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Ana sayfa » A Day in Eskişehir: Discovering the Heart of Anatolia

A Day in Eskişehir: Discovering the Heart of Anatolia

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Welcome to my latest travel blog post, where I take you through the charming city of Eskişehir, nestled in the heart of Turkey. As a Turkish citizen who has roamed around various corners of the world, I find it exhilarating to explore the depths of my own country and share these gems with you. This post aims to serve as a comprehensive English guide for those residing in Turkey or planning a visit. My recent trip to Eskişehir with my close friends was a whirlwind of cultural exploration, culinary delights, and historical discovery, packed into a single day. From the famous Çibörek, Balaban Köfte to the enchanting Sazova Science Park and the serene Porsuk River, join me as we delve into what makes Eskişehir a must-visit city.

Our journey from Istanbul to Eskişehir took about 3.5 to 4 hours by car, leading us straight into the arms of hunger, perfectly timed for a Çibörek feast at the renowned Kırım Tatar Kültür Çibörek Evi in Odunpazarı. This culinary masterpiece, a gift from the Crimean Tatars to the city, was just the beginning of our gastronomic adventure. Following our hearty breakfast, we explored the historic Odunpazarı houses and museums, immersing ourselves in the city’s rich past.

The adventure continued in Tepebaşı District, where the Sazova Science Park awaited us with its fairy-tale castle, thematic gardens, and intriguing museums. Despite missing out on a gondola ride on Porsuk River due to timing, we enjoyed a leisurely coffee break and savored the unique taste of Boza at Karakedi Bozacısı. Amidst our exploration, we couldn’t miss out on trying Met Helva, a local delicacy that tantalized our taste buds with its sweet, offering a glimpse into the city’s rich culinary heritage. Our journey through Eskişehir’s streets and culinary scene culminated in a delicious serving of Balaban Köfte, a testament to the city’s enduring culinary traditions.

As the day turned to night and the city quieted down, we reflected on our journey through Eskişehir’s streets, museums, and eateries. Though a day is hardly enough to fully grasp the essence of any city, Eskişehir left us with memorable impressions of its vibrant culture, history, and flavors. Whether you’re drawn by the allure of its museums, the tranquility of Porsuk River, or the tantalizing local cuisine, Eskişehir promises an enriching experience for every visitor.

Stay tuned for more detailed insights into the places we visited, where to eat, and the cultural fabric of Eskişehir in the sections to follow. And remember, while a day’s visit offers a glimpse into the city’s soul, Eskişehir’s true charm unfolds with a longer stay.

Exploring Eskişehir: A Comprehensive Guide to the City of Youth and Culture

Eskişehir, a vibrant city located in the heart of Anatolia, Turkey, is a blend of rich history, cultural diversity, and modern lifestyle. Known for its young population, thanks to the prestigious Anadolu University, the city offers a unique experience that combines the traditional and the contemporary. This guide aims to provide you with a detailed overview of the must-visit places, culinary delights, and cultural insights into Eskişehir, making your visit an unforgettable journey.

Eskişehir Travel Guide

How Many Days to Explore?
Ideally, a 2-day visit allows you to experience most of Eskişehir’s highlights, though extending your stay lets you delve deeper into the city’s cultural and natural attractions.

Getting There
Eskişehir is easily accessible by high-speed train, a preferred mode of transportation, connecting it with major cities like Istanbul, Ankara, and Konya. The city’s well-designed public transportation system, including trams and buses, makes getting around both convenient and enjoyable.

Culinary Delights
Eskişehir’s cuisine is a delightful fusion of Central Anatolian flavors with a touch of Crimean Tatar influence. Must-tries include Çibörek (deep-fried turnovers filled with minced meat), Balaban Kebab, and Met Helva for those with a sweet tooth. Don’t miss out on trying Boza, a traditional fermented beverage, especially from Karakedi Bozacısı.

Eskişehir Food Guide: A Culinary Journey in the Heart of Turkey

With your list of must-visit places in Eskişehir ready and accommodations secured, it’s time to delve into the city’s rich culinary scene. As you embark on your journey through this enchanting destination, you might find yourself wondering, “What unique flavors does Eskişehir have to offer?” Well, you’re in the right place!

