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What is Europe’s most-visited tourist attraction?

3 July 2012

Europe’s most-visited attraction won’t be found in London, Barcelona, Paris or Rome. It’s in Istanbul, where 15 million people swarm the Grand Bazaar annually.

More travelers than ever are seeking out Turkey’s East-meets-West history, making it the seventh-ranked country for international arrivals, with 27 million in 2010 and more than 30 million in 2011, according to the World Tourism Organization. (Six of the 10 most-visited countries are European.) It helps that the dollar has strengthened against the Turkish lira—and against the euro—and that an increase in flights to Istanbul has brought down airfares and made it an easy stopover on the way to Africa or Asia.

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