Bursa is the fourth biggest city in Turkey with a thriving industrial sector. The city has a very interesting and fairly compact historical centre which gives Bursa the feel of an old university town in Europe. A great city to walk around in cooler weather but also two tram lines that can help traverse the main attractions. An efficient and well used metro line can take you further out of the city and provide the chance to visit a some more quiet and enjoyable locations for a half day trip. Bursa is well worth more than a day trip from Istanbul. Spend a few days here to really enjoy what the city has to offer.
Bursa Transport Map
Note – The map only contains a small number of bus lines in Bursa due to the need for simplicity.
Getting to Bursa
Bursa being one of the largest cities in Turkey is well served by the intercity bus system with bases going to a nd from all major locations throughout the country. There is no rail service and a ferry service connects with Istanbul which requires taking a bus to the coast.
The main bus station (otogar) is located about nine kilometres from the centre of the city. The station itself is modern and looks like an airport from the outside. There is small city terminal within easy reach of the main station. There a quite a few buses leaving for different parts of the city but the most efficient one is the number 38 which connects with most areas that you are likely to be staying or want to visit doing a circular route through the city centre. The stop is located conveniently next to the ticket machines. At these machines you can easily purchase and top up a BursaKart, the smart card used for travel in the city.
Don’t forget the register your HES card before travelling. https://www.burulas.com.tr/bursakart/hes-kodu. Use the second serial number on the card when submitting information.
Unfortunately the site is only in Turkish but should be self-explanatory AD/SOYAD are your first name and surname.
Bursa Yenisehir Airport is around 50km from the city and serves only domestic flights. There is now a regular bus service from the Bursa bus station to Sabiha Gökçen Airport running every hour on the hour and sometimes half hourly depending on flights departures/arrivals. Information can be found at the BBus site.
A new 8.5km tram line (T3) is being constructed which will directly link the city at Kent Meydanı to the bus terminal via 11 stations. The line will pass through a couple of shopping areas and a few four star hotels.
Getting around Bursa by public transport
The city has a wide range of transport options that allow you to explore the city without need for private transport. The Bursaray metro is the main mass transit system with a length of nearly 39km covering 43 stations and has been operating since 2002. It runs through the city and surburbs in an east-west direction. A number of stations connect with the northern part of the city centre. The metro stations are not directly connected to tram stops so you will need to exit the station to transit.
Most of the Bursaray line is overground so there will be plenty to see if using the service although quite a few stations are underground. The line connects many residential areas as well as a busy university area so the trains can be rather crowded during peak hours or when students are travelling.
Going west the line splits into two branches so be careful to take the right destination. Frequency is around every 10 minutes. Note also that in an easterly direction many trains terminate before the end of the line at Kestel and instead end at Arabayatağı or Demirtaşpaşa closer to the city. If you are visiting Bursa for a short time you may not even use the metro but it provides a good way to see more of the city and also to visit a number of pleasant out of the way locations such as Gölyazı.
The bus system is extensive and comfortable and although there is a site that provides useful information and map for each line the language is only in Turkish. Check the site here. There are two tram lines operating in Bursa. The T1 is a circular line single track tram which essentially covers most of the areas you are most likely to be staying or visiting making getting around the centre quite efficient. The line is 6.5km in total with 14 stops. Frequency varies between 8-15 minutes so be prepared to wait at times. Card swipe is made upon entry to the tram at the two end carriages while you exit from the two middle carriages.
T3 tram runs along a single track line east-west through the heart of old city. It is more of a nostalgia tram and has a frequency of around every 20 minutes. There are a number short double track locations where the trams can pass each other. The tram passes along the busy pedestrianized throughfare running through the centre. During busy times it is fun witnessing the tram trying to pass through the large crowds clanging its bell constantly. It is highly recommended to compliment your visit to Bursa but ii can also allow you to visit the tourist attractions to the east of the centre such as the Green Tomb.
You will need to purchase a BursaKart for travel on public transport and machines are located all over the city in metros and busy tram and bus stops. There is a small deposit and then you need to top up in order to use the card. No change will be given but the extra on your banknote will be converted to added value on the card. The machines have an English menu so overall they are very easy to use.
Bursa Circular Tram T1
The lines runs in a loop in an anti-clockwise direction.The line is shown in detail on the map above.
Osmangazi tram stop
One of the most important stops as it is closest to the Kent Meydanı Shopping Center which is the best retail mall in the centre of Bursa. The stop is also nearest to the start of the new T2 line which will directly connect to the bus terminal and a number of hotels and other attractions. Close by is the Holiday Inn Bursa. The stop is a short walk from the Osmangazi metro station.
