Tourist’s guide to Bursa City in Turkey – Former Ottoman Capital

Bursa (Turkey) is a large city located in the north-west of the country 154 km south of Istanbul. The metropolis covers an area of ​​more than 10 thousand square meters. km, and its population according to 2017 is 2.9 million people. It is the fourth largest city in Turkey. Bursa is located at the foot of Uludag Mountain, and 28 km from the southern coast of the Sea of ​​Marmara.

Bursa, Turkey

The city of Bursa was founded in the 2nd century BC. in the historical region of Bithynia and quickly turned into a thriving metropolis. In many ways, this flourishing was facilitated by the fact that the famous Silk Road passed through it. Until the 14th century, the Byzantines ruled here, who were subsequently supplanted by the Seljuks, who turned Bursa into the capital of the Ottoman Empire. Until the beginning of the 20th century, the city bore the Greek name of Prus.

Despite the fact that very soon the capital of the Ottoman Empire was moved to Edirne, the city did not lose its significance as a major commercial and cultural center. And today, Bursa plays an important role in the trade and economic sphere of Turkey. And thanks to its rich history, the metropolis is able to surprise with all kinds of monuments and ancient objects, for the sake of familiarization with which sophisticated travelers come here. What is worth seeing in the city of Bursa and where its main attractions are located, we consider in more detail below.

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Since the metropolis is located quite far from the sea, it does not belong to Turkish resorts, but they come here not for palm trees and the sun, but for the sake of new knowledge and impressions. Numerous sights of the city of Bursa are ready to give all this, among which you can meet the most beautiful mosques, picturesque villages and eastern markets. First of all, we recommend that you pay attention to such iconic objects as:

Ulu Jami Mosque (Ulu Camii)
Ulu Jami Mosque

Built at the end of the 14th century, this ancient building is a vivid reflection of Seljuk architecture. Its distinctive feature was 20 domes, which are not at all characteristic of standard mosques. It is also unusual that the fountain for washing before prayers is not located in the courtyard, as is usual everywhere, but right in the center of the building. The inner walls of Ulu Jami are decorated with 192 inscriptions that serve as a model of Islamic calligraphy. Here you can see the relics of the 16th century that were brought from Mecca. In general, this is a magnificent, beautiful building, a must to visit in Bursa.

In the mosque of Ulu Jami
  • The attraction is open to tourists in the morning and afternoon.
  • It is best to attend a mosque after prayers.
  • The entrance is free.
  • When visiting a religious site, it is important to follow the relevant traditions: the hands, head and legs of women should be covered. If you did not have the necessary things with you, wraps and long skirts can be obtained at the entrance to the building.
  • Address: Nalbantoğlu Mahallesi, Atatürk Cd., 16010 Osmangazi, Bursa, Turkey.
The tomb of the founders of the Ottoman Empire (Tombs of Osman and Orhan)
Tomb of the founders of the Ottoman Empire

It is in the city of Bursa in Turkey that the mausoleum of the founders of the Ottoman Empire and their families is located. Some sources claim that Osman-ghazi himself personally chose a place for the future burial. This is a pretty tomb, but designed in a strict style, carries great historical value. Outside, the walls of the mausoleum are lined with white marble, and inside are decorated with green shades. Of particular note is not only the tomb of Mehmet I, decorated with luxurious tiles, but also the sarcophagi of his children, lined up along the wall.

  • You can visit the attraction daily from 8:00 to 17:00.
  • The entrance is free.
  • Address: Osmangazi Mahallesi, Yiğitler Cd. No: 4, 16040 Osmangazi, Bursa, Turkey.
Emir Sultan Camii Mosque

This ancient mosque, built in the 14th century, has become the epitome of the classical Ottoman Rococo style. Decorated with four minarets, the building is also the mausoleum of the Sultan of Emir, where thousands of Turkish Muslims make pilgrimages every year. Outside the building is surrounded by beautiful fountains designed to wash the parishioners before prayer. It is noteworthy that the building is located on a mountainous terrain, from where a breathtaking panorama of Bursa opens.

