Bursa, Best of the Snowy Silk City

Panoramic view of the Bursa Uludag Mountain Ski Resort with no snow

Updated On: November 07, 2023 by   Aya RadwanAya Radwan

A trip to Bursa might have come across your way as a 1-day add-on to an Istanbul visit. The surprising part is that there’s much more to Bursa that you can do, more places to visit that will lure you in to explore and enjoy.

This city is the fourth most populated city in Turkey, believe it or not! It’s one of the most important industrial centers in the country as well; most of the country’s automotive production takes place in Bursa.

Bursa, once known as Hüdavendigar or “God’s gift” was the first major capital of the Ottoman Empire in 1326. After which the city witnessed significant growth that continued long after the capital position was transferred to Edirne, retaining its commercial and spiritual importance.

The city is also known for its prominent silk market, as it used to be the source city of all silk products during the Ottoman reign until the 17th century. The city held a prominent position on the silk trade route.

Bursa might be home to several attractions, to both locals and tourists but also has captivating greenery, earning the city the name Yeşil Bursa or Green Bursa.

The city offers to show you around many historical landmarks and some of the most delicious food and treats you could taste.

The city rests at the base of the Uludağ meaning the “Great Mountain”, once known as the ancient Mysian Olympus, which houses a popular ski resort and is perfect to enjoy during the snowy days.

Bursa is located in the southern Marmara Region and enjoys dry summers from June to September and cool winters with snow that lasts for a couple of weeks.

Getting to Bursa

  1. Fly in:

Even though the nearest airport to Bursa is Yenişehir Airport which is 41.6 Kilometers away from the city, getting to the city of Bursa by air is not advisable. There are no direct flights from Istanbul Sabiha Airport to the Yenişehir Airport, there are only flights that usually go through Trabzon first before arriving at the YEI.

  1. By ferry:

The most common way to get to Bursa, from Istanbul for example, is by taking the ferry and continue the trip by car. There are two types of ferries that can take you across the Marmara Sea and put you on the road to Bursa.

Passenger-Only Ferries: Istanbul’s Kabataş docks has two companies that operate fast passenger-only ferries. Budo Ferries run ferries from Kabataş to Mudanya. The other company is İDO Ferries which operates from Kabataş to Güzelyalı.

Car Ferries: Fast car ferries leave Istanbul’s Yenikapı Feribot Terminalı (Yenikapı Ferryboat Terminal) daily for two ports on the shores of the Sea of Marmara to make your way to Bursa.

-The first ferries leave from YFT to Güzelyalı about two or three times a day. The ferry ride takes about 90 minutes to cross the sea.

-The second is the Yalova Car Ferry and it’s more common among tourist agencies as they take you on a quick ride through Yalova, showing you the car manufacturers and some shopping outlets after crossing the sea. This ferry ride takes about 70 minutes and more than five ferries make this journey a day.

  1. By bus:

After your departure from the Istanbul’s Sabiha Gökçen Airport, you will find buses that leave from the airport right to Bursa every 30 minutes. Companies such as BBBus operates buses around the clock, usually every 30 or 60 minutes for a ticket of 30 TL.

  1. By train and bus:

You can take the Marmaray Banliyö Treni operated by Turkish Railway all the way from Yenikapi to Gebze, in an hour and 16 minutes for a ticket price of 22 TL.

Then you can take the bus from Gebze to Bursa by paying about 33 TL, a company such as MetroTurizm operates buses that will take you. The trip is well over an hour and a half.

What to do in Bursa?

Now that you’ve arrived in Bursa, you can explore more of this beautiful city. If you’ve made your trip during the winter months, the trip up to Uludağ is a must. Nevertheless, the mountain is enjoyable all year round. There are several markets and museums around the city that will dazzle your eyes.

  1. Mount Uludağ:

Literally meaning the great mountain, Uludağ is over 2,500 meters height, making it the highest mountain in the Marmara region. The spiral trip up the mountain give you a glimpse of the forest engulfing the mountain. The season you choose for you visit will mostly determine the activities you can enjoy.

During the winter season especially with the presence of snow, the ski resort is your go-to place to have some fun. It’s not a problem if you didn’t pack your skiing gear, professional shops offer equipment for hire for good prices.

