Trabzon

Atatürk Alani, the street encircling Meydan park in downtown Trabzon
The ancient city walls of Trabzon
Fatih mosque, the former Panagia Khrysokephalos church
Pontic Mountains at Pelitcik, Şalpazarı district

Trabzon (formerly Trebizond) is the largest city in the Eastern Karadeniz region of Turkey. Trabzon functioned as an independent state or empire during multiple occasions in its long history, ruling over a vast area spanning from Sinope in the west to Georgia in the east, and even including domains on the Crimea. Within Turkey Trabzon is known as a hospitable, energetic, traditional and patriotic city, which is culturally somewhat distinct from the rest of the country.

Understand

History

Trabzon was founded around 756 BC by Greek colonists from Sinope, who originally hailed from Miletus. They called their new colony Trapezous, ancient Greek for "table", due to the topography of the central hill, squeezed in between two rivers with steep cliffs on both sides. Trabzon has been a major trade centre since times immemorial—for long, it was a main port-of-call on one of the main routes between Europe and Persia and beyond, which involved taking a ship across the Black Sea from Romania (and later Constantinople). After the Roman conquest, the city was given a new harbor and a paved road towards Persia. The road not only fostered trade and cultural exchange, but was also used for attacks on the Persian Empire during the Roman and Byzantine periods. The Mongol sack of Baghdad diverted more trade caravans from Tabriz to Trabzon and the city grew in wealth from the taxes it could impose on trade between Europe, Persia and China. After a Turkmen attack on the city was repelled by a local force in the 1080s, the city broke relations with the Byzantine Empire and acted as an independent state. The city traded intensely with Genoa and to a lesser extent with Venice during the early renaissance, with some cultural influences going both ways. During this era, Trabzon was visited by many travellers, Marco Polo being among them.

In medieval times, the city served as the capital of the Empire of Trebizond ruled by the Komnenos family, which also provided several emperors to the Byzantine throne in Constantinople. The longest surviving rump Byzantine state, Trabzon was captured by the Ottoman Turks in 1461, almost a decade after the fall of Constantinople.

During the 18th and 19th centuries Europeans wishing to explore the Caucasus, Iran and the eastern domains of the Ottoman Empire used Trabzon as a point of departure or return. The first world war left deep scars in the city; It lost many of its young male Muslims at the battle of Sarıkamış in 1914, its entire Armenian population in the genocide of 1915, and most of its Greek inhabitants during the population exchange of 1923. Closed borders with the Soviet Union meant that the city could only recover culturally and economically in the 1970s. Trabzon today is still a city under reconstruction, but offers many historical, cultural and natural sights. The city constitutes the largest urban metropolitan region of Turkey's Black Sea coast, with nearly 1 million inhabitants. Trabzon functions as the cultural capital of the Turkish Black Sea coast, and its inhabitants are very proud of their city and region.

Trabzon has just returned on the tourist radar since a few years; the city is still investing in tourist infrastructure. Similarly to a few other Turkish cities like Istanbul and Izmir, Trabzon is culturally located somewhat in between Anatolia and Eastern Europe. In the case of Trabzon this is due to the Pontic Mountains, which formed a cultural barrier until recent times. Coming from the Anatolian heartland, it feels like one is entering Europe, while coming from the Caucasus, Trabzon comes across as the first city with Middle-Eastern influences. Tourists who visit Trabzon come mostly from a few countries: nearby Georgia, Russia, The Netherlands, Germany, Greece, Azerbaijan and the Gulf states.

