What to See & Do in Eskişehir

Last Updated on November 26, 2023

Nestled in the heart of Turkey's Eskisehir province lies the captivating city of Eskişehir, a treasure trove of history and culture. Known for its ancient Phrygian roots, the city boasts a rich tapestry of attractions that span from the remnants of the Ottoman Empire to modern attractions that cater to this college town.

As you stroll through the old town, you'll be transported back in time, witnessing the architectural marvels of bygone eras and the bustling life along the riverbanks. With its hot springs, top attractions, and the allure of the ancient Phrygian city, a visit to Eskişehir promises an unforgettable journey through time.

Eskişehir's top sights include a good Archeology Museum, a fine Ottoman mosque complex called the Kurşunlu Külliyesi, the dressed-up river called the Porsuk Çayı (Porsuk River), an interesting market district (Çarşı), and a neighborhood of old Ottoman houses called Odunpazarı.

Porsuk Çayı (River)

The banks of the Porsuk Çayı River running through the city center have been beautifully restored and decorated with walkways, small parks, and elaborate bridges. In summer there are boat cruises on the river, and you can even ride in a Venetian-style gondola.

Archaeological Museum

The new and modern Archaeological Museum (Arkeoloji Müzesi) holds the found treasures of this archeologically rich region: Phrygian, Hellenic, Roman, Byzantine, and Ottoman.


Meerschaum, the soft white stone which mineralogists call sepiolite (hydrous magnesium silicate, called lületaşı in Turkish) is mined in nearby villages and carved into beads, necklaces, earrings, and especially tobacco pipes. Eskişehir's Lületaşı (Meerschaum) Museum and Garden, on the banks of the river, gives you information on the stone, the process of mining it, and the art of carving it.

Chess, pipes, jewelry, and similar products made of meerschaum are exhibited in the meerschaum gallery. there are also things that can be bought here made of meerschaum, such as rings for women and men, bracelets, necklaces, and prayer beads.

Çarşı (Market District)

It's fun to wander the narrow, winding streets of the city-center shopping district, north of the river and east of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk Caddesi.

Hamamyolu Caddesi

Hamamyolu Street (Hamamyolu Caddesi) takes its name from the baths located here. Eskisehir used to be the place where all the people shopped. Of course, since there are shopping centers in the city, it can be thought that it is not as active as before, but the street is still full of tradesmen and is always active.

There are many kinds of tradesmen such as fabric shops, toy shops, coffee shops (shops selling Turkish coffee), and hardware shops, as well as cafes and restaurants, and prices are very cheap. It is a very pleasant place to walk with its greening works, but it should not be forgotten that it is crowded.

Sazova Park

Sazova Park is a huge city park that contains other parks such as 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).


On a low hill at the southern end of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk Caddesi, 2 km (1-1/4 miles) from the Eskişehir Garı (train station), Odunpazarı (map) is Old Eskişehir, a district of Ottoman-era houses now under restoration or reconstruction. It became the city's arts, crafts, boutique, and Bistrot section.

Up the hill in a prominent position is the Kurşunlu Külliyesi, an Ottoman mosque (1515), and ancillary buildings including a caravanserai, soup kitchen, and more. A small, pleasant, shady park unites these buildings, with the splashing water of the şadırvan (ablutions fountain) adding a cooling sound.

There are many museums in Odunpazarı. You can learn about many of them below.

Crimean Tatar Museum

By visiting the Crimean Tatar Museum (Kırım Tatar Müzesi) in Odunpazarı, you can learn about the exile of the Tatar people, who also contributed greatly to Eskişehir, from Crimea. You can also see the statues made about Tatar culture, and learn about the life of Tatars.

Liberation Museum

Located in Odunpazarı, the Liberation Museum (Kurtuluş Müzesi) is a very enjoyable museum that you can visit to get information about Turkey's War of Independence. This museum is a place that has kept up with technological developments and includes touch screens and interactive applications. There is also a children's section at the entrance of the museum, where your children can paint. You can visit the museum's miniatures, demonstration, caricatures, strategy, and newspaper sections. You can use the digital museum guide. English translations are available in the museum.

Eskişehir Industry & Trade Museum

The Eskişehir Industry & Trade Museum (Eskişehir Sanayi ve Ticaret Müzesi), located in Odunpazarı, is one of the museums that will surprise you. In this museum, you can get comprehensive information on a wide variety of subjects related to the development of Eskişehir. Agricultural products, street artists' figures, food industry, baths, mines (here, mineral samples and information are displayed), pottery, brick and tile, weaving and clothing industry, charcoal hand iron and ironing samples, local press, cameras, and calculators.

You can see many topics and products such as typewriters, coins, coins, scales, tanners, Nasrettin Hoca (a beloved folktale character), tinning, jewelry, and funneled rugs. You can easily navigate and learn thanks to the English translations. In the garden of this place, the first domestic car whose originals are exhibited in the Tülomsaş Museum. You can see the revolutionary car and examples of the first locomotive Karakurt.

