General Information About Bursa
Bursa, Turkey’s fourth-largest city, with natural beauty as well as historic buildings of interest due to the ease of access from both centers, is one of many attractive cities. The fact that it was the first capital of the Ottoman Empire summarizes its depth history in the shortest possible way that gives clues about the places to visit in Bursa. With its towns, nearly a century mosques, inns, baths, historic villages, and streets, it promises many places for local and foreign tourists to see. 2016 world livable city ranking in 28th place all over the world to settle in Bursa, Turkey took place as # 1 in the ranking of the same subject. The spread of the living area to an area of 10,882 square meters in Bursa, with a total population of 2,842,547 people with 2017 data, is also important in this ranking. The oldest known archeological ruins in the town of Bursa, which has a history of thousands of years, come from Menteşe Mound near Yenişehir and Ilıpınar near Orhangazi. The oldest layers of these archeological sites are about 7,000 years old. It was also determined that there had been various settlements in and around Bursa since 4000 BC, but the exact information on the region dates back to 700 BC. Homer refers to the region as “Mysia”
WHEN TO GO
Bursa, which is 155 meters above sea level, generally has a mild climate. However, the climate also varies from region to region. While the mild and warm climate of the Marmara Sea is felt in the north, the harsh climate of Uludağ is present in the southern part of the city. The hottest period in Bursa is between July and September. The average temperature varies between 20-24 degrees. The coldest period is from February to March. The average temperature is between 6 and 8 degrees. For this reason, the period between July and September is preferred for a city tour in Bursa. During this period, many cultural events and activities, such as the Karagöz Festival, take place in the city. However, most of those who choose to go skiing and snowboarding in Uludağ visit the city in January and February.
WHERE TO STAY
There are a considerable number of hotels and pensions to stay in Bursa. There are many hotels especially in Osmangazi, which is considered to be the center of the city and the largest district of Bursa. It is a really old district and so it’s home to many historic buildings. You can be sure that you will have a completely different experience in Osmangazi, which is located at the foot of Uludağ and has an atmosphere that fascinates people with its almost lovely nature. You can visit historic buildings and museums such as the Karagöz Museum, the Bursa Clock Tower, the Orhangazi Tomb, and the Archeology Museum by staying in Osmangazi. For example, there are plenty of accommodation options within walking distance of the area where the Ulu Mosque is located. Besides, for travelers who want to take advantage of the natural hot springs in the district of Çekirge, it is advisable to stay in spa concept venues that offer different and authentic hotels. That’s why high-budget luxury hotels are also located in this part of the city. Travelers who want to adorn their vacations with the cool waters of the sea can be advised to stay by the sea in one of the most beautiful hotels in Bursa Mudanya. The standard is always high in terms of accommodation and places to visit in Bursa. For this reason, it always seems more beneficial to make an early reservation to find a place in hotels in Bursa, which offers a lot of options for those who want a cultural trip or a pleasant vacation. It is because both the winter season and the summer season are very active. As a result, hotel prices in Bursa remain constant almost every season. In this unique city, where you can stay in a different center every season, the price of your accommodation varies depending on the facilities you prefer.
Public transport options in Bursa include public buses, minibusses, trams, metro, cable cars, and taxis. The Bursaray metro system, which opened in 1998, serves as two lines in the east and west directions. Line 1 starts at Emek and ends at Arabayatağı. The second line starts at Uludağ University. Buses in Bursa are often preferred public vehicles with a wide transport network. Public buses serving around seven districts organize trips to the centers and villages, both in the city and outside the city. The tram line in Bursa is also one of the most frequently used means of transport. It operates between Zafer Square and Davutkadı on Cumhuriyet Street. In Bursa, you can buy single-use tickets for public transport. However, using multi-use cards called “Bukart” is both more practical and more economical. Another means of transport in Bursa is a cable car used to climb Uludağ. The ropeway, which is historically significant, has four stations with new regulations. The journey, starting from Teferrüç station in the city, continues with Kadıyayla station, which leads to the Nature Park, Sarıalan station, which is preferred for a panoramic view, and finally Hotels station.
