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Bursa has a long and rich history that goes way back in the past. Seeing many civilizations and empires in its time, Bursa had always been an important city. While being a commerce center, it was also the capital of the Ottoman Empire for a long time until Edirne was conquered. Having such importance, Bursa was constantly being improved with many structures being built. Today, Bursa still carries the marks of centuries-old history.
Bursa manages to be famous among all the cities in Turkey with its food. Bursa introduced the Turks to many incredible meals and desserts that have reached world-renown fame. While some of these foods may be interesting, they sure taste delicious.


The first known settlement in Bursa was around 5200 BC. Later on, a Greek city was founded in Bursa named Cius. This city was granted to Prusias I and it became Prusa after being rebuilt. Bithynians ruled Prusa for 128 years and bequeathed it to the Roman Empire around 74 BC. After the Roman Empire, Bursa became a city of the Byzantine Empire. In 1326, Bursa was taken over by the Ottoman Empire and became the first major capital of the Ottomans. In 1363, another city, Edirne was captured and it became the capital instead of Bursa. Bursa was a commercial center for a long time until Istanbul was conquered. Most importantly, silk was produced in Bursa for the royals during the Ottoman Empire era. Alongside the produced silk, silk was also imported from Iran and China. Many silk products such as kaftans, embroidery and cushions were made in Bursa. After the Republic of Turkey was established in 1923, Bursa became an industrial center in Turkey. The industrial revolution triggered the population growth and Bursa became the fourth most crowded city in Turkey. Bursa was also an important city for immigrants. Many Turks who were living in the Balkans took refuge in Bursa after the Ottoman territories in Europe were lost. For example, 150.000 Bulgarian Turks moved to Bursa after being expelled.

    Both winter and summer months are perfect to visit Bursa as there is a famous mountain Uludağ where you can enjoy the snow and winter sports.
    Turkish is spoken in Bursa. Compared to Istanbul, the number of people who speak English is much less.
    There are no international airports in Bursa.
    Type C
    Turkish Lira (TL)
    GMT +3:00

Winter in Bursa is quite cold especially in January and February, the temperature is between 2°C and 10°C. The cool season lasts from November till March in general. The summer months are quite hot, temperature is usually between 15°C and 30°C from June till the end of August

While it would be easier to travel around during the summer months, Bursa is usually visited during the winter. Uludağ receives snowfall most of the year, therefore, many tourists, both local and foreign, prefer to enjoy winter sports in Uludağ. All in all, the best time to visit Bursa completely depends on what you want to do and how you want to spend your time here.