The ski slopes can accommodate both intermediate and professional skiers and snowboarders as well.

Snow-covered trees in the Bursa Uludag Mountain Ski Resort
Snow-covered trees in the Bursa Uludag Mountain Ski Resort

Transport between the ski slopes is made easy by the installation of 24 different ski lifts on-site. The ski-resort can be easily reached by bus or taxi or you can take one of the best and longest teleferik (cable-car) rides you can take both to the top of the mountain and back to the city as well.

If your season of choice is during much warmer weather, then you can go trekking or camping through the vast slopes of the mountain. They are filled with many species of flora and fauna.

Descending from Bursa Uludag Ski Resort
Descending from Bursa Uludag Ski Resort

No need to worry about equipment either, as they are also available in special shops in the city. Time spent in the slopes is great for children as well, for them to take a time-out of city life and sightseeing to enjoy the beautiful and calming nature.

  1. Ulu Cami (The Grand Mosque of Bursa):

This historic mosque in Bursa is the largest one in the city, it’s located at the heart of the city alongside its historic markets. The building is a testament of Ottoman architecture as it evolved out of the Seljuk Turkish Architecture. Construction of the mosque was commissioned by Sultan Bayezid I between 1396 and 1399.

Plaque outside the Bursa Great Mosque or Ulu Camii
Plaque outside the Bursa Great Mosque or Ulu Camii

The mosque has a rectangular shape with 20 domes and 2 minarets, the domes are arranged in four rows of five and supported by 12 columns. It is said that the twenty domes were built instead of the twenty separate mosques that the Sultan had promised.

The interior of the mosque is painted with Ottoman Baroque style decoration from the 19th century and displays beautiful examples of the intricate writings of the calligraphers of that period.

Calligraphy in the Bursa Ulu Camii
Calligraphy in the Bursa Ulu Camii

The calligraphic inscriptions inside earned the mosque the name of a calligraphy museum. Calligraphic compositions from the 18th to the early 20th centuries cover different parts of the walls.

A very distinct feature of Ulu Cami is the existence of a fountain in the center inside known as a şadırvan with a water basin beneath it. The fountain and the şadırvan helped worshippers perform ablutions. The şadırvan is covered by a glass dome; a skylight, which helps illuminate the mosque.

Water fountain inside Ulu Camii in Bursa
Water fountain inside Ulu Camii in Bursa

The mosque had suffered from damage several times during its lifetime. Tradition says that the mosque was burned twice, in 1402 and in 1412.

The Glass Dome of Bursa Ulu Camii
The Glass Dome of Bursa Ulu Camii

Nevertheless, the first reparation works in history of the mosque date back to 1493. The place also suffered from a damaging earthquake in 1855, after which it was closed for some time until the reparation works were finished in 1889.

  1. Yeşil Camii (The Green Mosque):

The green and blue interior of this mosque is the reason for its colorful name. The mosque is part of a complex that consists of a mosque, a türbe (a tomb), madrasah (educational institution), kitchen and a bath.

The Green Mosque is often perceived as representing the peak of the early Ottoman architectural style due to the mastery displayed within it.

The exact completion date of building the mosque is unknown but it was commissioned in 1412 and works finished between 1419 and 1424. Sultan Mehmed I Çelebi who commissioned the building of the mosque is buried in a mausoleum called the Green Tomb within the complex of which the mosque is part.

The mosque is cube-shaped with an extension on the south side. The mosque has a foyer at the entrance that leads to a short staircase up to the central prayer hall. The central hall is surrounded by iwans on the east and west, both have domes and two stories high.

In the hall connecting the foyer to the prayer room, the walls are covered with dark green hexagonal tiles, emphasized by a large roundel in the center of each wall. The walls are covered with intricate floral arabesque in black-line tiles glazed in white, yellow, green and blue.

The Green Mosque underwent several restorations. The first began in 1863 after a devastating earthquake in 1855, but the exact completion date is unknown. Then from 1941 to 1943, the mosque underwent another round of restoration where the ceramic facing of the tiles was removed and reinstalled. The last restoration works began in 2010 and finished in 2012.

