The bustling city of Bursa is a large sprawling city in Northwestern Anatolia close to the Sea of Marmara; it is the fourth most populous city in Turkey. Bursa lies in the foothills of Mount Uludağ and is mostly known for its historical sites dating back to the early Ottoman Empire around 4000B.C and its beautiful ornately decorated mosques. It’s commonly referred to as “Yesil Bursa” meaning Green Bursa as it has many stunning parks and trees which add to the dramatic beauty of the mountain backdrop. The wonderful and ancient 14th century Ulu Camii which means Great Mosque has an impressive 20 domes and Seljuk style arches its Bursa’s most dominant mosque and was built by Sultan Beyazıt, it’s grand in design with two huge minarets and the pulpit has stunning wood carvings and the walls feature beautiful calligraphy.
Today Bursa is a modern city but retains the historical buildings all around it including mosques and mausoleums celebrating the city as it was once the first Ottoman capital. As a city, you would expect it to be vastly built up but with numerous parks and greenery, they make for wonderful areas to escape too. During the summer months you can ride the cable car which takes you to the summit of Mount Uludağ for hiking or to take in the fresh cool air and in the winter months you can ski as its Turkey’s premier ski resort, as you can imagine the views from the summit are magnificent.
Bursa is an ideal location as it’s close to Istanbul the recently opened Osmangazi Bridge dramatically cuts the travel time between Istanbul and Bursa from two and half hours to just over an hour making Bursa on everyone’s radar now especially for tourists, city workers and property buyers. International flights are frequent to Bursa and some foreigners prefer to fly to Istanbul and then onto Bursa by ferry or car. In 2014 Bursa was awarded the prestigious Unesco World Heritage status for being the birthplace of the Ottoman Empire and there are wonderful historic religious buildings to remind you of its rich and important history.
You won’t go hungry in Bursa as there are restaurants galore serving everything from fine dining, to fast foods, traditional Turkish cuisine and international favourites just about every taste is catered for. There are cafes serving snacks, seafood restaurants, barbeque restaurants, steak houses, Italian, Mediterranean, Chinese, Indian and umpteen traditional Turkish teas and coffee houses serving piping hot beverages with delicious baklava and Turkish delight. The traditional Iskender Kebap originates from Bursa its lamb with thyme served on pide with a savoury tomato sauce, butter and topped with yoghurt and parsley it’s delicious and you cannot visit Bursa without tasting it!
If you plan a visit to Istanbul go to Bursa too, it’s a lovely city with its own unique flavour and is a great to place to visit in its own right, lush with parks and greenery you won’t feel like you’re in a city!