Since there is no international airport in Bursa, you cannot directly travel there from your home country. However, it is very easy to reach Bursa from Istanbul. You can take a ferry ride to Bursa through the Sea of Marmara which takes you to Bursa in about 2 hours. You can also prefer to travel by bus but it takes up to 4 hours to reach the city.
    Almira Hotel is a five-star hotel located right in the city center. It is only 35 kilometers away from Uludağ and 20 kilometers away from the ferry station. In the hotel, there is a free internet connection as well as a restaurant, bar, spa, meeting rooms and anything that you might need.
    Marigold Thermal Spa Hotel is a five-star boutique hotel where you can feel at home. The hotel has thermal waters, pool and Turkish baths for its visitors to use. If you also want to benefit from the thermal waters in Bursa, you can give this one a chance.
The Grand Mosque is known to be the largest mosque in the entire Bursa. It displays the early Ottoman architecture. The Grand Mosque was ordered to be built by Sultan Bayezid I. It was built by the architect Ali Neccar between the years 1396 and 1400. The Grand Mosque has twenty domes supported by 12 columns in total as well as two minarets. The Grand Mosque differs from the mosques built after Constantinople was taken over. The early Ottoman mosques had many small domes creating a private, secluded atmosphere inside. The mosques built after 1453 had one central and big dome as opposed to many small domes. This was highly inspired by the structure of Hagia Sophia. The aim of building central domes was to overwhelm the viewer with its grandeur and might that would remind the believers of the divine power of Allah.
The Green Mosque is another example of the early Ottoman architecture. It was ordered to be built by Sultan Mehmet I and it was built between the years 1419 and 1421. The Green Mosque is not only a mosque but it is a part of a larger complex. The complex includes medreses, tomb, a soup kitchen for the poor as well as hamams. Sultan Mehmet I was buried in the complex in a mausoleum called the Green Tomb as well as his son Murad II. The Green Mosque gets its name from the ceramics inside the mosque that are painted with green ink. The Green Mosque also became a World Heritage Site of UNESCO.
The Green Tomb is basically a mausoleum of Sultan Mehmet I. It was built by his son and also his successor Sultan Murad II in 1421. It is located right across the Green Mosque. The structure is an interesting one due to being built in a hexagonal shape. Similar to the Green Mosque, the Green Tomb also has green tiles inside that gives it the name. However, the original tiles in the tomb were damaged after an earthquake happened in 1855 and were replaced later on. In the middle of the room, there is a cenotaph and it is surrounded by seven other tombs.
Uludağ is a mountain in Bursa that is 2,543 meters in height which makes it the highest mountain in the Marmara region. The name Uludağ could be translated as the “great mountain”. During the Middle Ages, many monasteries were found in the mountain. There is a national park in Uludağ that can be reached with cable cars where you can find rare plants and animals. During the winter, winter sports are popular in the area such as skiing. In fact, Uludağ has the largest ski resort in Turkey. Since the winter season is quite long in Uludağ, usually lasting from October until April, many local and foreign tourists visit Uludağ to enjoy the snow. During the summer, camping and trekking are the popular activities in Uludağ. From the top of the mountain, Istanbul and the Sea of Marmara can be seen clearly which is another aspect of Uludağ that makes it unique. Uludağ also has thermal springs on its foothills.
Koza Han was a little Ottoman caravanserai where silk merchants were involved in the trade. It was built in 1491 by the order of Sultan Bayezid II. Before the structure was built, there were silkworm cacoon sellers in its place. “Koza” means “cacoon” in Turkish, therefore it is named as Koza Han. Nowadays, Koza Han mostly used as a shopping area yet it still preserves its historical aspect. It has 95 shops in total and has a huge courtyard in the middle where a mosque and “şadırvan”, which is a place for Muslims to perform their cleansing with water before praying, are located. However, the mosque was not able to survive till today. Koza Han is open every day of the week except for Sundays and it is open from 8:00 am till 8:00 pm.
Cumalıkızık is a famous Ottoman village that has been around for 700 years and it is located in Bursa, along the Uludağ’s mountainside. It is one of the most beautiful places where history is still alive. Unlike some other villages in Turkey, Cumalıkız has been a Turkish village from the beginning. There are 270 Ottoman houses in the village 180 of which are currently in use. These houses are centuries old yet they are still standing the test of time. Some houses are being used as restaurants and cafes after being restored. Cumalıkızık village has become a World Heritage Site of UNESCO.
Bursa Castle is one of the oldest structures out there. It was built in the 1st century BC by Bithynians. After Bithynians, Roman Empire, Byzantine Empire and Ottoman Empire also used the castle and added their own touches to it. Roman and Byzantine Empires repaired and restored the castle structure while the Ottoman Empire added supportive bastions. Bursa Castle has five doors in total. The walls of the castle are about 2 kilometers long. There are inscriptions, statue bases, columns and sarcophagus fragments found in the castle.

Oylat Hot Springs has been around since the Roman Empire era. It is known that the Romans were benefitting from the hot springs as well after the archeological excavations done in the area. The thermal spring water is believed to be healing. There is a legend about the daughter of a Byzantine Emperor. She got sick and the doctors could not find any cure. She was slowly dying. Then, they brought the girl to the thermal springs and washed her every day with the water found here. Day by day she got better and was cured of the deathly sickness that doctors could not find a cure for.

It is believed that the thermal springs in Bursa are good for stress, skin diseases, rheumatic diseases, calcification, joint inflammation as well as blood pressure problems.

In Oylat, you can also visit the Oylat waterfall and find peace with the sound of the running water while being surrounded by trees and plants. Oylat cave is another place the visitor would like to see. The cave is 665 meters long.