  1. Yıldırım Bayezid Camii (Bayezid I Mosque):

This mosque is located at the district of Yıldırım in Bursa and was built between 1391 and 1395. Commissioned by Sultan Bayezid I, the mosque is made up of a central hall with a large dome topped flanked by iwans on the east and west with smaller domes and another large domed iwan with mihrab on the south.

In the mosque, all three iwans were built three steps higher than the central hall. The Yıldırım Camii is the first structure where a Bursa Arch was implemented. The arch is located between the central hall and south iwan, connecting and supporting the two large domes. Unlike similar mosques built during the same era, Yıldırım Camii is built entirely of dimension stones.

Like most of the historical buildings in Bursa, the mosque was restored after the 1855 Bursa earthquake.

  1. Muradiye Külliyesi (The Muradiye Complex):

Like the previous mosques which were each part of their own complex, the Muradiye Complex consists of a mosque, 12 tombs, a madrasa, bath, hospice and a fountain. The 12 tombs in the complex are mostly relatives of Sultan Murad II who had commissioned the building of the mosque.

The mosque was completed in 1426 and was the first to be built in the complex. It is built in a simplified inverse T plan with a domed portico in the front, constructed with brick with four major domes. It has two minarets, an old one and a new one that was replaced in 1904 after the damage caused by the 1855 earthquake.

The madrasa is located to the west of the mosque and consists of a central courtyard surrounded by student rooms and a classroom to the back covered by a dome. The exterior is made of brick and stone. The madrasa became a tuberculosis clinic in the 1950s and is now a medical center.

It’s not clear when the tomb of Murad II was built, whether after he commissioned the building of the mosque or after his death, in accordance to his will.

The tomb is made of brick and stone in a square plan with a dome that’s left open at the top. There’s an annex that contains four additional tombs. The remaining 11 tombs are located south of the mosque and madrasa.

  1. Emir Sultan Camii (Emir Sultan Mosque):

This mosque was originally built in the 14th century and was rebuilt twice after that, in 1804 and 1868 with slight differences in the building plan each time. The first building was commissioned by Emir Sultan; a scholar and a dervish.

The original mosque collapsed after the 1766 earthquake. Many of the materials from the old mosque were reused in the rebuilding but the style was adjusted to reflect the baroque design that was flourshing in the Ottoman Empire during the 19th century. After the 1855 earthquake, the Emir Sultan mosque and mausoleum were rebuilt again in 1868.

The mosque and mausoleum are located on opposite sides of the courtyard with a large basin at the entrace. The mosque is a tall single-unit prayer hall of masonry construction with two minarets at its corners on the north. The mausoleum is a domed room in the center and smaller rooms to its sides, housing the tombs of Emir Sultan and his family members.

There are several historic fountains scattered around the entire complex, the oldest one dating back to 1743. There’s an old cemetery covering the downside of the hill from the complex and a hamam to the south of the mosque.

  1. Hüdavendigar Camii (Hüdavendigar Mosque):

This historic mosque was commissioned by Sultan Murad I to be part of a larger complex. Built between 1365 and 1385, the mosque is built in a reversed T plan and consists of a madrasa, a dervish lodge, mausoleum of Sultan Murad I, a fountain, a soup kitchen, a hamam and a Quran school for boys. The mosque suffered severe damage due to the 1855 Bursa earthquake and underwent extensive restoration work afterwards.

  1. Somuncu Baba Camii (Somuncu Baba Mosque):

Somuncu Baba was an ascetic teacher of Islam in Bursa, he had such great influence on his students that he’s perceived as a Muslim saint. He came to Bursa after receiving an education in prominent cities at the time such as ŞamTabriz and Erdebil.

He taught at the Bursa Grand Mosque and was installed there by Sultan Bayezid I after it was completed. He came to be known as Somuncu Baba because he used to bake bread and sell it, in order to hide his spiritual side. When he started to become known, he left Bursa and moved to Aksaray.

The mosque built in his name in Bursa was under the supervision of a foundation called Es-Seyyid Osman Hulusi Efendi Foundation, beside the mosque there’s a library, a museum and an exhibition hall. The entire place is considered an attractive site to visit for both locals and tourists.

