BalikesirSouthern Marmara, Turkey.
By planeNearest airport is Edremit Körfez Airport (EDO) near Edremit, about 90-100 km west.
Edremit Körfez Airportphone: +90 266 312 11 30Flights from Istanbul New Airport () by Atlasjet.
By trainBalıkesir lies on the junction of railroads stretching to north (Marmara coast) and to east (Central Anatolia) from Izmir. Trains to Balıkesir are available from:
- Ankara (İzmir Mavi Treni, 9 Eylül Express, Karesi Express)
- Eskişehir, Kütahya (İzmir Mavi Treni, 9 Eylül Express, Karesi Express, Ege Express)
- Manisa, Izmir (İzmir Mavi Treni, 9 Eylül Express, Karesi Express, Ege Express, 6 Eylül Express)
- Bandirma (6 Eylül Express)
For more info, see Turkish State Railways (TCDD) webpage.
The station is located at Republic Square (Cumhuriyet Meydanı) on the eastern edge of downtown. Across the highway from the station is the old bus terminal, Eski Garaj.
By busBalıkesir lies on the main route that the buses between Istanbul and Izmir take, so has several buses every hour from those two major centres.
Coach stationphone: +90 266 241 11 99
Buses arriving from destinations around Turkey come into a new bus terminal (Otogar) on Bandirma Caddesi (the old highway to Bursa and Istanbul), just inside the ringroad (Çevre Yolu) at the extreme northern end of the city. Just outside the terminal building is a bus stop where buses (1.35 TL) go every half hour or so into the city. To get to the sites listed on this page, take the bus to its terminal (about 15-20 min), the old bus terminal (Eski Garaj) at Republic Square (Cumhuriyet Meydanı).
Although Balıkesir is an inland city away from the sea, you can take fast ferries from Istanbul to Bandirma and then take the train or the bus for the rest.
By carBalıkesir lies on the main highway between Istanbul and Izmir (D565), with connections to D200/E90, which leads to Bursa in the east, and Çanakkale in the west.
After the Otogar was moved out to the edge of town, the old bus terminal (Eski Garaj) was converted into a central station for all public transit in the city, including taxi dolmuş lines. All bus stops at Eski Garaj are clearly marked with their destination identified by district (... Mahallesi) and the streets on which the bus travels. All but two buses and all dolmuş cost 1.35 TL between any point on their route and Eski Garaj.
There are also two free bus routes that run in a circle around the city center from Eski Garaj. The R1 route is most useful for tourists as it passes literally every tourist site in the center, including stops right in front of or across from, Yildirim Mosque, Zağnos Paşa Mosque, and the Military Museum/Clock Tower.
The city center is also quite walkable. From Cumhuriyet Meydanı, all tourist sites are within 500 m of the square with a stroll up Milli Kuvvetler Caddesi (the street running off the Square without a sign pointing toward another city such as Edremit or Izmir) being the most direct route to Zağnos Paşa Mosque.
Balıkesir Museum – National Forces Museumphone: +90 266 243 31 81address: Anafartalar CaddesiMuseum dedicated to the fighters of Turkish War of Independence (1921-22), became to be known as “National Forces” (Kuvayı Milliye). Written documents, private items and photos of the fighters, and some photos of Kemal Atatürk taken when he was in the city. Archeological artifacts excavated in the surrounding region and some ethnographic artifacts are exhibited upstairs.
Clock Toweraddress: Anafartalar CaddesiModelled after Galata Tower of Istanbul, this clock tower was built in 1827. It took its current appearance after it was destroyed by an earthquake in 1897 and re-built.
State Fine Arts Galleryphone: +90 266 241 30 45address: Çavuş Sokak 30
Tomb of Karesi BeyMosque Tomb of Karesi Bey and his five sons. Karesi Bey was the founder of Karesi Emirate which ruled more or less Southern Marmara during a period when there was no centralized, major power in Asia Minor (13th century).
Yildirim MosqueBuilt by Sultan Bayezid I in the second half of 14th century.
Zagnos Pasha MosqueBuilt by Zağnos Pasha, grand vizier of Mehmed II period (1451-81) as a religious complex, only mosque and baths have remained to the date.
phone: +90 266 245 76 18address: Akıncılar Mahallesi, Cumalı Caddesi and Tekin SokakA clean and spacious family restaurant offering a wide variety of typical Turkish dishes, well prepared and tasty. As usual in Turkey you can select from the foods displayed inside and order-by-pointing. There is a children's garden. They have a separate pastry shop (pastane), a short distance away on Yalkır Caddesi.
- Hisar Ayran (yoghurt drink) - Not a famous brand in Turkey but it's the best ayran you can ever drink. Can be found in almost all the restaurants or buffets in Balıkesir.
Tourism Information Officephone: +90 266 244 72 71