Safranbolu is a typical Ottoman city located in the Karabük Province in the Black Sea region of Turkey, it will take around 7 hours to reach it from Istanbul. The name of the city is derived from “saffron” -one of the most expensive spices in the world- because it’s planted on large farms and amounts in Safranbolu. Safranbolu is a bit detour off the usual tourist tracks but is definitely worth the visit and it might even end up being the highlight of your tour.

Why must you visit Safranbolu?

1- Safranbolu is a relatively inexpensive destination

Safranbolu market

Out of all the touristy places in Turkey, Safranbolu is definitely one of the cheapest in terms of food, accommodation, and shopping. So you won’t have to hold back on your wallets! a similar purse or accessory isn’t going to be cheaper at your next destination. 

Safranbolu is also the right place to purchase budget souvenirs like evil eye trinkets or bottles of saffron cologne.

2- Culture

Safranbolu old buildings

Safranbolu is a rich historical and cultural heritage city related to the Ottoman era. In 1994, it was placed by UNESCO as one of the best preserved 20 cities across the world as an Ottoman city that has survived to the present day. Surviving buildings from the Ottoman period include the Old Bath, Medresse of Süleyman Pasha, and the Old Mosque; they were all built in 1322. If you love history and are looking forward to flying back in time, Safranbolu must be on your Turkey itinerary.

Moreover, many Ottoman Mansions that were once home to wealthy traders have been restored and turned into hotels where you can spend a night in.

3- Food

Sample Turkish delights (Turkish Lokum)

Safranbolu lokum

While walking along the streets don’t miss sampling the most delicious Turkish lokum with a cup of Turkish coffee. Safranbolu is known for its Turkish Lokum and there are many stores in Safranbolu bazaar that offer to taste. People there are absolutely very generous and always smiling. 

The Turkish lokum is a confection made out of a gel of starch and sugar. The main shape of this lokum is a cube and there are tens of lokum flavors like saffron, rose water, chocolate, pistachio, coconut flakes, icing sugar, and rose petals. The word lokum comes from Arabic rāḥat al-ḥulqūm, which means “comfort for the throat”. Which flavor do you think you will love the most?


Bakeries in Safranbolu

Bakeries open early in the morning in Safranbolu, the fresh baked bread smell covers a whole area and nobody can resist the smell. When you visit the bakery, you will fall in love with the old tiles there and bread after bread coming out of the old ovens. Bread in Safranbolu goes so well with bitter Turkish tea.

4- Experience fun adventures

Bakeries in Safranbolu

Safranbolu is full of traditional places where you will get lost, such as Cinci Hamam, this Turkish bath that was built in the 17th century. If you’re willing to get scrubbed down to rosy-pink skin just once on your Turkey visit, this is the best place to do it.

You can also spend a night in an Ottoman mansion as many mansions were resorted and turned into hotels. You’re going to love the atmosphere

No doubt you must visit and take pictures of saffron fields in Safranbolu.

“Very biassed as i love a hamam. Went on the 1st day of Eid. Technically they were closed but i got invited in. Clean changing rooms, clean hamam inside, scrubbing lady was firm but fair. Came out sparkling clean and feeling soft and rested. Unusually reasonable prices, like a local hamam instead of a touristic one.” Visitor review

If you’re looking for more fun things to do in Safranbolu, you must visit this blog!

5- Safranbolu is the only Turkish city on the UNESCO world heritage list

Safranbolu is the only Turkish city in UNESCO world heritage list

Safranbolu is the only city on the UNESCO World Heritage List at the urban scale in Turkey and in 1994, UNESCO declared Safranbolu as one of the 20 best-preserved sites around the world in its list of world cultural heritage sites. It preserves the title of best-protected tourism Site with its Ottoman traditional houses which were built between the 18th and the 20th century. It is an important cultural point that lives with its historical urban culture, values, customs, traditions, and natural beauties, and that hosts numerous numbers of tourists every year.

Get to know the best time to visit Safranbolu

In the end, Turkey is full of tourist places and exciting things to do, yet Safranbolu is one of the best cities to visit, its atmosphere is full of tranquility and fresh air, and absolutely very fun places to go and things to do.

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