There are so many amazing sights to see in Istanbul, it can be easy to forget there are other beautiful areas of Turkey to explore too. If you are staying in Istanbul, whether for business or pleasure, one trip out of the city you should consider taking is to Bursa. Let us tell you all about this stunning former capital of the Ottoman Empire.
Bursa, located in northwest Anatolia in the Marmara region, has been a popular destination since the Roman times. It is sometimes referred to as "the Royal Springs" because of its centuries-old thermal baths built during the reign of Sultan Murat I.
The Yeni Kaplica bath in Bursa dates back to the 16th Century, and there are numerous other baths in Bursa, all rich in magnesium, calcium and sulphur — wonderful for health and relaxation.
While Bursa is steeped in history, having been the seat of the Ottoman Empire prior to Istanbul, it is now a thriving modern city of nearly three million people and is the fourth most populated metropolitan area in Turkey.
Attractions in Bursa
In addition to the baths, Bursa boasts many attractions for travelers of all types. The surrounding area is heaven for outdoor enthusiasts.
The city is ringed by gorgeous forestlands, and just outside Bursa lies Mount Uludağ, the highest mountain in the Marmara region and a bustling ski resort in winter.
In the summer, visitors can still take the tram to the top of the mountain to picnic and enjoy the expansive vista. There are also many lovely beaches in the area for warm weather activities.
The city of Bursa itself has many Ottoman historic sites, including the incredible Ulu Cami (Grand Mosque) from the 14th Century. It offers an interesting counterpoint to Istanbul's Hagia Sophia. With its 20 domes and two minarets, Ulu Cami is a different type of Ottoman architecture, and its lower, horizontal orientation provides a quiet, contemplative atmosphere for reflection.
There are numerous other mosques in Bursa, as well as many museums. Favorites include the Museum of Archaeology, the Atatürk Museum and the Museum of Turkish Architecture.
Shoppers will not be disappointed either; Bursa also has many contemporary shopping malls, as well as bazaars where you can purchase local specialties, such as silk and candied chestnuts.
Travel Arrangements to Bursa
It is possible to travel to Bursa from Istanbul and back in one day, if you plan very strategically. However, many people stay overnight, so they can savor more of the city's attractions. There are several ways to reach Bursa, the most common being by ferry or seaplane.
Traveling to Bursa can be a bit tricky with the ferry connections and timing, but fear not! Our concierge at Hotel Büyük Keban can make all the arrangements for you. We can even set up a stop in Iznik (formerly Nicaea under the Greeks and a popular historical spot) on the return if you would like.
Call us today or use our simple online tool to book one of our luxurious yet economical rooms for your stay in Istanbul. We guarantee you'll get the best price by scheduling with us directly.
You don't need to wait until you arrive at Hotel Büyük Keban to arrange your trip to Bursa. You can speak with our concierge while you're making your reservation or email at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
You'll have a marvelous time discovering all that Bursa has to offer, and when you return to Istanbul, we'll have your comfortable room waiting for you!