Safranbolu is in Western Black Sea Region, Turkey, though located 50 km inland on the mountains.


Overlooking the Çarşı (Market) Section of Safranbolu

One of the earliest towns in Turkey to realise that preserving the old town can actually make money through tourism while the traditional buildings, regarded as unpractical leaky shambles, were being abandoned and knocked down elsewhere, Safranbolu's success story later inspired many others in the surrounding region to polish up their historic districts lucky enough to have kept a level of authencity.

Get in

Buses from Istanbul take about 6 hours and half and cost 30-35 TL. Bus companies like Safran, Metro and Kamil Koç have modern and comfortable fleets with prices ranging from 40-57 TL. Buses from Ankara take around 3 hours and cost 15-20 TL. If you want to go by car from Ankara, it is 220 kms.

The nearest train station is in Karabük, 10-15 km away. There are daily trains from Zonguldak and Ankara to Karabuk, which is too slow compared to the buses.

Get around

Dolmuses regularly drive the 2 km between the old town (Çarşı) and the new town center, which is where buses are likely to let you off / pick you up. Once in the old town, everything is reachable by foot. Additionally, some intercity buses might drop you off in the nearby steel down of Karabük. From there you'll have to find a dolmus into Safranbolu.


Typical street view in Safranbolu

Safranbolu is famous for its Ottoman houses both in Çarşı (old town) and the neighbourhood of Bağlar (literally "orchards"), and qualifies as a UNESCO World Heritage sight.

Mencilis (Bulak) Cave which is 3 km from city center, worth to see since it is the 4th biggest cave in Turkey.

Take a look (and a tea?) inside the Cinci Hanı, a massive hotel in the center of the old town. Wandering around the city you will take in much, but to see inside the houses, head to one of the historic homes open to the public. Kaymakamlar Müze Evi is located just above Bastoncu Pansiyon, to the south-east of Cinci Hanı. Keep walking up the hill, and take in some beautiful views at Hıdırlık Tepesi.



Traditional table clothes and souvenirs from Arasta Bazaar.



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This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Saturday, December 26, 2015. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.