  1. Orhan Gazi Camii (Orhan Gazi Mosque):

Built in 1339, it is one of the oldest mosques and examples of Ottoman mosques in Bursa. The complex of Orhan Gazi was built in the market area in 1340. Even though the complex, like all other complexes in the city, from the mosque, a dining room, a caravanserai (khan)  and two baths, only the mosque, the khan and the baths survived until today.

The mosque was built of stone and brick and you can find Byzantine style marble columns on each side of the mosque as they were reused from churches. Orhan Gazi mosque is quite modest in comparison to the mosques built afterwards in the city. This is a clear example of the evolution of the Turkish architectural scene back then.

  1. İshak Paşa Camii (İshak Paşa Mosque):

The complex of İshak Paşa is located in İnegöl Bazaar, it consisted of a mosque, a madrasa, a tomb, imaret, lodges, inn and a barn. Only the mosque along with the madrasa and tomb survived today.

İshak Paşa was a statesman who lived during the reign of Sultan Murat II and Faith Sultan Mehmet. According to an endowment dated back to 1486, the İshak Paşa complex was built before 1468 – 1469. An inscription on the door of the north façade states that the mosque was repaired by Sultan II Abdülhamit in 1877.

The mosque has a reversed T plan shape consisting of two square-shaped domed rooms in the north and south directions, and two side rooms with small domes on the right and left of the entrance.

  1. Karacabey İmaret Camii (Karacabey İmaret Mosque):

Building of the mosque began in 1446 by Karacabey Bin Abdullah but was completed in 1457 by his family after his death. The tomb of Karacabey is under the dome of the last congregation portico around the minaret. The mosque has 36 windows, 9 domes and a minaret with two doors.

After the 1855 earthquake caused serious damage to the building, it was later destroyed by the Greeks. The building is currently unusable but was repaired by the General Directorate of Foundation in 1971 – 1972.

  1. Üftade Tekkesi Camii (Üftade Tekkesi Mosque):

The complex or lodge was built in the second half of the 16th century by Üftade Mehmed Muhiddin Efendi. The complex consisted of a mosque, semahane, a selamlik and a harem. Today, only the mosque, semahane and the harem still stand.

The semahane, which was used as the last congregation place, was combined with the mosque under one roof. There’s a fountain located in front of the semahne that has an inscription dating back to 1565.

The harem section is adjacent to the eastern façade of the semahane, there’s a bath, kitchen, cold room, furnace, sofa and various rooms in it. The top of the room is called “Domed Room” and is decorated with classical craftsmanship and qualified hand-drawn works.

The building was restored by the Bursa Metropolitan Municipality between 2009 and 2014 and functions as a mosque and a social and cultural center since then.

  1. Koza Han:

This is a historic caravanserai; a road-side inn where travelers – also known as caravaners – could rest and recover from the day’s journey, that’s located in the heart of the city’s historic market district. The Han is built in alternating layers of brick and stone which forms part of the decorative visual effect of its exterior.

Like most caravanserai, it has a rectangular floor plan with a large central courtyard measuring 45.9 by 37.5 meters. Around the courtyard runs a two-story gallery that gives access to small vaulted rooms that ring the complex.

At the center of the courtyard is a small octagonal stone mosque or prayer room which is raised above the ground on 8 pillars and reached by a marble staircase.

You can enter the Han through a monumental brick and stone portal that projects from the rest of the building’s façade. The decoration on the portal are spiral mouldings along the edges as well as geometric patterns.

  1. Pirinç Han (Rice Han):

This Han was commissioned by Sultan Bayezid II and is located in the Hanlar district in the city center. It was the second Han to be built in Bursa after Koza Han, it was built between 1490 and 1508. The Rice Han was known as the Brass Han from the beginning of the 17th century.

The building is made of brick and stone, with a large square courtyard. There are 38 rooms downstairs and 48 rooms upstairs. The building is entered through a wide arched door. Traces of the hexagonal fountain that once stood in the courtyard can still be seen today.

