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Istanbul, Turkey Was The Most-Visited City In The World In 2023

Istanbul in Turkey was the most-visited city in the world in 2023
Istanbul in Turkey was the most-visited city in the world in 2023 [Image by Alp Cem from Pixabay]

With its many historic locations, Istanbul is a fascinating travel destination in Turkey and it is clear that travelers know this. According to Euromonitor International, the city received more than 20 million international travelers in 2023. The organization based the ranking on that amazing number of arrivals.

Istanbul, Turkey was the world’s most visited destination in 2023

Euromonitor International’s research was carried out on the Top 100 City Destinations in 2023. Meanwhile, the report compared world cities using 55 metrics in six categories, namely tourism infrastructure, sustainability, health and safety, tourism performance and more.

Topkapi Palace in Istanbul, Turkey
Topkapi Palace in Instagram [Image by Ninara on Wikimedia Commons]
Moreover, the research also featured a top 10 ranking of international cities based on the number of international arrivals in 2023. The report states:

International travel has continued to make a strong recovery in 2023 with 38 percent growth in terms of number of trips, projected to reach 1.3 billion by the end of the year.

About the top 10 world cities

Istanbul Turkey
Istanbul view [Image by Şinasi Müldür from Pixabay]
Looking at the US, New York City was the only location to make the top 10 list, as the city received 11 million arrivals. Meanwhile, this was a 24 percent growth from 2022 to 2023.

Nadejda Popova, Senior Manager at Euromonitor International spoke of the report’s findings, saying:

Consumers are expected to look for value for money travel propositions when booking travel. This, in turn, will drive consumer demand for intraregional travel, especially as travel purchases are frequently discretionary.

Travelers will continue to favor authentic and local experiences in addition to sustainable tourism alternatives.

Why did Istanbul come in at No. 1?

Hagia Sophia
Hagia Sophia [Image by Eduart Bejko from Pixabay]
Besides being a vibrant, modern city, Istanbul’s historic center was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1985. The location features many historic buildings, including Topkapi Palace, the Hagia Sophia, the Walls of Constantinople and more.

Meanwhile, the best time to visit the city is in spring or autumn (April through May and September) to avoid the heat. Moreover, it is quieter in those months with fewer crowds of visitors.

Top 10 world cities

The full list of international cities that made the top 10 are:

  1. Istanbul, Turkey
  2. London, U.K.
  3. Dubai, UAE
  4. Antalya, Turkey
  5. Paris, France
  6. Hong Kong
  7. Bangkok, Thailand
  8. New York City, US
  9. Cancún, Mexico
  10. Mecca, Saudi Arabia
London, England
London, England, UK [Image by Julius Silver from Pixabay]
As can be seen from the list, London came second with 18.8 million international arrivals in 2023. The report stated that England’s capital has the best tourism infrastructure in the world. Meanwhile, several major hotel groups, such as Mandarin Oriental, Oberoi and Park Hyatt, plan to open new hotels in London.

Moreover, the city hosts several iconic higher education institutions, such as the London School of Economics and the Imperial College. It also features many popular landmarks, including the Tower of London, Tower Bridge, Buckingham Palace and the London Eye.

Readers, have you visited Istanbul in Turkey yet? Due to its obvious popularity, will you be making plans to fly to the city? Let us know by dropping a comment below.


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