Eskişehir (pronounced “es-KEE-sheh-heer”) is a city in the northwestern part of the Central Anatolia in Turkey. The city is home to about 500,000 people and two of Turkey’s biggest universities: Anadolu University and Eskişehir Osmangazi University, therefore the city is widely known as “Students’ City” in Turkey.
The area is inhabited since before the Phrygians founded Doryleaum near today’s Eskişehir. The area to the south of Eskişehir is known as “Phrygian Valley” even today and contains many remnants from Phrygians (some parts of the valley is within the borders of Kutahya and Afyonkarahisar provinces).
Since 1999, when Yılmaz Büyükerşen, the former president of Anadolu University, has been elected mayor, the city has a somewhat-imitation Central European feel to it with its bridges, parks, statues, and trams.
The Porsuk River bisects the city all along.
As any other part of Anatolian highland, the winters are cold and usually snowy. Temperature is regularly below the freezing point during this season, but it rarely drops below -15 C. Thanks to the low levels of relative humidity, summers are more comfortable than coastal regions of Turkey. Summer nights can be cool, though, so be sure to bring at least a cardigan with you to wear outdoors.
Eskişehir is in junction of almost all major raillines in Turkey, so it is possible almost anywhere with a railline in Turkey (except European Turkey until Marmaray, an undersea rail tunnel which will connect Europe and Asia under Bosphorus, is completed) to find a train which has a stop either in the Central station (official name: Eskişehir station; in the city centre) or in Enveriye station (about 2 km south of city centre).
From Istanbul’s Asian station (Haydarpaşa), you can find several trains heading for either station every day (In fact, any pessenger train departing from Haydarpaşa, except the suburban trains and regional expresses which head for nearby Adapazarı, passes through and stops in Eskişehir). Price depends on the fastness of train and ranges between roughly 10 YTL (the cheapest) and 20 YTL (the most expensive)(20% discount for students possible in every train). Unlike many other examples in Turkey, rail travel between Istanbul and Eskişehir generally takes the same or less time than bus travel (it takes between 4 and 6 hours, depending on the train).
The city has a 2-line tram system. Minibuses and public buses cover the rest. City also has a small fleet of 19th century-looking horse-drawn carriages, and a large taxi fleet. At almost anywhere on the large streets, you’ll see buttons (looking like electric switches) hanged on walls, trees etc. To call a cab, you need only to push one of those and the nearest taxi stop will soon send a taxi to where you have pushed it. But walking is probably the best way of transportation in this largely flat city, it is free of charge and the distances aren’t that huge.
Anadolu University participates in pan-European university student exchange programs.
As you would expect from a big city, there are many ATMs around and credit cards are accepted in most places.
Because of the relatively large university student population, the city centre, especially streets leading to or running parallel with the Porsuk River are teeming with local and American-style fast food restaurants and pizzerias.
Local delicacies include:
Since it is a usual habit for university students to binge drink and to pub crawl, there are many bars, pubs, clubs, and discos scattered around the city. It is usually possible to attain a live music performance at weekends.
Tourism information office – Vilayet Sq 1, tel +90 222 230 38 65
The area code of Eskişehir is 222. Dial +90 222 when calling an Eskişehir number from out of Turkey.
City’s large university student population makes it a place quite easy to communicate in English, although local older generations may only speak Turkish. Also you may encounter youngsters with an ability to speak less widespread European languages such as German or French, though this is much less possible compared with English.