After Bursa was taken over by the Ottoman Empire, there were many bazaars being built since Bursa was the capital city of the Empire, it was also the center of commerce. The bazaar had taken damage from various fires and earthquakes that happened over the years. After the bazaar was built, roofs were closed and many other additional shops were added, making the bazaar grow quite a bit. Now there are 130 shops in the Grand Bazaar
Culture Park was opened in 1955 on a 394.000 m2 area. 179.000 m2 of the total area is a green area. There are walking and jogging tracks, bike roads along with amusement parks, playgrounds and resting areas in Culture Park for the residents of Bursa to enjoy nature and entertainment services. It is the most famous park in Bursa that amazes visitors with its natural beauty and 6.000 trees.
    Iskender Kabab was first found in Bursa in 1867 by a man named Iskender Efendi. Instead of the traditional way of cooking meat, which is putting a lamb horizontally on a heat source, he chose the best parts of the animal and placed them on a stick so that everybody would be able to taste the same and high-quality meat. He cooked the meat vertically allowing the meat to cook equally with the heat coming from the sides. Iskender Kebab is not the same thing as “döner kebab” as the meat used is quite different. In Bursa, you can taste the real Iskender Kebab because the Iskender Efendi’s sons have been continuing the family business in Bursa in a little blue restaurant. If you visit the place, you will see there is a long queue in front of the restaurant since it is a small place with the most delicious iskender kebab.
    Inegöl köfte’s source is a village in Bulgaria. However, a man who immigrated from Bulgaria to the Inegöl district of Bursa named İbrahim Besler, introduced this food as Inegöl Köfte to not only Turkey but to the entire world. İbrahim Besler was coming from a family whose profession was to make meatballs. What makes Inegöl köfte special is that there are no spices used other than salt while making it and it is rested for a day after being made.
    Kemalpaşa dessert was first made in the milk houses in the district of Mustafakemalpaşa. The original name of the dessert is “Mustafakemalpaşa Peynir Tatlısı” however in time, the name changed into ”Kemalpaşa Tatlısı”. In the making of this special dessert, cheese is made from fresh milk. Then flour, semolina and eggs are added into the cheese and made into a dough. The dough is then cut into small rounds and baked in the oven. After that, a water and sugar mixture is boiled on the stove. The baked dough is poured into the boiling mixture allowing it to soak it up and get soft.
    Walnut lokum is a special dessert made in Bursa and it is made for special occasions such as weddings. However, it is not your typical Turkish delight if you have mistaken “lokum” for that. It is in fact completely different. Yeast, milk, flour, powdered sugar are all mixed together and baked potatoes are added in to make a dough. The dough is thinned down. Walnut, cinnamon, powdered sugar and tahini is put on the thin dough and then rolled. The rolled dough is cut into small pieces and baked with some egg yolk on top.
    Tahinli pide is special to Bursa and it is different from the other ones that can be found in other cities in Turkey. Tahini is poured on top of the dough and baked in the stone oven which is what gives its unique taste. If you visit Bursa, definitely buy one of these for breakfast.
    Kestane şekeri is basically candied chestnuts. The chestnuts grow in Uludağ and the candies are prepared from these chestnuts collected from the mountain. After chestnuts are peeled off their shells, they are boiled with water and sugar. The process is not as easy as it may sound because there are a lot of factors that come into play when it comes to making the perfect candied chestnut. Kafkas is a famous brand in Bursa that is known for its candied chestnuts if you want to try it out.
    Bursa is also famous for its peach. The best peaches in Turkey are produced in Bursa. Bursa’s peach is known to be quite juicy. If you like peach, you can try it while you are visiting Bursa, directly from the orchards.
Depending on what you want to see, you could spend between 3 to 5 days in Bursa
    One day would be spent by only visiting important landmarks and mosques in Bursa since they are located in close proximity to each other.
    Climbing the top of Uludağ, exploring the shops and cafes or skiing would take an entire day as well.
    There are many historical villages to see in Bursa. If you want to explore them, that could also take a full day.
    Another day, preferably your last day would be a great opportunity to relax after a tiring exploration of an entire city.
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