Bursa is one of the must-visit cities in Turkey and has many tourist destinations. As one of the former capital cities of the Ottoman Empire and a prominent trade center, Bursa has a rich cultural heritage and many historical structures. In addition to that, the natural environment of Bursa is a sight to behold.
Since there are many beautiful places to visit in Bursa, only a few days’ trip would not be sufficient to visit them all. We advise you to buy a second home here. Buying a holiday home in Bursa will allow you to visit all these beautiful places at your own pace, lead a comfortable lifestyle, and also benefit from the advantageous investment opportunities in Bursa at the same time.
If you don’t want to decide before visiting Bursa in person, we’ve prepared a brief guide on the best Bursa places to visit for first-time travelers;
The Most Beautiful Tourist Places in Bursa
We often divide tourist places and attractions in a city into four categories: historical, cultural, natural, and sports. However, it’s not possible to strictly divide Bursa’s tourist places into these categories. Bursa is one of the cities where you can enjoy attractions from different categories together. So, we’ve prepared this guide according to the distances between attractions.
Let’s start from the center of Bursa province;
• Osmangazi District Bazaar Area: Osmangazi district is one of the metropolitan districts of Bursa along with the districts of Gürsu, Kestel, Nilüfer, and Yıldırım. Osmangazi district is not only the historical center of Bursa but also the business and culture center of the city. It’s the liveliest district in Bursa and also the best place to stay in Bursa to start your trip because some of the most famous attractions are in this district.
You can start your trip from the Irgandı Köprüsü. This is a bridge built in the 15th century. The bridge features a crafts bazaar where you can buy some handmade local goods. Heading toward the west a few hundred meters, you can find the main bazaar area.
In the main bazaar area, you can find the finest silk products and other locally produced goods. You can also stroll around the historical places like Gazi Orhan Bey Mosque (a 14th-century mosque), the Grand Bazaar, Old İpek Han, Koza Han (an Ottoman era silk market), and the famous Ulu Cami (also known as the Grand Mosque of Bursa).
Ulu Cami is one of the symbols of Bursa. The 14th-century mosque not only attracts attention with its grand silhouette but also with its unique architecture and detailed decorations as well. This famous mosque is often depicted as the Hagia Sophia of Bursa.
Going toward the west a few hundred meters more, you can find the tombs of Orhan Gazi and Osman Gazi. Orhan Gazi and Osman Gazi are two sultans who played a crucial role in the founding of the Ottoman Empire. You can find the Tophane Saat Kulesi (a 20th-century clock tower) right next to these tombs.
Just 200 m to the south, you can find Bursa Castle and the city walls. The remnants of the city walls stretch to the west for 2 km. In this area, you can find present-day structures and some historical structures altogether.
Osmangazi district is also home to many other interesting places such as museums, art galleries, theatres, and parks. Soğanlı Botanical Park, Bursa City Museum, Bursa Archeological Museum, and Bursa Living Culture Museum are some of them.
All these places can be toured by walking thanks to their proximity to each other. However, you can save your energy to see more places by taking advantage of Bursa’s broad transportation network with subway, busses, and taxis.
You can tour around the Osmangazi district roughly in a day or two. We advise you to combine this trip with a trip to the famous Cumalıkızık Village.
• Cumalıkızık Village: This small village is one of the top tourist places in Bursa Turkey. It is located in the borders of Yıldırım district and is roughly 13 km away from the center of Osmangazi district. The village’s importance comes from its significance in the foundation of Ottomans.
The village’s importance was noticed in the 1980s. From that year on, Cumalıkızık has been taken under protection. After that, the village was taken into UNESCO World Heritage Tentative List in 2000, and then World Heritage List in 2014 along with Bursa. Today, Cumalıkızık draws attention with its well-preserved historical atmosphere, colorful traditional houses, and stunning green nature.
The village is especially cramped during weekends. Families flock to this adorable village tucked in the beautiful natural surrounding to have a peaceful breakfast and spend quality time. So if you’re planning to visit this place during the weekend for a tasty breakfast, you should take your place in the early hours.
• Bursa Cable Car and Uludağ National Park: Bursa Cable Car is one of the best family holiday destinations in Bursa regardless of the season. Bursa Cable Car, locally known as Teleferik, is one of the longest cable cars in the world with its 9 km route. The route starts from Teferrüç Station in the Yıldırım district and goes towards Uludağ (literally translates as “great mountain”) National Park.
There are 3 stations in total on this route and each station has abundant cafes, restaurants, equipment stores, and gift shops. Cable car trips offer a different sensation in all seasons. You can enjoy the stunning views of the green forests and the city during the spring and summer seasons and you can enjoy the view of snowy mountains and forests during winter.
This mighty mountain has been declared a national park and taken into preservation in 1961. The national park is open for outdoor activities throughout the year: camping and hiking during warm weather and snowboarding and skiing during winter. As a result, it’s one of the most popular Turkey holiday destinations among people of all ages.
Indeed, Uludağ Ski Center is the most famous ski center in Turkey and attracts millions of people every year. The mountain itself has a 2543 m height. The ski resorts are located between 1800 m and 2200 m.
This cable car trip and the activities in this national park are perfect to spend quality time with your family and loved ones. However, please keep in mind that you might not find vacant accommodation options in the ski resorts if you don’t make a reservation beforehand due to the ski center’s popularity.