PLACES TO VISIT
- ULU MOSQUE
Ulu Mosque, one of the historic symbols of Bursa, is located on Atatürk Street in the old city center. Considered the most classical and monumental example of a multi-legged mosque structure, the whole work was built by Yıldırım Bayezid after the Niğbolu Victory. Its construction was completed between 1396-1399. The architecture is supposed to be Ali Neccar. Although the mosque has suffered a great deal over the centuries from disasters such as invasion, earthquake or fire, it preserves its current magnificence with many repair works. The Ulu Mosque, which has a rectangular plan, is also the largest and most monumental of the early Ottoman multi-domed mosque architecture. The top of the dome in the middle of the mosque, which is covered with 20 domes, is made of glass and there is a large marble fountain with 16 corners at the bottom. The total area of the interior is 3,165.5 square meters. The pulpit, made by Hacı Mehmed bin Abdulaziz ed-Devvaki from Antep, with the Kündekari technique, is one of the most original and beautiful works of the mosque. While the solar system is on the east side of the pulpit and the galaxy system on the west side, it is claimed that the universe is depicted as ash. Also, the size ratios and orbits of the planets are the same as the actual proportions. Its mihrab was built by Mehmed Usta in 1571. The first imam-orator of the mosque was SüleymanÇelebi, the author of Mevlid-i Serif. Among the original examples of calligraphy are the 192 writings found to be written on the walls in the second half of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century in the Bursa Ulu Mosque.
- ULUDAĞ (Mountain)
Uludağ National Park was declared a national park in 1961, with the ski center an important winter tourism center in Turkey. Herodotus, one of the first historians of the Ancient Age who lived between 490-420 B.C., mentioned Uludağ under the name of Olympos in his book, Heredot History. In his book, he dealt with the tragedy of Atys, the son of King Croesus of Lydia, who lived in Olympos. Strabon, born in Amasya, who lived between 64 BC and 21 AD, 400 years after Herodotus, mentions Uludağ as Olympos and MysiaOlympos in his book Geography. After Christianity was accepted as the official religion in the Roman Empire, the first monasteries where the monks lived in Uludağ began to be established in the 3rd century. In this region, the number of monasteries increased considerably in the 8th century, reached its highest level. Twenty-eight monasteries were established in the valley and hills between Nilüfer Stream and Deliçay. After Orhan Gazi conquered Bursa, some of the monks living in the monasteries on the mountain left their monasteries. In the places of some of these monasteries, places such as Doğlu Baba, Geyikli Baba and Abdal Murat were established where Muslim dervishes retreated. The Turks called it “Monk Mountain”.
Uludağ is the highest mountain in the Marmara region in the northwest of the Republic of Turkey. The mountain is within the borders of the province of Bursa. The ski center of the mountain, which extends in the northwest-southeast direction, is located at Monk Hill at an altitude of 2,486 meters.
How to get to Uludağ?
To reach Uludağ, which is 35 kilometers away from the center of Bursa, transport by road, sea and air can be preferred. By taking the exit route to Uludağ, located on Çekirge Street in Bursa, you can take a private car to Uludağ. Bursa can be reached in 3.5 hours by wandering along the bay, following a 255-kilometer road. In addition to this option, you can also take the Eskihisar-Topçular ferry to Yalova and reach Bursa within 3 hours after a 210-kilometer journey.
If intercity buses are used, it is necessary to go to Tophane district by public bus number 96 at the terminal after reaching Bursa. From Tophane, visitors can get to Uludağ by taxi or minibus.
By sea, another option is to go to Mudanya after a 1.5-hour sea bus journey and reach Uludağ after a 1-hour road trip. Seaplane and helitaxi are another means of transport to Bursa. Bursa can be reached from the surrounding provinces with these vehicles. The nearest airport to the ski center is the Yenişehir district. The airport is 60 kilometers from the ski resort.
What to do?
