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File:Amasya and Yalıboyu Houses at night.jpg
Amasya and Yalıboyu Houses at night

Amasya is a city in the Central Karadeniz region of Turkey. Amasya stands in the mountains above the Black Sea coast, in a narrow valley along the banks of the Yeşilırmak River. Although near the Black Sea, this area is high above the coast and has an inland climate, well-suited to growing apples, for which the province of Amasya is famed. As for natural beauty, Amasya is set apart from the rest of Anatolia in its tight mountain valley and hides its own secret beauty. Amasya is one of the provinces in North - Central Anatolia Turkey which is distinct both with its natural setup and historical values it holds. It was the homeland of the famous geographer Strabo. Located in a narrow cleft of the Yesilirmak (Iris) river, it has a past of 7500 years during which many civilizations left priceless remains of their times.

In antiquity, Amaseia (Αμάσεια) was a fortified city high on the cliffs above the river. It has a long history as provincial capital, a wealthy city producing kings and princes, artists, scientists, poets and thinkers, from the kings of Pontus, through Strabo the geographer, to many generations of the Ottoman imperial dynasty, and up to being the location of an important moment in the life of Ataturk. With its Ottoman period wooden houses and the tombs of the Pontus kings carved into the cliffs overhead, Amasya is attractive to visitors.

Get in

By plane

The city has an airport in Merzifon district of Amasya. Flight time is just one hour from/to Istanbul. It opened in 2008. There are daily flights from/to Istanbul. Arriving to Merzifon, there are direct buses from Merzifon to Amasya. It takes 30 minutes from Merzifon. It made easy to reach to Amasya for domestic and international tourists.

By bus

The otogar is on the edge of city and has many major lines that come and go from Ankara and Istanbul all day long. Most of these lines will offer you a free service to the town square. There are also a few busses every day going every direction, to and from Izmir, Antalya, and Trabzon. To come and go from Samsun, the nearest city on the Black Sea coast, there are small Metro minibuses that leave several times a day.

By car

Amasya is about 8 hours from İstanbul by car. It takes 4 hours from Ankara the capital city of Turkey. In additionally, the biggest city of Black Sea coast is that Samsun is just 1 hour from Amasya.

By train

If want to use train, Samsun-Sivas railway line passing through downtown of Amasya. The railway line from Sivas to Samsun runs through Amasya.


Amasya features a Mediterranean climate with hot summers and cold, rainy winters. In addition, Amasya is not cold like central Anatolia and its weather is not so soft in winter terms. It is kind of transition climate between Black Sea climate and Continental Mediterranean climate. However this narrow valley provided to Amasya a temperate climate. This effect is originated from river of Yeşilirmak. It made softer its climate.

Get around

Once you get a bus service or taxi to the town square, everything is within easy walking distance. If you are going on day trips to other villages in the region, you can find small privately-owned buses that come and go if you ask around.

For car rentals (if you're interested in a day trip to Hattuşa, the Hittite capital, for example), there is a car rental/pet store very near the Train Station, and another near the bridge by Migros.


The major sights of the city include the whitewashed Ottoman houses lined by the river and the ancient Pontic rock tombs engraved on the side of the mountain overlooking the city.

The recently restored Clock Tower.

The city also has many historically and architecturally precious buildings; the Ferhat water channel, the 13th century Seljuk Burmali Mosque, the 15th century Yildirim Beyazit Mosque and Complex; the 14th century Ilhanli Bimarhane Mental Hospital with lovely relieves around its portal, the extraordinary octagonal Kapi Aga Medrese (theological school), the Torumtay Mausoleum and the Gök Medrese. There are traditional Turkish mansions which have been well-preserved showing the best examples of Turkish architecture. The 19th century Hazeranlar Mansion has been restored perfectly and now it is of great interest with an art gallery on its first floor and an ethnographical museum on the second. The Archaeological Museum of Amasya has an interesting collection including the mummies of the Ilhanli rulers of Amasya.

