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Earth : Europe : Turkey : Central Anatolia : Eskişehir
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Revision as of 22:49, 27 October 2010

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 name Eskişehir translates to "The old City" in Turkish, a fitting name as the city fully embraces modern life while still maintaining a sense of tradition and ancient values.


Porsuk River when flowing through Eskişehir

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 Kütahya 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 city is 335 km away from Istanbul, 228 km from Ankara, and 144 km from Bursa.

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 are cool, though, so be sure to bring at least a cardigan with you to wear outdoors.

Get in

By plane

Turkish Airlines has scheduled flights from Istanbul everyday of the week but Saturdays. On some days, there are two flights. Ticket prices vary, depending on the seats sold by the time you make the purchase. [1]

By train

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). Most trains departing from Istanbul (all except those heading for southerly cities of Konya and Adana to be precise), and all trains departing from Ankara and Izmir stop at Central station, from which most of city centre is a short stroll away. Enveriye station, on the other hand, is linked to city centre by minibuses (operating until midnight) which drive along the nearby street. However, most trains with a stop at Enveriye arrive after midnight, so your best bet is to take a taxi if you want to avoid the 30–40 minutes of walk to the 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 TL (the cheapest) and 20 TL (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).

Ankara is connected to the central station of Eskişehir by recently started high speed train service (YHT) seven times a day (which takes 1h 20min and costs 25 TL pp, 15 TL ps), in addition to a wide number of conventional trains (which are mostly heading for Istanbul, Izmir, or other cities to the west of Ankara via Eskişehir).

By car

By bus

Usually about 10TYL per person if you're coming from Ankara, the bus rides to Eskişehir reveal a beautiful view.

By boat

Get around

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.


  • Odunpazarı – This is the only place in Eskişehir where the traditional 19th century houses haven't been torn down in favor of newer buildings.
  • Yazılıkaya – A rock carving left by Phrygians with inscriptions on it. It was a site sacred to Cybele, the mother-goddess of Phrygians, whose cult later arrived as far as Mauritania and Spain in the west and Afghanistan in the east, and all the way between these two extremes. Yazılıkaya is about 90 km south of Eskişehir, near the village also named Yazılıkaya (not to be confused with a site also known as Yazılıkaya in Çorum. Çorum’s Yazılıkaya is a Hittite site). A much smaller replica of it can be seen on the square next to the intercity highway, across the main gate of Yunusemre Campus of Anadolu University.


Eskişehir is known for its hamams (Turkish bath), although there seems to be no particular reason for this fame. There are some baths in the city centre, dating back to Ottoman period. Upon entrance you’ll be asked to put off your shoes and wear the slippers provided. Then you’ll put off all your clothes and wrap yourself in one of the large towels provided. A locker for clothes is provided. Have a through shower and wash your hair before entering the marble hot tub area. Don’t let soapy water leak into the communal pool, if you’ll also have a soapy scrub next to it. Staying more than one hour in the hot section is not advised (especially for the first time) as the very hot air and steam inside can cause the blood pressure to rise considerably. Once you’re done in the hot tub, you’ll be wrapped in the dry room all over your body and head, and asked what drink you’d like. Although never that pricey, the fee of this drink isn’t included in entrance fee, and you don’t have to drink anything if you don’t want to. Usually having a lemon soda is recommended, though, as it’s thought to lower the blood pressure back to normal level.

Entrance is about 5 YTL/person, massage costs a further 5 or 10 YTL (of course it’s not compulsory to have a massage and pay another fee just because you entered the bath if you don’t want to), towels are provided for free, shampoo and soap are provided for 0.50 or 1 YTL each. The price is not hourly, i.e. you can stay inside as long as you like (remember the ‘no-more-than-one-hour-for-the-first-time’ rule, though).

Women and men have separate sections (and enter the building from separate gates).

  • Hot springs (kaplıca) also abound in the surrounding region.


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.

  • Meerschaum souvenirs – Meerschaum is extracted only in Eskişehir province in the world. They are mostly chipped into little statues or high-quality tobacco pipes.


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:

  • Çi börek (or sometimes also spelled çiğ börek) – essentially a Crimean Tatar dish, it reached Eskişehir in the late 19th century when a band of Crimean Tatars was settled in the city. It is a kind of pastry with thin dough walls shaped like a half-moon and filled with finely-minced meat inside. It is cooked in a large pot filled with heated vegetable oil. Crimean Tatars consider eating it with a fork an insult, and they don’t provide any in their restaurants (hands with a paper napkin are used instead).





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.

  • Haller Gençlik Merkezi – Once warehouse of the city for fresh groceries, this elegant building has been renovated and now houses beer-, and winehouses. It is located near the central station.

Several pubs in the riverbank of porsuk and the clubs near train station offers a good night, and also an opportunity to know local students.

Some pubs by genres:

645; Near the riverbank, "Adalar". Offers live hard-rock and alternative after 11 pm. Ares; Few blocks away from riverbank, hosts good local heavy metal groups. Cagdas Bira Evi; Ordinary pub! They have cheap beer, anyway. Glow; A rock-club mixed place. One of a kind, but it doesnt mean this place is awesome.






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.

Stay safe


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.

Get out

  • Kütahya — about an hour away to southwest by several daily trains from Eskişehir, Kütahya is a city known for its faience tradition. It also serves as a jumping off point to Aizonai with the Temple of Zeus, one of the best preserved Roman sites in the region.

Routes through Eskişehir
ÇanakkaleBursa  W noframe E  AnkaraAdana

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