Eskişehir’s gastronomy, a harmonious blend of Tatar and Central Anatolian cultures, promises a delightful surprise for those unfamiliar with its culinary wonders. Brace yourself for flavors that are not to be underestimated – the kind that might just tempt you to break your diet, and perhaps even carry some back home in packets.

What to Eat and Drink in Eskişehir?

  • Çibörek
  • Balaban Köfte
  • Met Helva
  • Boza


After a stroll through Odunpazarı, do not miss the opportunity to savor Eskişehir’s renowned delicacy – Çibörek. Çibörek is a culinary masterpiece introduced to the city by the first Crimean Tatars who settled here. The unleavened dough is rolled out into a circular shape, filled with a mixture of minced meat, onions, and spices, and then folded into a crescent shape before being fried to perfection. Varieties include mushroom-filled, cheese-filled, and potato-filled options.

Wondering where to taste Çibörek in Eskişehir? There are numerous establishments that craft this delicious pastry, each with its unique touch. Explore options such as Papağan Çibörek, Eskişehir Mutfağı Çibörek Evi, Kırım Tatar Kültür Çibörek Evi, and Alpu Çibörek, among others.

Balaban Köfte

A time-honored Tatar dish that has stood the test of time, Balaban Köfte holds a special place as one of Eskişehir’s most famous meals. The name “Balaban” is derived from its generous portions, translating to “very large” in Tatar.

The dish involves small, diced pieces of pide soaked in hot meat broth. Afterward, Balaban Köfte is prepared by pouring the meatballs onto the pide, complemented with yogurt and tomato-pepper sauce. Notably, it is also known as Balaban Kebap. For an authentic experience, consider trying it at Abdüsselam Balaban Kebap Salonu or Fahrettin Usta Kebap Salonu.

Met Helva

Continuing our culinary exploration, let’s talk about Met Helva. This unique treat, named after a game involving a stick called “met,” is made with flour, oil, sugar, lemon, and water. With cocoa and vanilla variations, Met Helva is a must-try during your visit to Eskişehir. These traditional sweets, made using the pulling method, are also available as souvenirs in Eskişehir’s markets.


A staple in Eskişehir’s cultural tapestry, Boza is particularly favored during the winter months. What sets Eskişehir’s Boza apart is its preparation using corn. Kara Kedi Bozacısı is a classic spot to enjoy a cup of Boza, especially on chilly Eskişehir evenings, infusing warmth into your soul.

Whether you indulge in the iconic Çibörek, savor the rich flavors of Balaban Köfte, treat yourself to the unique sweetness of Met Helva, or warm up with a cup of Boza, Eskişehir’s culinary offerings are bound to leave a lasting impression on your taste buds. As you explore these culinary delights, you’ll soon understand why Eskişehir is a haven for food enthusiasts. Enjoy your culinary journey through this vibrant city!

Eskişehir’s Must-Visit Attractions

A Magical Journey Through Sazova Park: Eskişehir’s Wonderland

Nestled in the heart of Eskişehir, Sazova Park, officially known as the Science, Art, and Culture Park, is a sprawling oasis of creativity, learning, and leisure that spans over 400,000 square meters. This park is not merely a green space in the urban landscape but a dynamic venue where education seamlessly merges with entertainment, offering a myriad of experiences for visitors of all ages. With its enchanting Fairy Tale Castle, adventurous Pirate Ship, and the intellectually stimulating Science Experiment Center, Sazova Park serves as a gateway to a world where fantasy becomes reality and learning is an adventure.

The park’s allure lies in its diverse attractions that cater to the whimsical, the curious, and the scholarly. The Fairy Tale Castle beckons children and adults to explore the corridors of imagination, while the Pirate Ship promises an escapade on the high seas, stirring the spirit of adventure in every heart. The Science Experiment Center, on the other hand, offers a hands-on approach to learning, making science accessible and fun. The inclusion of a zoo and an artificial pond further enriches the park’s offerings, allowing visitors to connect with nature and discover the wonders of the animal kingdom.

Sazova Park is more than a recreational area; it is a cultural and scientific hub that fosters exploration and ignites the imagination. Highlights such as the Sabancı Space House and the Eti Underwater World provide unique insights into the cosmos and marine life, while the Turkish World Science, Culture, and Art Center showcases the rich heritage and contributions of Turkish scientists and artists. For those seeking a nostalgic experience, the park’s historical dekovil train offers a leisurely tour of the main attractions, adding a touch of charm to the visit.