Uludağ has many activities that can be done in the winter season because it is famous for its winter sports facilities. These activities include the snowmobile safari. It is possible to explore Uludağ with high-powered vehicles by making a reservation at a hotel consultation. Photos and videos of the scenery can also be taken in a snowmobile safari.
Skiing, one of the most popular activities in Uludağ, has a history of 5 thousand years. The sticks that people used to make from trees and put on their feet in order not to sink in the snow turn into a highly developed winter sport today.
The Uludağ Mix Climbing Festival takes place every winter in Uludağ. Mountain climbing is performed in the company of professional climbers at this festival; glacier climbing, camping and survival techniques are taught.
Other winter activities at Uludağ include ice skating and snowboarding.
Cumalıkızık Village is a real time capsule. The mud-brick, wooden and stone houses painted in purple, blue or yellow colors, which run along narrow streets with deep floors, show that the village is well preserved. There are almost no concrete block buildings in the village, going back at least to the 1300s, and all the houses have been restored following the original. Typically, these houses have bay windows, inner courtyards, and the owners operate these courtyards as restaurants. Although local and foreign tourists flock here, landladies have not abandoned their traditional clothing or orchards. They make pancakes with their hands and they host their guests in the village on the slopes of Uludağ.
Nostalgic Cumalıkızık Streets
There are about 270 houses in Cumalıkızık and more than half of them are still active. These houses are generally made of rubble stone, adobe and wood; colorful structures with no more than 2-3 floors, bay windows, door handles and they are generally yellow, purple and blue. The streets where the houses are located are stone-paved and narrow. Squares are completely formed by the natural intersection of public spaces, such as mosques, baths and fountains. The features of the houses, streets and squares are made it a World Heritage Temporary List by UNESCO in 2000 and a World Heritage List by Bursa in 2014. Although it is so close to a big city like Bursa, Cumalıkızık is a real cultural heritage with structures that have not been assimilated for centuries.
Festival of Raspberry
Since Raspberry is one of Cumalıkızık’s famous products, this name is given to the festival. The festival, which has been held 17 times, has been known as the “International Cumalıkızık Festival” for the last two years. It takes place every year in June, and there are many famous artists, dance groups, and entertainment. Cumalıkızık people sell their traditional products at village square stalls, and housewives sell fresh handmade Cumalıkızık specialties. The village of Cumalıkızık, which is usually a tourist attraction, is crowded with festivities, so if you want to travel calmly, it may not be the right time.
The Market Place in the Square
The first time you enter Cumalıkızık, you’ll see a lot of stalls in the square where the bus stop is located, this is Cumalıkızık’s market place. Locals in the village sell their handmade jams, pancakes and noodles; in season, sweet, hormonal-free cherries, strawberries, raspberries and blackberries freshly picked from orchards in and around the village. Besides, a lot of teas and herbs can be found. Chestnut is another village specialty. You can buy food and souvenirs from these stalls.
How to get to Cumalıkızık?
If you will come by car
You can easily go from Istanbul to Cumalıkızık by using navigation, this road is 168 kilometers and takes about 2 hours and 20 minutes. If you say to shorten the road a little more, you can take the IDO or BUDO from Yenikapı to Bursa by fast ferry, this will reduce your journey by about half an hour.
If you are going to pass from Istanbul by ferry:
42 minutes from Mudanya Pier
46 minutes from Gemlik Pier
1 hour and 12 minutes from Yalova Pier
If You Will Come by Public Transport
From the Bursa bus terminal, you can first come to the city square by bus number 38 and take the minibusses that depart from here very often and go to Cumalıkızık. The road takes about 40 minutes.
If you are coming from Istanbul, you can go to Mudanya from Yenikapı with IDO, from Kabataş or Büyükçekmece with BUDO. When you come to Mudanya by seabus or ferry, there are minibusses from here to Bursa center. Also, the Metropolitan Municipality private public buses depart every half hour. You can use bus lines 1/M, 2/GM, 104, 2/U, F /1, F/3.
Gölyazı, the Marmara Republic of Turkey, is located west of the city of Bursa, in the Nilufer district. Gölyazı, a small peninsula on the shore of Lake Uluabat, is 40 kilometers from the center of Bursa.
