Earth : Europe : Turkey : Mediterranean Turkey : Lakes District : Burdur
Burdur is a small city with 250.000 inhabitants, 80.000 of whom live in the city center. It is one of the oldest settlements in the world, dating back to 7000 BC. This cosy city offers natural and historical treasures but not much of a nightlife. One day is more enough for the city center for examining the architecture, visiting the museum, meeting with the warm people and tasting the delicious food. Another day should be spend for the surroundings; ancient city, cavern and the lakes. The origin of the name Burdur has several rumors. In Greek mythology, Ulis, escaping from the gods heard Ezostas ("stop here" in Latin) and located here. The translation of the Ezostas (Burada Dur) transforms into Burdur. Another rumor is that the name comes from the Tumulus near the train station, Polydorion. One rumor is that the name is transformed from the word "Limobrama", old name of the region meaning "the land of the lakes". There are at least ten other rumors. Burdur is in the "lakes district" of Turkey and is an important habitat for birds and bird migration routes. One important example is the Dikkuyruk (Ruddy Duck), %66 of the entire world's Ruddy Duck population stays here in the winter. The plate number of the city is 15, the phone area code of the city is 0248.
Although Burdur has an airport (Süleyman Demirel Airport, also serves city of Isparta), there are few and only domestic flights. It is very unlikely to find a flight to suit your needs considering the low frequency of flights and odd hours. Instead, trying the neighbor city's Airport will be a wiser solution since Antalya has the second busiest airport of Turkey with nearly half a million domestic and international flights per year.
By Bus or By Car
Burdur is situated on the high way leading to/from Istanbul – Antalya and to/from Ankara – Antalya. Each car heading to Antalya coming from Marmara, Eagean and Anatolia regions are passing through the city. It is quite simple to find a bus to Burdur, also quite hard to miss the city by your own car. A bus ticket from Antalya costs 15 TL and the time of arrival is 2 hours (122 km).
Burdur is not a big city so walking is advised to tour all of the city. The city center has mainly few main roads crossing each other and there is no need for a public transportation. If needed, dolmus (little buses) may be used. It is hard to pick a taxi from the roads so calling a taxi is advised. The taxis are secure and drivers almost never try to cheat, but the rates are relatively more expensive than other cities.
Burdur people are very kind and helpful for directions but there may be some communication problems with elderly people. Try to approach youngsters to communicate in English. If lost, asking for the "Meydan" (town square) will direct you to the center of the city.
Burdur Museum is a must see, it offers more than you can expect from such a little city. The museum is awarded a special prize from European Museums Forum in 2008. You may either buy a ticket or buy a Museum Card which is 4-5 times of a regular ticket price. A museum card is valid for a year and allows the bearer to enter most museums for free. Beside the museum, there is a little antique store with not much to offer but still, it is worth a look. (Bargaining is advised and keep in mind that some old coins cannot be taken out of the country: Even carrying them may violate laws.)
A traveller should visit Yukarı Pazar (Upper Bazaar) which is around the Ulu Cami ( the most remarkable mosque in Burdur) Although there is too little to buy as a souvenir, the atmosphere is lovely. You will feel like travelling in time, 30 years before present time. If accidently the bazaar day is catched, incredibly tasty fruits should be bought without hesitation. In the mid-day, you may encounter the part of the funeral ceremony and final prayer for the deceased in Ulu Cami. Although it is a depressing sight, if you are still interested, you should avoid mixing with the crowd and taking photographs. No one will offend you, but it is considered to be rude.
Burdur offers local Copper Works, mainly kitchen ware. The prices depends on the item, weight and detail.
Local handicraft is the Alaca, woven handiworks starts form 15 TL for a scarf and goes up. It makes a good present with a reasonable price and light weight.
Sipsi is a pipe like local instrument and has a unique, low pitch voice. It can be a rare item for a musical instrument collection. With a music CD including local folk music, it can be a valuable present.
Burdur Şiş: Nice juicy meatbals cooked in shape of a stripe. A standard portion is composed of 3-5 stripes and served with pita bread. Easy to find, a portion costs 6-10 TL. The waiter usually asks if you want one and a half portion, it is your call to accept or not. The price is simply multiplied with 1,5 or a little discount is executed. (If one portion is 7 TL, 1.5 portion is probably 10 TL)
Kıymalı Pide: Long thin pizza with minced meat, generally served with ayran (liquid yogurt) and salad. You should eat fast, it is delicious when hot. If you are vegetarian, you can order pide with cheese (peynirli pide) which is as good. A portion costs 6-10 TL, 1.5 portion rule is also valid.