Climate

 Climate Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
 
Daily highs (°C) 10.9 11.0 12.1 15.5 19.1 23.5 26.2 26.7 23.8 20.1 16.5 13.2
Nightly lows (°C) 4.7 4.4 5.5 8.8 12.9 17.1 20.1 20.4 17.3 13.6 9.8 6.7
Precipitation (mm) 73.3 60.2 59.1 58.7 51.8 51.4 34.7 43.1 76.1 113.9 94.5 82.0

Average of Trabzon city

Trabzon lies in a humid subtropical zone with high precipitation throughout the year. In the winter there is the chance of some snow cover in the city. The climate of the city differs greatly from that of the mountainous hinterland. Snowstorms frequently isolate the high mountain villages from the outside world for weeks on end. Rural life in the the province moves along traditional transhumance patterns similar to communities in the Caucasus; each settlement is divided in multiple villages for each season. Thus most villages above 1200 meter remain unsettled during the winter months. At the Zigana-pass south of the city there is a small ski-resort.

Talk

The Eastern Black Sea Region has its own dialect, which is more influenced by Greek and Persian than Anatolian varieties of Turkish. Because of the isolation of the coastal cities, the dialect retained archaic grammar and vocabulary that has been lost in other Turkish dialects. The most striking example is the absence of vowel harmony, one of the building blocks of all Turkic languages. This means that the local dialect can sound funny to speakers of 'standard' Anatolian or Istanbul Turkish. Much Turkish low-brow humor revolves around characters from Trabzon, but the locals don't appreciate the jokes that are made at their expense. The western districts of Trabzon province form a gradual transition area to Anatolian Turkish. This Turkish will be more easily understood for tourists who have studied the language. Next to old varieties of Turkish, there are some minority languages that are spoken, mostly in the rural communities to the southwest and southeast of the city. Romeyka is the most archaic Greek language spoken in current times; its speakers are concentrated in the Of-valley along the Solakli river in the villages on the mountain slopes in Caykara district and surrounding areas. There are also small pockets of Greek speaking muslim villages in Tonya and Surmene districts. Although the locals don't like being called Greek outright, recent research has shown they are very proud of their language, and they are happy to use it to converse with Greek tourists. It is still possible to find Pontic Greek speakers in Trabzon city, and tourists should not be afraid to openly speak Greek in public space. It is more likely however that one finds a local who is fluent in German, Dutch or Russian. English language courses are immensely popular among the young generation, but it is not yet as common as in neighboring Georgia. There are small groups of Georgians and Ukrainians in the city.

Read

Trabzon has long been touted as the "city of tale in the East". Its historical prominence, intellectual independence and trade relations with Italian city-states were elements that earned Trebizond a legendary mythical place in European literature until well after its economic and cultural peak when it functioned as the capital of the Empire of Trebizond in the 14th and 15th century (both Don Quixote and Picrochole wished to posses the city). The most renowned work of modern literature that describes the city is Rose Macaulay's The Towers of Trebizond. Travelers interested in classical history might want to read up on Xenophon's Anabasis, in which Trabzon enters as the first Greek city the soldiers encounter after their retreat from Persia. For those interested in the Renaissance trade relations of Trabzon, there is The Spring of the Ram, the second book from the series The House of Niccolò by Dorothy Dunnett, and The Burnished Blade by Lawrence Schoonover. Popular Turkish novels which feature the city are Pomegranate Tree by Nazan Bekiroglu and Aleko of Trebizond by Kadri Özcan. L'immortelle de Trébizonde, a French novel about the Armenian genocide by Paule Henry Bordeaux, was recently republished, and Anyush is a recent publication by Martine Madden. Travelers making a trip along the Black Sea could read Kéraban the Inflexible by Jules Verne; Turkish students recreating the journey concluded the trip was even more difficult two centuries later. Those heading to Georgia might want to read about the myth of the Golden Fleece, and those heading west, to Samsun or Sinope, about the Amazons.

Visitor information

Get in

By plane

Trabzon TZX international airport

By car

The largely 6-lane D010 coastal highway is of high quality, and can bring you to Trabzon within 2.5 hours from the border with Georgia and within 4.5 hours from Samsun. The E97 is the main road connecting Trabzon to the rest of Anatolia, it runs south to Gümüşhane and then eastward towards Bayburt. The D915 from Bayburt to Of via Caykara has been chosen as the most dangerous road in the world and should not be attempted during winter. It does offer beautiful views on the surrounding landscape.

