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Weekend Trips in Istanbul

1. Ancient City of Troy, Istanbul

Ancient City Of Troy Horse

A historic site immortalized within Homer's Iliad as the climax of the Trojan War. Debates continue as to whether the siege actually ever took place. But, legend or not, the UNESCO World Heritage site remains popular.

2. Bursa, Istanbul

Bursa City

Former capital of the Ottoman Empire, Bursa is filled with historic sites. The city also serves as a gateway to the Uludağ National Park - offering a change of pace from the bustle of Istanbul. Two hours south of Istanbul by car.

3. Buyukada, Istanbul

Buyukada Island

Charming island located in the Sea of Marmara with sweeping views, walking trails, and a range of heritage sites. Enjoy from different variety angles - by riding bicycles, sampling the cuisine, or wandering on the beach.

4. Uludağ National Park, Istanbul

Uludağ National Park Sky

A popular destination for both hikers and skiers. The summit ridge offers stunning views of the surrounding area, and on clear days, hikers can even see Istanbul in the distance. Snow season runs from October to April.

5. Marmara Islands, Istanbul

Marmara Islands

An island archipelago in the Sea of Marmara. Away from the main tourist trail, the islands mostly consist of small fishing villages. Outdoor activities - hiking, biking, and fishing - are the main draw here. Best enjoyed during summer.

6. Bozcaada, Istanbul

Bozcaada Houses

An island located in the Aegean Sea, just southwest of Turkey's Dardanelles Strait exit. Best known for its excellent wine, beaches, rich culture, and history.

7. Princes' Islands, Istanbul

Princes' Islands

An archipelago consisting of nine islands off the coast of Istanbul. Noted for their beautiful wooden homes, lush pine forests, breathtaking vistas, and lack of traffic - as motorized transport is banned. Accessible via ferry services.

8. Edirne, Istanbul

Edirne Istanbul

Formerly Adrianople, a capital of the Ottoman Empire, Edirne is an important city located just two hours northwest of Istanbul. Historic architecture remains throughout - from the Selimiye Mosque to the city's Old Quarter.

9. Bergama, Istanbul

Bergama History

A city of history and intrigue. Its abundance of archaeological sites remind of the Greek city of Pergamon - a UNESCO World Heritage site. Home to winding streets and an array of charming shops and cafes.

10. Canakkale, Istanbul

Canakkale  Street

A travel hub for centuries, thanks to its strategic location at Dardanelles. Explore the city's historical landmarks including the Çanakkale Onsekiz Mart University, or simply enjoy the Mediterranean atmosphere.

11. Kars, Istanbul

Kars City

High plateau city often referred to as a jumping-off point for visitors heading to Ani. Though, with its collection of 19th-century Russian buildings, and its role in Orhan Pamuk's novel "Snow", Kars is worthy of a detour in itself.

12. Mount Nemrut, Istanbul

Mount Nemrut  Bridge

One of the most fascinating ancient sites in Turkey. The main attraction is a 50 meter-high tomb hill, which covers the tomb itself - the summit provides a stunning vista of the Ataturk lake. Downside is its distance from Istanbul.

13. Cappadocia, Istanbul

Cappadocia 2

A central region of Turkey known for its unusual rock formations - tall cones nicknamed "fairy chimneys". Foot traffic has increased due to the area's offering of sunrise hot air balloon rides. Expect crowds and social media influencers.