Bursa, Turkey is the perfect destination for those looking to unwind and reconnect with nature. Nestled in the shadows of the Uludağ mountain range, Bursa boasts hot springs and verdant forests, making it an oasis of tranquility. There are plenty of things to do in Bursa, including riding the Bursa Teleferik, shopping and sightseeing in the Central Bazaar, visiting the Grand Mosque and Karagoz Museum of Turkey, strolling through the charming village of Cumalıkızık, and exploring the Muradiye Tombs. Getting to Bursa from Istanbul is easy and affordable, with options including buses, ferries, and driving by car. Additionally, there are many Bursa tours available, including day trips and city tours.
What’s Special about Bursa in Turkey?
Bursa, also known as “Green Bursa” because of its verdant landscape, is a city located in the northwestern part of Turkey. It is the fourth most populous city in Turkey and the capital of Bursa Province. It is famous for its Ottoman architecture, hot springs, and silk production. The city has a rich cultural heritage, having served as the first capital of the Ottoman Empire. Still wondering what to see in Bursa? Read below!
How to Get to Bursa from Istanbul?
Getting to Bursa from Istanbul is easy and affordable. You can take a bus, a ferry or drive by car. The journey from Istanbul to Bursa takes around 2 hours by car. Here are your options:
Bus from Istanbul to Bursa
BUDO Ferry from Istanbul to Bursa
Budo ferry from Eminonu, Istanbul is another option to reach Bursa. The ferry ride takes about 1.5 hours and offers a beautiful view of the Sea of Marmara.
IDO Ferry from Istanbul to Bursa
Ido ferry from Kadikoy, Istanbul is another way to get to Bursa. The journey takes about 2 hours and the ferry docks at Mudanya, a town on the outskirts of Bursa.
Take a Guided Tour from Istanbul with Arranged Transport
Discover the beauty and history of Bursa, just a short trip away from Istanbul, with a guided tour and arranged transport. A professional guide will take you on a journey through the city’s highlights, such as the Grand Mosque, Green Mosque, Green Tomb, and the historic Silk Market. Enjoy the convenience of arranged transport from Istanbul, allowing you to sit back and relax as you take in the stunning scenery during your journey. This day trip is perfect for travelers who want to experience the rich culture and history of Bursa without the hassle of navigating the journey on their own.
Best Things to Do and to See in Bursa, Turkey
There are plenty of things to do and see in Bursa, from historical landmarks to natural wonders. Here are the top 20 things to do and see in Bursa:
Ride the Bursa Teleferik
Get ready for an unforgettable ride on the Bursa Teleferik, a cable car that takes you up to the top of Uludağ Mountain. The ride lasts around 20 minutes and offers breathtaking views of the city and the surrounding landscape.
Shop and Sightsee in the Central Bazaar in Bursa
The Central Bazaar, also known as the Koza Han, is the perfect place to get lost in the hustle and bustle of Turkish culture. The bazaar is a labyrinth of shops and stalls selling everything from spices to souvenirs.
Go to Grand Mosque Bursa
The Grand Mosque, also known as the Ulu Camii, is one of the most famous landmarks in Bursa. The mosque was built in the 14th century and is a beautiful example of Ottoman architecture.
Spend Time in Karagoz Museum (Shadow Puppet Museum)
For a unique cultural experience, head to the Karagoz Museum, also known as the Shadow Puppet Museum. The museum houses a collection of shadow puppets and is a great way to learn about Turkish folklore.
Stroll the Alleys of Cumalıkızık
Take a step back in time and explore the charming village of Cumalıkızık. The village is known for its well-preserved Ottoman architecture and is a great place to stroll around and soak up the atmosphere.
Explore Muradiye Tombs
The Muradiye Tombs are a series of mausoleums located on the outskirts of Bursa. The tombs are a beautiful example of Ottoman architecture and offer a glimpse into the city’s rich history. They were built in the 14th century and are the final resting place of several members of the Ottoman royal family, including Sultan Murad II.
