The city of Bursa was once the former capital of the Ottoman Turks and is the fourth-largest city in Turkey, filled with many beautiful mosques, shrines, and parks.
There are many Turkish baths in central Bursa, where you can enjoy an exfoliating massage in the traditional Ottoman style.
In the winter months, many outdoor enthusiasts come to enjoy an afternoon of skiing, snowboarding, and other snow-based sports at Uludağ National Park.
Ulu Cami was built in the late 14th century by the Seljuk Turks and features classic examples of ornate Ottoman architecture.
Bursa's top markets for traditional wares are located near Ulu Cami and are the perfect place to try bargaining and pick up souvenirs to take home.
Bursa is famous for being the birthplace of the widely popular lamb, tomato, and yogurt dish called Iskender Kebab. This dish is served - and loved - widely around Turkey.
The Green Mosque is often reckoned to be Bursa's most beautiful, and few tourists quibble with that judgment when they gaze on its ornate mihrab (prayer niche) and marble ablution fountain with its octagon-shaped pool. But the blue and green mosaics are probably the star at Yeşil Camii (and the reason for its name). Their gorgeous colors line the dome, and create the kind of beauty that would have suited the mosque of Sultan Mehmed I. The whole complex is worth exploring as well, with Mehmed's tomb rivaling the mosque for beauty.
The oldest part of Bursa is almost certainly its most enchanting to walk around. The neighborhood is easy to find, because it's entirely enclosed by the city's citadel. Attractions are numerous, but easily the biggest are the tombs of Osman and Orhan - two Ottoman sultans who are regarded as the founders of the Turkish empire. Along with their mausoleum, the area is also home to an elegant clock tower, set in scenic gardens with magnificent views across the city. All-in-all, it's a place that oozes history, and definitely a place to grab some spectacular snaps.
For over a thousand years, Bursa has been a center of the Sufi order, and Karabaş-i Veli Kültür Merkezi is the religious group's HQ in the city. Located about 200 meters south of the Grand Mosque, it's a tranquil place, with a relaxing tea garden (which is a great place to recharge your batteries after tramping around the mosques and markets), and nightly whirling dervish dances that delight visitors with their grace and energy. Try to be there on Saturday for the biggest dances of all, but every evening is a good time to pay the center a visit.
Translated as the "Grand Mosque", Ulu Camii is Bursa's oldest and largest, having been built right at the end of the 14th century. The scale of the place is what impresses at first, with 20 soaring domes and two towers that dominate the skyline. But inside, you'll notice more subtle delights, including 192 calligraphy inscriptions by Ottoman scribes which form one of the Muslim world's largest such collections. Closed only during prayer times, it's a majestic work of sacred architecture.
Bursa's covered market is souvenir shopping paradise. From the pure white 19th century facade, to the buzzing commerce that hits you when you step inside, every second spent here is a magical experience - particularly if you intend to track down some of the city's famous shadow puppets. Cushions and rugs are (perhaps unsurprisingly) also highlights here, as are gold and jewels. But check out the nearby "hans" (luxury goods bazaars) as well, where gorgeous silk products take center stage.
Bursa is popular from November to March when the ski resorts offer the most snow for outdoor activities. However the city's many parks and location near Istanbul make it a year-round destination.
The Yenişehir Airport is located just 12 miles outside of the city and facilitates mainly domestic flights. Most international tourists however will first fly into Istanbul's Atatürk or Sabiha Gokcen Airports, and transfer to an intercity IDO or BUDO ferry towards Bursa. The two-hour ferry trip from Istanbul to Bursa costs around ₺30.
While driving is the most common form of transportation, most motorways in Turkey are toll roads. Highway 5 will connect you from Istanbul through to Bursa and down to Izmir to the south.
The Intercity bus terminal is just three miles outside of the center and will connect you to other destinations within Turkey.
The Marigold Thermal and Spa Hotel is a good option near the city center, while the Agaoglu My Resort Hotel is a great luxury resort near Uludağ Mountain.
Çekirge - here you will find numerous bathhouses and thermal springs, many of which are housed within various hotels and resorts.
Mudanya - this neighborhood is popular for its many beaches, lakes, and waterfalls, offering a relaxing afternoon surrounded by nature.
Old City - there are many notable mosques, parks, malls, and other downtown attractions to occupy your time in this densely populated central neighborhood.
A Bursakart is a reusable ticket that can be bought and loaded with credit from almost any automated kiosk station in subway stations. The card can be bought for ₺5, and the tariff for each single ride is ₺2.8.
Taxis are generally inexpensive in Turkey with a starting tariff of ₺3.50.
Most of the rental vehicle offices in Bursa are centered in downtown or at the nearby ferry terminal at Yalova. Prices start at ₺95.
For products such as carpets and tea cups, check out Koza Han or Kapali Carsi and try your hand at bargaining. Korupark and Podyumpark malls offer international brands and more stable prices.
There are many bazaars where you can buy locally grown produce. The most popular grocery store outlets are Sok Market and Mert Market. A dozen eggs will cost around ₺6.
The Derebahce restaurant in the Old City is a very popular place to eat in Bursa, serving many traditional Turkish dishes within a beautiful green garden. An average meal costs around ₺15.