Sultan Emir Mosque
  • The attraction is open to tourists in the morning and afternoon.
  • The entrance is free.
  • Tourists who have been here advise to use the services of a guide to get a complete picture of the sacred place for Muslims.
  • Address: Emirsultan Mahallesi, Emir Sultan Cami, 16360 Yıldırım, Bursa, Turkey.
Green mosque
Green mosque

The green mosque can rightly be considered one of the most interesting sights of Bursa in Turkey. The construction was erected in 1419 by order of Sultan Mehmet I. On the outside, the building is decorated with white marble, and inside it is decorated with halls with tiles in green and blue.

The Green Mosque is another striking monument of early Ottoman architecture and is part of the Yesil religious complex. Next to it is the Green Mausoleum, which is an octagonal structure with a dome in the form of a cone. The tomb was built specifically for Mehmet I 6 weeks before his death.

  • You can get acquainted with the attraction daily from 8:00 to 17:00.
  • The entrance is free.
  • As part of the excursion to the Green Mosque, we recommend visiting the Green Madrasah, in the walls of which Islamic art objects are exhibited today.
  • Address: Yeşil Mh., 16360 Yıldırım, Bursa, Turkey.

Cableway (Bursa Teleferik)

If you look at the photos of Bursa in Turkey, then make sure that the area is rich in natural attractions. Among them, Uludag Mountain, located 30 km from the metropolis, where the ski resort popular in Turkey is located. Snowboarders and alpine skiers come here all year long, but those who are far from extreme sports visit the attraction to ride the lift.

Cable car view

The funicular takes you to a height of more than 1800 meters, from where breathtaking views of the mountain landscapes and the city open up before you. On the way to the top, the lift makes several stops, during one of which you have the opportunity to visit the nature reserve. Here you can also ride a snowmobile or stay at an intermediate stop, where a picnic area is arranged.

Cable car ticket Bursa Teleferik
  • You can ride the funicular daily from 10:00 to 18:00.
  • Round trip cost is 38 TL ($ 8).
  • Keep in mind that in the mountains it is much colder than down in the city, so be sure to bring warm clothes with you.
  • Address: Piremir Mah. Teferruc Istasyonu No: 88 Yildirim, Bursa, Turkey.
Silk Market Koza Hani
Cafes in the courtyard of Koza Hani

Many travelers prefer to diversify their vacation in Bursa with shopping and go to the famous silk market. This is a real oriental bazaar, where aromas of coffee, spices and sweets are floating in the air. Once upon a time, the Silk Road passed here, and today in the ancient building of Ottoman architecture there are numerous pavilions that offer silk scarves for every taste. There are several cafes in the cozy courtyard of Koza Hani, where after shopping you can relax with a cup of Turkish tea. The place is quite colorful and causes great interest, so you can visit it not only for shopping, but also as part of a city tour.

Silk Market Koza Hani
  • From Monday to Friday, the bazaar is open from 8:00 to 19:30, on Saturday from 8:00 to 20:00, and on Sunday from 10:30 to 18:30.
  • On the second floor of the complex there is a large selection of quality scarves made of silk and cotton. Their cost starts from 5 TL ($ 1) and ends with 200 TL ($ 45).
  • Address: Nalbantoğlu Mahallesi, Uzunçarsı Cad., 16010 Osmangazi, Bursa, Turkey.
Village Cumalikizik

If you want to visit a strange cozy place that will take you several centuries ago, then be sure to visit the village of Cumalikizik in Bursa. It is noteworthy that the facility is protected by UNESCO. Here you can look at old houses surrounded by mountain landscapes, take a walk along the cobbled streets, and enjoy rustic dishes in a local restaurant.

Village Cumalikizik
At every step are souvenir shops

Once a year in June, a raspberry festival is held in the village, where they offer to try the most delicious raspberry juice. In Cumalikizik, there are souvenir shops at every step, which somewhat spoils the overall impression of the village. But, in general, it is worth coming here if you are in Bursa or its environs.

  • Cumalikizik from the center of Bursa can be reached by shuttle bus for 2.5 TL ($ 0.5).
  • It is not recommended to visit the attraction on weekends when crowds of tourists fill the village.
  • Address: Yildirim, Bursa 16370, Turkey.

