The number of foreign visitors, tourists and holidaymakers to Turkey especially Istanbul are still increasing as the latest figures submitted shows, which is great news. The figures are up from last year and Istanbul has had nearing 7 million in 2017 so far! The number of foreign tourists visiting Istanbul rose by 10.8% in the first eight months of this year, when compared to the same period last year, topping 6.95 million, Culture and Tourism Ministry data has shown. Istanbul is located in Northwestern Turkey within the Marmara region, the total area is 5,343 sq km (2,063 sq mi) The Bosphorus divides the city into what’s commonly referred to as the European and Asian sides.
Istanbul, as we know, is a vibrant city and has much to offer tourists it is always welcoming and warm, always ready to invite you with open arms. It’s the hub of Turkey and is full of excitement and expectations. What more can you say about this wonderfully colourful city that hasn’t already been said before? Once known as Constantinople it is still the largest city in Turkey but no longer the countries Capital that title belongs now to Ankara. It’s difficult to know where to begin; this isn’t only a great city to visit with its fabulous rich history and culture to explore it’s quite simply the heart of Turkey.
There are dozens of museums and art galleries, as well as plenty of shops and local markets and not forgetting the Grand Bazaar. If you love to shop then a visit here will make for a fabulous day out. A must on your things to do and see list is The Sultan Ahmed Mosque it is a fine example of beautiful buildings which dominate the skyline. It’s known as the Blue Mosque due to the blue Iznik tiles which adorn its interior.
There are numerous restaurants and bars and clubs, many of which light up for the night, for Istanbul also has a fantastic nightlife. And as if that weren’t enough, Istanbul also has several stunning beaches on it’s not one but two coasts, one to the Sea of Marmara and one to the Black Sea. If Turkish tourist towns tend to offer something for everyone, then Istanbul offers an abundance of attractions for everyone, with a 37.3% surge in 1.24 million foreign tourists was seen in August, when compared to the same period last year.
German tourists are in pole position as 656,428 visited along with 526,084 Iranians and 413,273 Saudis topping the list of foreigners converging to the country’s largest city. Visitors from Arab countries went up by 36.7% to 1.78 million between January and August 2017, compared to the same period last year. Most tourists arrived in Istanbul via Atatürk airport with 5.45 million passing through and Sabiha Gökçen airport seeing 1.47 million coming through their doors. The total number of foreign tourists was 9.2 million in 2016, 12.4 million in 2015, 11.8 million in 2014 and 10.4 million in 2013.