A day spent in Sazova Park is a day filled with endless possibilities. From marveling at the Japanese Garden’s serene beauty to embarking on a scientific exploration at the Science Experiment Center, and relaxing by the artificial pond, the park offers a plethora of activities. With dining options and souvenir shops scattered throughout, Sazova Park ensures that every visitor’s needs are met, making it a self-sufficient wonderland that captivates and delights at every turn.

In conclusion, Sazova Park embodies the essence of Eskişehir’s innovative spirit and youthful energy. It stands as a testament to the city’s commitment to blending education with entertainment, offering an unforgettable experience that transcends the ordinary. As one of Turkey’s most unique parks, it invites families, students, and adventure-seekers to embark on a magical journey into the heart of creativity and wonder, making it an indispensable part of any Eskişehir itinerary.

Eskişehir Metropolitan Municipality Zoo

Nestled in the heart of Eskişehir province, Eskişehir Zoo offers a tranquil escape in a lush green setting. Beyond being a place for animal lovers to enjoy, the zoo plays a crucial role in wildlife conservation and education, actively participating in breeding programs and raising awareness about biodiversity. With well-maintained facilities, educational programs, and interactive exhibits, Eskişehir Zoo promises a memorable experience for visitors of all ages. Whether you’re a nature enthusiast or a family seeking a fun day out, Eskişehir Zoo is a must-visit destination that showcases Turkey’s rich biodiversity and commitment to conservation.

Eskişehir Metropolitan Municipality ETI Underwater World

Situated in the heart of Eskişehir, ETI Underwater World, overseen by the Eskişehir Metropolitan Municipality, is more than just an aquarium—it’s an immersive experience showcasing a diverse range of marine life. With exhibits featuring colorful tropical fish, vibrant coral reefs, jellyfish, and sea turtles, the aquarium offers visitors a realistic glimpse into marine ecosystems. Committed to marine conservation and education, ETI Underwater World engages in research projects and offers educational programs, making it a valuable destination for marine enthusiasts and families alike. Interactive exhibits, touch pools, and feeding demonstrations enhance the visitor experience, while a gift shop provides souvenirs and educational materials. Overall, ETI Underwater World is a must-visit attraction in Eskişehir that the beauty and importance of our oceans.

Exploring the Historic Charm of Odunpazarı District

Nestled in the heart of Eskişehir, the Historic Odunpazarı District emerges as a vibrant testament to the city’s rich Ottoman heritage. This area, renowned for its colorful streets lined with meticulously restored Ottoman-era houses, offers a unique journey back in time. The district, which has earned a spot on the UNESCO World Heritage Tentative List, encapsulates the essence of history reborn within its warm and inviting alleyways. As you meander through these cobbled streets, the reason behind Odunpazarı’s global acclaim becomes unmistakably clear.

Odunpazarı is not just about its picturesque houses; it’s a cultural hub that brings together the past and present in a harmonious blend. The district is home to an array of significant landmarks, including the Arasta and Şeyh Edebali Tombs, Kurşunlu Mosque and Complex, Alaaddin Mosque, and several museums that cater to diverse interests—from the Contemporary Glass Art Museum to the Yılmaz Büyükerşen Wax Sculptures Museum, and the Republic History Museum. Each site offers a unique glimpse into the multifaceted layers of Turkish history, culture, and art. The Atlıhan Craft Market further enriches the experience, allowing visitors to immerse themselves in traditional Turkish craftsmanship.

The essence of Odunpazarı’s appeal lies in its ability to preserve the architectural integrity of the past while embracing the vitality of the present. The district serves as a living museum, where every corner tells a story, every street echoes with the footsteps of history, and every building showcases the elegance of traditional Turkish architecture. The proximity of these historical houses to modern-day amenities and cultural institutions makes Odunpazarı not only a must-visit for tourists but also a cherished locale for the residents of Eskişehir.

