Travel Guide Europe Turkey Marmara Bursa

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Introduction

Bursa 2007- Yesil mosque detail

Bursa 2007- Yesil mosque detail

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Bursa is Turkey's fourth largest city and the first capital of the Ottoman Empire. People refer to her as Green Bursa because of her green nature and gardens. She is the westernmost end of the Silk Road. Bursa is the winter skiing capital of Turkey. It has few monuments when compared with Istanbul, but then most visitors are attracted by Uludag, the mountain that stands tall behind Bursa. Though Uludag is not that difficult to climb, one should not begin climbing unless there is some local guide or someone who has gone on the top because the trails are not properly marked. Some of the other monuments around the old city include some mosques and the surrounding areas. Tophane is a fort-like structure where you can get a bird’s eye view of Bursa at night.

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Sights and Activities

  • Uludag
  • Ulu Camii (The Great Mosque)
  • Hot Springs
  • Bursa Archaeology Museum

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Weather

A great time to visit the city is the late winter/early spring, which is characterized by refreshing rains early in the morning, followed by sunny and comfortably warm noons - a welcome and easily perceived change from cooler Istanbul (located further north) or Eskişehir (located higher, and further away from the sea).

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Getting There

By Plane

The local airport, Yenişehir Airport (YEI IATA), is 43 kilometres east of the city, near the town of Yenişehir. A limited number of domestic flights connect to the airport (listed below); however, given the inconvenient location of the airport, and the infrequent connections with the city, Istanbul's Atatürk and Sabiha Gökçen are frankly easier airports to get to the city, and with a ferry connection, form the most common way of getting to the city.

By Train

Since the decommissioning of Bursa–Mudanya railway in the 1950s, there has been no railway connecting with Bursa.

However, when coming from Ankara, you can take the high-speed train (YHT) to Eskişehir, which is located about the mid-way, and then transfer to the bus heading for Bursa there, which is provided by Turkish State Railways and departs right in front of the station. This combined trip takes around 4 hours (as opposed to 5½ hours by bus only), and there are seven fast train departures daily from Ankara.

By Car

Highways that are fairly wide and in good condition connect the city to north (D575/E881, from İzmit, Yalova, and Istanbul, the shortest route from last of which involves taking a ferry to Yalova), west (D200/E90 from Balıkesir with a connection to D565 from İzmir in the southwest), and east (D200/E90 from Eskişehir and Ankara, with a connection to D650 from Antalya in the south).

By Bus

Buses connect with most, if not all, significant cities in the country, including, but not limited to, Ankara, İzmir, and Antalya. Prices vary from €10-50, depending on the distance. Most of the bus firms are listed in tikobilet-Bursa so you can get your tickets online.

A bus ride from Istanbul, which costs about €10 or 40 TL, takes less than 3 hours (from the Asian side) after the inauguration of the Osman Gazi Bridge . Pamukkale offers nonstop trips from Istanbul - Harem or Kurtköy (near the Sabiha Gökcen Airport).

All intercity buses arrive at the modern bus station (locally called Terminal), about 10 kilometres north of the city, off the highway to Istanbul, and just inside the newly-built beltway (which the buses heading for east, west, and south take). All buses offload at one side, the ticket kiosks all located inside, and at the other side are the yellow city buses leaving for the downtown and various districts of the city centre. The row of bus stops are equipped with illuminated signs telling the route number and the main stops the bus in the stop in question will go through—#38 goes in a loop between the downtown and the station, while #96 connects with Çekirge, also going through parts of the downtown first, and closing its loop through Kükürtlü and Çekirge before returning to the station. (Upon returning to the station while leaving the city, you should also take your bus in the stops on the same side of the street that you got off, because of the circular fashion of the routes of these buses.) It takes these buses around 45 minutes to complete their route, first along the highway in the edge of the city, then into the narrow alleys of the slum-like district of Çirişhane, and finally into the city centre through Stadyum Caddesi. While in the station, buy your ticket (2.50 TL) from the small building next to the bus stops.

There are also very frequent turquois- coloured buses marked HEYKEL which will let you off right in the centre of Bursa opposite Ulucamii.