Visit the Green Mosque
The Green Mosque, or Yesil Camii, is one of Bursa’s most iconic landmarks. It was built in the early 15th century and is named after the green tiles that decorate its interior. The mosque is known for its intricate stonework and beautiful calligraphy, and it’s a must-visit for anyone interested in Ottoman architecture.
Visit the Bursa Archaeological Museum
The Bursa Archaeological Museum is home to an impressive collection of artifacts from the city’s rich history. The museum’s exhibits include pottery, coins, and other objects that offer insight into the region’s past. The museum is housed in a historic building and is a great place to learn more about the area’s culture and heritage.
Visit the Living Museum of Umurbey Silk Production
Bursa, located in northwest Turkey, has a rich history of silk production that dates back to the Ottoman Empire. Silk products from Bursa were highly valued and were even exported to Europe during the Renaissance. The city played a key role in the development of silk production techniques, and the silk industry became an important part of Bursa’s economy.
Admire the Irgandi Bridge
This Ottoman-era bridge is a wonderful place to take photos and admire the city’s architecture. The city’s architecture is truly remarkable, showcasing the unique blend of Ottoman and modern influences. The bridge itself is a testament to the city’s rich history and cultural heritage, with its intricate design and stunning arches.
There are also many surrounding areas to explore, including charming cafes and local shops. Visitors to this bridge are sure to leave with a deeper appreciation for the city’s beauty and history.
Have a Turkish Coffee in Koza Han
This historic caravanserai is not only a great place to relax and enjoy traditional Turkish coffee, but it is also a fascinating piece of history. Built during the Ottoman Empire, it served as a roadside inn for travelers and their animals. The caravanserai was strategically located along trade routes connecting Europe and Asia, making it a hub for commerce and cultural exchange.
See the Swimming Stones Sculpture
This unique sculpture is located in the Osmangazi district and depicts three swimmers diving into the water.
Be Amazed by the Gazi Orhan Bey Mosque
This magnificent mosque was built in the 14th century and is an architectural masterpiece. It showcases the remarkable skill of its builders and artisans who created intricate tile work and calligraphy.
This mosque has stood the test of time and continues to inspire awe in all who visit it. The mosque is also surrounded by lush gardens and fountains that enhance its beauty and create a serene atmosphere. Visitors can stroll through the gardens, take in the stunning architecture, and appreciate the rich history of this stunning monument.
Relax in a Historical Thermal Bath
The city is particularly well-known for its thermal baths, which have been enjoyed by locals and visitors alike for centuries.
In fact, Bursa is home to several world-renowned hot springs, including Yeni Kaplica, Kara Mustafa Otel, and Çakir Hamami, which offer visitors the perfect opportunity to relax and rejuvenate. Additionally, the city is surrounded by beautiful mountains and forests, making it an ideal location for outdoor activities such as hiking and skiing.
Watch the Whirling Dervishes
The Mevlevi Lodge in Bursa offers performances of the famous Sufi ritual dance, the Whirling Dervishes.
Feel the Nature: Inkaya – Biggest Tree in Turkey
Inkaya is a natural wonder located in the district of Orhaneli. The tree is over 600 years old and is the largest tree in Turkey.
Discover the Nightlife of Bursa
Go to Podyum Park: This entertainment complex features restaurants, bars, and clubs, making it the perfect place to experience Bursa’s nightlife.
Have Fun with Kids in Bursa Zoo
The Bursa Zoo is a wonderful destination for a family outing. The zoo is home to a vast array of animals, including some of the most magnificent and majestic creatures in the world.
Visitors to the zoo can observe these animals in their natural habitats, learning about their behavior and characteristics. In addition to the lions, tigers, and monkeys that the zoo is famous for, there are also many other species to admire and enjoy.
If you’re looking for fun things to do with kids in Istanbul, check out this article for some great recommendations!
Go Hiking at Uludag National Park
If you are an avid hiker and nature enthusiast, Uludag National Park is the perfect place for you to visit. Situated in the beautiful city of Bursa, this national park boasts a wide range of hiking trails that cater to different skill levels. From beginner-friendly paths that wind through lush forests to more challenging trails that lead to stunning mountain vistas, there is something for everyone here.
