historical status as capital of the Byzantine and Ottoman Empires. These include the Sultan Ahmed Mosque (the “Blue Mosque”), the Hagia Sophia, the Topkapı Palace, the Basilica Cistern, the Dolmabahçe Palace, the Galata Tower, the Grand Bazaar. Istanbul is also very popular place for shopping.
Useful information about Turkey
- Official language: Turkish.
- Capital - Ankara.
- Largest cities: Istanbul, Ankara, Izmir, Bursa.
- Government: Parliamentary republic.
- Area: 780 000 km2.
- Population (2018): 82.003 million.
- Currency: Turkish Lira.
- The Internet domain: Tr.
- How to call: +90.
- The local currency in Turkey is the Turkish Lira (TL). It is available in the denominations: banknotes: 5, 10, 20, 50 &100 TL; coins: 10, 25 & 50 kuruş and 1 TL.
- The electricity voltage in Turkey is 220V; 50Hz. Wall sockets in Turkey take two-pin plugs. You will need an adaptor if your appliances use three-pin plugs.
- Driving in Turkey is on the right-hand side (as in continental Europe). All visitors may drive with an international driving license. Tourists should have a copy of license, passport and insurance documents, while using a car at all times. All of the major international car rental companies have offices at airports and all major centers.
- Use common sense when deciding what to wear. Bikini, shorts and short dresses are suitable if staying on a beach. Change clothing when going into town to shop or eat. For walking in the city suitable clothing is comfortable shoes and casual trousers (a dress).
- When visiting mosques you should take off your shoes at the entrance and ladies should cover their hair; often scarves are provided on the way in. Both sexes should dress modestly with no shorts and arms and shoulders covered during visits to mosques.
Antalya Airport (IATA: AYT) is an international airport located 13 km (8.1 mi) northeast of the city center of Antalya. It is a major destination during the European summer holiday season.
İzmir Adnan Menderes Airport (IATA: ADB) is an international airport serving İzmir and most of the surrounding province in Turkey. It is located 18 km (11 mi) southwest of the city center.
Dalaman Airport (IATA: DLM) is an international airport and one of three serving south-west Turkey.
Milas–Bodrum Airport (IATA: BJV) is an international airport that serves Bodrum and Milas towns. The airport is situated 36 km northeast of the town of Bodrum, and 16 km south of Milas.
Gazipaşa-Alanya Airport (IATA: GZP). The airport is located near the town of Gazipasa and about 40 kilometers southeast of the city of Alanya. International flights began in the 2011 holiday season, with flights from Amsterdam. The new airport is only 30 minutes by road from Alanya.
Istanbul Atatürk Airport (IATA: ISTA) is the main international airport serving Istanbul, and the biggest airport in Turkey by total number of passengers.
Sabiha Gökçen International Airport (IATA: SAW) is one of the two international airports serving Istanbul. It is located 35 km (22 mi) southeast of central Istanbul.
Turkey has a well-developed tourist infrastructure. In popular tourist destinations there are many hotels of different levels of comfort. As in most countries, you can rely on the number of stars when choosing a hotel.
Five-star and four-star hotels provide the highest level of comfort to customers. But we recommend reading the reviews of tourists on the site of hotel reservations before making a decision. (Some tourists in their reviews say they expected more from the hotel.) The choice of meals in restaurants can sometimes be influenced by the national characteristics of the country.
Links to the best hotel reservation services can be found here.
You might also be interested in: the best five-star resorts in Antalya.
Useful links for those planning to travel: