Trabzon, Turkey Guide

Once known as Trebizond, this historic port city near the eastern end of Turkey’s Black Sea coast (map) provides interesting contrasts to the normal Turkish town.

Trabzon (pop. 240,000) has been around since at least 746 BC, so it has quite a story to tell, though you must work some to find the clues.

What to See & Do

Its old walled quarter contains numerous Byzantinechurches, though most are not easily accessible. Several kilometers to the west of the center, the well-preserved Hagia Sophia (Aya Sofya, 1263) stands on a hill overlooking the Black Sea. More…

Trabzon is also a good base for visiting surrounding sites such as Sumela Monastery, the alpine village of Ayder, and the tea-growing towns such as Rize to the east. More…

How to Visit

If your time in Turkey is limited, the easiest way to visit Trabzon is by plane, usually via IstanbulMore…

Where to Stay

Because transport in Trabzon can be confusing, it’s best to stay right in the center near the main square of Atatürk Alanı so you can walk to most sights and take taxis to others. Here are Trabzon’s best hotels.

Finding Your Way Around

Trabzon’s layout is confusing! Built on a mountainside falling into the sea, it may take its name from the trapeza (table) of land on which part of the ancient city was perched.

The modern city has sprawled far beyond the ancient city walls. Even so, Trabzon’s quarter-million inhabitants—and their cars and trucks—pack its narrow, twisting streets often to the point of stasis.

Your main point of orientation is Atatürk Alanı (Atatürk Square), a shady park at the heart of the city, referred to by locals simply as the meydan (plaza).

Trabzon’s historic harbor (liman) is downhill to the north of Atatürk Alanı, an easy 10-minute walk.

West of Atatürk Alanı, Uzun Sokak is a major pedestrian shopping street. To its north, Kahramanmaraş Caddesiis filled with shoppers, but also vehicular traffic.

Walk west along either of these streets and in 10 minutes you’ll come to the steep valley of the Soğuk Su creek and parts of the old city walls near the Atapark, another shady refuge.

Trabzon’s airport (TZK) is 6 km (3.7 miles) southeast of Atatürk Alanı along the Black Sea shore (map).

—by Tom Brosnahan


Trabzon Hotels

What to See & Do

Sumela Monastery

Trabzon Transport

Samsun

Giresun

Ayder

Black Sea Coast

Central Anatolia

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