Istanbul is the best place to travel in Europe, according to European globetrotters. Turkey’s biggest metropolis has been voted the European Best Destination in a poll organized online by European Consumers Choice, one of the continent’s leading NGO’s giving voice to consumers’ opinions.
The award was created in 2010 to allow European travelers to vote on their favorite European destination from a choice of 20 iconic cities. Portuguese capital Lisbon took second place while Vienna, Austria’s imperial city, completed the podium.
The award has also been hailed by Istanbul’s 2020 Olympic Games bid leader Hasan Arat. “This prestigious award for Istanbul confirms the city’s rapidly growing popularity for foreign visitors. People want to come to Istanbul, and we love to host them here. These figures show us that people from all over the world want Istanbul to ‘Bridge Together’ in 2020,” Arat said.
Istanbul has attracted 838,000 foreign tourists in the first quarter of 2013, a decade record for the city.
German tourists topped the list of visitors to Istanbul, accounting for 10 percent of the total number of tourists to the city, followed by Russians with six percent, according Istanbul’s Culture and Tourism Directorate.