By bus

Buses from all major cities in Turkey. Example (price, journey time, density): Istanbul (65₺, 18 hrs, several per day); Kayseri near Cappadocia (-,12 hrs, daily). Tbilisi, Georgia (about 12 hours) which serve as a useful point of entry to the country from Caucasus, also hourly leaves a bus to Batumi (if the border crossing is too busy, the bus might turn around at the Georgian border, so be sure to get all your belongings off the bus. On the Georgian side you can take a taxi or minibus for 25-30TL to bring you the short distance to the center of Batumi). Kars: daily bus at 9:30AM and midnight (around eight hours). Ardahan: (45₺, - , at 12:30PM ). Doğubeyazıt (leaves at 10PM, arriving 10AM). Ulusoy (four-six per day, 5 hours. 25 TL (2012)). Torul and Gümüşhane (hourly until 20.00). In the morning there are two bus connections heading to Baku, Azerbaijan, and on Thursdays and Sundays there is an early bus to Yerevan, Armenia. Many busses coming from the Caucasus heading to Istanbul pass through Trabzon.

It might be a good idea to book tickets in advance. There are many travel /ticket agent shops around Atatürk Meydanı (the main square in Trabzon) who can help with this. You can get bus tickets for Trabzon on this site.

By boat

Turkish Maritime Lines used to operate two weekly ferryboats between Istanbul and Trabzon. However, as of 2007, this service has been canceled.

There are also ferries twice weekly from Sochi on Russian Black Sea coast. Which takes 5-6 hours and costs US$ 110/passenger one way. Timetable available at Sochi port's website (in Russian).

Get around

Map of the centre of Trabzon including most important streets, buildings, parks, squares, etc.

On foot

The center of Trabzon is walkable; most of its historical sights lie in an area of 1.5 kilometer by 500 meter. This includes the area around central Meydan square in the east, the bazaar quarter in the center, and the historic walled city towards the west. If one is interested in taking in as many historical sights as possible, it would be advisable to plan multiple walks around these different areas of the city. The historic city was built on a hill between two ravines (Zagnos to the west and Kuzgun to the east), thus there is a lot of height difference between neighborhoods, and travelers should be prepared to climb up and down stairs and walk streets with steep inclinations. In recent years car traffic has been limited through the historic neighborhoods, making it safer for pedestrians. Since the arrival of the coastal highway the city has been amputated from the sea. To alleviate this the city has started constructing a promenade along most of its 5 kilometer long western coast. With few restaurants or other facilities, it has yet to regain its historic attractiveness.

By minibus

Notable locations outside the central zone are the Hagia Sophia to the west of the city and Boztepe tea garden overlooking the city towards the southeast. To get to these locations one best uses a minibus (dolmuş). There are dolmuş stops on Kahramanmaraş Street west off Meydan square. There is also s small minibus station just southeast of Meydan, under the viaduct. For transport towards one of the villages towards the east of Trabzon and in Rize province, there is again a different dolmus station along the coastal road.

Detailed map

See

Churches and Mosques

Trabzon has dozens of churches and mosques dating from the Byzantine period, the Empire of Trebizond and the Ottoman Empire. During the classical period the city at least had temples for Hermes (the god of trade), Apollo (war), and multiple Mithraeum for the Persian-Greek god Mithras. A bronze statue of Hermes can be found in the basement of the Trabzon Museum. On the places of these temples, which were destroyed for the most part in the 3rd century, christian chapels were built. The oldest surviving church is the 9th century Armenian church of St. Anna, which was built to the east of the Kuzgun valley because Armenians were not allowed to live inside the city walls. After the Ottoman conquest most churches within the walled city were converted into mosques. Many of these buildings retained some elements that hint at their Christian past. During the 18th and 19th centuries there was a boom in the construction of mosques and churches. Most of the historic churches and mosques of the city survived the first world war and the building frenzy of the 1980s onward. One of the most famous churches of the city however, the 19th century Saint Gregory of Nyssa, which stood on the rocky outcrop at the former Genoese castle Leonkastron, overlooking both harbors of the city, was dynamited in 1930.