By Boat

The following journey is the fastest option from Istanbul. Two companies offer fast ferries from Istanbul to Bursa (Tickets can be booked online):

İDO: Take one of İDO's Istanbul-Bursa ferries from Istanbul Yenikapı terminal (in the European part of Istanbul near Sultanahmet), Besiktas or Kadıköy to Güzelyalı (80 minutes, 20 - 40 TL). Güzelyalı is about 20 kilometres from Bursa, and minibuses meet the ferry to take passengers to Organize Sanayi metro station (30 minutes, 3 TL) in the outer suburbs of the city. Alternatively, you can take the municipal bus 1/GY from Güzelyalı IDO Pier to Emek metro station.
BUDO: BUDO ferries depart from Istanbul Old Town (Eminönü/Sirkeci) to Mudanya (27 TRY). Mudanya is also 20 kilometres away from Bursa. You can either take a minibus to Organize Sanayi Metro Station or the municipal bus 1/M-BUDO to Emek metro station.
Take the metro from Organize Sanayi or Emek metro station to downtown Bursa - get off at Şehreküstü station for the old section of the city close to the market area (30 minutes, 2 TL). The whole journey from Istanbul to the centre of Bursa will take 2½-3 hours.

It's also possible to transit through Yalova fast ferry jetty, about an hour bus ride (which costs 9 TL pp) north of Bursa.

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Getting Around

The city has a metro line connecting downtown with suburbs in the northwest. There is also an extensive bus and dolmuş network. The dolmuşes in Bursa are more likely to be a normal looking white car with a sign on the roof rather than the yellow minibuses that are common in Istanbul.

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Eat

Try the İskender kebap, a dish originated from Bursa. İskender consists of roasted, sliced lamb spread atop diced bread pieces, topped with tomato sauce, served with yoghurt. A similar dish, meatballs instead of sliced lamb only, would be Pideli Köfte which is definitely cheaper and perhaps more delicious. Go to Kayhan Carsisi, very close to Heykel, for best options. Candied Chestnut is the best choice for dessert but sadly you cannot get it from a restaurant.

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Drink

The cafe at the gardens of Kozahan might be the most authentic place in the city to have a Turkish coffee - which might be what Queen Elizabeth II was thinking, who visited there in 2008.

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Sleep

View our map of accommodation in Bursa or use the form below to search for availability (Travellerspoint receives a commission for bookings made through the form)

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Keep Connected

Internet

Internet cafes can be found everywhere except small rural villages. The cost of an hour use of internet ranges from 1 YTL to 1.5 YTL. Wireless internet is becoming popular in some cafes in big cities such as Istanbul, Ankara, and Izmir, and at airpots. But in many other places it's still not available, or sometimes at a very high cost.

Phone

See also: International Telephone Calls

Turkey's international country code is 90. Dial 112 for an ambulance anywhere, from any telephone, without a charge. In case of a fire, dial 110; for police, call 155. However, in rural areas there is not a police coverage, so dial 156 for gendarme, a military unit for rural security. All these numbers are free of charge and can be called from a telephone booth without inserting a calling card, or any phone including cell phones.

There are telephone booths owned by Turk Telekom in major parts of cities. public phones now operate with chip telekom cards which are available in 30, 60 or 120 units and can be obtained at post offices, newspaper and tobacco kiosks.
It is estimated that approximately 98% of the population of Turkey lives within the coverage areas of Turkey’s three cell phone line providers. Line providers from most countries have roaming agreements with one or more of these companies. Pre-paid mobile phone SIM cards can be purchased for approximately TRY20-50. These can be purchased at the airport on arrival or from the many outlets in Istanbul and other large cities. Providers include Vodaphone.

Post

PTT is the national post service in Turkey. Services are generally moderately fast but quite reliable. There is an extended price list on the PTT website, where you can see the costs of sending items within Turkey, countries in Europe and further afield. For sending packages one might also use international companies such as DHL and UPS and local companies such as Yurtici Kargo. Post offices bear the distinctive yellow PTT sign and are generally open between 9:00am to 12:00 noon and 1:30pm to 5:00pm from Monday to Friday. Some might keep longer hours or be open during the weekend as well, but this mainly applies to the larger ones or those in central places and tourist areas.

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Quick Facts

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Coordinates
  • Latitude: 40.194755
  • Longitude: 29.058004

Accommodation in Bursa

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This is version 21. Last edited at 11:50 on Oct 2, 17 by Peter. 6 articles link to this page.

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