Ozmangazi tram and metro stop area
Çarşamba - Darmstad - Stadyum tram stops
The tram moves along the busy Darmstad street with interesting shops on either side. The Stadyum stop is the closest to the Reşat Oyal Kültür Parkı, a large park with a wide variety of activities including a fanfare. The park also serves as the depot for trams so you can see the track heading into the park and anarea where a number of trams are “resting”. Overall the park is a pleasant way to while away an hour or two and keep the kids happy.
Altıparmak - Çatalfırın - Timurtaşpaşa tram stops
The stop at Çatalfırın is the closest to the Tophane Clock Tower & viewpoint which is an easy way to get a good view of the city. You can take an escalator to the top of the hill. There is a small park and a couple of cafes.
You can also find Zafer Plaza, a popular mid sized mall in the centre of town which has a number of places to relax and have coffee or something to eat as well as a good range of shops. At Timurtaşpaşa stop you can easily walk to the T3 nostalgia tram terminal stop or begin walking through the fascinating market area of the city.
Rest of the line
The rest of tram stops are as follows: Ulucami – Heykel – Kayhan – Demirtaşpaşa – Gazcılar -Sgk – Adliye – Uluyol
These stops have a number of places of interest and also transit connections. Ulucami is the site of one of the most well-known mosques in the city bearing the same name. Heykel is close to a number of more budget focused hotels including the Hotel Cesmeli. Kayhan offers another option of connecting to the T3 tram line while the following stop Demirtaşpaşa is short walk from its namesake metro station.
The tram carries on though Kıbrıs Şehitleri street stopping at Uluyol with a number of hotels close by with the four star Holiday Inn and the budget option Ceylan hotel.
Bursaray Metro Line
If you are looking a change of scenery after visiting the historical part of the city then then the metro is a great way of exploring more of Bursa. Some of the best shopping centres are located near metro stops plus you need to use the metro to visit two interesting half day trips away from the city.
Kestel station to Acemler
This is the first section of line going east to west before branching off. Most of this section is residential and so would normally hold little interest for visitors apart from one station. Note that you go to the end of the lines but do not have to exit. Wait for the next train heading back and save some money.
The third station along the line is Cumalıkızık and this serves as the jumping off spot to Cumalıkızık ottoman village. This is a village dating back to the early days of the Ottoman Empire with around 270 historical houses and narrow cobblestone streets.
Most of the houses are still occupied although many now sell tourist items although there are plenty of fascinating curios for sale. There are also some small family houses that double as restaurants. In these settings it can feel you are eating in someone’s living room. Many have small verandahs to eat outside and soak in the historical atmosphere. It is well worth a half day trip from Bursa. The village is popular with local visitors and may get busy during weekends.
From the metro station it is around three kilometres to walk, mostly uphill. It would be advisable to take one of the regular minibuses to ply between the station and village. It is a pleasant walk back down with many different options for roads to take.
The next stations are mostly residential areas but the metro spends most time overground. This provides a glimpse of ordinary life in the city. If you are staying in the historical centre of Bursa then Demirtaşpaşa and Şehreküstü are the two stations covering the area at its northern boundary. The former provides a connection to the T1 and T3 tram lines. Also close to T1 tram is the next stop Osmagazi which is near the Kent Meydanı Shopping Center. The station will also connect to the future T2 tram line that will link to the bus station.
There are number of more stops before the line splits into two after Acemler station.
Bursaray Line One branch to Emek
One branch travels in a northwest direction starting with Karaman station. This line is less frequent than line 2. Most of the journey is not so interesting but around Organize Sanayi you can see a large industrial estate of the same name (often in Turkey the term organize is used for industrial estates) and many being textile businesses. This is one of the key drivers for Turkey’s rapid economic development over the past few decades. The highlight of this line is the Korupark shopping centre which is the penultimate stop before the train terminates at Emek. The design and the size of the mall are very good and well worth a visit with the usual food and beverage options available.
Bursaray Line Two branch to Üniversite
The other branch heads in a westerly direction. The first station called Odunluk is by far the most noteworthy as a burgeoning new urban area. There are upscale residential apartments, retail centres and a number of hotels as well as a very pleasant park. The Carrefour Bursa is the closest mall with the anchor being the hypermarket. The centre contains a good food court and a range of shops and is not too busy. There is a smaller food and beverage focused mall called ParkOra just east of the metro station. A short walk further south takes you to the large Sur Yapı Marka shopping mall which is one of the best in the city.
If weather is not too hot, then it is worth spending a relaxing hour or more in Hüdavendigar Kent Parkı. The park has a river running through the middle connected by several bridges. There are a range of play areas and places to eat. It is one of the parks that gives Bursa a good reputation for providing green spaces.
The rest of line is of little interest as it is mostly serving residential areas. This section can also be rather busy as the end of the line is Üniversite which serves the Bursa Uludağ University which has around 75,000 students including 5,000 foreign students. There is a hotel called Europark next to the station
The end of the line is also where you catch the bus to the relaxing Gölyazı peninsula and village.