Bursa is one of the biggest cities in Turkey. Located at the intersection of Ankara, Istanbul and Izmir, the city is one of the places to visit with its historical texture and famous dishes. The city, which has a coast on the Marmara Sea, is more popular in winter than in summer tourism. However, it can be visited in any season of the year. Known as one of Turkey’s most important winter tourism centres, the city awaits you with holiday paradises such as Uludağ Ski Centre, Mudanya, 700-year-old Footrest villages, eye-catching mosques, inns and madrasas that have survived to the present day. It has a wealth that you cannot complete in a few days.
Historical Places in Bursa
The history of the city, which was the capital of the Ottoman Empire for a while, dates back to 7000 years ago.
1. Koza Han, which was one of the centres of silk trade in the past, is today the address of those who want to get away from the chaos of the city. You will definitely encounter silk materials, antiques and towels at almost every point of your route. Silk items and antiques may or may not be real…
2. Visit Osmangazi and also the Orhangazi tombs in Tophane. Then have a bird’s eye view of Bursa.
3. Go to Muradiye Kulliyesi to see the last complex built by the Ottoman sultans in Bursa. The facility, which was built by Murat II in 1426, includes a mosque, madrasah, Turkish bath and burial place.
4. Ulu Mosque (Grand Mosque) was built by Yıldırım Bayezid in 1400 to commemorate the Niğbolu Victory. It is the first of the massive multi-domed frames and it has 20 domes. It is enriched with fine examples of calligraphy and there is also a highly successful water fountain in the centre.
p.S.: Ulu means “grand” in Turkish, and there is a mosque with the name “great” in many cities.
The Green Mosquee
5. Finally, we would like to talk about the Green Mosque. If a building has a colour in its name, one can guess from where it got that name. There are two options regarding the name of the mosque. The first is that a significant part of the ornaments used on the minarets are green. It is impossible to see the green colour on minarets at the moment. The second is that the green colour is dominant in the decorations of the domes, entrance and other areas.
The construction of the mosque began in 1413 and took 11 years to build. It is now open to both worship and tourist visits. Green mosque is one of the unique examples of wood, calligraphy, tile and marble art. To tell the truth, it is very difficult to predict which detail will attract your attention the most.
What to eat and Drink in Bursa?
Bursa has received intense immigration from Bulgaria. Therefore, besides the traditional Turkish cuisine, there are also Bulgarian influences. Therefore, products from the Balkan cuisine can also be found.
1. When Bursa is mentioned, İskender kebab comes to mind. Iskender is actually referred to as doner, not kebab in Turkey. Doner kebabs placed on pita are served with yoghurt and special sauce.
2. Buy ‘Anjelika jam’. The people of Bursa know the jam made from the stem part of the angelica plant grown in Uludağ.
Iskender - Photo by Scott Dexter, CC BY-SA 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons
Museums in Bursa
1. TOFAŞ Anatolian Cars Museum must be seen. An old silk factory has been restored and turned into a museum. Displaying an eye-catching collection from countless years old chariots to today’s versions, the gallery is the only one of its kind in Turkey.
2. The mansion, which was integrated in the 20th century and where Mustafa Kemal stayed during his visit to the city in 1923, today welcomes its visitors as the Atatürk Museum. It is in an immense garden and is one of the most magnificent examples of the design of the period it was built.
3. Bursa City Gallery mirrors the city’s past and culture in the same way. The museum also has wax statues of 6 sultans who lived in the city.
4. Archaeology Museum and Turkish-Islamic Arts Museum are also among the addresses that should not be forgotten.
Cumalıkızık, which carries the traces of its historical appearance and cultural framework that it has actually preserved for 700 years, is a place you would like to visit if you have the chance to rent a car. It was taken under protection in 1980 and declared a metropolitan natural site a year later. It was included in the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage list in 2014.
Bursa - Cumalikizik
How to go to Bursa?
Yenişehir Airport is located approximately 50 kilometres from Bursa city centre. AnadoluJet, a brand of Turkish Airlines, offers flights to the airport. Since the flights are domestic, I don’t think you can buy a ticket to this airport. Therefore, the fastest arrival in the city can be via Istanbul. You can evaluate the flights to Sabiha Gökçen Airport, located on the Anatolian side of Istanbul. There are bus services from the airport to Bursa or you can rent a car.
If you are coming from Europe with your own vehicle, there will be two separate routes. The first of these is Istanbul. This path can be both costly and long. When you enter Turkey from Bulgaria or Greece, you can head south to Çanakkale. When you cross from the European side of Asia, you can reach Bursa with a short drive.
If you are coming to Turkey by train, Istanbul will be the last stop. Then the path you have to follow can be a bit tiring. Instead, you can get off the train in Çorlu district of Tekirdağ and go to the city by bus.