How to get to Gölyazı?
It is possible to reach Gölyazı by minibusses and buses departing from Bursa. It’s possible to get to Bursa first by intercity buses and get to Gölyazı after about one hour journey from here. Besides, once you reach Bursa Mudanya via Istanbul Sea Buses (IDO) or Bursa Sea Buses (BUDO), you can get to the center of Bursa and get to Gölyazı by minibus or 5G bus.
The 193-kilometer personal vehicle journey from Istanbul to Gölyazı takes approximately 2 hours and 50 minutes. You can take the Eskisehir-Topçular ferry from Istanbul to Yalova or use the Osmangazi Bridge. Since the parking capacity of Gölyazı is not sufficient, it is necessary to park the car 4 kilometers in advance. From here, free busses take visitors to Gölyazı.
History of Gölyazı
Gölyazı’s history goes back to the Romans. Some structures, such as house ruins, aqueducts and tombs from the Roman settlement, have survived in Gölyazı until today. Gölyazı is also known as the center of the Kingdom of Apollo. The old name of Uluabat Lake, where the village is located, was Apolyont. Gölyazı, which hosted the Byzantine and Ottoman empires after the Kingdom of Apollo, continued its existence as a small Greek village until the time of the exchange. Some of those who had migrated from Thessaloniki during the population exchange had settled here. Today, the entire Gölyazı is under protection as a protected area. Several famous movies and series shot in the village have made Gölyazı acquainted and heightened his enthusiasm.
Places to see in Gölyazı
The settlement in Gölyazı continues within the city walls for 800 years. Gölyazı, with its location on the shores of Lake Uluabat and its deep-rooted history, has many beauties. It is noted that some parts of its historic buildings are intertwined with Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman architectural styles. Cobbled narrow streets, hospitable villagers, trees immersed in the rising water of spring, pelicans and ducks are the elements that create the atmosphere of Gölyazı. Although the village looks quite small, it is a place where time passes quickly with its remarkable natural and cultural structures.
Tirilye is a beautiful town located 12 kilometers west of Bursa’s Mudanya district. Thanks to its centuries-old historic texture, it still attracts the attention of many local and foreign tourists. Tirilye is a peaceful place with clean air, sea, fisherman’s restaurants and tea gardens on the beach, old buildings, narrow and stone streets. The town, where 30 Turkish households were settled in Istanbul during the Bayezid period, was a rich settlement where Greeks mostly lived in the Ottoman period. After these periods, there were seven churches, three monasteries and three holy springs in the city. However, only three of the churches are standing today. Of the three monasteries, the monastery of Aya Yani has survived in part until today. The ruins of the three monasteries mentioned and known to date back to Byzantium are located outside Tirily. The monastery of HagiosSergios is at the exit of the town, on the road to Eşkel village. The Aya Yani Monastery, 5 km from Tirilye, can be reached by passing a 3-kilometer dirt road, olive groves and sunflower fields. BatheosRhyakosSoteros Monastery is among the people in a locality called Aya Sotiri. Another church is the Greek Church of HagiosIoannes. The Yuannes Church is referred to as the Dündar House. After the Greeks left the area, it became private property. The church of Panagia Pontobasilissa is known as the church of Kemerli. The Church of St. Stephanos (Fatih Mosque) was converted into a mosque in the 14th century. Although the exact name and date of the construction of the Tirilye Bath, which is situated on the same building island as the Fatih Mosque and the south facade of the Mosque, is unknown, there are rumors that it was built by Turks brought from Kastamonu and Üsküdar in the first half of the 16th century, during the reign of Yavuz Sultan Selim. The Stone School is another structure worth seeing in the region. Born and educated in Greece after returning to Turkey by ChirisostomosTirilye, built between 1904 and 1909 Stone School, Tirily’s most magnificent buildings. Tirily, whose olive and olive oil has been world-famous since its establishment, has also stood out in the past in terms of silkworm cultivation and wine production.