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Bursa

As the former capital of the Ottoman Empire, Bursa is a city full of historical wonders. Striking mosques tower over the cobbled streets and mausoleums dedicated to past sultans show the intrinsic link to the past in this part of Turkey. If you’re interested in discovering some of this ancient history, sections of the Byzantine city walls still remain and there are centuries-old Ottoman houses to explore on the outskirts of the city.

The five underground springs on which the city is built mean that thermal spas are a major part of life here – for tourists and locals. Almost every hotel offers spa facilities but Karamustafa Pasa Baths are the most famous place to go if you want to bathe beneath the waters. As well as the mineral-rich springs, used for treating rheumatism and sports injuries (amongst other ailments), you can experience a traditional Turkish hammam. The people of Bursa refer to water that’s more than 40 degrees as a female spring and anything under 40 degrees as male.

The nickname of ‘Green Bursa’ highlights the fact that you’ll be surrounded by fantastic scenery – from the lush parks that contrast against the stone buildings to the dramatic Uludağ, a mountain that offers a popular ski resort in the winter.

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