Turkey
Nov 2022
1 week

Bursa

Unless you are looking for some buttery kebabs, you can safely avoid.

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[Description}

Located in northwestern Turkey, Bursa is a large city known for its historic markets, grand mosques, and thermal spas.

Nestled against the backdrop of the Uludağ mountains, it offers rich heritage, natural beauty and a glimpse at a more conservative side of modern Turkey.

Verdict:
Avoid

Unless specifically interested in exploring the neighboring mountains, I'd avoid Bursa. If in the area, it might be worth a morning or afternoon visit.

🌎
Verdict:
Avoid

Unless specifically interested in exploring the neighboring mountains, I'd avoid Bursa. If in the area, it might be worth a morning or afternoon visit.

Verdict:
Avoid

Unless specifically interested in exploring the neighboring mountains, I'd avoid Bursa. If in the area, it might be worth a morning or afternoon visit.

👎
Verdict:
Avoid

Unless specifically interested in exploring the neighboring mountains, I'd avoid Bursa. If in the area, it might be worth a morning or afternoon visit.

🛫
Turkish Lira (TRY)
2 Million
⚠️ Would avoid

Summary

After a couple of weeks in Ankara, I wanted to see one more destination within Turkey, before heading back up to Istanbul to soak up the 2022 World Cup.

Accommodation
Great
Good
Ok
Bad

When i visited there were limited quality options on Airbnb, so you would be best off in a hotel. Hotel Tugcu was a decent option with an excellent breakfast in a good area of town.

info
New legislation
Recent changes introduced by the Turkish government has made short-term rentals for under 100 days more restricted. Keep an eye on Reddit threads for up-to-date assessments of how the new legislation is impacting short-term rentals in practice.
Places to work
Great
Good
Ok
Bad

In the Old Town part of the city, there was nothing in the way of Coworking locations or suitable coffee shops to work from. Further towards Nilufer, there are a couple of decent options but a fair journey from the historic area.

Value
Great
Good
Ok
Bad

Very similar prices to the rest of the country, making it good value with foreign money

info
The yen is currently at a 34-year low
While this is undoubtedly a negative for the Japanese, it makes for an exceptionally good time to visit Japan from abroad. Although this trend is unlikely to reverse significantly in the short term, it's still worth checking before visiting.
Read more
View the cost of living
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Working hours
Great
Good
Ok
Bad

Turkey adheres to GMT+2 in summer, reverting to GMT+3 in winter due to the absence of daylight saving time practices.

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Where to stay

I hope that I don't return to Bursa at any point, but if I did, I would not choose to stay in the Old Town again.

Would avoid
Recommended
Nilüfer
A more modern district with contemporary infrastructure, residential areas, and commercial zones. Well connected to the rest of the city and for me a better alternative.
Would avoid
Recommended
Osmangazi
The Old Town has most of the cities main historic attractions, but for myself there was little value to staying in such a conservative area.

Where to work

Workinton - Bursa Nilufer
Top Choice
☕️ Good Coffee
📍 Top Location
🥗 On Site Cafe
🧍Community Focused
⭐️ Quality Fit Out
🌳 Outdoor Space

The Workinton chain has a number of offices across Turkey, with this being one of the best ones I had looked at.

Split over two floors there is plenty of natural light and a cafe with light meals available near the entrance.

Large desks, comfy chairs and plentiful space are all readily available.

Remote work visa

No remote work visa
Remote work visa available
Remote work visa coming soon
If staying for a prolonged period, you may want to consider a dedicated visa for this destination.
This country is actively working on a visa support for remote workers.
Check your government website for details of how to obtain a tourist visa.
View full details
To the best of my knowledge this information was correct as of 27th April 2024. If you notice something has changed drop me a message and I'll update it!

Citizen Remote is a great source of up to date knowledge for everything to do with remote work visas.

Safety

Off-work

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Sample an İskender kebap

Also known as a Bursa Kebap, it onsists of sliced meat topped with hot tomato sauce over pieces of pita bread, and generously slathered with melted special sheep's milk butter and yogurt. Particularly rich in flavour.

Hike up Uludağ Mountain

Easily accessible from any part of the city centre, numerous paths can take you up to the mountain peak of Uludağ. Visibility tends to be poor but the thick forestry make it a joy to navigate.

Explore Reşat Oyal Culture Park

Large open green space, ideal for morning runs.

Sample an İskender kebap

Also known as a Bursa Kebap, it onsists of sliced meat topped with hot tomato sauce over pieces of pita bread, and generously slathered with melted special sheep's milk butter and yogurt. Particularly rich in flavour.

Hike up Uludağ Mountain

Easily accessible from any part of the city centre, numerous paths can take you up to the mountain peak of Uludağ. Visibility tends to be poor but the thick forestry make it a joy to navigate.

Explore Reşat Oyal Culture Park

Large open green space, ideal for morning runs.

Duration & season

November was characterised by heavy mist and fog with the temperature still comfortable. With no access to the beach or waterfront, it's not a place you'd want to be during summer.

Food & drink

Uludağ Climb
·
Walk
The Uludağ mountain towers over Bursa. Little to eat or drink towards the top so bring supplies with you.

People

Bursa is regarded as one of the more conservative cities in the country and feels far removed from the more liberally minded coastal cities like Izmir and Antalya. Expect to see a noticeable islamic presence around the old town. As to be expected, nothing in the way of a remote work community.

Exercise

Uludağ Climb
The Uludağ mountain towers over Bursa. Little to eat or drink towards the top so bring supplies with you.
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Uludağ Climb
The Uludağ mountain towers over Bursa. Little to eat or drink towards the top so bring supplies with you.

Verdict

Positives
  • The Old Town has plenty of character.Potentially worth a day trip from Istanbul if you are looking to see somewhere else in the country.
  • The Uludağ mountain is impressive.It's a great area for hiking and dominates the local landscape.
Negatives
  • A particularly conservative area of Turkey.Not inherently a bad thing, but if you are looking for nightlife it will rank pretty close to the bottom.
  • Distinct lack of good coffee shops.There appeared to be a couple half resembling some in Nilüfer, but there is nothing in the enormous expanse of the Old Town.
  • Super steep inclines in the Old Town.Avoid booking any accommodation as the streets begin to ascend up to Uludağ unless you are looking for an intensive daily workout.
Tips
  • Istanbul can be reached via boat by heading out of town to the Guzelyali Marina.The boats are comfortable and relatively frequent and dock at Yenikapı ferry port in Istanbul providing easy onward access to anywhere else in the city.
  • Supposedly good for winter sports.This could be a reason to visit, if looking to make use of the large surrounding mountain range.

Planning a trip?
I loved everything about this trip to Japan. I've put together some thoughts on my entire stay in the country, which may come in handy if you are planning a visit soon.
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