It's possible to visit Bursa on a day-trip excursion from Istanbul (map). Here's how.
The fastest way
to go from Istanbul to Bursa is
by seaplane. Yes, you read that right—seaplane! But you'll probably end up traveling by fast catamaran ferryboat.
are no trains,
and taking a bus all
the way around the Sea
of Marmara takes
hours through heavy traffic.
Istanbul - Bursa Passenger Ferries
Two companies operate fast passenger-only ferries between Istanbul's Kabataş docks and Bursa docks:
BUDO (Bursa Deniz Otobüsleri) runs ferries between Istanbul (Kabataş) and Bursa (Mudanya). More...
İDO (İstanbul Deniz Otobüsleri) operates ferries between Istanbul (Kabataş) and Bursa (Güzelyalı). More...
Istanbul - Bursa Car Ferries
Fast car ferries depart
Feribot Terminalı daily
for two ports on the south shore of
of Marmara from which you can
easily make your way to Bursa.
The two or three daily ferries take
about 90 minutes to cross the Sea
of Marmara from Istanbul to Güzelyalı.
You continue by yellow city Bus 1-GY or taxi
to the Bursaray (Bursa's
metro system) Emek station to take a train to the city center.
More frequent ferries (five or more a day)
on the 70-minute voyage take you to Yalova, but then
you must take a bus to Bursa's main
bus terminal (50
minutes) and another bus to the city center (30 to
50 minutes), unless you intend to detour to İznik (Nicaea). More...
Several companies operate buses every 30 minutes right from Istanbul's Sabiha Gökçen Airport to Bursa via vehicle ferry over the Gulf of İznik.
Transport in Bursa
spread out east-west across the northern
slope of Uludağ (OO-loo
dah, Bithynian Mount Olympus).
Bursa hotels are mostly
in the city center between Heykel ("Statue,"
the square with an equestrian statue
and the Ulu
jah-mee, Grand Mosque);
Parkı (kewl-TEWR par-kuh,
spa district of Çekirge (CHEH-keer-geh)
to the west.
ride from the Terminal to Ulu
Cami or Heykel can take 45 minutes or
more in heavy traffic, at least 30
minutes even in lighter traffic (if Bursa can ever be said to have light
get to the Ulu
Heykel, walk out the front doors
of the Terminal, turn right and walk
to the taxi rank or,
beyond it, the city bus stops. Before
going to a bus, buy some bus
at the ticket office.
ticket in hand, walk to the Peron (row,
gate) for Bus
38. Say Ulu
Cami or Heykel to
the driver so he can assist you to
get out at the proper stop. If you're
ever in doubt, just say either of
those words to any other passenger
return to the Terminal for your trip
back to Istanbul, ask at your hotel,
or anyone for that matter, for a Terminal
otobüs (TEHR-mee-NAHL oh
toh-bewss). Bus 38 departs from the
south side of Atatürk Caddesi
just west of Heykel. Remember to
have a ticket before boarding the
are sold at many newsstands and snack
shops. Look for Bu
Kart Satış Noktası (Bu
Kart Sales Point) signs in shop
—by Tom Brosnahan