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Turkey’s Mountainous Gem: Bursa

by Olivia Balsinger

Though certainly off the beaten path, your next trip to Turkey should include at least three days in Bursa, the grandiose metropolis that lies in the foothills of Mount Uludağ, near the Sea of Marmara. A trip to Bursa is an adventure back in time–exploring the mosques and historical sites from the early Ottoman Empire makes one feel like Indiana Jones on a daring, authentic mission.

While Istanbul can be overcrowded, Bursa is still under the radar and an accessible escape into Turkey’s dramatic and mountainous backdrop. Though the city is generally more conservative than Istanbul, the locals are amiable and encourage tourism. One local suggestion is to take the Bursa Teleferik up to the top of the Uludag Mountain–and at a total length of almost 10 km, this is one of the longest cable car rides in the world. Safe to say, the view, at 2,500 meters above the city, is striking (and explains why Bursa is a preeminent Turkish ski destination!) There is no better choice for a five-star stay in Bursa than the Hilton Bursa Convention Center & Spa, sandwiched in the mountains and a stone’s throw from UNESCO sites, including the Osman Gazi Tomb.