Detailed map

Church buildings

St.Anna Church
Yeni Cuma mosque, former Hagios Eugenios

Islamic architecture

Interestingly, much of the Islamic architecture in Trabzon makes use of Seljuk and local Pontic/Caucasian references, instead of Ottoman ones found in other Turkish cities. Baroque Revivalism was also quite popular, and still has some influence on new mosque constructions.

Bazaar Mosque (Çarşı Camii), in the market quarter.
Hagia Sophia (Aya Sofya) of Trabzon

Monasteries

Museums

Trabzon Museum

Caravanserai

Detailed map

Three of the historic caravanserai of the city have recently been restored. They are all located near to each other, in the Bazaar district.

Other buildings of interest

Aquaduct in Zagnos Valley Park
Office of the chamber of mechanical engineers
Historic mansions in Zagnos Valley Park

Parks

Detailed map

Further afield

Mansions in Akçaabat, just west of Trabzon
Kuştul Monastery
Uzungöl lake and town in Çaykara district
Alpine village (yayla köy) in Çaykara district

Mansions

In the rural districts of Trabzon one can find many historical 18th and 19th century churches, mosques and mansions.

Sümela Monastery

Sümela Monastery
Fresco at Sümela

A spectacular rock-hewn monastery perched dramatically on the narrow ledge of a steep cliff in the forests south of Trabzon. It was built in the fourth century, just before the Roman Empire split into east and west, by two Athenian priests, Barnabas and Sophronius, who, according to legend, found a miraculous icon of the Virgin Mary in a cave. The monastery's location in this geopolitically tumultuous corner of the globe naturally saw times of trouble and fell into ruin numerous times throughout its history, with its most thriving times falling under Byzantine and Ottoman rule.

The twentieth century, however, was not kind to the monastery. It was abandoned following the chaos and inter-ethnic violence at the end of World War I, and the population transfer of Trabzon's (formerly Trebizond) Greek population back to Greece. Its remote location gave it some sanctuary, but its frescoes still attracted the occasional casually hurled rock by a bored shepherd. The beautiful frescoes today suffer from decades of heart-wrenchingly pointless vandalism by travelersjudging from the various alphabets and names scrawled across these impressive religious works of art, it appears that just about every culture in the world has taken part in the desecration. The buildings themselves have been fairly heavily restored in recent decades, as the Turkish government has stepped in to protect the monastery and to turn it into a museum.

Getting there:

Since Sümela is closed for the moment (but you still went to Maçka village for some reason), why not explore Altındere national park? Upstream along Altındere (Golden River) above the tree line are beautiful landscapes with ice cold lakes. An alternative route could lead eastward towards the ghost towns of Santa (Dumanlı, in Gümüşhane province). These are multi-day treks for which you need an experienced tour guide. The best place to arrange this would be in Trabzon at one of the tourist offices off Meydan square.

Do

Sports games

Trabzon is not only the cultural capital of the Turkish Black Sea coast, it is also home to Trabzonspor, the most successful Turkish football club outside Istanbul. Thanks to unrelenting popular support it is rare for the team to lose home games, so if you like football, be sure to visit at Hüseyin Avni Aker stadium. If you are visiting but supporting a competing team, it would be a good start to visit the Trabzonspor clubhouse and adjoining bar/restaurant. Trabzonspor supporters will welcome you and possibly ask you to join them to the game and have a drink afterwards. If the team wins from one of the main clubs from Istanbul, the city transforms into a giant street party. Due to the match-fixing allegations of the 2010-11 season, when Trabzonspor lost the title to rival Fenerbahce under suspicious circumstances, Trabzonspor fans have in part become disinterested in the Turkish football league, even using the slogan "Trabzon, not Turkey". Luckily for the city, the basketball branch of Trabzonspor has made great improvements over the last years. It is now one of the country's best performing clubs, and also participates in European competitions. The new Hayri Gür Basketball Arena is one of the largest in Europe.

