Samsun is a city in the Central Karadeniz region of Turkey.
It is the largest city and port on the Turkish Black Sea coast.
Samsun is not only the most populated city, but also traditional capital of the Black Sea region of Turkey. Samsun is believed to be home of legendary Amazons by the local people and some historians. Samsun has a special place in the republican history of Turkey, as this is where the republic's founder, Kemal Atatürk, has set foot to start the War of Independence in 1919.
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The local airport is called Samsun-Çarşamba Airport (IATA: SZF, ICAO: LTFH), 23 km from the city centre. There are frequent flights from Istanbul, daily from other big Turkish cities and some international (mainly from Germany) flights in summer. There is couple of transportation options from airport to city. The most popular one is using the transfer bus service called Bafas which is much cheaper and slower alternative to others.
The Airport is undergoing maintenance and will be closed until November 2017.
The railway station is closed until the high-speed rail line construction is finished. The rails were removed to be replaced.
The city has a network of trams, buses, dolmuşes, and taxis.
The city travelcard is called Samkart and can be bought at the main tram stops.
The modern tramway, with its 36 stations all along the city between Tekkeköy and University stations, is possibly the most useful option.
Dolmuş are much more frequent than buses - you can always ask the driver about details on where to get off but most of them don't speak any language other than Turkish.
- Replica of SS Bandırma. This is the replica of the ferry that took Kemal Atatürk from Istanbul to the port of Samsun. Inside, there is a collection of photographs of Atatürk and his comrades. You can also watch a short film.
- Atatürk and his comrades. Walking from the bottom of 19 Mayis Blv towards the sea you can see life size models of historical figures; and Atatürk and his comrades alighting from another, partial, replica of the Bandırma at the sea front.
Gazi Museum in Mecidiye is a witness to Atatürk's activities while in Samsun. It collection includes some clothes and personal paraphernalia, purportedly belonging to him.
The Archaeology and Ethnographic Museum near Cumhuriyet Center is dedicated to local history and artifacts, including the golden Amisos Treasure.
- Amisos Hill offers a sea view, Hellanistic era tombs, and cafes in pleasant grounds. From the city centre take either number 1 (red) dolmus west to its last stop or tram to Baruthane: then walk up. Alternatively take the cable car from Batı Park.
- Kızılırmak Delta. This is the delta plain of Turkey's longest river (1355 km source to sea), Kızılırmak (literally "red river", due to its colour). The delta is great for birdwatching (320 species of birds call there home) as well as for fishing.
- Göğceli Mosque, Çay Mahallesi (inside Göğceli cemetery). One of the rare wooden mosques in Turkey, this one dates back to 1206, and its construction does not involve even a single nail (all wooden plates were inserted through each other).
Good for walking or cycling, or you can take a ride in a horse drawn carriage.
In summer locals love to barbeque in the big parks and drink tea from samovars.
Atatürk Park (aka Egg Park as you will see)
Central, small and shady: with the famous statue.
Dogu Park (East Park)
By the sea. There is a lot of tree, basketball and football area and a lot of cafe. From here you could walk up the River Mert.
Batı Park (West Park)
Big, with plenty of kitsch. Also by the sea but the trees have not had much time to grow yet. Take dolmus or tram to Baruthane.
- Boat trip. A trip along the coast which takes 2 hours, on a boat named Samsunum ("my Samsun").
- Horseriding. There is a course in town.
- Fishing. Black Sea is rich in fish varieties.
- Beaches. In Samsun Beach, there are nice cafes.
- Arts. If you are interested in arts, you will find a thing or two that you might like. There is a very large and interesting opera building with weekly shows.
- Festivals. Two festivals are celebrated annually in the city. Some competitions are held during the Bike Festival. On the other hand, concerts of popular singers are to be found during the Festival of OMