Safranbolu, Ottoman Town

Safranbolu is a quaint small town that many tourists miss out on. Most people head from Istanbul to Cappadocia, but if you just take a short detour and spare this beautiful town a day or two, you’ll find very peaceful moments, experiencing one of the UNESCO World Heritage sites and getting to explore around the preserved Ottoman era houses and architecture.

The old town has many mosques, historical fountains, a clock tower, many old ottoman styled houses and mansions, turkish baths and historical bridges. These traditional houses are really nice to look at and you could spend hours just walking around the old town itself, admiring the amazing architecture of these buildings, comparing them with the newer houses around

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SAFRONBOLU IN A DAY
Since it’s a small town, there’s hardly much to do or see around here so a day or two is sufficient in my opinion. There’s nice lookout points that offer rewarding views, and picture perfect spots to watch the sunset, where you can also see the clock tower and the sundial.

In a day you could easily look at historical bridges, houses, walk by the blacksmiths market to see local Turkish men still working in their workshops with old tools and creating all things copper, or stroll along the craft market to buy some handmade leather goods, knives and other knick-knacks. It’s also a MUST to try some of the best turkish delight in Turkey, especially the Safrantat, which is saffron flavored lokum, specially from Safronbolu itself. In the evening, rewind and relax by visiting a turkish bath after a traditional dinner at one of the local restaurants.

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One of the many blacksmith shops

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Incredibly friendly shop owner that invited us for a drink, showed us some magazine and gave out free bear hugs

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Traditional houses on every corner

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The mosque on a traditional bridge. The stream passes through the bottom !

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Sunset from the clock tower

 

HOW TO GET THERE
A bus from Istanbul will take you around 6 hours for about 50TL (S$29). And from Cappadocia (Nev Ÿehir), it would take 5 hours and 40TL (S$23) to ankara, then a transfer from Ankara would take 3 hours and 25TL (S$14)

If you book a hostel beforehand, they will arrange free pick up from the bus station (which is located in the new town). I stayed at Efe Guesthouse during my visit and the owner was great! It’s also one of the only 2 places in Safranbolu that has dorm rooms.

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To read more about traveling in Istanbul on a shoe-string, click here

Dara

Wanderer of lands, searcher of souls. Last seen tree hugging and running wild into the mountains. Might have eaten all the ice cream in the tub.

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