Tombs of the kings of Pontus
  • On the rock of Harşena above the town is the terraced site of the royal palace and the tombs of the kings of Pontus (illuminated at night) which, although not kept in the best condition, are an impressive sight from the town. There are 5 unit tombs placed at slope of Amasya Castle that all are engraved on the lime stone rocks which rocks extended like a straight wall With the construction and location properties they take attention at the first sight Their surroundings engraved till they completely separated from the main rock, than they reunite to the main rock with stairs There are some ones large and some ones small totally 18 rock tomb units present The famous geographer Strabon (BC 63 - AC 5) whom born at Amasya, delivers an information that Rock tombs was belonged to Pontus Kings.
  • AynalıCave (Rock Tomb) is approximately three kilometres away from city centre, and on the way of Ziyaret district which way separated to the right from surrounding high way towards Samsun It is the best - decorated and completed tomb among other King Rock Tombs At the vault section there are 6 pictures on each right and left walls, which figure out 12 disciple And there are some figures that include men and women on the west and east walls, although there is a composition figure contains the Jesus, the Virgin Mary and Disciple on east wall.
  • Harsene Kalesi – A fortification, mentioned by Strabo and largely rebuilt in medieval times also lies in ruins on a rocky outcrop above the town. And in the district of Nerkis lies some remainsN of another castle, Enderun Kalesi. It is placed on precious rocks named Harşane mountain at the west of Yeşilırmak river and city centre There are 4 main gates in castle, which are named Belkıs, Saray (palace), Maydonos and Meydan (Puublic Square), there is an water well named Cilanbolu in castle too, moreover water hole and dungeon present in castle A laddered under ground way from the castle that reach to 70 meter below river towards the kings tombs dated to 3rd century BC.
Castle of Amasya and sky
File:Bimarhane - Conservatory.jpg
Bimarhane - Today's Conservatory
  • The town itself has many historically and architecturally valuable buildings, including the Ferhat aqueduct, the 13th century Seljuk Burmali Mosque, the 14th century Ilkhan Bimarhane Mental Hospital with lovely reliefs around its portal, the tomb of 15th century scholar Pir Ilyas and the 15th century mosque of Yildirim Beyazit. Unfortunately, Amasya is vulnerable to earthquakes which have damaged many monuments (most recently in 1939).
  • There are a number of well-preserved traditional Ottoman Turkish mansions, some of the best examples of Turkish domestic architecture. The 19th century Hazeranlar Konağı has been carefully restored and includes a small art gallery and ethnographical museum. Other wooden houses are being restored as hotels and guest houses. Hazeranlar Mansion Hazeranlar mansion is the most beautiful mansion at Yalı boyu (across the waterside residence) houses series Mansion is one of the most elegant civil architecture samples of Ottoman period Mansion built by Defterdar Hasan Talat Efendi for the name of his sister Hazeran Hanım at the year of 1872.
File:An example of traditional ottoman wooden hauses - yalıboyu houses.jpg
An example of traditional ottoman wooden hauses - yalıboyu houses
  • The Archaeological Museum of Amasya has a large and interesting collection, of artefacts from many eras of antiquity, including the mummies of the Ilkhanli rulers of Amasya.
  • Saraydüzü Casern, this building reconstructed in 2009 and opened. The importance of Saraydüzü Casern is that, Amasya Circular(genelge) was signed in that historical building in 12 June 1919. Atatürk wrote here about Amasya Circular. Building was destroyed. Today, Saraydüzü Casern is war of liberation museum and using for conferences, meetings, speeches etc. Basically, it is used as a congress center.
    File:Saraydüzü Casern.jpg
    Saraydüzü Casern
  • A number of tombs of Muslim saints, yatır, said to emanate healing powers. The sick and dying come to breathe the air and drink the waters of nearby springs.
  • FerhatWaterCanal canal was built at the Hellenistic Period to fulfil city's water necessity, it has approximately 75 width and 18 kilometers long It was built with processes of digging canals based on the balance system, carving some tunnels and bounding brick walls at some places.
  • Sultan Bayezıt II Kulliye (Center): Kulliye constructed in the name of Sultan Bayezit II in 1485 - 86; is composed of mosque, theology school, charitable establishment, monument and şadırvan (water tank with a fountain). It is the advanced final sample of the mosque with side place (L planned) architecture, constructed during the last quarter of the 15th century. There are two minarets of the mosque There are theology school at west and charitable establishment and guest - house at east Old plane tress at the level of both minarets, are estimated to be as old as kulliye.
  • Lake Borabay (65 km northeast of Amasya in the district of Taşova) is a crater lake with an impressive view and fresh air. It is a perfect area for fishing (especially trout), picnicking and sports. Other excursion sites from Amasya include Yedikir reservoir and Omarca National Park.
  • Terziköy thermal spring is one of the most important springs of the province Gözlek thermal spring, Hamamözü (Arkut Bey) thermal spring and Ilısu thermal spring are the other thermal springs of Amasya.


Stroll along the river walk along with Amasya's townspeople. In the summer months, the street is closed at night because so many people are out.

Go to the already-mentioned tombs (3 TL, accessible by a staircase in the "old" section of town) and the castle. The castle is free to enter, but requires a car to get to it. It shouldn't be more than 20 TL roundtrip if you are coming from the city center.

The Bimarhane, built during the Mongol period, was the first mental health research facility that used music to treat its patients. For the past 75 years or so, it had been the home of Amasya's music conservatory in honor of its past, but has recently re-opened as a museum in tribute to the ground-breaking man who did research here. Entrance is 3 TL.