Hamams, beaches and swimming pools

Unfortunatly Trabzon is left without a beach since the construction of the coastal highway. The nearest beaches are at Akçakale, 25km to the west, and at Kalecik, 25km to the east. Please take note that the water of the Black Sea is not suitable for swimming during the colder months of the year. Also, these shingle beaches don't offer the comfort or facilities that one finds in the Turkish riviera. The nearest beach holiday destinations are Giresun to the west and Batumi to the east. Within the city itself are 4 historical bathhouses (Hamams). Three of them are still operational. Only the central Hamam is continually operational for both sexes, while the others have specific days for male and females.

Festivals

Dancers at Kadirga Festival. One of the must-do's when in Trabzon; learn the Horon circle dance, it will come in handy in most countries around the Black Sea.

Entertainment

Outdoors

Karayaka sheep flocks, Sisdağı, Geyikli, Şalpazarı
View over the mountaintops, Bayrakli yayla, Caykara
Ovit Plateau, Ikizdere, Rize

Trabzon is well known in Turkey as a destination for nature tourism and outdoor sports activities. The mountainous districts in Trabzon and neighboring Giresun and Rize provinces offer plenty options, but most areas are hardly developed for (international) tourism. However, this is also what makes the region attractive to adventurous travelers and Turkish families fleeing the hordes of tourists in Istanbul or the west coast. The beauty of Trabzon really lies in its alpine nature and remote, independent village life; Waking up in a traditional timber shed by the sound of cowbells and the scent of morning dew drawing the endless flower fields into your bed. Having fresh milk, corn bread, eggs and cooked green vegetables and spring water straight from the tap. To have this experience, you have to leave Trabzon, leave Uzungöl, and move higher up the mountain slopes, to the villages with their typical architecture and beautifully ornamented timber mosques, or even higher, where there are 'open air mosques', similar to the very first mosques in the world. Even though the people here are devout, they are not conservative in the traditional sense. It is normal for men and woman to mingle, make jokes, etc. Sufism has had a strong influence on these remote districts, and many people still grow up speaking minority languages like Romeyka Greek, Laz or Hemsin Armenian.

Trekking

The densely forested mountain slopes of Trabzon province are ideal for trekking adventures. However, there are no maps available in print or online. The exception is the Kackar mountains in next-door Rize province. Kate Clow's book on the area includes detailed routes with coordinates. Because dense fog can obscure a clear day within a few minutes in these mountainous areas, it is ill advised to wander around alone or without GPS. Brown bears, wolves but also friendlier wild animals can be found in the forests. It is legal to set up camp in the wild, but be sure not to leave any trash.

Mountain biking

Alternatively to trekking through the highlands of Trabzon, mountain biking along the relatively flat, connected alpine pastures (yaylas), running parallel to each other and at right-angles to the coast, is fun and doable. You will see a lot of Turkish tourists on their mountain bikes.

Rafting

Fırtına valley in upper Hemsin district of Rize province is ideal for rafting in Fırtına river, with its many centuries old arch bridges.

Winter Sports

Although many valleys in the Trabzon region are suitable for winter tourism, for a long time there was no development in this direction. There is however a long tradition of locals using a contraption similar to a snowboard, called a petranboard, for transport down snow covered slopes. There is just one small ski-resort, located at the Zigana-pass between Trabzon and Gümüşhane, though it is being enlarged. The only way to experience the higher pristine slopes of the Pontic Mountains to the southeast of the city is currently by helicopter. Heliskiing trips can be arranged from Uzungöl, Ikizdere and Ayder, but are expensive and can be dangerous for the inexperienced. A large ski-resort with multiple pistes and ski-lifts is being constructed at Uzungöl.