The Brass Han was most popular among foreign traders passing through the city of Bursa, many of whom were Venetians, Russians and Frankish. Fur trade in particular was carried out in the inn and silk benders started gathering there as well since the middle of the 16th century.

The 1855 Bursa earthquake was very damaging to the inn, both the western and northern cloisters and shops were completely destroyed. Surviving remnants of those places were reused in rebuilding the structures in the courtyard.

The northeast part was cut when the current Cumhuriyet Caddesi or Cumhuriyet Street was built and opened between 1903 and 1906. Workshops, shoe factories, silk benders and silk dyers were said to have been in the inn until the late 1970s.

After almost 20 years of restoration works, the Rice Han was finally opened in 2002 as a shopping center. The restoration works added a new door on the west façade but the mosque and fountain were not rebuilt. Today, there are cafés on the lower floor while the upper one has some shops and offices.

  1. İpek Han (Silk Han):

This UNESCO World Heritage Site is one of the biggest inns in Bursa, it was designed for the use of silk merchants and spinners. It’s located between the Bursa Ulu Mosque and Brass Inn, today the area is dominated by drapers, wedding dresses and evening dresses sewing shops.

The Silk Han was known by many names such as “Sultan Han” and “New Silk Khan” but the most famous of its names is “The Great Kazazhane” in reference to the kazazaks who buy and sell silk and spin it.

Commissioned by the Ottoman Sultan Mehmet to be built in the 15th century, the building is made of brick and stone and consists of two floor portico around the courtyard with the rooms opening to these porticos.

The inn has a total of 76 rooms, 38 on the lower floor and 38 on the upper one. There was a fountain in the middle of the inn, four rooms and a 12 cornered masjid above them but they haven’t survived till today.

The inn had suffered damage several times due to fires and earthquakes in 1557, 1632 and 1742. The building was then restored in 1775. The east of the entrance façade was destroyed during the opening of the Mecidiye Avenue. The building was last repaired in 1980.

  1. Irgandı Köprüsü (Irgandı Bridge):

This historical bridge is located between two municipalities of the Bursa city; Osmangazi in the northwest and Yıldırım in the southeast. The bridge was commissioned by a wealthy merchant by the name of Müslihidddin in 1442 during the reign of the Ottoman Sultan Murat II.

The bridge suffered damage several times, during the 1855 Bursa earthquake then during the Turkish war of Independence when the retreating Greek army bombed it and the bridge was closed to traffic afterwards.

The municipality handled the restoration of the bridge in 1949 making a few changes. The last restoration works took place in 2004 after which the bridge was open to traffic again.

The bridge is a single arc bridge and an example of a rare type of bridges that contain a bazaar. The original design is said to have shown about 30 shops on the bridge.

  1. Bursa Castle:

After the establishment of the city of Bursa by the Bythinians in 202 BC, they made sure to fortify the city. The Bythinians built the first walls of the Bursa Castle, later on they were modified and repaired by the Romans, Byzantines and the Ottomans. In 1640, the castle had 67 towers and five main gates, each ran for two kilometers surrounding the area known to the locals as Hisar.

The Sultanate Gate, which was used by nobles and governors to enter the castle. An inscription above the gate indicates that it was renovated in 1418. Another renovation took place in 2005.

Tahtakale Gate: This is not an actual entrance to the castle but offers more of an entrance to another gate. This gate had disappeared over time due to road construction works but was rediscovered again thanks to archeological excavations. The gate was rebuilt according to its original plan in 2012.

Yerkapı Gate: This is the gate you arrive at when you enter through the Tahtakale Gate, the corridor between the two gates was used to strengthen the castle’s defenses. The Yerkapı Gate was rebuilt in 2007.

Conquest Gate: Dubbed with this name since it was the gate through which the Ottoman forces entered during their conquest of Bursa in 1326. It was the southern-most gate of the castle and also the weakest on the walls; it opens to a plain. The gate was renovated in 2008.

To the west from the Conquest Gate there’s the Kalebahçe Street which contains a section of the castle walls. The most interesting part is that people settled there, building homes literally inside the walls; there are literally doors to people’s homes opening into the walls.

