Just east of the coastal city of Izmir over the Sabuncubeli Pass, Manisa was founded as Magnesia in 190 BCE. An important yet provincial centre during the Ottoman period, Manisa recently started to emerge as one of the industrial powerhouses of Turkish economy. As of 2010, the city has a population of around 300,000.
Manisa lies on the main route Istanbul–Izmir buses take, so has a very high frequency of bus connections from those cities, as well as from Balıkesir and Bursa, both of which also lie on the same route.
Manisa lies on the main railtracks fanning out of Izmir towards north. The city station welcomes trains from Izmir (six times daily), Bandırma (twice daily, via Balıkesir—transfering from fast ferries from Istanbul is possible in this harbour town), Ankara (twice daily, via Eskişehir, Kütahya, and Balıkesir) and Uşak. There are also trains three times a day from the nearby town of Alaşehir.
The telephone code of Manisa is (+90) 236.