14 sights worth seeing in Bursa
Bursa is a major Turkish city that has managed to preserve its historical flavor. Its proximity to Istanbul provides it with good transport accessibility, and the ski resort nearby gives an additional flow of tourists in winter. As the city is an ancient cultural center of Turkey, Bursa has attractions of different periods – mosques and religious complexes, old houses and markets, museums.
Ulu Jami Mosque
Ulu Jami Mosque.
Ulu Jami is the largest mosque of Bursa, an important religious center and one of the main historical landmarks of the city. The building was built back in the 14th century by Sultan Bayazid.
Tourists can tour the mosque from the outside: the large-scale building with 19 domes is a striking example of Seljuk architecture. It is also possible to go inside (except on religious holidays) and examine the interior. A special feature of the Ulu Jami is the ablution fountain, which is not located outside, but indoors. Inside is also valuable Islamic calligraphy and several ancient holy relics from Mecca.
Address: Nalbantoğlu, Ulu Jami Mosque, Ulucami Caddesi, Osmangazi/Bursa, Turkey.
Koza Han Silk Market
Koza Han Silk Market.
Bursa has always been a bustling trading center: historically important trade routes ran through it, and it was here that a stretch of the Great Silk Road ended. In the XV century the Koza Han market appeared in the city, which traded mostly in natural Chinese silk. Trade rows grew and attracted more and more sellers and buyers – an active trade is carried out here to this day.
Koza Han still maintains the atmosphere of a traditional oriental market. Today they still sell natural fabrics. You can also buy fresh local produce, clothes, souvenirs and other products.
Address: Osmangazi, Koza Han, Uzunçarşı Caddesi, Osmangazi/Bursa, Turkey.
The Green Mosque is an entire religious complex which includes a Muslim school and the tomb of Sultan Mehmed Çelebi. It was built in the 15th century and is still an iconic place for citizens.
The outside of the mosque is finished in turquoise marble, which is why it got its name. The building looks especially good on sunny days when the marble shimmers in different shades. The interior is also green in color, made of faience with carved decorations in the Ottoman style.
Address: Yeşil Mh., Green Mosque, Yıldırım/Yıldırım/Bursa, Turkey.
Muradiye Mosque Complex is a religious complex built by Sultan Murad II, who ruled the Ottoman Empire in the mid-15th century. It includes not only a mosque but also a madrasah, a bathhouse and a hospice. All the main institutions of the complex are still in operation today.
The Muradiye can be included in a walk through the historic center of Bursa. There are many beautiful old buildings in the vicinity, and there is a green garden around the complex itself. The square is good for a quiet rest: here you can stop and take a break from sightseeing.
On the territory of the complex you can see the Mausoleum of Murad II, which has an unusual design with an open dome. Next to the entrance is an octagonal fountain.
Address: Muradiye, Muradiye Complex, Profesör Doktor Halil İnalcık Sokak, Osmangazi/Bursa, Turkey.
The Archaeological Museum.
People have lived on the territory of modern Bursa for thousands of years as evidenced by archaeological excavations. Numerous artifacts and evidence of the city’s rich history can be seen in the local archaeological museum, which opened in the early 19th century.
The museum is open six days a week (except Sundays) and is good for exploring the history of ancient Anatolia. The collection includes finds from the Bronze Age period – weapons, sculptures, everyday objects, as well as artifacts from other historical periods. A large section of the exposition is devoted to jewelry and utensils. The museum provides audio guides in different languages.
Address: Gaziakdemir Mh, Archeological Museum, Kültür Park, Çekirge Caddesi D:1, Osmangazi/Bursa, Turkey
Soanli Botanical Garden.
Soanli Botanical Garden.
In the suburbs of Bursa there is a large natural park, the Soanli Botanical Garden. It was laid out not long ago – at the end of the XX century, but has already become a favorite place for tourists and city residents. In the creation of the park participated Turkish specialists and landscape designers from Europe.
The park occupies almost 400 thousand m2 and is divided into several zones with plants of different species. For example, there is a large rose garden and a section with tropical vegetation. There are walking and cycling paths, a jogging trail and a café.
Address: Çukurcaköy, Bursa Botanical Park, Nilüfer Caddesi, Osmangazi/Bursa, Turkey.
On the territory of Turkey there are several groups of thermal springs which are known for their healing effects. One of them is located in Bursa, in the district of Cekirge.
The thermal springs are several natural pools filled with mineral water high in magnesium and calcium. Nearby there are recreational areas where you can drink the healing water or draw it to take with you. If you want to stay in a hydropathic spa for a few days, you can choose one of the local health resorts.
Park Tophane is a historical district of Bursa, one of the oldest in the city. On its territory there are remains of the ancient Hisar fortress, which has survived to this day in a partially destroyed form. The park is excellent for walking in any season and is popular with tourists and locals alike.