Buy

As an important trade node, Trabzon also developed its own refined export produce. The area is rich in mineral deposits and it is thought that even in its early years as a Greek colony, part of its exports to the Agean were valuable metals. The ultra-fine handwoven gold and silver bracelets of Trabzon are a popular wedding gift throughout the country. Other local trades that still survive in the market quarter are copper-smiths and leather-workers. An exceptional souvenir would be a Kemençe (Pontian Lyra), the national instrument of Trabzon. A decent playable Kemençe violin will set you back around 200 TL. Of course there are also key chain versions. For those heading to Iran or the Caucasus by bike, Trabzon is likely the last city in a few thousand kilometers to have an outdoor supply store. Alternatively, you might find supplies at the many hunting or fishing shops.

Eat

Hamsi balik
The former arsenal now houses a restaurant

Local Cuisine

Typical ingredients for a Black Sea meal differ greatly from those of Anatolia. Vakfikebir ekmegi is the local sourdough bread similar to Italian Pane Casareccio. It is baked in a stone oven and can weigh up to 7 kilograms. Because the Black Sea coast is too moist for the cereals that grow so abundantly in the rest of Anatolia, the main grain variety used in rural communities surrounding Trabzon is maize. Thus cornbread is also a popular dish. Hamsi (Anchovies) are a main staple for the region. They are typically fried and eaten whole. Fishermen from Trabzon catch about one-fifth of the Turkish total. There is even an Anchovies bread (Hamsikoli). The Black Sea region grows 70% of the worlds hazelnut production, and they are also often used in dishes. Some fruits that are grown in the region are cherries, persimmon and kiwi. The Black Sea kitchen relies heavily on stews and soups of vegetables and beans. It also includes many dairy dishes like Kuymak/Muhlama, fresh cow milk and Ayran, and different types of cheeses.

The pide (pizza) and köfte (meatballs) of Trabzon are famous in Turkey for their distinctive taste. Trabzon pide is a kind of pizza with cheese and eggs, similar to Adjarian Khachapuri, but there are many varieties. Many places sell these typical dishes, a cheap but good example near the city center is "Cardak Pide Salonu".

Kuzen is also a good option: no standard kebabs but (for example) delicious wrap-like rolls filled with hot Merkez sausage. You can find it in in Cevdet Akcay sokak next to the modernish shopping mall on the north side of Kahraman Marash Cad.

Eating Out

There are a few restaurants at the northern side (İskele street) of Meydan square, like popular Cemilusta. Most menus revolve around meat or fish dishes. Fast-food stores and kebab shops can be found at the western end of the square. There is also ÇigköfteM, a vegetarian fast-food chain.

If you are fond of pastries, sweets and ice-cream, there are many places along Uzun Sokak selling baklava, beton helva and dondurma.

Most food in Trabzon is cooked to a high hygienic standard, and additionally most restaurants give you free hand wipes to clean your hands before and after eating food.

Akçaabat specialties and restaurants

Akçaabat, the historic village Platana, some 10 km west of the city, is renowned throughout Turkey for its special kind of meatballs, called Akcaabat koftesi. Made with ground meat, garlic and bread it's very delicious with ayran(yogurt mixed with water) and piyaz (beans,lettuce). There are plentiful quality restaurants in Akcaabat town such as Nihat Usta, Keyvan, Cemil Usta, Korfez Restaurant. You can have a walk and drink tea after dinner in Akcaabat Fisher Port. You can also try "kiymali" which is made with meat and served with butter. Don't forget to visit the historic neighborhood with its dozens of timber mansions when you are in Akçaabat.