Dungeon Gate: Situated at the end of the Kalebahçe Street, this gate was named as such in reference to the dungeons underground. These dungeons were used as prisons until the late 19th century. This gate was renovated in 2019 and its reconstruction is the most impressive of the castle walls.

Museums in Bursa

Are you hungry for more sightseeing? Well, how about we discover some of the city’s famous museums together?

  1. Bursa City Museum:

Located in the city center next to the Atatürk statue, this museum offers you an opportunity to travel back in time and discover the history of the city.

The ground floor offers the history of Bursa in chronological order. There’s the “City of Civilizations: Bursa” where you can track the first traces of civilizations in the city, all through to becoming the first capital of the Ottoman Empire until the end of that period in time. Next you will follow how Bursa established its name during the Republic period.

The first floor of the museum is a testament of almost 8 thousand years of the city’s pioneering role during the formation and development of traditional Anatolian and Ottoman culture.

The basement of the museum will give you a tour through the historical artisan street where you can see examples of the city’s commercial life and learn about silk production.

  1. Bursa Atatürk Evi Müzesi (Bursa Atatürk Museum):

This historic museum was home to the founder of the Turkish Republic Mustafa Kemal Ataturk when he visited Bursa. The three storey house was probably built towards the end of the 19th century.

Atatürk stayed at this house twice, the first when he visited Bursa before the Proclamation of the Republic in 1923 and the second was during his illness in 1938.

After Atatürk’s death, management of the house was handed over to Çelik Palas; the biggest hotel in Bursa which was next to the house. The Ministry of National Education bought the place in 1965 and it was reopened as Atatürk’s House in 1973.

The ground floor houses Atatürk’s office and photos of Atatürk hung in the hall outside. The bedroom and bathroom are on the first floor while the uppermost floor houses the guesthouse.

  1. Bursa Energy Museum:

Established in 2012, this is a technology museum dedicated to electricity. It’s located in an out of service power plant of an abandoned textile factory in Bursa, in the Osmangazi District. The textile factory was state owned and operated using merino wool and was established in 1938.

In 1944 and 1946, the factory became the biggest of its kind in the Balkan area and the Middle East. It was closed in 2004 though and the land was handed to the Bursa Metropolitan Municipality.

The museum was set up in the factory’s power plant which is a spacious 3,200 square meters area. The museum explains the role of electricity in the development of civilizations, the history of electricity in the world, in Turkey and in Bursa. Photographs and animation explain illumination gadgets and their evolvement and the production of electricity.

  1. Bursa Forestry Museum:

Housed in a historic Ottoman era mansion, this museum was established in 1989 and has a huge collection of about a 1,000 items. The Saatçi Mansion is built in an Ottoman Baroque architecture style of the 19th century.

Originally used for residence, between 1939 and 1949 it housed Bursa Forestry School and became the office of the Forestry Regional Directorate in 1983.

The museum is the first and only forestry museum in Turkey. It is divided into many sections, Forest Life, Vegetation Fossils, Forest Vegetation and Logging Tools, Forestry Tools and Equipment, Historical Documents and Records, Maps and Space Photographs and an Intra-forest Telecommunications Equipment. The museum features also an “Atatürk Corner” and a library.

Some of the interesting exhibitions in the museum are the taxidermy sub-section in the Forest Life section which contains various animals from many national parks in Turkey and a rich insect collection as well. The Fossil collection is also very rich of which there’s a fossil of a six million years old Sequoia tree.

The museum is open every day from 9 am to 5 pm except on Sundays and Mondays.

  1. Bursa Archaeological Museum:

Established in 1902, this is an archeological museum that displays different artifacts found in and around the city.

  1. Bursa Karagöz Museum:

Located in Osmangazi, this museum offers you a folkloric adventure through its exhibits; as it’s dedicated to the famous shadow puppets of Karagöz and Hacivat which are based on historic characters that once lived and died in the city of Bursa in the 14th century.

Established in 2007, the museum takes place in a former power distribution building. The building that was out of use for some time was converted by the Bursa Municipality and the Bursa Art and Culture Foundation into an art house and opened in June, 1997.

The art-house consisted of a theater hall, where traditional shadow puppet show of Karagöz and Hacivat was played, a gallery of Karagöz and Hacivat puppets, a specialty library and a design workshop.