In conclusion, the Historic Odunpazarı District stands as a proud emblem of Eskişehir’s Ottoman legacy, offering an immersive experience that transcends the ordinary. It’s a place where history is not just observed but felt, making it an essential destination for anyone seeking to understand the soul of this enchanting city. Whether you’re exploring its museums, enjoying a cup of coffee in one of its quaint cafes, or simply wandering through its alleys, Odunpazarı promises a journey through time that is both enlightening and unforgettable.

Odunpazarı Modern Museum: A Cultural Jewel Blending Art and Architecture in Eskişehir

In the historic core of Eskişehir, the Odunpazarı Modern Museum (OMM) emerges as a profound symbol of the city’s flourishing contemporary art scene, encapsulating the essence of modern artistic expression within its walls. Crafted by the acclaimed Kengo Kuma and Associates, this architectural gem has garnered attention from esteemed art circles, including ARTnews, positioning it among the most pivotal museum constructions of our era. OMM is not merely a museum; it represents a critical juncture for art aficionados and those captivated by the ongoing narrative of modern art in Turkey and internationally, marking it as an indispensable visit for those seeking to immerse themselves in the art world.

The museum itself is a testament to the harmonious blend of avant-garde design and the rich historical fabric of Eskişehir, offering a mesmerizing setting for its extensive collection of contemporary art. Its architecture, deeply influenced by the locale’s historical essence, provides a stunning stage for an eclectic mix of artworks, ranging from paintings and sculptures to installations and multimedia projects. OMM’s dynamic exhibitions ensure a novel experience with each visit, fostering a space for cultural discourse and discovery that resonates with a broad spectrum of artistic expressions.

OMM’s curatorial strategy is meticulously crafted to foster engagement and stimulate contemplation, offering visitors an interactive journey through contemporary art. It caters to both the connoisseur and the newcomer, presenting an accessible exploration of artistic innovation. The museum not only highlights the achievements of renowned artists but also champions the emerging voices in the art community, underscoring its dedication to nurturing creativity and endorsing the arts sector.

In conclusion, the Odunpazarı Modern Museum stands as a vibrant cultural epicenter, mirroring Eskişehir’s soul through its breathtaking architecture and provocative exhibitions. It is an essential landmark for anyone traversing the city, epitomizing the essence of innovation and creativity. As a beacon of modern art in Turkey, OMM extends an invitation to global visitors to plunge into the enthralling realm of contemporary art, offering an indelible mark on Eskişehir’s cultural vista.

Exploring the Porsuk River & Adalar: Eskişehir’s Lifeline

Nestled in the heart of Eskişehir, the Porsuk River stands as a testament to the city’s vibrant life, dividing it into the Tepebaşı and Odunpazarı districts. This river, more than a mere waterway, is the lifeline of the city, offering picturesque landscapes that have become emblematic of Eskişehir’s identity. The banks of the Porsuk River are a bustling hub of social life, adorned with cafes and restaurants that breathe life into its surroundings. This area, particularly known as “Adalar” despite not being an actual island, is the epicenter of the city’s cultural and social convergence. Here, the river transforms into a lively district, teeming with eateries and recreational spaces that keep the area vibrant from dawn till dusk.

The Porsuk River offers an experience akin to the serene gondola rides of Venice, providing a unique vantage point to view the city. These tranquil tours allow visitors to glide under bridges and past a mix of historical and modern facades lining the banks, offering an intimate glimpse into the soul of Eskişehir. The gondola and boat rides, originating from the Adalar region, add a magical touch to the visit, showcasing the lush landscapes in spring and summer or the crisp air of autumn and winter.

The Adalar area, cradled by the Porsuk River, is arguably the most renowned part of Eskişehir. It’s a melting pot of the city’s cultural and social life, buzzing with energy throughout the day. Starting the day with a delightful breakfast by the water or enjoying the scenic beauty through gondola and boat tours during the warmer months, Adalar offers a feast for both the taste buds and the eyes. The Porsuk River, with its banks especially in the Adalar area, provides a perfect backdrop for leisurely days and lively nights, symbolizing the city’s culture, history, and modern vibrancy. It stands as a testament to Eskişehir’s ability to blend its rich past with a dynamic present, making it an indispensable experience for any visitor to this enchanting Anatolian city.

