Bursa – one of the largest cities in Turkey

Rest in Bursa, Turkey

Bursa – one of the largest Turkish cities, first of all attracts tourists by the fact that in any season you can have a great time here. In winter you can go skiing, sledging or snowboarding in Bursa, and in summer – enjoy a relaxing time on the beaches of the Sea of Marmara.

In spring and fall, the city welcomes visitors who come to recuperate in thermal baths with hot springs. In addition, Bursa has a large number of attractions, both architectural and natural.

Where is Bursa?

The city of Bursa is located in the northwestern part of the country, 20 km from the Sea of Marmara. The increasingly popular ski resort of Uludağ is only 35 km from Bursa. The distance to Istanbul is about 240 km.

On the map

Who should go?

Bursa is an excellent holiday destination for different categories of tourists. It is a wonderful place for families with children, history buffs, and those who just like to relax on the beaches or go skiing.

Weather

The resort climate is Mediterranean. Winter is cool, but minus temperatures and snow are very rare. The average air temperature during the cold season is +2 … +10 degrees. Summer is hot, the average temperature is +30 degrees. The swimming season in Bursa is from May till October.

When is the best time to travel to Bursa?

Bursa is one of the cities you can visit at any time of the year. However the best time to travel would be from the middle of June to the middle of September when the weather would be comfortable for combining a beach holiday with a visit to the local attractions.

Tours and packages

Prices can be viewed on the website of a hypermarket tours Travelata and buy tickets online. The cost of the tour includes: airfare, transfers from the airport to the hotel and back, accommodation and meals at the hotel and medical insurance.

How to get there?

You can get to the city in several ways. One of the most convenient is to take a ferry from Yenikapi Pier in Istanbul to Guzellali, a suburb of Bursa. The ferries leave twice a day.

The ferry costs from 20 Liras.

After a one and a half hour ferry ride you need to take a bus to Bursa. The buses leave every 15 to 30 minutes. The travel time is three hours.

Most often tourists get to the city by bus from Istanbul, which has good transport links. Travel tickets are sold in travel agencies and bus stations. The buses go to Bursa from the Bayrampaşa Bus Station and go to the bus station 10 km north of the city center on the Yalova Highway. The trip takes about 6 hours and costs from 50 Liras.

The cost of transfer for 3 passengers from Ataturk Airport in Istanbul starts from 1120 Liras. For groups up to 10 passengers a minibus fare is 2000 Liras.

Current prices

The city has a wide variety of catering establishments, where tourists can try national dishes as well as European cuisine. The minimum cost of a lunch in an inexpensive cafe is from 15 liras, a lunch at McDonalds from 20 liras. A three-course dinner at an inexpensive restaurant costs from 75 liras. A cappuccino and a bottle of imported beer (0,33 l) costs from 20 lira.

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The cost of clothes and shoes in Bursa (in liras):

  • Jeans in a brand-name clothing store – from 175,
  • Dresses – from 120.
  • Sneakers – from 385.

The cost of some products (in liras):

  • Milk (l) – 3.
  • Bread (0,5 kg) – 2.
  • Rice (1 kg) – 7.
  • Eggs (12 pieces) – 8.
  • Cheese (kg) – 26.
  • Potatoes (kg) – 2.
  • Chicken breasts – 16.
  • Bananas (kg) – 9.
  • Apples (kg) – 4.

How and where to choose the lodging?

Most hotels are located in the Cekirge district or in the historical center near the Ulu Mosque. Hotels in Cekirge are notable for the fact that they have thermal pools or provide the opportunity to take thermal baths, and as such are in high demand by holidaymakers.

Popular Hotels

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Hilton Bursa Convention Center & SPA 5*

The hotel is located 42 km from Bursa Yenisehir Airport. The hotel has everything you need for quality recreation: outdoor terrace, swimming pool, sauna, Turkish bath, Jacuzzi, modern wellness center and spa, steam room, fitness center, billiards, bar and 2 restaurants. Guests praised the hotel’s location, cleanliness and service. The original design of the rooms and delicious breakfasts deserve special praise.

The cost of daily accommodation for two adults in 2022 is from 448 liras (5,600 rubles).

Crowne Plaza Bursa Convention Center & SPA 5*

Outdoor terrace, swimming pool, fitness hall, indoor and outdoor pools, spa lounge, sauna, spa and wellness center, Turkish bath, public baths, restaurant with Turkish cuisine. In their reviews tourists speak positively about the location of the hotel , attentive staff.

Prices start from 432 liras (5,400 rubles).

Baia Bursa Hotel 5*

The hotel is located near the shopping center Anatolium, 10 minutes from the center. Vacationers can take advantage of a wide range of hotel services, among them: massage, spa lounge, wellness, beauty services, classes with a personal trainer. Pool (including children’s), public baths, spa lounge, Turkish bath, wellness center and spa, fitness center, library, game room, billiards, table tennis, darts are available for guests. There is a bar and two restaurants.

Holidays in Bursa, Turkey

Guests of Baia Bursa Hotel note the spacious rooms, good location, cleanliness and excellent noise insulation, which guarantees a good stay.

