Sitting in Northwest Turkey with a proud reputation, the Bursa area is one of Turkey’s iconic destinations. The name includes the city part and larger province that is renowned all over Turkey for its greenness and scenic landscapes, but two principal reasons contribute to its fame.
Historical importance is bestowed on Bursa from all over the world thanks to its status as the Ottoman empire’s ruling capital before they invaded Constantinople. Holding UNESCO World Heritage status, the old Ottoman landmarks receive visitors from all over the world.
The second, majestic Uludag mountain is a major skiing centre and summer activity hotspot. Bordered by the sea of Marmara, and sitting close to Istanbul, Bursa is an all-rounder. From skiing and snowboarding to old Ottoman mosques, and hot springs, this hub of diversity puts it on the map as a prime place to buy property.
Guide to the Bursa Area of Turkey
History: Historians and archaeologists have traced the first existence of human settlement back to 5200 BC. Later becoming the ancient Greek city of Cius, then Prusa, it joined the ranks of impressive Roman cities in 74 BC. They ruled for many centuries until 1326 when the Ottoman empire rode in and stole their crown. It was during this time that the city expanded.
Building many mosques and kulliyesi that acted as functioning centres for the poor, it became the centre of importance until 1453, when the Ottoman moved their capital to Constantinople. In 1923, after the formation of the Republic of Turkey, the industrial industry sprang into action. These days, that industry still thrives, but since its UNESCO inclusion, tourism and real estate have also become significant sources of income for locals.
Weather and Climate: Because of its colossal size, Turkey has several climate zones of which Bursa falls has a CSA classification. The Mediterranean summers include the hottest months of August and September. Expect temperatures of around 35 degrees, if you plan to tour the local sites. Being a significant ski centre, snowfall in the winter and rainfall can be substantial from January to March.
How to Get to Bursa: Most international travellers fly into Sabiha Gokcen airport that has frequent year-round flights from around the world. Sitting 120 kilometres away, it is 90 minutes transfer time. If travelling from Istanbul, a brilliant way to get there is via the IDO and Budo passengers ferries. Otherwise, Bursa connects to the rest of Turkey via the effective bus network system.
Places of Interest: The Ulu Cami (mosque) is one of Bursa’s most famous landmarks. Dating from the 15th century, many admire it for its Seljuk and Ottoman-style architecture. The exterior is marked by 20 domes in 5 x 4 rows, while a large fountain highlights the interior. The Ulu Cami mosque is Bursa’s top attraction and a must-see.
An excellent place to shop for souvenirs and grab refreshment is the Kozahan, a former caravanserai where travelling salespeople slept for the night. The Yesil Turbe, marked by its green exterior tiles dates from the 15th century, while the Bursa city walls and Osman Gazi tomb are the oldest part of Bursa and brimming full of history. Head to the 15th-century Irgandi bridge, to see Bursa’s artisans in action, and if you want peace during your city visit, the Muradiye Complex will provide just that.
Families love the Bursa Zoo and Botanical garden in the Soganli, while Mudanya is the place to soak up a coastal atmosphere on the beaches. Also, see the beautiful Saitabat waterfall, and for relaxation, head to Kaynarca and Yeni hot springs. (More about places to visit in Bursa.)
Cumalikizik Village: Also holding UNESCO World Heritage status, Cumalikzik village takes pride in its 270 Ottoman houses and remains of the old Byzantine Church. However, most locals head there at the weekend to enjoy a traditional Turkish breakfast village. Comprising home-grown olives, tomatoes, and cucumbers, locally made butter and cheese, and baked bread, it is a time-honoured Turkish tradition.
One reason Bursa is on the map is skiing and snowboarding at Uludag mountain. Mythology says it is this mountain from where the gods watched the Trojan war. Many people use the 9-kilometre cable car to ascend Uludag and disembark at the last stop for some world-class skiing. Don’t think it is just a winter destination, though. During summer, trekking routes, camping, and much more are the focus. Covered in a white blanket of snow, it melts away to reveal scenic green pastures.
Shopping and Souvenirs
Back in history, Bursa was a significant stopping point on the old silk road. Traders flocked from everywhere to sell and buy goods. The ancient silk road is dead and buried, but shopping still thrives, and visitors will find many delightful souvenirs to pick up. Throughout Turkey, Bursa has achieved fame for its silk production, and you can find many scarves and other clothing goods for excellent prices.
Ceramic tiles from nearby Iznik come in all shapes and sizes, and such is their reputation for excellence, they are sold all over Turkey. While shopping, keep an eye out for the two puppets Karagoz and Hacivat, who were invented in Bursa. Bursa also has a thriving textile industry, where you can buy rugs, towels and more, and the other locally made product is candied chestnuts. Otherwise, opt for the Turkish souvenir of an evil eye. The Kozahan is an excellent place to start your souvenir hunt, otherwise Podyum park Bursa is a magnificent place to shop and eat and be entertained.
Eating Out and Nightlife
A vast range of restaurants serve up tasty dishes, but a must-try is the regional dish of Iskender kebab. Named after the chef who invented it in 1867, this features thinly cut donor meat, topped on pide bread, and slathered with a generous helping of a tomato and butter sauce, and yoghurt. Club Inferno which also has branches in Konya and Kemer is the place to go for high-quality nightclubs music to dance to until the early hours of the morning. Otherwise, plenty of bistros and side street cafes provide even more choice for eating out and drinking.
Buying Property in Bursa
Over the last five years, Bursa has risen to high popularity rates for foreign house sales, especially Arab buyers attracted by the similarities in culture, and the affordable house prices. The diversity in the industry and year-round activities also makes this a famous city for real estate investors. The housing market thrives with a wide variety of off-plan, recent building and resale apartments and villas.
Famous districts to buy in include the heart of the city centre, Nilufer, Osmangazi, and the seaside resort of Mudanya for villas. Browse our vast portfolio of apartments and villas for sale. Each listing includes everything to know, including price, photos, location, and home features. If any property catches your eye, call, or email us for further information or to arrange a viewing. Otherwise, if you want to know more about the Bursa area of Turkey, read our blog posts that talk in depth about the UNESCO World heritage sites, other attractions, skiing and more.