The city was called "Hellespontos" or "Dardanelles" in ancient times, and there has been evidence of a settlement in the Canakkale area since B.C. 3000. As the city is located on the Dardanelles/Canakkale Strait, one of the two major water passages connecting the Mediterranean and Black Sea, the area is rich in history and culture. The site of the historical city of Troy is close to Canakkale.
During World War 1, Canakkale and the Canakkale Strait was the stage of a year-long battle between the United Kingdom, France and the Ottoman Empire. From April 1915 to January 1916, a joint British and French operation was mounted to capture the Ottoman capital of Constantinople (now Istanbul). The attempt failed, but not without heavy casualties on both sides.
There are buses from Istanbul at any time, day or night. Just go to otogar, and look for 'Canakkale' signs on the windowpanes of bus company offices. It takes 5.5-6 hours to get from Istanbul to Canakkale. The busy Canakkale bus station also has several daily connections with most major Turkish destinations, such as Edirne and Izmir.
Either from the Anatolia (Asian part of Turkey) or the European side; the only way to get to Canakkale is by highway.
Passengers from Istanbul must be aware that, under bad weather conditions, the sea-traffic in the strait is limited or cancelled, and crossing the strait may become impossible.
The most of places in Canakkale are on a walking distance. There is a Tourist Information office in several meters from ferryboat station (at the right part if you getting from ferry). You can pick up a free tourist map of Canakkale and surrounding areas, also you can check for the schedule of buses to Troy and ferry to Bozcaada.
One thing not to miss while in Çanakkale is atom, which is the usual döner in half a bread plus an omelette added in. There are lots of buffets making it in the cluster of shops located just across the street from ferry harbor. Totally local, so don't expect to find it in anywhere else.