Prices start from 380 liras (4800 rubles).

Tugcu Hotel Select 4*

The hotel is located in the city center, 0.1 km from shopping center Bursa City Square. There is a restaurant and a library for guests. The hotel has all conditions for a comfortable stay of disabled guests. Vacationers mostly positive about the hotel, noting the convenient location, attentiveness of staff, delicious cuisine restaurant.

Prices start from 370 liras (4600 rubles).

Hotel Artic 3*

The hotel is located in close proximity to the Great Mosque (0.1 km) and Muradiye complex (0.6 km) . The hotel has a bar and a restaurant, a souvenir store, a playground. Guests praise the hotel’s convenient location, cozy family rooms and excellent staff.

Prices – from 240 liras (3000 rubles).

Sea and beaches

The sea warms up to +28 … 30 degrees during the summer and the water is clear and clean. Coverage of the beaches is mixed with sand, fine pebbles. The advantage of local beaches is not crowded.

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The seaside resort of Mudanya is located on the southern coast of Gemlik Bay, 25 km from the city and is part of Bursa province. The resort can be reached from the city center by city bus or BursaRay subway trains.

The town as a ski resort

The Uludag ski resort is 30 km from the town. The resort has pistes for skiers of varying skill levels, including beginners, making it a great place for a family vacation. There are no difficult runs, so the resort is unlikely to please professionals.

For your information. In total in Uludag there are 10 green slopes, designed for skiing beginners and children, 8 blue, 6 red and 1 black. Their total length is 20 km. To visit the resort is best in the period from December to February, when the snow cover is the best for skiing.

What to see – the main sights

Excursions

Fascinating excursions for vacationers and travelers in 609 cities around the world: Tripster.com is a service of unusual excursions from locals and guides who can tell about the most interesting things in their cities in an interesting and fascinating way.

While vacationing in Bursa, it is worth seeing the local attractions, among which the following are especially worth noting:

  • The Great Ulu-Jami Mosque in the heart of the city, erected in 1399.
  • The Green Mosque and the Green Mausoleum in the east of Bursa. Next to the mosque, which was built in the 1410s, there is a museum of Islamic and Turkish culture and the tomb of Sultan Mehmet I (15th century).
  • Muradiye is a historical complex, which includes an old cemetery and a park.
  • Hisar Citadel which is the oldest district of Bursa, Tophane. Historical Ottoman Houses, Tombs of the founders of one of the old dynasties are preserved here.
  • Irgandi is a covered ancient arch bridge built in 1442. The peculiarity of the place is the presence of a bazaar, making the bridge similar to Florence’s Ponte Vecchio.
  • Dzhumalykızık is a small historical village with old cobblestone streets and two hundred houses of the Ottoman period.
  • The Archaeological Museum, whose exhibits relate to the Roman period of the history of the state.
  • Turkic-Islamic Museum, which exhibits unique items of earthenware, ivory, and embroidered fabrics.
  • Zoo. Tickets cost 5 lira for adults and 2.5 lira for students. Entry for children under 6 years old is free.
  • The Soanli Botanical Garden, not far from the city. The garden is a real oasis of 400,000 square meters. You can visit the park throughout the year, admission is free.
  • Thermal springs, located in the area of Cekirge. There are a total of 8 thermal springs and 3 drinking springs in the resort. Each of the healing springs has its own unique composition.
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What to do?

The city is famous for its atmospheric Oriental bazaars and large shopping malls, which are worth a visit, if only out of curiosity. Shopping is traditionally one of the most popular attractions.

On a side note! Usually travelers buy souvenirs, handicrafts, textiles. Quite an interesting place to visit is the colorful Silk Market Koza Khan, located at Osmangazi Merkrz.

Tourists visiting Bursa recommend visiting the best restaurants in the city and trying Ottoman dishes: kebabs, pita bread, candied chestnuts and sweet desserts.

Bursa – one of the largest cities in Turkey

Home to 1.5 million people, Bursa is Turkey’s fourth most populous city on the slopes of the Anatolian Uludağ Mountains. The abundance of parks, extensive plane-tree alleys, silk groves and numerous “green” monuments is why the Turks call the city Yesil Bursa, i.e. “green bursa”.

History of the city origin

The name of the city comes from the name of the King of Prussia of Vifinia, who founded the first settlement here in 185 B.C. During the reign of King Philip V of Macedonia, the settlement was called Cius, the Romans called the city Prusa, the Seljuks later distorted the name to Brus, which eventually formed the present name. In the past, the Romans were the first to use the local mineral springs and thus laid the foundations of the spa. Today there are about 3,000 thermal baths in the town.

Bursa - one of the largest cities in Turkey

History of the origin of the town

Bursa was the capital of the Ottoman Empire from 1326 until the mid-15th century. After the conquest by Sultan Mehmet II in 1453, Bursa lost its privileged position. In 1841 the city became the administrative center of the Anatolian province and an important cultural center of the area. Today it is a city that thrives on the food, textile and automotive industries, with Fiat and Renault factories located here.