The art-house was converted into a museum, ten years after its establishment. The museum consists of two galleries. The first is about the history of shadow play.

The second gallery showcases 61 pieces of original Karagöz puppets gathered from traditional shadow play shows. Snippets from newspapers back during the Ottoman era featuring Karagöz and Hacivat puppets.

The museum is open all week from 9:30 am to 5:30 pm and closed on Mondays. Shadow play performances are free during the school semesters when students show interest in visiting the museum.

  1. Bursa Museum of Turkish and Islamic Art:

This museum takes residence in the former Medrese of Yeşil Complex. While the complex was established in 1419, the history of the museum goes back to 1904 when the first museum in Bursa was founded at Bursa Boys’ High school.

The old exhibition was used to showcase Islamic and Ottoman relics and archeological findings unearthed inside the city’s administrative boundaries.

The exhibit was moved to its current location in 1929, a new building was prepared to exhibit the archeological displays in 1971 while the original place in the Yeşil Complex remained a museum of Turkish and Islamic Art.

  1. Mudanya Armistice House:

This museum is located in the house where the treaty of the acknowledgment of the Republic of Turkey was signed. The museum was established in 1937 in the district of Mudanya while the house was built in the 19th century and consists of 13 rooms and two large halls distributed over two floors.

The ground floor contains rooms of the signatories; Allies of the First World War and Turkey. The upper floor has the living quarters of the Turkish delegation at the time.

  1. Museum of Ottoman House:

Located in the Osmangazi district, the building dates back to the 17th century. It’s said that before the building of this house, there was an Ottoman mansion where Sultan Murat II resided. The building was opened as a house museum in 1958.

The wooden house consists of two floors and a basement. The ground floor has a wide hall with two exact rooms on each side. The upper room has a harem room, a dining room and a guest room.

  1. Tofaş Museum of Cars and Anatolian Carriages:

Established in 2002 by the Turkish automobile maker Tofaş as a private transport museum. The museum is dedicated to various carriages from Turkey and Tofaş manufactured cars.

The building located in the Yıldırım district was an abandoned silk production plant and was leased to the Bursa-based Tofaş Company for museum purposes.

Some of the exhibits of the museum are examples of historic carriages such as a two-axle horse drawn Bursa carriage. In a special corner the awards won by Tofaş in motorsport are displayed.

The museum also hosts temporary exhibitions of technological art as well as jazz concerts during the Bursa International Festival. Visitors are welcome all week from 10 am to 5 pm and Mondays are off.

Where to unwind in Bursa!

Now that we’ve spent some good time exploring the historical side of the city of Bursa, I suppose the time for a refreshment is up. Bursa is rich in hot springs and thermal baths in addition to parks. Let’s discover the ways you can relax and unwind this city offers you.

  1. Oylat Thermal Spring and Mineral Springs:

Located in İnegöl district of Bursa, it is considered one of the most important thermal springs along the Marmara region. It has an extraordinarily beautiful natural environment composed of pine, beech, oak and chestnut trees as the spring is located in the southeast extension of Uludağ; Bursa’s prominent Grand Mountain.

The Oylat Thermal Springs bear the characteristics of Bursa Thermal springs. Thermal water is good for many diseases such as rheumatic diseases, neuralgia and neuritis, painful nerve diseases and polio.

The spa offers radioactive water services which are good for hypertension. The water has a stimulating and balancing effect on cell activities in the body. It is said that people who are mentally and physically tired regain their former energy and vitality after three weeks of treatment.

Thermal water is also beneficial for skin conditions such as gout and eczema. Medical research even shows the significance of thermal water in treating eye diseases and can even dissolve small stones and sand in the kidney.

The Oylat Springs have been used for 2000 years since the Romans. The spa was also in use during the Ottoman period and has completely survived till this very day. Hotels are available around the area of the spa as well. Tourists seeking treatment at the Oylat Springs are recommended to visit the Oylat Waterfall and Oylat Cave.

The Mineral Springs include the Çitli Mineral Water, Kınık Mineral Water, Uludağ Spring Water and Baikal Spring Water.

