Eskişehir, 324 km (201 miles) southeast of Istanbul, and 233 km (145 miles) west of Ankara (map), is an important industrial and transport center in western Turkey, but its claim to fame is meerschaum (lületaşı), this is mined in nearby villages and carved into beads, necklaces, earrings, and especially tobacco pipes.
Eskisehir is considered one of the most livable cities in Turkey, and this city is famous for its calmness and peace.
Though its name means "Old City," what you'll see of present-day Eskişehir is mostly modern and is referred to as Turkey's most European city.
You can visit most of the places you want to visit in one day in Eskisehir with careful planning. However, if you want to travel more calmly and enjoy the city, you can spend 2 days here.
Odunpazarı is the place where Eskişehir was founded and is on the UNESCO World Temporary Heritage List. This precious region bears traces of both Seljuk, the Ottoman, and the Turkish Republic. You should spare at least 4 hours to visit this region, which is famous for its historical colorful houses because there are so many museums here that you will want to visit them all.
After getting lost in the streets of Odunpazarı and taking lots of photos of windows and doors, don't forget to see Atlıhan Handicrafts Bazaar (Atlıhan El Sanatları Çarşısı), Kurşunlu Mosque and Complex (Kurşunlu Camii ve Külliyesi), Tatar Culture House (Tatar Kültür Evi) and Ottoman House (Osmanlı Evi).
Odunpazarı Modern Museum (OMM)
Odunpazarı Modern Museum (Odunpazarı Modern Müzesi) is one of the most beautiful museums in Turkey. This museum, which was opened in 2019, was designed by evaluating the civil architecture of Odunpazarı, the Ottoman dome architecture, and traditional Japanese architecture together.
This place is much more than a museum. Apart from the exhibition areas inside, there is a cafe where delicious coffee is served, a colorful shop that is very different from the museum shops you are used to, and where there are very interesting products produced by incredible artists, and lastly, there are workshop areas.
Çağdaş Cam Sanatları Müzesi and Eskişehir Kent Belleği Müzesi
The Contemporary Glass Arts Museum (Çağdaş Cam Sanatları Müzesi) and Eskişehir Urban Memory Museum (Eskişehir Kent Belleği Müzesi) are located in the same cute and beautiful buildings, so make sure you visit both of them. Contemporary Glass Arts Museum features incredible works by talented glass artists that will impress you. The Eskişehir Urban Memory Museum, on the other hand, provides you with information about the history and development of Eskişehir, this museum is small but contains a lot of information.
Yılmaz Büyükerşen Balmumu Müzesi
Eskişehir is a city full of art. This is the work of the visionary mayor, Yılmaz Büyükerşen. He is a sculptor; he has made more than 100 sculptures in various parts of the city. At the same time, there is a very famous wax sculptures museum in Odunpazarı (Yılmaz Büyükerşen Balmumu Müzesi), which is also known as the local version of Madame Tussauds.
The museum is divided into different halls according to the people and periods covered, and there are wax statues of various very important figures such as Atatürk, Obama, and Einstein. You will have a lot of fun visiting this museum, but there can be a lot of queues on weekends due to tours, so try to go here during the week if possible.
Eskişehir Eti Arkeoloji Müzesi
Eskişehir has a lot to offer when it comes to archeology, and one of the most important museums where these are exhibited is the Eti Archeology Museum (Eti Arkeoloji Müzesi). This museum is one of the best museums in Eskişehir. Inside, artifacts unearthed from the excavations carried out in archaeological sites such as Dorylaion, Pessinus, Han Underground City, and Demircihöyük are exhibited. This museum will not regret those who are interested in archeology, but apart from that, the museum has implemented digital applications and interactive experiences very successfully.
Tülomsaş (Eskişehir Demiryolu Fabrikası) where you can see the Revolution Car (Devrim Arabası), Turkey's first domestic car made in 1961, which is an event that has been the subject of movies for Turks, is a factory that is no longer in use. Apart from Devrim, Turkey's first domestic steam locomotive, Karakurt is in the garden of the museum. These are also symbols of Eskişehir.
If you would like to have a “modern” accommodation experience, you can choose Omm Inn for your stay. This is the hotel of Odunpazarı Modern Museum. This hotel has a modern art concept as well. For breakfast, they only serve vegan food.
Tasigo is a 5-star thermal hotel famous for its spa, massage, and hamam. The rooms have a great Eskişehir view.
Park Dedeman Hotel and The Merlot Hotel are other famous and clean, neat hotels with great locations.
You can also choose Ibıs Hotel to be able to stay in a location where you can reach everyone within walking distance.
Both the Train Station and the Bus Station are located in the city. When you get off, you can easily go anywhere on foot, as the best way to visit Eskisehir is to go everywhere by walking. But you can also use public transport in the city. The tram is a popular transportation option, but buses and minibusses to various parts of the city are also among other options.
Distances & Travel Times
Afyon: 190 km (118 miles) N, 3 hours
Ankara: 232 km (144 miles) E, 3.75 hours
Bursa: 148 km (92 miles) W, 2.25 hours
Istanbul: 330 km (205 miles) NW, 4.75 hours
İzmir: 412 km (256 miles) NE, 6 hours
Konya: 333 km (207 miles) SE, 5 hours
Kütahya: 78 km (49 miles) SW, 1.5 hours
The first dishes that come to mind when it comes to local tastes in Eskişehir are Çibörek, Balaban Kebap, boza, and met helva. Çibörek is a kind of pastry originally belonging to Tatar cuisine. This pastry is very famous, especially in Eskişehir. Meat or cheese options are available.