Clear your Mind at Saitabat Şelalesi
This beautiful waterfall is located in the Uludag National Park, a vast expanse of lush greenery and natural beauty that’s home to a diverse range of flora and fauna. One of the most popular attractions in the park, the waterfall offers visitors a chance to take in the stunning scenery and unwind in a peaceful and serene environment.
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Best Restaurants in Bursa: Where to Eat
There are plenty of restaurants and cafes in Bursa, serving traditional Turkish cuisine as well as international dishes. The city’s central bazaar is also a great place to sample local street food and snacks.
Kayhan Koftecisi is a traditional Turkish restaurant known for its delicious meatballs. The restaurant has been serving customers for over 100 years and is a must-visit for anyone who wants to experience the authentic taste of Turkish cuisine.
Deniz Tabagi is a seafood restaurant located near the Bursa waterfront. The restaurant is popular for its fresh seafood and is especially known for its grilled fish. The restaurant has a cozy atmosphere and offers a great view of the sea.
Cigergah is a meat lover’s paradise. This restaurant is known for its succulent lamb dishes and has been a favorite of locals for many years. The restaurant is decorated with traditional Turkish rugs and has a warm and welcoming atmosphere.
Lokanta Neş’e is a cozy restaurant located in the historic Cumalıkızık village. The restaurant offers a selection of Turkish meze dishes and traditional main courses, all made with fresh and locally sourced ingredients. The restaurant is perfect for a relaxing lunch or dinner.
Where to Stay in Bursa: Best Hotels
Bursa offers a wide range of accommodations, from budget-friendly hostels to luxurious hotels. Most of the hotels are located in the city center, close to popular attractions and restaurants.
Located in the heart of Bursa, Almira Hotel boasts 35 years of experience in providing exceptional customer service. With easy access to local attractions, shopping centers, and transportation hubs, this hotel offers both convenience and comfort.
Situated in the historical center of Bursa, Kayhan City Hotel offers a peaceful and modern stay amidst historical attractions. With its friendly staff and unique services, the hotel aims for 100% customer satisfaction.
As the newest hotel in the city, Crowne Plaza Bursa provides spacious rooms, including the largest king suite in the area. Guests can enjoy the hotel’s extensive thermal spa facilities, which include a thermal pool, modern spa experiences, and a traditional Turkish bath. The hotel also offers special benefits for Club rooms and Club Lounge guests.
Getting Around Bursa
Bursa is a compact city, and most of its attractions are within easy reach of each other. The most popular way to get around Bursa is by using the local public transportation system, which includes buses and trams.
If you prefer more flexibility, you can also rent a car or hire a private driver to take you around the city.
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Bursa Tours and Activities
Bursa is a city with a rich history and natural beauty, and there are various tours and activities to explore the city. If you prefer guided tours, you can opt for Bursa tours from Istanbul, which include full-day and half-day trips, as well as private tours. These tours cover popular attractions such as the Grand Mosque, the Green Mosque, and the Bursa Castle.
Bursa day tours from Istanbul provide a convenient and hassle-free way to experience the city’s highlights. The tours typically include transportation, guided visits to historical sites, and free time for shopping or leisure activities. Additionally, you can choose to take a Bursa cable car tour to Uludağ Mountain to enjoy the natural beauty of Bursa through hiking, skiing, or simply admiring the stunning views of the surrounding area.
Conclusion: The Best Things to Do in Bursa
In conclusion, Bursa is a city with a rich history and natural beauty that attracts visitors from all over the world. Whether you’re interested in exploring historical landmarks or enjoying the stunning views of the surrounding area, Bursa has plenty of options for guided tours and activities. With convenient day trips from Istanbul, Bursa tours offer a hassle-free way to experience the city’s highlights, including the Grand Mosque, the Green Mosque, and the Bursa Castle.
To fully appreciate the beauty of Bursa, you can also take a cable car tour to Uludağ Mountain or a Bosphorus tour or cruise. With so many options to choose from, Bursa is a must-visit destination in Turkey.