The Historical and Cultural Significance of Kurşunlu Mosque and Complex

Nestled in the heart of Eskişehir’s Odunpazarı district, the Kurşunlu Mosque and Complex stands as a testament to the rich cultural and architectural heritage of the Ottoman era. Constructed under the patronage of the Ottoman Vizier Çoban Mustafa Paşa, this 16th-century marvel is not merely a place of worship but a comprehensive complex that encapsulates the essence of Ottoman social and religious life.

The Kurşunlu Complex, distinguished by its lead-coated dome from which it derives its name, is an architectural masterpiece that harmonizes with the historic Odunpazarı houses surrounding it. This complex is a multifaceted establishment, comprising a mosque, madrasah (Islamic school), caravanserais, a fountain (şadırvan), a dervish lodge (hanikah), and a primary school (sıbyan mektebi). Its significance extends beyond its religious functions, serving as a center for education, social welfare, and commerce, reflective of the Ottoman Empire’s commitment to community and social services.

In conclusion, the Kurşunlu Mosque and Complex is more than just an architectural landmark; it is a vibrant cultural and social ecosystem that reflects the Ottoman Empire’s sophisticated approach to community welfare, education, and the arts. Its enduring legacy continues to attract hundreds of visitors each year, making it a must-see destination for those seeking to immerse themselves in the rich history and cultural tapestry of Eskişehir and the Ottoman Empire.

Discovering the Charm of Atlıhan Crafts Market: A Gateway to Turkish Handicrafts

Nestled in the historic heart of Eskişehir, the Atlıhan Crafts Market stands as a vibrant testament to the rich cultural heritage of Turkey, particularly showcasing the exquisite craftsmanship of meerschaum (sepiolite) products. Established in 2005 and operated by the Odunpazarı Municipality, this two-story market has become a central hub for the promotion of meerschaum worldwide, housing over twenty workshops dedicated to the production, display, and sale of traditional handicrafts.

Today, Atlıhan Crafts Market, with its 25 workshops spread across two floors, invites visitors to explore a wide array of traditional Turkish handicrafts. The market is particularly renowned for its meerschaum products, a unique mineral known for its use in intricate carvings and pipe making, positioning Eskişehir as the heartland of meerschaum craftsmanship. Beyond meerschaum, the market offers an assortment of handmade gifts and souvenirs, making it an ideal spot for those looking to immerse themselves in the local culture and purchase authentic, artisanal items.

Atlıhan Crafts Market not only serves as a shopping destination but also as a cultural experience, reflecting the enduring spirit and creativity of Eskişehir’s artisans. Whether you’re a collector, a tourist, or simply someone in search of a meaningful gift, Atlıhan provides a unique opportunity to connect with the traditional arts and crafts of Turkey, all within the charming historical context of the Odunpazarı District.

The Eskişehir Contemporary Glass Art Museum

The Eskişehir Contemporary Glass Art Museum, Turkey’s first museum dedicated to contemporary glass arts, is situated in one of the revitalized houses in the Odunpazarı district.

As the first of its kind in Turkey, located within the central limits of the Odunpazarı district, the Eskişehir Contemporary Glass Art Museum plays a crucial role in highlighting the significance of glass craftsmanship in a city enriched with this art form. The museum’s collection boasts approximately 125 pieces, showcasing a variety of techniques such as cold shaping and hot glass blowing. This cultural hub has been serving the public since 2007, not only as a permanent home for glass artworks but also as a venue for temporary exhibitions featuring works from various other artistic disciplines. The Eskişehir Contemporary Glass Art Museum stands as a testament to the city’s rich cultural heritage and its commitment to promoting contemporary art forms.

TÜRASAŞ Museum of Revolution Cars

Home to Turkey’s first domestically produced car, the Revolution Automobile, the TÜRASAŞ Museum of Revolution Cars in Eskişehir stands as a remarkable testament to Turkish engineering and innovation. Nestled on the banks of the Porsuk River, within the premises of the TÜLOMSAŞ factory, this museum proudly showcases the historic Devrim Automobile, the nation’s inaugural and sole domestically manufactured car.

The iconic Devrim Automobile, a symbol of significant importance in Turkish industrial and technological history, was crafted within a mere 4.5 months. With a handmade engine and molds, the car boasts 50 horsepower and a maximum speed of 140 km/h. The museum, drawing the keen interest of tourists visiting Eskişehir, offers a unique opportunity to witness the challenging journey undertaken by Turkish railway engineers and craftsmen.