If you’re in town for a short visit and are looking for things to see in Bursa, be sure to check out Tophane Park. Its convenient central location allows you to fit it into any itinerary.
There is an observation deck at the top of the park from which you can admire the city views. On the way up you can see several historical monuments, including the ancient tombs of Osman I, the founder of the Ottoman Empire, and his son Orhan I. There are several cafes and stores next to the park.
Address: Osmangazi, Tophane parkı, Osmangazi Çıkmazı Sokak D:1, Osmangazi/Bursa, Turkey.
The Emir Sultan Mosque
The Emir Sultan Mosque.
The first religious building on the site of the present-day Emir Sultan Mosque dates back to the 14th century. Later it was rebuilt several times, acquiring the features of different architectural trends.
The mosque is now an example of the Ottoman rococo style, which is how it was decorated during the reconstruction of the 19th century. The sultan’s tomb is situated in front of the mosque and the whole complex is united by a wooden gallery. There is a square with good viewing platforms and several historical fountains.
Address: Emirsultan, Emir Sultan Mosque, Emir Sultan Cami, Yildirim/Bursa, Turkey.
Museum of Turkish and Islamic Art
Museum of Turkish and Islamic Art.
In 1904, a large exhibition opened in Bursa showing Muslim relics and archaeological finds. The exhibition became permanent and in 1929 a madrasa building was set aside for it, where it is still in operation today.
The museum is located across from the Yeshil Mosque, in a green-tiled building. The large courtyard is surrounded by galleries with ancient Byzantine columns. The exhibition occupies 13 rooms, in which the tiles are displayed:
- Ottoman tiles;
- A large collection of coins;
- household items from different epochs;
- Calligraphy masterpieces, including a handwritten Koran;
- clothing, carpets;
- Reconstructed interiors of traditional Turkish baths.
Address: Yeşil, Turkish & Islamic Art Museum, 1. Yeşil Caddesi Türk İslam Eserleri Müzesi, Yıldırım/Bursa, Turkey.
The museum dedicated to Mustafa Kemal Ataturk operates in a 19th century mansion. The first Turkish president stayed in this building when he came to Bursa. After Ataturk’s death, the mansion was given to the Pension Fund, and in 1973 a memorial museum was opened here.
The original interiors of the first half of the 20th century have been restored in the museum. On the first floor the reception room, dining room and recreation room have been reconstructed. Going up to the second floor you can see the bedroom of the Turkish leader, the study and the greenhouse.
Address: Çekirge, Bursa Atatürk Museum, Osmangazi/Bursa, Turkey.
About 30 km from the city, on Mount Uludag, is a resort that specializes in ski holidays. The first hotel was built here back in the 1930s. Since then, Uludag has developed into one of the largest ski centers in Turkey.
The climate in the Bursa area is fairly mild, so the ski season at Uludag doesn’t open until December. For skiers, snowboarders and fans of other winter sports are equipped with slopes of different levels (including gently slopes for beginners). The resort has a necessary infrastructure – a hotel, rental shops, cafes. When the winter season ends and the snow on the slopes of the mountain melts, Uludağ continues to operate as a summer resort.
Address: Uludağ, Soğukpınar, Osmangazi/Bursa, Turkey.
Next, let’s take a look at the places to visit around Bursa.
The village of Cumalkzk.
There is an ancient settlement where the time seems to have stood still, only 10 km from Bursa. The village of Cumalkzk has an entire complex of buildings from the Ottoman period, about two hundred in total.
Take a trip to Jumalykızık to walk through the cobblestone streets. Admire the homes of locals that look as they did centuries ago. The village has a museum with historical artifacts found in the vicinity. There is also a souvenir shop where you can buy pottery and other souvenirs to remember.
Address: Cumalikizik, Cumalikizik Village (UNESCO), Yildirim/Bursa, Turkey.
Uludag National Park
Uludağ National Park. | Photo: hamad M / Flickr.
Uludağ Mountain, located approximately 30 km from Bursa, is one of the highest mountains in the vicinity at over 2.5 km. It has not only a famous ski resort, but also a national park that can be visited at any time of the year.
The park is well suited for a relaxing vacation in nature. There are several lakes with picturesque shores where you can stop for a picnic in the summer heat. An interesting attraction of the national park is a cave Oylat, which can be visited by tourists without speleological training: inside there are several rooms with equipped paths and lighting, emphasizing the beauty of stalactites and stalagmites.
Address: Uludag National Park, Bursa Uludağ Yolu, Osmangazi/Bursa, Turkey.
Bursa (Turkey) – the most detailed information about the city with photos. The main sights of Bursa with descriptions, guides and maps.
