Bursa city is located in northwestern Turkey in the Marmara region and is one of the oldest and most important historical cities in Turkey.
It is the fourth most populous city in Turkey, has a population of about 1,150,000 in the urban area and 2,936,000 in the entire province, and is packed with monuments, mosques, and other tourist attractions from the early years of the Ottoman Empire.
Economically, Bursa is characterized by its industrial sector, originally known as the historic textile center of the Ottoman Empire. In addition, the service sector has gained significant momentum, further enhancing the city’s image as a source of employment opportunities.
Bursa is also an excellent stopover for Turkey trips to the Aegean or Mediterranean coasts, and also offers active vacationers many opportunities to get outdoors.
Most people who visit Bursa eventually want to settle there. Year-round tourism also dominates the real estate market.
More and more Turks and foreigners are buying real estate in Bursa to take advantage of the city’s potential.
What are the best places to visit in Bursa?
There are many places in Bursa that you can visit. Bursa, due to its long history, has some amazing historical and cultural places to discover and explore, such as:
- Green Mosque and Tomb: The Green Mosque (Yeşil Cami) was built in 1422 as part of a larger religious complex by Sultan Mehmed I, and the adjacent Green Tomb (Yeşil Tuerbe) is the sarcophagus of the Sultan. Bursa has more than half a dozen mosques, including the famous Green Mosque (Yeşil Camii). The Green Tomb takes its name from the color of the tiles that adorn the exterior of the building. The interior walls are decorated with tiles.
- Great Mosque of Bursa (Ulu Cami): Its architecture is still strongly reminiscent of the earlier Seljuk style, which was strongly influenced by Persian mosques. It is the oldest mosque in the city. The mosque dates back to 1399, the early days of the Ottoman Empire. Its architecture still borrows from the earlier Seljuk style, which was heavily influenced by Persian mosques.
- Cumalıkızık: Located 14 kilometers east of the city center, this is the most popular village. The cobblestone alleys are lined with historic houses. They are built in the traditional Ottoman style with masonry and mud walls with wooden beam details. Some of the houses date back to the early days of the Ottoman Empire. Some of the houses have been converted into cafes and restaurants, and many locals from Bursa come to the village for lunch on sunny weekends. Various villagers have also set up stalls in the alleys to sell traditional handicrafts. The villages in this area have been included in the Bursa World Heritage List UNESCO due to their historical significance.
- The Central Bazaar: The Silk Bazaar, called Koza Han in Turkish, was built in 1491 as a trading post and shelter for passing silk caravans and their animals. It is one of the most remarkable buildings in the district. The vaulted cells of the two-story building house stores specializing in silk products. The central bazaar is a vast maze of covered market streets, caravanserais where merchants once slept, and warehouses where goods were stored. Many of the warehouses (called Bedestans) and caravanserais (called Hans) now house stores, and their quiet, leafy courtyards are used as sidewalk cafes.
- Uludağ: Uludağ is Turkey’s busiest winter resort, with plenty to offer in winter. The ski resort is located between 1,767 and 2,322 meters above sea level and has 28 kilometers of slopes for beginners and advanced skiers. The Bursa Teleferik is the most convenient route to get from Bursa to Uludağ. The ride to the top of Uludağ Mountain takes about 20 minutes. It offers breathtaking views. Mount Uludağ is especially good for advanced skiers and snowboarders, as there are a variety of slopes to choose from. The facilities are modern and transportation between the different slopes is facilitated by 24 different ski lifts on site. The landscape stretches across densely forested lower slopes, offering magnificent views of the rocky mountain top on one side and the city of Bursa spreading out below.
What are the best things you can do in Bursa?
Besides all the great places to visit, there are many more things you can do in Bursa:
- Explore the lake village of Goelyazı: Lake Ulubat is located just 40 kilometers west of the center of Bursa. The tiny village of Goelyazı sits on a peninsula jutting into the lake and is a great place to experience slow country life. The village has a lot of rickety architecture lining the alleys, a famous and huge 750-year-old plane tree, and a few Roman-era ruins, including the sparse remains of the settlement’s Roman walls.
- Day trip to Iznik: This was once the Byzantine city of Nicaea, where the first Christian bishops met at the Council of Nicaea to lay the foundations of the religion. The historic lakeside town of Iznik is located 77 kilometers northeast of the center of Bursa, making it easily accessible from the city. Today Iznik is a small and somewhat dingy town, but there are still remnants of its great past.
- Watch a ceremony of the whirling dervishes: Although Konya (the hometown of the Mevlevi Sufis) is the most famous city to watch the dervishes whirling, there is also an active Mevlevi Cultural Center in Bursa, and visitors are welcome to attend the Sema (the religious ceremony of the whirling dervishes). The ceremony lasts about 30 minutes and usually begins at 9:30 p.m. on summer evenings and 8 p.m. in winter.