Drink

There are only a few restaurants that serve alcohol in the city center. Among them being Bordo Mavi and Trabzon Şehir Kulübü Restaurant in Nemlioğlu Cemal Sokak (sidestreet of Uzun Sokak). Other options are a bit further from the center, between Trabzon and Akcaabat, such as Tirvana, Lazeli or Marina. A lot of the more traditional restaurants offer non-alcoholic cocktails. Luckily, because Trabzon is a student city, there is still quite a broad choice between music venues compared to other Turkish cities.

Coffee & Tea

View from Boztepe tea garden.

For those longing for real (European-style) coffee, Keyif Coffee & Tea Store has a huge selection of Tea (listing them by area and even Tea Estate) and first rate Cappachino (3 TL). They are hidden within the shopping complex Canbakkal İş Merkezi, a few blocks to the west of Atatürk Alani square. Kahve Durağı and Edward's Coffee offer many kinds of coffee and cakes. Cinema-themed sineK, next to Royal Cinema also offers western (and Turkish) coffee and tea. It is a kind of hip place where young Trabzonites come to play games after going to the movies. You might need to make reservations (like for most popular or trendy restaurants in the city). Time's Coffee Restaurant on Kahramanmaraş Cad. offers coffee and more with a rooftop view of the city. It is located on the 7th floor of the Silk Road Business Center.

Nightlife

Sleep

The cheapest hotels are down from Atatürk Square towards the port, but they usually function as unofficial brothels. By European standards the area is safe, however, and the prostitutes quite discreet. Between those hotels, Hotel Erzurum was acceptable and frequented by backpackers. Some of the more upmarket hotels in Trabzon are Hilton Garden Inn, Zorlu Grand Otel and Novotel. Zorlu Grand Otel is in downtown Trabzon, at Maraş Street. Novotel is some distance out of Trabzon, in Yomra (a town close to Trabzon) but it takes only ten minutes from city centre with a car or dolmuş (bus) to get there.

Budget

Mid range

Splurge

Learn

Trabzon has a long educational history; after the Pandidakterion of Constantinople it had one of the first universities in the world teaching in subjects such as astronomy, mathematics, philosophy and medicine. In current times Trabzon has remained a place of higher learning. Karadeniz Technical University (KTU) is the oldest university in the Turkish Republic outside Istanbul and Ankara. It has nearly 50.000 students (about 20% of the urban population of Trabzon city). The university is growing in popularity amongst foreign students, but is not yet as popular as universities in Istanbul, Ankara, Izmir or Eskişehir. The university participates in the Erasmus program for European students. Avrasya University is a new private university.

Stay healthy

In general the quality of food and drinks in Trabzon is fine, but tap water in the city is heavily chlorinated. In the mountain villages tap water has been connected to local springs and is absolutely safe to drink. Fresh dairy produce are delicious but if you are unaccustomed to this, it could upset your stomach. Very few local dishes contain a large amount of oils (or are wrongly prepared that way). Most of the vegetables and fruit that you can buy at markets in the province are grown locally in an organic way, so they are perfectly safe to eat. If you see wild fruit next to the road while on a hiking or biking trip, it is placed there for travelers to enjoy. But be aware of the local poison honey (deli bal)!

Stay safe

Trabzon is generally a safe city for visitors and has low crime rates. As the city is not touristic, you will not be bothered by pushers of restaurants or shop owners in the bazaar quarter. During the 90s and early 00s there was a problem with street prostitution around the harbor due to the collapse of the economies of the neighboring ex-Soviet states. In the recent decade this has mostly been tackled, and there are now also places where it is safe and comfortable for women to go out. The mountainous hinterland of the city is also safe, but rather sparsely populated. It is not recommended to travel in these remote areas alone, but if well prepared it is possible to do a bicycle camping trip by yourself. If you plan on hiking in the forested mountains, be sure to read about how to deal with bear encounters.

Connect

Internet

Cope

Police

Hospitals

Consulates

Go next

In Turkey

Abroad


Routes through Trabzon

Samsun Giresun  W  E  Sürmene Rize


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