Turkey’s Safranbolu draws record number of tourists
Safranbolu district of Karabük, which is on the UNESCO World Heritage List and is known as the “capital of protection,” broke a record last year by hosting a total of 1.27 million visitors.
The district, which is dubbed the “footprint of the Ottoman” due to its reflection of the Ottoman architecture, urban life and culture, is like an open-air museum with its inns, bathhouses, mansions, fountains, mosques and bridges from the Ottoman era, draw great interest from both local and foreign tourists.
The number of tourists to Safranbolu increased by 14 percent last year compared to 2017, marking an all-time record for the district at 1.27 million. The number of tourists who spent at least one night in Safranbolu was 315,842, 218,584 of whom were Turkish citizens and the res foreign tourists.
China was the top provider of foreign tourists to Safranbolu last year, with 52,320 Chinese citizens visiting the historical district, followed by Taiwan, the United States, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Germany, Malaysia, Indonesia, Japan and Thailand.
Local Governor Fatih Ürkmezer told the Anadolu Agency that Safranbolu is improving its share in Turkey’s tourism, noting that the district has a total capacity of 3,500 beds.
“We see full occupancy by local and foreign tourists especially during holiday seasons,” he said.
“Spring and summer are the top tourism season in Safranbolu, but the fall, along with the beautiful forests and canyons, is the harvest time of saffron, which gives Safranbolu its name. Photo enthusiasts want to see this harvest. For this many domestic and foreign tourists from Turkey and around the world come here.”
Considering the potential of foreign tourists in Safranbolu, the Far East countris are in the lead, Ürkmezer said, noting that the district’s inclusion in the UNESCO World Heritage List is effective in this.
They are doing their best for a safe, peaceful and clean Safranbolu, the local governor said,adding: “We will be happy to welcome our local and foreign guests in Safranbolu on 365 days a year, not only on holidays. Safranbolu is always ready to host its domestic and foreign guests with its hotels, mansions, inns and baths, canyons, glass terrace, caves, lakes and its indispensable historical bazaar.”
Safranbolu, a unique Anatolian city that brings history to life through its mosques, market, neighborhoods, streets and historic houses.
From the 13th century to the advent of the railway in the early 20th century, Safranbolu was an important caravan station on the main East–West trade route. The Old Mosque, Old Bath and Süleyman Pasha Medrese were built in 1322.
During its apogee in the 17th century, Safranbolu’s architecture influenced urban development throughout much of the Ottoman Empire.
The Safranbolu houses represent the city culture in an original way. There are 2000 traditional Safranbolu houses, which are the best examples of the traditional Turkish housing architecture. The houses with modest floor plans, customs and traditions, are a unique spatial account of Turkish lifestyle and culture based on respect for the nature and neighbors.
Safranbolu was included in the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1994.