• İznik District: This peripheral district is located on the northeasternmost point of Bursa province, on the shores of the lake of the same name. Its history and the lake in its borders are what make this district one of the best holiday destinations in Bursa. Lake İznik in Bursa Turkey is not only the largest lake in the province but also the largest in the Marmara Region and the 5th largest in Turkey.
Lake İznik is rich in both flora and fauna. There are many bird and fish species living in and around Lake İznik. This makes it a popular destination for birdwatchers, photographers, and campers. However, Lake İznik does not only draw attention because of its natural beauty but because of its history as well.
İznik district has a deep-rooted history going back as far as the 4th century BC. Recently, a sinked basilica has been discovered in Lake İznik. The basilica is thought to be built around the 4th or 5th century AD.
This church located only 50 m away from the shores of Lake İznik is only one of the historical structures in the district. You can find the remnants of the Nikaia Ancient City and other historical structures built by foregoing communities throughout the district. Some of them are well-preserved and still in use.
İznik district is perfect for a Sunday family outing or weekend camping. You can have a peaceful meal whilst gazing upon the lake view and witness the deep-rooted history of the region at the same time. In addition, the small villages in the İznik district are perfect for hiking and cycling with their stunningly green nature.
• Mudanya District: This peripheral district is one of the 3 districts of Bursa that have shores on the Marmara Sea. Mudanya is roughly 15 km away from the center of Bursa province. Its proximity to the center, developed infrastructure, lively promenade, and peaceful atmosphere are among the reasons that make Mudanya one of the best destinations in Bursa for family holidays.
These aspects of Mudanya attract thousands of people from Bursa and from İstanbul to spend their weekends. Ferries take off from Güzelyalı Marina in Mudanya to Yenikapı Ferry Port in İstanbul at regular intervals. The trip takes less than 2 hours and it’s even possible to travel in your own car by ferry. This makes Mudanya a good holiday option for people living in İstanbul but who want to get away from the hustle and bustle of the large city.
Mudanya is not only a peaceful coastal city but also a gateway to history as well. The town of Tirilye (also known by the names of Trilye and Zeytinbağı) is a great example. This lovely town is located 12 km to the west of the center of Mudanya along the coastline.
Although it’s a small town, it has many worth visiting historical structures. Panagia Pantobasilissa, or locally known as Kemerli Kilise, is one of the prime examples. This church is thought to be built at the end of the 13th century. You can check out the Go to Bursa website prepared by Bursa Municipality to get detailed information on historical places and other interesting places throughout Bursa including this church.
Apart from the buildings for the communal use of people, the traditional houses in this small town are very charming as well. The overall captivating bohemian atmosphere in the town makes it one of the most popular holiday destinations in Bursa as well.
As a result of its popularity as a holiday destination, many people choose Mudanya district to buy property in Bursa both for living in and making an investment. Properties in popular holiday destinations like this generate good income for their investors through short-term rentals to holidaymakers, which, in the end, contributes to the growth of the city and economy.
• Lake Uluabat: This 136 square-kilometer lake is located in the western parts of Bursa province. It is surrounded by the districts of Karacabey, Mustafakemalpaşa, and Nilüfer. Lake Uluabat is one of the richest lakes in Turkey in terms of flora and fauna. Therefore it has been declared a Ramsar site (wetlands of international importance defined by UNESCO) and has been under preservation.
Today, the lake and the surrounding towns and cities attract the attention of birdwatchers, photographers, and tourists. There are a total of 11 islands of different sizes and two peninsulas in Lake Uluabat. The two peninsulas, the towns of Gölyazı and Eskikaraağaç, are especially some of the best areas in Bursa for holidays.
The town of Gölyazı is located in the Nilüfer district and is closer to the province center. This small town is connected to the mainland through a very thin bridge and looks almost completely like an island. This adorable town offers a peaceful atmosphere with its traditional houses and green nature. It’s widely preferred for a weekend getaway. Make sure to grab breakfast and tour the islands nearby with pinnaces.
On the other hand, the town of Eskikaraağaç is famous for being a destination for migrant birds. Especially, a large number of storks migrate to this town and the town is also known as Leylek Köyü (which literally translates as “stork town”). The town captivates the hearts of its visitors with its adorable surroundings consisting of traditional houses decorated with stork objects, green nature, and storks.
• Wellness Centers: Bursa is one of the best holiday cities in Turkey because of being a wellness center as well. Water coming from the hot springs in Bursa has therapeutic aspects and has been used for medical therapies for centuries. There are many centrally located facilities and luxurious thermal resorts in Bursa where you can benefit from these hot springs.
These facilities are spread across 8 districts in Bursa. Luxurious resorts are generally located in peripheral districts or far from the center of the province. However, most of the day-to-day facilities are located in the Osmangazi district, right in the middle of the Bursa province.
You can easily access every interesting place in Bursa by getting one of the centrally-located cheap houses for sale in Bursa Turkey. Since people search for and buy property in Bursa for many different reasons (e.g. for living in, for renting, for business...), you can be sure that your purchase would be a great investment as well.
Hopefully, this brief article has been helpful for you to get to know Bursa a little better. You can contact us without hesitation for more information on the area or the available property options.