Bursa

Bursa is simply beautiful. With mountains to the south and the sea to the north, Bursa is famous for its natural features. It’s for good reason Bursa is known as the Green City.

Bursa, first as an ancient Greek settlement, later as a major Byzantine city, and eventually as the first capital of the Ottoman Empire, has great cultural and historical significance. Because of its rich history, Bursa has some fantastic historical and cultural sites to discover and explore.

Bursa is smaller and less crowded than Īstanbul, making it more manageable and far easier to navigate. Many of the main attractions are located in the very walkable city center and you can easily get from one end of the city to the other in about a half an hour by public transportation. Yet with a population of more than 2 million, Bursa is large enough to have all the amenities of a modern big city.

Bursa is less touristy and less cosmopolitan than Īstanbul, offering a more laid-back and authentic atmosphere. Shopkeepers and restaurateurs generally won’t hound or harass you in the bazaars and marketplaces (to me, a breath of fresh air!), and for the most part people here seem less interested in your money and more interested in you.

Fewer tourists in Bursa means there are shorter queues at attractions, fewer tour buses clogging the streets, fewer tour “guides” clamoring for your attention and money, and fewer tourist traps to avoid. Consequently, it is easier to get up-close and personal with the history, culture, and people. In bazaars, restaurants, and streets, you’re often rubbing shoulders with real local people, not just another busload of foreign tourists or hawking tour operators.

A glimpse of traditional Turkish village life is easily accessible from Bursa. With villages such as Misi, Gölyazı, Tirilye, and Cumalıkızık nearby, it’s easy to experience the charm and quaintness of centuries-old villages.

For the most part, people here are generally quite pleasant—hospitable, genuine, warm, and ready to accommodate.
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