The Most Visited Cities in 2023: İstanbul, Antalya and Dubai

Created13.02.2024, 09.00
Updated11.03.2024, 08.29

In December, Euromonitor International listed İstanbul, Antalya, and Dubai among the top five destinations for international arrivals in its report, Top 100 City Destination Index 2023. BBC Travel also commented on the research: "Two of the world's four most-visited cities are in Turkey." and highlighted Turkey's significant role in the global tourist landscape.*

The top five countries on the list are İstanbul, London, Dubai, Antalya, and Paris. The index states, “İstanbul tops the list for the number of International arrivals in 2023 with 26% growth year-on-year followed by London in second place (up 17%), and Dubai in third (up 18%).”

According to the index, these cities provide travelers with high-speed internet, flexible booking options, and suitable workspaces that support remote working, in addition to their natural beauty and cultural significance.

The cities are working to better their tourism offerings and provide a smooth visitor experience. They use innovative technologies to drive a powerful digital transformation while “improving sustainability, transportation networks, and social impact.” The index says that all create a strong competitive environment in global tourism by keeping up with the digital era’s requirements.

Why did İstanbul, Antalya, and Dubai receive the most visitors in 2023?

As TEKCE Real Estate has stated in its blogs for years, these cities will always be the most visited cities in the world due to their numerous benefits. Travelers wish to consider permanent residency and get a taste of the local way of life. That’s why real estate for sale in Dubai and Turkey is constantly in high demand.

istanbul view with galata tower and sea viewAccording to BBC Travel, Istanbul's high visitor volume is not surprising. After all, it is a metropolis, now home to 15.5 million people. On the other hand, Antalya is home to “1.3 million people and managed to welcome 16.5 million international visitors – more than Paris (population: 2.1 million) and New York City (8.5 million), and more than 12 times its population.” It is not surprising at all. Below are details of how they manage this.


Having served as the heart of numerous civilizations throughout history, İstanbul is a magical city with a unique atmosphere and beauty that are beyond words. A metropolis with various amenities, endless job opportunities, excellent culture, cuisine, sea, nature, developed health and education systems…

The value of this city never went down and never will. Not just on this list, but in numerous lists over the past year alone, it came out winner.

In the last two years, İstanbul ranked:

Alanya view with towerThe megacity is also consistently ranked highest among the cities where foreign buyers prefer to buy a property in Turkey. These rankings are all not only coincidences; rather, they serve as proof of its excellent standards.


Antalya is known as the Turkish Riviera. The Mediterranean climate has made the city a popular beach destination. But it is also well-known for its historical and natural beauty, success in medical tourism, a wide range of sporting events, and excellent standards of life.

Antalya is the most sought-after city to settle in after Istanbul. The Antalya Airport offers direct flights to numerous countries, making traveling easier. Additionally, the city offers relatively reasonable pricing for both living and holidays. That’s why it is one of the first locations that spring to mind when considering a popular travel destination.


Dubai is among the world's safest, most developed, and resource-rich regions. The city offers a different experience compared to many cities. Everything is ultra-technological, modern, and creative here. Since everything is top-notch, people cannot help but watch around.

dubai view with tower and seaRecently, it has received a great deal of attention for its man-made islands, but in fact, it has been making very high investments, especially in its architecture, for a long time. Everything is ultra-luxury. People want to go to Dubai and see it at least once. There are not a few people who want to stay permanently after seeing it. For this reason, Dubai Golden Visa applications through real estate investment are also very popular.

In particular, the Turkish tourism sector will continue to grow significantly in 2024. The Turkish government loosened its visa policies for citizens of the US, Bahrain, the UAE, Canada, Saudi Arabia, and Oman in December 2023. They can visit Turkey without a visa for 90 of every 180 days. You can find the news details on the page Türkiye Granted Visa-Free Entry for Six Countries.

* BBC Travel's Article


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