City of Bursa (Turkey)
Bursa is a city in northwestern Turkey, the fourth largest city in the country after Istanbul, Ankara and Izmir. Located between the coast of the Sea of Marmara and the winter resorts in the Uludağ mountains. Bursa is the first capital of the Ottoman Empire, a city with a rich historical and cultural heritage. Most of the sites belong to the early period of the Ottoman Empire. Bursa is famous for its historical atmosphere, peaches, chestnuts and silk. Ancient Seljuk and Ottoman settlements are listed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
Things to do (Turkey):
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Geography and Climate
Bursa is located in northwestern Anatolia on the northwestern slopes of Uludag. The city is located in the southern part of the Sea of Marmara about 20 km from its coast. The climate is Mediterranean with hot summers and cool winters. Negative temperatures and snow are not frequent.
- The population is more than 1.8 million people.
- The area is 1,036 km2 .
- Currency is Turkish Lira.
- Visa – for up to 60 days is sufficient to have a passport, valid for more than four months from the date of entry into Turkey.
- The language is Turkish.
- Time – Central European UTC +2, in summer +3.
Best time to visit
Bursa is one of the best cities in Turkey to visit all year round. In the off-season you can enjoy the comfortable weather and explore the sights of the city and region, in summer you can go to the mountains or the coast of the Sea of Marmara, in winter – to the winter resorts of Uludag.
The first settlements around Bursa date back to 5,200 years ago. In Antiquity the ancient Greek city of Sius was founded there, which in 202 BC was renamed Prusa. In the 1st century BC the town became the property of the Romans. After the collapse of the Roman Empire from the 4th to the 14th century was part of Byzantium.
Bursa was conquered by the Ottomans in 1326 and became the first capital of their state. After the conquest of Edirne (Adrianople) in Eastern Thrace in 1363 the capital was moved there. During the Ottoman period Bursa continued to be an important city where most silk products were produced.
In 1855 the city was badly damaged by earthquakes and fires. In 1920, during the Greek-Turkish War was captured by the Greeks. In 1922, the city was returned to Turkey. After the foundation of the Turkish Republic, Bursa became one of the main industrial centers of the country. This was the reason for the rapid growth of the population and economy, which turned the city into one of the largest in terms of population in Turkey.
How to Get There
Bursa has its own airport, but the number of destinations is small. To get to the city by air it is better to use Istanbul airports. Bursa is conveniently located between Istanbul and Izmir, so you can easily get here by bus. There is no railroad.
The Koza Khan or Silk Bazaar is one of the most popular places to shop in Bursa. The bazaar has existed here since the end of the 15th century.
One of the most popular traditional dishes is İskender kebap, which is lamb meat with slices of bread, tomato sauce and yogurt. Equally delicious but cheaper is Pideli Köfte.
Bursa is an ancient city that combines historical atmosphere with modernity. The heart of the old city is the area from the square with Ataturk’s equestrian statue to the silk bazaar and the Ulu Kami mosque. It is also where most of Bursa’s main attractions are located.
Ulu Kami or Great Mosque is one of the most important historical structures of Bursa and one of the most interesting sights in the city. It was built in 1399 and is one of the most outstanding examples of Seljuk religious architecture in Anatolia, which is strikingly different from later Ottoman architecture. The mosque has 20 small domes and two huge minarets. The interior contains intricate wood carvings and panels with calligraphy.
The Green Mosque is a small religious building built in the style of early Ottoman architecture between 1412 and 1419 for Sultan Mehmet I. The green mosque is named because of the shades of the interior tiles. Inside, the structure is decorated with intricately carved marble and calligraphy. Nearby is the tomb of Mehmet I and the museum of Islamic and Turkish culture.
The Green Tomb
The Green Tomb is the tomb of Mehmet I which was built in the 15th century. It is a small octagonal building with rich interior decoration.
Muradiye is a historical complex with a park and an ancient cemetery where sultans and princes of the early Ottoman state are buried. One of the most interesting constructions is the Mosque of Murat II, built in 1426.
Hisar is an ancient citadel, which is part of the oldest district of the city, Tophane. From the old fortress only parts of defensive walls remained. There are also many beautiful historical houses from the Ottoman period and the tombs of Osman Gazi and Orhan Gazi, the founders of the Ottoman dynasty.
Tophane Clock Tower is located beside the tombs of Osman Gazi and Orhan Gazi within the old citadel inside the ruined city walls. The original structure was built during the reign of Sultan Abdulaziz (between 1861 and 1876) and was later destroyed. A new tower was erected in 1904. It looks out over the city from the edge of the cliff and is illuminated at night.
Irgandi is an arched bridge built in 1442 during the reign of Murat II. Its most interesting feature is the presence of a bazaar, which makes the bridge similar to the Ponte Vecchio in Florence.
Cumalıkızık (Cumalıkızık) is a small village with a stunning historical atmosphere 10 km from Bursa. Here are preserved the original old cobblestone streets and more than 200 houses from the Ottoman period, which still have their original wrought iron elements.
€150 per tour
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200 €170 for the tour.
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