Bursa is a bustling city in the north-west region of Anatolia, Turkey. It lies 20 kilometres inland from the Sea of Marmara it’s home to a wealth of parks, gardens, museums and thermal baths. Some of the most famous Turkish cuisine comes from here, where visitors can sample the Iskender Kebab and deliciously sweet Turkish Delight.
The most popular tourist attraction is Ulu Cami, or Bursa Grand Mosque, easily recognisable by its twenty domes and two minarets. It was constructed between 1396 and 1399 by the Ottoman Sultan Bayezid I. Visitors can discover the rich history of the mosque and explore the world famous Islamic calligraphy scripts on the interior walls. Bursa’s Koza Hani is a popular centrepiece of the local bazaar and has existed since 1490 when the city was the last stop on the Silk Route from China. Today, visitors can still enjoy the array of silk and textile merchant’s stalls, jewellery sellers and tea houses. Close by is the ironmongers market, where local traditions override the modern and local blacksmiths attract tourists keen to see the skilled craftsmen at work. Those who wish to step back in time should make a trip to the village of Cumalikizik. Narrow cobbled streets and ancient houses transport visitors straight back to the Ottoman period. The village is home to 270 historical houses and ruins of a Byzantine church. Travellers wishing to view Bursa from a different perspective can take a trip on the Bursa Teleferik. This aerial gondola lift is used to connect Bursa with the nearby ski resort and mountain parks. The sights from the top are incredible, with breathtaking 360-degree panoramic views and stunning scenery at any time of the year.
It’s easy to navigate Bursa, there is a local metro system connecting the city centre with the suburbs. A reliable bus and dolmus network runs throughout the city and visitors will find it easy to walk to and from major points of interest. If travelling from Istanbul, it takes 3-4 hours via boat and bus. The local airport Bursa Yenişehir Airport operates several domestic and a few European flights, although to reach the city from further afield will involve flying into either Ankara or Istanbul airport.
The earliest human settlement in the Bursa region was around 5200 BC. It became a prominent city during the Ottoman Empire and the source of royal silk products. For many years, it was the production centre for pillows, embroidery and kaftans for the royal palaces up until the 17th century. Today, the city has much to offer tourists, with many charming traditions and ancient structures still prevalent, it’s a true delight to visit.