The nine kinds of tourist you see in Turkey

If you love to people watch, the tourists in Turkey will intrigue you. As soon as flight schedules start in May, millions of tourists visit Turkey, and all have unique identities that brings them to these shores. Read our guide to nine types of tourists you will see in Turkey - can you find yourself on our list?

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Nine Types of Tourists in Turkey

1: Smartphone Tourists

This species ambles down streets in Turkey, glued to smartphone screens and appearing as if the handheld device controls them. Beautiful Turkish landscapes of majestic beauty go unnoticed as they toddle along beach promenades, holding up summer crowds as they tweet about their breakfast that morning. Smartphone tourists curse on Facebook when water splashes their screens, even though they sit by the pool and only use restaurants and bars free wi-fi service. They ignore family and friends at mealtimes in favour of softly glowing, vibrating devices. You usually spot them, shuffling around dead-eyed with a zombie-like gait, head bent over trying to see their screen in Turkey’s bright sunshine.

2: Forget Attractions of Turkey – Selfies Matter

A holiday in Turkey is not a holiday till you post a picture of your grinning face on Oludeniz Beach. And in front of the Apollo temple. Let us not forget a quick shot smiling in front of Bodrum Castle. Oh, and the Hagia Sofia, Blue Mosque and Topkapi Palace of Istanbul. Selfie tourists never fully enjoy time in Turkey until Instagram shows a feed of impressive attractions that make everyone think they are visiting Turkey’s cultural heritage sites. But in reality, they refuse to pay entrance fees. Selfie tourists think of their trip to Turkey as not so much a holiday, but an opportunity to present themselves doing fascinating things in fascinating places to make them appear, well, simply charming to poor schmucks who cannot travel here. To spot selfie tourists, visit beaches or monuments and watch for fixed grins, selfie sticks, and well-practised poses highlighting their best features. Read about the best Instagram spots in Istanbul.

3: Beautiful People Who Travel

After the best part of a year in training - weights, cardio, waxing, plucking, and highlights, beautiful people now want a place in the Turkish spotlight. And boy, they make the most of it! Grab a seat at a waterfront cafe and watch them parade slowly by like Kim and Kanye waiting for the paparazzi to turn up. Bronzed to perfection, men eschew shirts so everyone can fully appreciate their flexing muscles, while women favour tiny bikinis and flowing locks. Find these beautiful tourists propped up at bars and cafes in busy towns, sitting outside or by windows where everyone can see them.

4: Sunseekers in Turkey

Ever wonder who gets up at 7 a.m. to bag sun loungers? That would be these guys. Forget about ruins or culture – sunseekers heard Turkey enjoys 300 annual days of sunshine and want their share! Back home, sunseekers make do with sunbeds and spray tans. But they visit Turkey because they want the natural stuff. Cancer? Blah! These guys slather on tanning oil, usually strong stuff banned in 25 countries, and rotate their bodies on a half-hourly basis until basted brown like rotisserie chickens. Hotel staff easily spot them because they lie motionless and shiny, dripping oil on sun loungers. Gets snappy against anyone who accidentally cast shadows in their direction.


5: All-Inclusive Tourists Who Never See Turkey

Explore a few hidden coves? No thanks, the hotel has a perfect beach. Local restaurants? No way. The hotel lunch buffet provides everything. Visit nearby ruins? Nah, the History Channel on cable covers all that. All-Inclusive tourists in Turkey have no reason to leave hotels - and who blames them: there’s little reason to exert themselves with all needs catered for. All-Inclusive tourists spend days mooching from buffet breakfast to buffet lunch, pool cocktails, and long lazy dinners. It is impossible to move with that much food and drink, so they don’t go anywhere. The illusive all-inclusive are like baby pigeons. We know they exist but rarely venture out into the open.

6: No Tourism - Just Dusk to Dawn Partying

Want to know the best happy hour in town? Ask your nearest Dusk-till-Dawner. But not before 2 p.m., because before that, these partygoers lie in the darkness of hotel rooms, moaning softly and flinching at every sound. However, come sundown, these nocturnal creatures spring to life, cruising Turkish streets searching for loud rhythmic music and like-minded partygoers. Boisterous and ready to laugh Dusk-till-Dawners are the life and soul of parties who instigate the world’s most elaborate drinking games. They also have no qualms about doing the walk of shame out of hotels the next day.

7: Truth Seekers Trying to Find Themselves

White, western, and seeking a retreat from rampant materialism in their homeland, truth seeker tourists visit Turkey to lose themselves in Sufi mysticism and yoga retreats. They explore local religion and customs - although keep their mind and options open by reading books on Buddhism and Kabala, just in case. Keep your distance - unless you want to hear well-practised stories about the connectedness of life or tales of finding themselves among nomadic tribes of outer Mongolia, immersing themselves in ashrams on the Ganges or taking a vow of silence with Tibetan monks. Seekers scorn international tourist crowds and never have any money, so look out for them on public transport and local eateries—the best places for golfing, yoga, sailing, and surfing in Turkey.

Sailing in Turkey

8: Popular Attraction Cruisers of Turkey

From enthusiastic beginner to crusty old salt, it seems everyone travels to Turkey’s Aegean and Mediterranean seas on sailing tours. Cruiser tourists love exploring new coastal areas and attractions while dropping anchor at the odd islands or two. Being seen aboard a tidy-looking ketch does wonders for your self-esteem, too. Not all cruiser tourists in Turkey are seen on boats: many find it easier - and drier - to prop themselves up at marina bars, spinning yarns of dubious veracity about Cape Horn hurricanes and romanticising about life at sea. When not exploring, cruiser tourists sit at the seaside watering holes, staring out to Turkey’s Mediterranean and Aegean seas with faraway gazes. Guide to sailing the Turkish Riviera.

9: History Buff Guides in Turkey

Only happy when traipsing around ruins of Turkey, this foreign tourist knows Byzantine from Thracian empires, has theories about the construction of the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus and is scornful of any other tourist without a working knowledge of 18th century Persia. History buffs enjoy trips on jerky local buses exploring lesser-known sites of Turkey - preferably where excavations happen so they can channel unbridled enthusiasm into a bit of amateur digging. Looking like a nerdy version of Indiana Jones, history buff tourists weigh themselves down with ratty books like “Ancient Coins of Anatolia,” misfolded maps and notebooks. The best historical attractions in Turkey.

Also About Turkey

Top Ten Tourist Attractions: To list all the famous places in Turkey would take a book since each deserves recognition for a specific reason, whether this is Trabzon, the hazelnut production king, or Gaziantep, that earns admiration as the best destination to buy baklava. From the shores of Gallipoli, a prominent battleground during the Turkish war of independence, to the capital Ankara, Turkey’s political hub, each one is as intriguing as it is famous.

About Us: With 20+ years of experience in the Turkish real estate market, team Property Turkey is your experienced, friendly, and independent overseas real estate consultant. If you liked this article about foreign tourists in Turkey, you will also enjoy our blog that talks extensively about the country’s food, culture, history, and places to visit.

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