Most buses stop near the The Amasya Belediye (Municipal) Museum. It's a typical museum in Turkey, containing objects from the province that date from the early Greek period through the end of the Ottoman dynasty. Of particular note are the mummies from the Mongol period, preserved by the air of their mountain tombs. A bit gruesome but fascinating and unexpected.

Amasya's largest mosque complex is dedicated to Beyazid II. It is on the riverside and a very prominent site in town. Today, the complex also houses the city library (formerly a law school) as well as a soup kitchen and a miniature museum of Amasya. If you decide to give up the 3 TL for the miniature museum, make sure to stay for a full day-night cycle.

Amasya was a religious and political center for central Anatolia, and there are many small mosques that date back to pre-Ottoman times. The Gok Medrese Camii is on the edge of town opposite the otogar, and has a türbe (mausoleum/shrine of a holy person) in front of it. There is a "house of suffering" that you can get to if you walk up the hill from the town square, which was an important Alevi pilgrimage spot, as its founder's turbe is nearby. You can go into the "suffering house" now that it's no longer in use, and explore the small cells men would live in for months at a time, with little food and water and outside contact, simply reading the Qur'an and meditating on it.

There are two separate wax museums, one dedicated to the 7 Padishahs and one dedicated to Anatolian life in the 16-19th centuries. Like everything else mentioned, they are 3 TL. Not really recommended, however.

Amasya has several very old, nice hamams. Near the Bimarhame is Mustafa Bey hamami, which is a beautifully restored building that includes a swiss-style sauna room, and has service as good as any hamam in Istanbul for half the price. Yildiz hamam, in the old part of town, is dirty. Kumacik hamam, between the otogar and the town square on the riverside, is a small hamam which boasts of a pool. They are all single-sex, open to men from 6-10 AM, women 10AM-5PM, and men again 5PM-12. There are special days in the week for working women to come at night, and the weekends are generally reserved entirely for men. Check with the hamams ahead of time; if you are staying at a hotel they can call and ask for you.



Having served various civilizations as the capital city and the future sultans of the Ottomans as an academy, Amasya, also known as the City of the Shahzadah, has developed a regal cuisine with its characteristic taste, looks and quality through meticulous efforts. Keşkek, which has always been one of the most popular dishes of the Middle Asia, has acquired such a distinctive touch in the hands and minds of the people of Amasya that it is now referred to as a whole new dish “aside from those of all other regions.” Bakla Dolması, (broad bean rolls) is a masterpiece of culinary art that is produced by delicate hands through an exquisite combination of beans with various ingredients along with meat. Cream cakes, an indispensable item in the palace menu, has turned in the cherry bread through the ingenuity of ordinary people of the city. Stale bread has been used to make a dessert called Unutma Beni means that don't forget me.


Generally, all the places in Amasya to go out at night have live music, with the exception of the three or four pubs.

Ali Kaya overlooks the entire city on its southeastern side, and offers great views at night. Mostly plays Turku, turkish folk music, with a combination of classical and modern instruments.

Eylul Bugusu, Grand Pasha, Emin Efendi and Mithridat are all basically indistinguishable bar/restaurants in the old part of town. You come, get a table, and drink/eat there while listening to covers of Turkish pop or folk music, depending on the night. If you are there on a weekend, a reservation may be required. If you're traveling around the old city during the day, the best thing to do is pop in the various local joints, pick which one suits your taste the most, and ask for a reservation.

For Turkish tea time, there is a local chain called Yesil Ev (green house) that you'll see around town. For a more interesting experience, there is also the Municipal Tea garden, sitting on the riverside near the clock tower. At night in the warm months there is generally live music. If you are a large party and you'd like to relax for a while, order the Semaver Cay which is the Turkish version of the Russian Samovar, and you'll be drinking tea for hours. According to locals, though, the best tea and Turkish coffee is to be found at Gamasuk Cay Evi, which is on the main road, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk Caddesi, called Ust caddesi (high street) by locals.Both men and women are welcome at all of these places.


  • Konfor Palas Oteli, Ziya Pasa Bulvari in the very centre. A budget place. Single with en suite is 35TL (summer 2010).
  • Kahvecioglu Otel, on the riverfront, southern side. Free wifi, breakfast, great views from rooms overlooking promenade, central location, friendly staff. -50TL/night and also bugs of just about every genus and kingdom, a real insect enthusiast's dream (september 2012)
  • Simre Hotel, on the riverfront, southern side. Located in the city centre of Amasya, Simre Hotel has a unique Ottoman architectural style. The hotel offers rooms with modern amenities including hydro-massage showers and free Wi-Fi.

Get out

Routes through Amasya
IstanbulBolu  W noframe E  ErzincanErzurum

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