The Bursa Guide

Bursa is turkey's fourth-largest city and the ottomans' first significant capital. The city is strewn with priceless souvenirs of its glorious past, the tombs of the empire's founders, and the grand mosque (Ulu camii) Being just a few structures to leave you in awe.

Bursa is also turkey's industrial hub and automotive and textile production center.

Despite being home to many factories, the city is surprisingly verdant, with parks, gardens, and forests dominating the city landscape. This has even earned the city the nickname of "green bursa" (YeşiL bursa).

The city is a blend of scenic beauty, rich history, and a lively economic structure.

Is bursa the right fit for you? Let's see.

Retiring in Bursa

Unlike typical retirement destinations in the sunny south, Bursa offers a quieter, more recluse, and affordable living way. It is primarily an excellent location for those more in tune with history and spirituality.

You can spend your days in the city's many museums and mosques wondering why Timur wanted to burn down such a holy place or go on contemplative walks in the city's Japanese or English gardens in the botanical parks.

As for food, you'll never have a shortage of regional delicacies to try, as evident by the daily foodie tours from nearby cities.

Lifestyle in Bursa

Bursa is a major center of tourism but not like Bodrum or Alanya. The city is a well-loved destination for winter sports, wellness, religion, and history, not summer adventures.

The weather is quite similar to Istanbul, but it takes longer to leave once the cold weather comes. The city is situated bordered by Mount Uludağ in the south, the cold settles, and the winds can become quite powerful.

The city is home to many Muslim-friendly facilities and mosques, making it a perfect destination for more conservative people and tourists searching for halal holidays. Bursa also produces the country's best and highest quality silks.

Besides Nilüfer and Mudanya, most of bursa is considered pious. People's demeanor primarily reflects that – they are kind and welcoming but will not be fond of public displays of affection.

Cost of Living in Bursa

The average cost of living in Bursa is only slightly more than the national minimum wage for a single person. Compared to Istanbul, renting in Bursa is almost as half as cheaper, and you can even find a flat for TL 900 just outside the city center.

Public transportation costs are comparable to Istanbul, and a monthly pass costs about TL 180. Compared to driving, public transport is more affordable, especially for students.

The cost of red meat, which is the backbone of many of the city's signature dishes, is high, as with any other city in Turkey, but you'll get to enjoy the flavor and high quality.

5 Things You'll Love about Bursa

  • Hiking and skiing trails

Summer or winter, Bursa and Mount Uludağ will not disappoint nature lovers. In the blazing heat, the cool verdant hiking trails of Uludağ will be the perfect place for some fresh air and a picnic, and come December, even if you do not ski, you'll be fascinated by the winter wonderland atop its peak.

  • Did someone say Iskender kebab?

Named after Iskender Efendi, who created this delicious delight of diced Turkish pide bread, succulent lamb döner and fresh tomato sauce drizzled in aromatic butter, Iskender kebab is without a doubt Bursa's best and most loved dish. The city is also the home of sizzling Inegöl köfte and the classic Turkish desserts pişmaniye and candied chestnuts.

  • Greenery and nature

If you are sick of seeing gray buildings, Bursa will be a breath of fresh air with its forests and parks. You can enjoy the shade of the 600-year-old Inkaya Sycamore in the tea garden or drive to Lake Uluabat for a boat ride and watch migratory birds against a backdrop of green.

  • Living art and history

Bursa's charming Ottoman architecture and Seljuk-inspired buildings are some of its biggest appeals. The colorful mausoleum that is Yeşil Türbe (The Green Tomb), which is the resting place of Ottoman Sultan Mehmed I, will leave history buffs and artists mesmerized with its intricate blue-green tiling. Simultaneously, the village of Cumalıkızık will inspire awe as an authentic replica of 700-year-old Ottoman history with its traditional houses, bay windows, and cobblestone streets.

  • Close to other hubs

Bursa is just a stone's throw away from Istanbul, Turkey's largest metropolis. It would help if you hopped on a ferry, and in 2 hours, you can easily spend the weekend in Istanbul or get your jobs sorted and go back home.

5 Things I Wish I'd Known Before Moving To Bursa

  • It's a student city,

If you are used to living in megacities that never sleep, you will be surprised to find that Bursa is much calmer despite being a metropolis. However, this calmness is negated because it is also a city of college students; over 70,000 people are enrolled at Uludağ University.

  • Crowded hills

Owing to being one of Turkey's most prominent and beautiful winter sports centers, Uludağ becomes quite packed during winter, especially the school holidays. So, if you were thinking of having the slopes to yourself and enjoying a peaceful few days, you might find yourself having to queue long hours or fighting to book a reservation.

  • Respect Islam

In general, the people of Bursa and Turkey do not like people who bad-mouth religions and, in particular, Islam. When entering mosques, you should make sure you have dressed appropriately and keep quiet.

  • Beaches don't equal summer holidays.

If you thought the city would be an excellent place for a summer vacation as it is by the Aegean, think again. If you are looking for sea, sand, and sun, you need to look much further south.

  • The ugly side of urbanization

As you sit atop mount Uludağ to enjoy the view, you might spot some ugly eyesores in the form of unplanned urbanization. Although the city contains many beautiful historical buildings, shanties ruin specific areas' texture. Compared to many cities such as Istanbul, it still hasn't succumbed to being a concrete jungle.

5 Nearby Towns to Visit

  • Cumalıkızık
  • Gölyazı
  • Iznik
  • Gölcük
  • Sapanca