You can find pide and şiş on most restaurants. Öz Sarı (for pide) and Emniyet (for şiş) are good restaurants but they are %20-30 more expensive than others. Both are on the main street of the Burdur and you can not miss. After the main dish, you should try the sweets, especially Kadayıf if possible. If you order Kadayıf, the waiter asks if you want cream on top of it. The cream affects the price. A portion of kadayıf usually costs 4-6 TL and cream adds 1-2 TL on top of it.
Tahinli Pide : A local and salty pizza/pastry that can only be found on Burdur, made with Sesame Oil.
Tipping has no determined rules, leaving the coins with a maximum of 5 TL is enough if you are satisfied with the service.
Kökez Yoğurdu: The yogurt from the village of Kökez, which has its own specific taste. Hard to find since it runs out at 6.00 AM in the morning, still it is worth a try. (Warning: The bacteria level of milk products may be different in different countries and if your treshold is low, you may get diarrhea even if no one else is affected)
Ceviz Ezmesi: Wallnut pastry, a diamond shaped sweet that can only be found in Burdur. Made with %70 wallnut and %30 sugar by volume. It makes a good present since it is local and will stay fresh for weeks.
Helva: Again, a local sweet made with boiled grape juice (pekmez) and a complementary ingredient. You can buy helva with walnut, helva with hashish (don't expect to get high), and helva with cannabis/hemp (still, don't expect any weird effects). Price of helva is around 30 TL/kg and you can fill boxes starting from 250 gr. The vendor will insist to make you taste before you buy. Don't miss the chance since it will effect your purchase. Helva makes a good present and will be fresh for a long time, but it is advised to cool it in a refrigerator for a few minutes before serving in hot weathers.
Kayım Ice Cream: Kayım is a family who makes ice cream for decades. With the same name, different ice cream stores with different owners can be encountered. Upper Kayım, which is in the Upper Bazaar is advised. It is delicious, cheap but the choices are scarce. Try all flavours, especially fruit flavours which has unique taste.
Other Local Tastes: There are some other local tastes that can not be purchased like Katmer (a kind of pastry made with either sesame oil or hashish), Saç Böreği (Pastry with minced meat) and Kabak Tatlısı (pumpkin dessert. You should be invited to a house to taste those...
Sadly, Burdur is not famous for its night life. Although there are some bars, it is wiser to stick to the Hotel's bar.
There are no youth hostels in Burdur.
There are a few cheap hotels near bus station, but do not expect much. They were established mainly for the relatives of the soldiers in the nearby fleet and since the number of soldiers in the fleet is greatly reduced, they are open for bargaining.
If you can spare a little bit, there are some hotels near the Salda Lake with a good view.
The recent hotel with 4 stars is Grand Ozeren, near the stadium. The rooms are good and you can use the Sauna and Turkish Bath. The prices (including breakfast) are 130 TL for a single room and 220 TL for a double one.
Burdur has the telephone code of 0248, used for intercity calls. For local calls, the telephone code is not used.
Prepaid SIM cards can be bought at Vodafone, Avea or Turkcell for similar prices.
There are not many wi-fi areas but most of the cafes have wireless service.
Following telephone numbers may be useful (Although there is no certainty that you may encounter an English Speaking Person) :
Burdur Government : 0248 233 10 79
Burdur Municipality : 0248 233 53 90
Provincial Department of Culture and Tourism : 0248 232 22 10
Bus Station : 0248 233 53 90
Airport : 0248 233 19 30
Emergency Numbers (No telephone code, no charge is applied, you can use phone booths without any payment)
Police : 155
Gendarme : 156 (If you are outside the city center)
Burdur 360 : The Governorship's official site to promote Burdur (360 degree photos from all over the city) : http://www.burdur360.com/
The Burdur Governorship : http://www.burdur.gov.tr/en/
Tourism and Cultur directorate of Burdur (In Turkish) : http://www.burdurkultur.gov.tr/ana-sayfa/