Where to stay in Bursa

When viewing a photo of the city of Bursa in Turkey, it becomes clear that this is a fairly modern metropolis with a developed tourist infrastructure. At the choice of the traveler there are enough hotels of various categories. The most affordable of them are three-star hotels, which, despite their status, are of high quality service. On average, staying in a double room in a 3 * hotel will cost $ 50-60. Many offers include free breakfast at this price. Having studied the hotels with the best rating on booking, we compiled a list of the most worthy 3 * hotels in Bursa. Among them:

Hampton By Hilton Bursa Hotel
Hampton by hilton bursa
Hampton by hilton bursa

The hotel is centrally located near the main attractions of Bursa. The cost of hotel accommodation in the summer months is $ 60 per night for two with a free breakfast.

Room at Green Prusa Hotel
Green Prusa Hotel
Green Prusa Hotel

Comfortable and clean hotel with an excellent location right in the center of Bursa. The price for checking into a double room in June is $ 63.

Kardes Hotel

Another hotel located in the central area of ​​the city with very friendly staff. The cost of booking a double room per night here is $ 58 (breakfast is included).

Hotel room Bursa City Hotel
Bursa city hotel

This is one of the budget options with a convenient location and friendly staff. The price for a double room per day is $ 46. Although this hotel does not have the highest rating for booking (7.5), it is in great demand due to its proximity to the metro.

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Lunch at the inexpensive restaurant Bursa

In Bursa you will find a great many catering establishments offering both Turkish national dishes and European cuisine. Some restaurants are overpriced, others will please you with affordable prices. So, to dine in an inexpensive cafe will cost on average 15 TL ($ 4). You will be able to meet the same amount if you go for a snack at a local fast food. But in a mid-range restaurant for a three-course dinner for two, you will pay at least 60 TL ($ 14). Popular drinks in restaurants are on average:

  • Local beer 0.5 – 14 TL ($ 3.5)
  • Imported beer 0.33 – 15 TL ($ 3.5)
  • Cup of cappuccino – 8 TL ($ 2)
  • Pepsi 0.33 – 2.7 TL ($ 0.6)
  • Water 0.33 – 1 TL ($ 0.25)

Among the popular establishments of Bursa, we found the best options, which you should definitely pay a visit to when visiting the city:

Steakhouse Uzan Et Mangal
Uzan Et Mangal
  • By Ahtapotus (seafood, Mediterranean, Turkish cuisine)
  • Uzan Et Mangal (steakhouse)
  • Uludag Kebapcisi (various types of kebabs)
  • Dababa Pizzeria & Ristorante (Italian, European cuisine)
  • Kitap Evi Hotel Restaurant (Turkish and international dishes)

Prices on the page are for May 2018.

How to get there

Since Bursa is located close to Istanbul, it is easiest to get to it from this city. There are several ways to get to Bursa: by ferry, bus or plane.

On a ferryboat
Yenikapi Marina Ferry

It is known that a water transport network is well developed in Istanbul, so a trip to Bursa by ferry can be an excellent option. So-called sea buses leave daily to the city from Yenikapi Marina. There are several flights per day, both in the morning and afternoon, and in the evening. The ship arrives in the suburb of Bursa Guzelyali, from where you can get to the center by minibus, waiting for its passengers right at the marina.

It is most reasonable to buy ferry tickets in advance on the Internet on the IDO website. Of course, you can pay for the fare at the box office on the pier, but in this case you will pay a double price for the ticket. So, the ticket price at the ticket office is 30 TL ($ 7), while online – 16 ($ 3.5) TL. The trip takes about 1 hour 30 minutes.

By plane

It should be noted right away that there are no direct flights from Istanbul to Bursa, so the average flight takes at least 3 hours, which is not very convenient. Does it make sense to fly on a plane with transfers, it’s up to you.

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By bus
Bus station Bursa Otogari
Bursa otogari

Every day, dozens of intercity buses to Bursa leave from Esenler Otogari’s large bus station in Istanbul. Travel time takes about 3 hours, and the fare is 35-40 TL ($ 8-9). The bus arrives at Bursa Otogari Bursa Central Station, from where you can get to your hotel by taxi or transfer in advance.

As an additional way to get to the city, you can call a rented car. The cost of renting a budget car model in Istanbul starts from 120 TL ($ 27) per day. Here, perhaps, are all the most convenient ways to get to the city of Bursa, Turkey.

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