  1. Keramet Thermal Spring:

Located on the İznik highway in Orhangazi district. The thermal spring is said to have gotten its name from Keramet Dede who was rumored to have lived in the region.

Thermal services are provided in the outdoor pool, the hot water coming out of the water contains Sulphur with an average temperature of 30 degrees Celsius in both summer and winter.

  1. Çekirge Sultan Thermal Spring:

Built in the 14th century and donated as a foundation, it is said that the thermal spring known as Çekirge Bath was built and donated by a person who reached the rank of saints in 1316 and this donation was registered in the Bursa registries.

  1. Uludağ National Park:

This Park is the surrounding nature around Mount Uludağ, the slopes of the mountain are rich with different species of flora and fauna, mountain birds, rare and local butterflies or you can run into one of the few wolf packs roaming the mountains. Uludağ is easily reached by car or by riding the cable car; the longest one in the world. The park is great for camping and trekking activities.

  1. Bursa Zoo:

Opened along with the Bursa Botanical Garden in 1998, the zoo was built in accordance with the natural habitat of the animals. A total number of 1,300 animals of 130 species live in the zoo. The Bursa Zoo is considered to be one of the most important zoos in Europe.

Species residing in the zoo include bears, wolves, lions, leopards, birds of prey, llamas, wild donkeys and camels. There’s also a giant pond in the middle or the zoo where you can see the animals up close.

  1. Bursa Botanik Park:

Opened at the same time with the Bursa Zoo in 1998, the main purpose of opening the park was to provide the city of Bursa with more oxygen along with new healthy sports and recreational areas.

The park holds a facility for scientific studies and herbal research as well as protecting the Bursa Plain with 8,000 trees of 150 species, 100,000 bushes of 76 species, 50,000 ground covers of 20 species and 6,000 roses of 27 species.

The park is home to several gardens; a Japanese garden, an English garden, a French garden, a rose garden, a fragrant-plants garden, a rock garden, an azalea-rhododendron garden, color gardens and a shaped-plants garden.

The park offers you the opportunity to relax and enjoy the scenery, breathe in nature and unwind. There are natural walking paths, natural jogging paths, an asphalt covered bicycle path as well as ponds in the park. Another attractive element is the existence of old houses from the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries dotted around the park.

Bursa’s Signature Dishes

Bursa won’t only entertain your eyes with the history living between its streets, fill your soul with the wafts of fresh air sprinkled by the parks it holds or help relaxing your being by the therapeutic water springs it offers you. But will also satisfy your appetite with the most delicious of local dishes.

  1. İskender Kebab:

Bursa is known to be the home of one of the most famous dishes in Turkey. The İskender Kebab is named after a butcher called İskender Bey who was the first to prepare this delicious dish.

The kebab is made of thinly sliced lamb meat that is grilled and combined with a spicy tomato sauce and pita bread, with melted sheep butter and yoghurt are drizzled on top.

  1. İnegöl köfte:

This dish is made of ground beef or lamb, seasoned with onions and breadcrumbs. The köfte is grilled and often served as a main course.

This dish was invented by Mustafa Efendi; a Turkish immigrant from Bulgaria who came to İnegöl in the late 19th century. Even though this famous dish is served all over the country, it’s said that the best ones are the ones made in İnegöl.

  1. Döner kebab:

This dish is not only known in Turkey, but all over the world. It consists of shredded meat off a skewer. The meat is typically seasoned with fresh herbs and spices. Originally, the meat used in döner is exclusively lamb but in Istanbul today, they mix beef with lamb meat and sometimes they serve only meat döner.

  1. Kemalpaşa:

Named after its place of origin in Bursa, this dessert is a delicious melt-in-the mouth dessert. It is made with a special, unsalted cow’s milk cheese produced in the town, mixed with flour, semolina, eggs and baking powder.

The dough is shaped into small balls and baked in the oven then boiled in sherbet. During the winter season, kemalpaşa is served with cream while during the summer season it’s served with a scoop of ice cream. There’s also a dry packaged version that you can take along with you.

How would you like dish of sizzling İskender Kebab and some kemalpaşa during your next trip? All you’ve got to do, is come to Bursa!

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