Hagia Sophia still Istanbul’s top tourist attraction
ISTANBUL - Anadolu AgencyIstanbul’s Hagia Sophia Museum remained Turkey’s most visited tourist attraction last year, according to data released by the Culture and Tourism Ministry.
In 2015, 3.47 million people visited the Hagia Sophia, originally built as a 6th century Christian basilica that was converted to an imperial mosque in the 15th century before becoming a museum. It was also the most visited site in Turkey in 2014.
The Hagia Sophia was followed by the Topkapı Museum with 3.25 visitors and Konya’s Mevlana Museum with 2.34 million visitors.
The Pamukkale Hierapolis ancient site, the Göreme Openair Museum (Cappadocia), Topkapı Palace’s Seraglio, the ancient city of Troy, and the Derinkuyu and Kaymaklı underground cities, were also among the top 10 tourist attractions in Turkey last year.
Istanbul was the most visited city by tourists last year, followed by the Central Anatolian provinces of Konya and Nevşehir.
The total number of visitors to 325 museum and ancient sites in 2015 was 28.45 million.
Meanwhile, 6.63 million cards have so far been sold as part of the Museum Card system, initiated by the Culture and Tourism Ministry in 2008.