Edirne lured 500,000 visitors in three months

Edirne lured 500,000 visitors in three months

Edirne lured 500,000 visitors in three months

In the first three months of 2022, more than 500,000 people from Bulgaria and Greece have visited the northwestern province of Edirne, mainly for shopping purposes.

With a population of 410,000, the city nowadays is also luring visitors from other Balkan nations, such as Romania, Croatia and Serbia, but its close proximity makes Edirne more attractive to people from Bulgaria and Greece.

The tourist inflows from those two countries continued throughout 2021. Edirne also claimed the second spot on the most-visited cities list, following Istanbul, according to data from the Culture and Tourism Ministry.

The scene in the city and the border crossings was no different this weekend. Visitors started arriving in Edirne by cars early Friday. They stayed at the hotels and spent the weekend shopping. They left for their countries on Sunday evening.

Shoppers from the neighboring countries flocked to the famous Ulus Bazaar in the city center, buying all sorts of items, from clothing to food.

“It is so crowded here; people can hardly walk on the streets. It is good for local businesses and the local economy,” said Bahri Dinar, the head of the association which promotes Edirne and its famous dish, fried liver.

He added that businesses are employing more and more staff who can speak Bulgarian and Greek. “All the food menus are now in the Turkish, Greek and Bulgarian languages,” Dinar said.

Ömür Biçer, who owns a shop selling dried nuts and fruits, said nearly 95 percent of his customers are Bulgarian. “They [Bulgarians] buy those products in kilos,” he said.