1.5 days in Eskişehir
Inspired by Lucy’s “Take 12 Trips” challenge, I started the new year with lots of travel plans to destinations near and far. After exploring the Göztepe neighbourhood in Izmir and spontaneously heading to Denizli for a day, I grabbed a dear friend and embarked on a weekend trip to Eskişehir three weeks ago which will count as my “main” January trip.
Eskişehir, the capital of the Eskişehir province, is located in the northwest of Turkey. It lies on the banks of the Porsuk River and is also referred to as the “Venice of Turkey”. Eskişehir means “old city” and it has indeed been around for quite a while since its foundation in 1000 BC. This is a University city that, just like Izmir, has the reputation of being open minded. It’s calm yet lively and ideal for a weekend trip if you’re looking for a change from your daily routine. Eskişehir lies above sea level and we’ve been advised it could get quite cold there. We were lucky with the weather, though. It was chilly in the mornings but we got some nice amount of sunshine. Just make sure to bring a warm jumper, scarf, hat etc. if you’re visiting during the winter months.
How to get there
You can either make use of one of the multiple bus connections or take the train, which is also supposed to be a nice experience if you’ve got some more time to spend. Within the city you can use the tram, one of its characteristic symbols.
Ankara – Eskişehir: ~ 230 km
Istanbul – Eskişehir: ~ 330 km
Izmir – Eskişehir: ~ 415 km
Where to eat
It took us a while of walking around until we spotted our perfect breakfast place but it was worth it. Just head out directly to the Odunpazarı district and treat yourself to a marvelous Turkish breakfast at Şerbet Evi. You’ll be enchanted by the Ottoman ambience and décor, the cozy setting, the marvelous food, the warm çay and friendly hosts. You’ll be able to recharge your energies to explore the beauty this city has to offer.
For a snack in between meals just keep your eyes open for whatever your mouth may be shaped for.
At dinner time, we recommend you to have a seat somewhere along the river banks in the city center. You’ll find a variety of Turkish and international cuisine. Since the latter one is rather uncommon to find in Turkey and we were craving something different (yet strangely familiar), we went for the Travelers Cafe. Their Thai noodles didn’t disappoint us in the slightest and the Tiramisu served in a jar catapulted us to heaven.
Don’t leave before trying Eskişehir’s famous çiğbörek at Papağan, a simple but tasty specialty consisting of fried dough filled with mince.
Where to stay
We did some previous research online and found out there’s only one hostel in Eskişehir which unfortunately (or fortunately) turned out to be less than promising. It was located in a dodgy run down side street and there wasn’t even anyone to open the door when we arrived nor did anyone answer our phone call. So we headed out for a new place to stay and were lucky to come across Divan Otel which both our gut feelings approved. The place is clean, located in walking distance to the city centre, the staff’s friendly and for about 35€ per night for a double room including breakfast there’s not much left to wish for.
What to do
Of course, you’re probably interested in some more stuff besides eating and sleeping, so here’s a list of places we suggest you to visit:
Get a glimpse of history. These old Ottoman houses will take you back to previous times and enchant you with their colours.
El Sanatları Ҫarşısı
This is a crafts market in the Odunpazarı area. You may go there straight after breakfast. Here you’ll find all sorts of handmade jewelry, ceramic decorations or any other kind of Turkish (authentic) souvenir you may want to purchase. If you’re looking out for a free city map, this is the place to grab it (by the entrance).
After having been to the crafts market, make sure to walk down one of the side streets to find a cute little studio where the typical meerschaum pipes (lületaşı) are crafted. It’s an incredibly light material.
Glass Museum (Cam Müzesi)
This museum contains a collection of some truly beautiful pictures and glass work. Go find your favourite!
This is a mall, so no must-see attraction. But if you happen to pass it (it’s located close to the bar and café area by the water side), you may want to stop by for some cake and at the same time have a look at the cozy “library” set up at the top floor.
The water site
Take time to stroll along the river side with its little bridges, stopping here and there for a coffee or tea. If you’re in town with your special someone, don’t miss passing by at night time when the lights and their reflections on the water surface create a particularly romantic atmosphere.
Take a dolmuş (mini bus) near the stadium and it’ll drop you off right in front of this huge park full of fairy tale buildings and creatures, the most obvious one being the castle with its several towers. In the summer time it must be especially nice to take a walk around the lake, have a picnic or just enjoy being in a fantasy world. This is the perfect place to take your children for some outdoors fun.
That’s it from aNadventures for today. I hope you enjoyed the insights into Eskişehir. If you have questions or suggestions, please let me know in the comments. Happy travelling!