Top Sights in Bursa: Self-Tour

Historic Bursa is spread across the slopes of Uludağ(the Bythinian Mount Olympus; map), its major sightsin five separate districts, plus the mountain summit.

The most important for visitors with limited time areGreen MosqueCity Center and Citadel, which you can tour in about three hours. You can spend any remaining time (especially if you stay overnight) visiting the last two districts and/or the summit of Uludağ.

Here are the major sightseeing districts, from east to west across the mountainside:

1. Green Mosque (Yeşil Cami)

The district centered on the historic Green Mosque (Yeşil Cami, YESH-sheel jah-mee) includes the mosque itself, the imperial tomb (Yeşil Türbe) next to it, the Turkish & Islamic Arts Museum in a historic medrese (theological college), and to the east of the Yeşil complex, the Emir Sultan MosqueMore…

2. City Center (Şehir Merkezi)

The heart of historic Bursa, which is also the commercial and cultural center of the modern city, stretches from Heykel, the plaza marked by the equestrian statue of Atatürk, then westward along Atatürk Caddesi past the shady Koza Park by the Koza Han (Silk Cocoon Caravanserai) and Kapalı Çarşı (Covered Bazaar), to the Ulu Cami (Great Mosque). More…

3. Citadel (Hisar)

A ten-minute walk west uphill from the Ulu Cami, Bursa’s former citadel is the oldest part of the city, with some fine old Bursa houses, the tombs of Osman and Orhan, founders of the Ottoman dynasty, and panoramic views of the valley below. More…

4. Muradiye Mosque Complex

A quiet neighborhood centered on the Muradiye Hüdavendigâr mosque complex, tombs of the sultans, and Old Ottoman House museums. More…

5. Çekirge Hot Springs

Known for its hot mineral waters—and lots of hotels built to house those who have come to bathe in them—Çekirge also boasts the interesting old Mosque of Murat I and the tomb of its founder. Çekirge is well to the west of the other districts, and requires a bus or taxi ride. If you have an intense interest in early Ottoman mosque architecture, or if you intend to spend some time in one of Çekirge’s famous mineral baths, you’ll want to visit here. More…

6. Uludağ

Uludağ (OO-loo dah, “Great Mountain”), the Mount Olympus of the ancient province of Bithynia, rises 2543 m (8343 feet) to the south of the city, which is built on its slopes.

Minibuses depart from the city center and drive the 23 km to the summit for hiking (or just some fresh, cool air) in summer, and for skiing in winter.

The teleferik (cable car) east of the city center is being replaced by a new one and will not be in service until late 2014. More…

—by Tom Brosnahan


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