As you explore the TÜRASAŞ Museum of Revolution Cars, you’ll not only encounter the Devrim Automobile but also gain insights into the pioneering spirit of Turkish industrialists and their dedication to pushing boundaries. This museum serves as a captivating destination for those intrigued by the rich history of Turkish automotive and railway engineering, showcasing the remarkable achievements of Turkish ingenuity.

Haller Youth Center: Bridging History and Modernity

Situated in Eskişehir, Haller Youth Center stands as a captivating blend of history and modern ambiance, making it a must-visit destination for those exploring the city’s attractions. Originally a bustling produce market in the 1930s, the building underwent a transformation after the market relocated. Through meticulous restoration by the municipality, the facility has evolved into the vibrant youth center that stands today.

Primarily serving as a gathering point for university students, Haller Youth Center boasts a warm and inviting atmosphere, with its historical structure crafted from natural stone, wood, and wrought iron. The enclosed courtyard, featuring communal tables, serves as a central hub for various activities. The center houses a variety of establishments, including restaurants, bars, cafes, gift shops, and fast-food outlets, fostering a lively atmosphere, particularly during nights filled with live music spanning traditional and global genres.

Kentpark: A Unique Urban Oasis in Eskişehir

Kentpark stands as a testament to Eskişehir’s avant-garde approach to urban development. This vast urban park has become one of Eskişehir’s most popular destinations, offering a diverse range of recreational activities.

At the heart of Kentpark lies Turkey’s first artificial beach, an innovative endeavor that sets it apart. Overlooking the Porsuk Çayı, this artificial beach boasts real sea sand, providing a rare and delightful experience for visitors. The beach, a prime attraction within the park, witnesses substantial attention from both locals and tourists alike. Finding a spot on the beach during the summer season can be challenging due to its popularity. Additionally, a centrally located Olympic-sized swimming pool complements the beach, enhancing the overall aquatic experience for visitors.

Exploring the Charm of Doktorlar Caddesi: Eskişehir’s Prominent Avenue

Doktorlar Caddesi, officially named İsmet İnönü-1 Bulvarı, stands as one of Eskişehir’s most renowned avenues, beckoning visitors to take a stroll through its vibrant atmosphere. The street derives its name from the plethora of doctor’s offices that line its path, adding a unique character to its identity.

Venturing along Doktorlar Caddesi provides an opportunity to intimately observe the socio-economic fabric of Eskişehir. Laden with entertainment venues, restaurants, stores, and cafes, the avenue mirrors the pulse of the city’s social life. It has rightfully earned its place as one of Eskişehir’s most popular entertainment hubs.

The allure of Doktorlar Caddesi is further heightened by its pedestrian-friendly nature, as the street is closed to vehicular traffic. The presence of a tramway adds to its charm, drawing parallels to the iconic İstiklal Caddesi in Istanbul. This pedestrian-friendly and transit-friendly feature enhances the overall experience of exploring the avenue.

Situated in close proximity to Eskişehir Tren Garı (Eskişehir Train Station), Doktorlar Caddesi finds itself in a strategic location. Its accessibility and the variety of attractions along its stretch make it a must-include destination in your list of places to visit in Eskişehir. Whether you seek a leisurely stroll, wish to explore local eateries, or simply immerse yourself in the dynamic ambiance of the city, Doktorlar Caddesi promises an enriching experience for every visitor.

Shopping for Local Souvenirs

Eskişehir is famous for its Meerschaum (Sepiolite) products, ranging from intricate jewelry to beautifully carved pipes. The Atlıhan Craft Market is the perfect place to find these unique souvenirs. Additionally, the city’s glass art pieces are not only stunning but also make for great gifts.


Eskişehir is a city that promises an enriching experience with its blend of history, culture, and modernity. Whether you’re strolling through the historic Odunpazarı district, exploring the contemporary art scene, or enjoying the natural beauty of Sazova Park, Eskişehir offers something for every traveler. With this guide, you’re now ready to embark on a memorable journey through one of Turkey’s most dynamic cities. Happy travels!

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