Today the Tekirdağ area is the site of many holiday homes as the area is 90 minutes by road or train from nearby Istanbul. The road follows the coast and the villages of Şarköy, Mürefte and Kumbağ are particularly popular. Much of this holiday property has been built in an unregulated and unplanned manner and thus much of the coast seems very crowded and over-built. And the sea is not all that clean either, but there are still places to access the seaside near Tekirdağ.
Tekirdağ itself is a typical Turkish commercial town centre with a little harbour and little to offer to visitors. Most of the Ottoman wooden buildings have been replaced by practical concrete blocks but the town has neither modern sophistication, nor antique charm, nor any night-life. There is a quiet rural hometown feel to the place, preserved partly as people can sometimes go into Istanbul for big shopping and entertainment. In winter their air is thick with smoke from coal-fired central heating. However there is one reason to visit; the local delicacy is the small spicy cylindrical grilled meatballs (or mini-burgers) called Tekirdağ köfte. This can be followed with a local cheese and semolina pudding.
Tekirdağ is home to the port of Martas and the Botas Terminal; both important for trade activities of Marmara Region.
The inland areas are still farmland, growing crops including cherries, sunflowers, and grapes for making wine and thus the high quality rakı for which Tekirdağ is noted. There is a prison next to the rakı distillery, the smell of the aniseed must make incarceration particularly uncomfortable. The distilleries were state-owned until the 1990s but are now in private hands and the wine and rakı industries are undergoing a renewal.
The University of Thrace Trakya Üniversitesi has a faculty of agriculture in Tekirdağ. However in 2006 it has been announced that a new university, named Namık Kemal Üniversitesi, will be founded here with faculties of science and medicine.