When you go to Eskişehir, you should definitely eat çibörek at breakfast or at lunch. Kırım Tatar Kültür Çi Börek Evi or Arasta Kırım Tatar Çibörek Evi are some of the best places to try it.
Rent a Bike
You can rent a bike to explore the city. Eskişehir is famous for its parks and biking, like most locals do, it is a great way to enjoy nature. It is now possible to rent bicycles from stations with a credit card at affordable prices with the smart bicycle system ESBIS, which was implemented by the Odunpazarı Municipality.
Eskişehir is famous for its parks. It gives everyone the opportunity to get some fresh air, have a good time, and be in touch with nature. There is a zoo and aquarium in the city as well.
Sazova Park (Eskişehir Bilim ve Kültür Parkı)
One of the first images that comes to mind when Eskişehir is mentioned is the Disneyland-like view of Eskişehir Science and Culture Park (Eskişehir Bilim ve Kültür Parkı). This is a very popular photo shoot location for tourists. Another name of the park is Sazova Park and it should be noted that this is a huge city park. So much so that this park contains other parks: Sabancı Space House (Sabancı Uzay Evi), Eti Underwater Museum (Eti Sualtı Müzesi), Fairy Tale Castle (Masal Şatosu), Pirate Ship (Korsan Gemisi), Turkish World Science Culture and Art House (Türk Dünyası Bilim Kültür ve Sanat Evi). Fairy Tale Castle, as mentioned, is that beautiful castle that makes you feel like you are in Disneyland. There are cafes and food stands where you can sit in the park, as well as a large pond.
Eskişehir is a city that does not have a coastline and is located in the interior of Turkey. This is exactly why Kentpark is famous because there is an artificial beach in it. Kentpark is located right across from the Eskisehir Bus Station (Otogar).
Şehr-i Aşk Adası
It is a beautiful place with a gondola ride in Eskişehir Center on the Porsuk Çayı, shapes made with hearts on a small island, cafes, and walking areas.
Adalar Porsuk Çayı
Adalar (Islands) is the name given to the area on the edge of the Porsuk Çayı between Atatürk Caddesi Köprüsü and Köprübaşı Köprüsü, so there is no real island, it is the name of the region. In recent years, this area has been rehabilitated and today it has become a very pleasant place full of restaurants and cafes, which can be visited by gondolas and boats. In addition, as mentioned, an artificial beach and pond were created in Kentpark on a branch of the Porsuk Çayı
Millet Bahçesi (Nation’s Park), which is within walking distance of the station, is among the other park alternatives you can choose to get some fresh air and take a walk. Here you can stop by Petek Patisserie (Petek Pastanesi) or have a coffee at Kafe Kiosk.
Tours & Excursions
Eskişehir is an ideal location for a full weekend trip. You can easily visit the whole city in 1-2 days. If you want to continue your trip by going to places close to Eskişehir afterward, you can take a look at the suggestions below.
Beypazarı is an ideal choice for a day trip, where you can go both from Ankara and Eskisehir. Beypazarı is not only famous for its 2-3-story white wooden houses with bay windows but also for its gastronomy. Here, you can drink a foamy Turkish coffee cooked in the sand, eat 40-layer baklava, taste one of the most beautiful Turkish dishes, yaprak sarma, and enjoy Beypazarı Kurusu (dried fruits) and various Turkish lokum (delights). You can visit Hıdırlık Tepesi (Hıdırlık Hill), İnözü Vadisi (İnözü Valley), İmaret Meydanı (Imaret Square), Halk Evi (Public House), Yaşayan Müze Beypazarı (Living Museum Beypazarı) when you are in Beypazarı.
Frig Vadisi (Phrygian Valley)
The Phrygian Valley lies between Eskişehir and Afyon. This region is an incredible geography as it has a history of 3000 years. The Phrygians built a huge civilization by carving houses into the rocks here centuries ago. You can witness this history by walking around this magnificent place and feel like you have traveled in time.
This is not a very touristic place, but rather a natural wonder. It covers a very large area, some of the places you can see here are the Lion Temple (Aslanlı Mabet), Kümbet, Gerdekkaya, Pişmişkale, Midas Monument (Midas Anıtı, Yazılıkaya), Yapıldak Castle (Yapıldak Kale), Aslankaya, Emre Lake (Emre Gölü) (you can do a balloon tour here), Üçlerkayası, Aslantaş & Yılantaş, Avdalaz Castle (Avdalaz Kalesi), Ayazini Church (Ayazini Kalesi).
In winter, you can go on a ski holiday to Uludağ in just 2.5 hours by car. There are many beautiful hotels and ski slopes here. Uludağ is at the top of the list when it comes to winter tourism in Turkey.
Another great location for a ski holiday is Kartalkaya Ski Center in Bolu. This place is located 214 km from Eskişehir, you can reach here in 3.5 hours by car.
When to go to Eskişehir
Eskişehir is famous for having a crazy frost in winter, so you can be sure that the winters are very cold. However, because Eskişehir is a student city, it is lively in every season. You can choose spring or summer to visit Eskişehir, don't forget to always take a jacket with you.