However, in addition to the bustling business district, present-day Bursa offers a unique set of Muslim monuments and many other attractions. Although it has been called the last bastion of ancient Turkish traditions in the country, it is not a city besieged by tourists. Most locals are very appreciative of foreign visitors and many have never seen tourists before. However, this is also reflected in the language barriers.

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Historians call Bursa the cradle of the Ottoman Empire and culture. Few cities have managed to retain such a distinctive oriental flavor. Perhaps no other city in Turkey you will not find so many mosques and tombs. Most of them are lined with green tiles, because green, the Islamic color.

The Great Mosque of Bursa

The most important monument of Bursa is the Great Mosque of Bursa built by Bayezid at the end of the 14th century. The money for its construction was raised during his victory over the Crusaders at Nicopolis in Macedonia. At the time, the sultan declared before the battle that he would build twenty mosques if victorious. He fulfilled his promise only symbolically; the Great Mosque of Bursa was then completed with twenty domes.

Bursa - one of the largest cities in Turkey

The Great Mosque of Bursa

This mosque was one of the largest and most impressive Muslim buildings of the time. Inside is a house of prayer whose walls are decorated with several calligraphic inscriptions. In the middle of the sanctuary is a huge ritual fountain with three tiers and a clock with six dials which shows the worshippers when it is time for the five prescribed prayers.

The Green Tomb of Mehmed I

Bursa - one of the largest cities in Turkey

The Green Tomb of Mehmed I

A significant landmark of the city is the Green Tomb of Mehmed I of 1414, standing on a hill between cypress groves. It is a typical example of the Seljuk architectural style, with walls lined with green ceramic tiles. Its interior is also dazzling, with carved double doors, rich colors and small decorative details. There is the sultan’s sarcophagus, which is covered in green and turquoise tiles, as well as a long quotation from the Koran. His monumental octagonal tomb is a kind of symbol of the city. The Sultan is buried in the tomb along with his sons, daughters, and nanny.

The Green Mosque

Bursa - one of the largest cities in Turkey

Green Mosque

The famous Green Mosque is also a famous monument of the city, it was built in 1412 by Mehmed I, who unfortunately died before its completion. Although it has no portico, it is considered one of the most successful mosques built before the conquest of Constantinople. The mosque has intricate relief decoration. Above the entrance to the courtyard is the Sultan’s rostrum, which is again decorated with green-blue tiles to which, after firing, golden fibers have been added. This is the first mosque to use this technique. The walls of the prayer room are covered with simple green hexagonal tiles. The exterior of the mosque used to boast beautiful ceramic tiles, but it has undergone changes over time.

Market District

In the center of Bursa is the covered market area, which is a maze of streets and Ottoman warehouses. Here you can immerse yourself in an authentic Turkish atmosphere. There is a fabric market, a flower market, a gold or silk market. The latter is located in what was then the caravan park, which is full of miniature silk shops and other fabrics. Even if you don’t feel like buying, you should definitely wait for the cocoon auction, which is an amazing spectacle.

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Bursa - one of the largest cities in Turkey

Market District

It is held here every year in late June and early July . Private silkworm producers from near and far come here to display their precious goods for sale. Thus, the market is flooded with white cocoons of fine fiber, which can be as long as 1,500 meters. This tradition has been observed for centuries and is one of the typical events of Bursa.

Tophane Park

Bursa - one of the largest cities in Turkey

Tophane Park

The Tophane Park, dominated by the clock tower, is considered to be the oldest park in Bursa. The park was once a citadel, but today it is bounded by the ruins of the original Byzantine walls. On the site of the consecrated church are the tombs with the remains of Osman and Orhan Gazi, which date back to 1868. The building has no architectural significance, the mosque is simple, with a dome and a portico with four Byzantine columns. Another city shrine, the Mosque of Murad II from 1447 covered with a massive dome. Its interiors are decorated with tiles from Iznik. The mosque is located in the middle of a garden with cypresses and flowerbeds, so its surroundings are a popular place for rest and relaxation. In addition to several fountains the garden also contains the mausoleum of Sultan Murad II.

Bursa Museums

The Archaeological Museum has an extensive collection of artifacts from the 3rd millennium B.C. to the conquest of the Ottoman Empire. There are ceremonial equipment, Roman glass, statues, bronze objects as well as Byzantine sacred objects and coins. When exploring the city, it is recommended to visit the Husniu Zuber House, which is considered the most charming and best preserved mansion in Bursa. The residence is over 150 years old and originally served as a boarding house for diplomats and then the home of the Russian consul. Today it is a private house, and its owner is trying to organize a small Museum of Folk Architecture. The interior of the house is full of Anatolian motifs, especially evident in the essentials.

Bursa - one of the largest cities in Turkey

Bursa Museums

As already mentioned, Bursa is also a resort city. For example the region of Cekirge is very important because it has the most important mineral springs in all of Turkey. There is an old 6th century spa house here as well as a number of modern and luxurious hotels. The oldest and most famous spa hotel in Bursa is the Çelik Palace, founded in 1933. It has five stars and provides a really high level of service. In the city you can also visit the Old or New Spa, which focus on the treatment of rheumatism and skin diseases.

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