Women's Handicraft Market

In the Women's Handicraft Market (Kadın El Sanatları Pazarı), many products such as knitting, bags, vests, hats, cheesecloths, dolls, and jewelry produced by local women are sold. You can buy gifts here and contribute to women's labor.

Odunpazarı Modern Museum (OMM)

The Odunpazarı Modern Museum (Odunpazarı Modern Müzesi) is one of the most popular museums in Eskişehir. It is a place that will fascinate you both with its architecture from the outside and with its works from the inside.

Yılmaz Büyükerşen Wax Museum

Yılmaz Büyükerşen is the famous mayor of Eskişehir. As if that weren't enough to excite you, suddenly appearing in front of you with its nearly 100 statues in the city, this wax museum in Odunpazarı will impress you even more with wax statues of Turkish and foreign celebrities that you will think are real.

The Yılmaz Büyükerşen Balmumu Müzesi is one of the museums that you should not return without visiting when you come to the old city, but you have to take into account that there may be a queue in front of it.

Eskişehir Contemporary Glass Arts Museum

The Eskişehir Contemporary Glass Arts Museum (Çağdaş Cam Sanatları Müzesi) is Turkey's first contemporary glass art museum. More than a hundred works of both local and foreign artists are on display here.

Atlıhan Handicrafts Bazaar

Located in Odunpazarı, the Atlıhan Handicrafts Bazaar (Atlıhan El Sanatları Çarşısı) was built in the 1850s for the accommodation of marketers and travelers from other cities and the care of their animals. After losing its purpose, it became a ruin, but in the past years, the Odunpazarı Municipality had it rebuilt by staying true to its original architecture. The inn has workshops where handicrafts are produced, presented, and sold.

Ceramic Museum

The Odunpazarı Fire of the City: Ceramic Gallery (Odunpazarı Şehrin Ateşi: Seramik Galerisi) is located in Arasta bazaar (Arasta Çarşısı). After eating çibörek at Arasta Kırım Tatar Çibörek Evi, you can visit this ceramic gallery, admire the ceramics produced in ceramic festivals, and shape ceramic mud in the workshop on the ground floor.

Wooden Artifacts Museum

The Wooden Artifacts Museum (Ahşap Eserler Müzesi) is another museum visited by tourists visiting Odunpazarı. This museum is located in the Odunpazarı Kurşunlu Complex Caravanserai (Kurşunlu Cami ve Külliyesi) and the works produced in the International Wooden Sculpture Festivals are exhibited here.

Osman Yaşar Tanaçan Photography Museum

The Osman Yaşar Tanaçan Photography Museum (Fotoğraf Müzesi) is a museum where both the photographs taken by Osman Yaşar Tanaçan and his cameras are exhibited. Tanaçan is a very valuable artist from Eskişehir, he started photography at a young age and took more than 800,000 photographs, as well as a director, writer, and poet who directed theater plays. You can learn about him and his works in this museum.

ESOGÜ Zoology Museum

Since Anatolia is a piece of land that unites Asia and Europe, it is home to many economic products and has a great deal of biodiversity. In this zoology museum (Eskişehir Osmangazi Üniversitesi Zooloji Müzesi), you can witness the biodiversity of Eskişehir and its surroundings, and observe skeletons of insects, crustaceans, fish, reptiles, birds, fish, and mammals.

Zaimağa Mansion

The Zaimağa Konağı (Zaimağa Mansion) is located in the Sivrihisar region of Eskişehir. Sivrihisar is a settlement full of Seljuk and Ottoman artifacts. The importance of the Zaimağa Mansion is that it is the place where the Turkish Grand National Assembly met for the first time outside of Ankara and made important decisions during the War of Independence.

Sivrihisar Clock Tower and Observation Deck

This clock tower is one of the most magnificent clock towers in Turkey and therefore it is one of the most important symbols of Sivrihisar. You can see the whole old city and enjoy the view from the glass observation terrace located here.

Sivrihisar Ulu Cami

Sivrihisar Ulu Mosque (Ulu Cami) is on the UNESCO World Temporary Heritage List. It is the largest of Anatolia's Nasir wooden pillared mosques and was built during the Seljuk period.


Excursions from Eskişehir

South of the city 42 km (26 miles) at Seyitgazi is the tomb complex of Seyit Battal Gazi, an Umayyad military commander who led his Arab army against the Byzantines in 717-740 AD. It's a place of pilgrimage for Muslims.

The country south of Seyitgazi was ancient Phrygia, ruled by King Midas around 725 BC. The most impressive remaining monument is at Midas Şehri (Yazılıkaya).

Visit Eskişehir

In Turkey, Eskisehir stands as a beacon of cultural diversity and historical significance. Its myriad attractions, from the bustling marketplaces to the tranquil river cruises, offer a glimpse into a rich past that has been beautifully preserved for modern explorers. The city's commitment to preserving its heritage, while also embracing the future, makes it a must-visit destination for those eager to experience the essence of Turkish history and hospitality.

-by Tom Broshnan, updated by Melike Kocaer

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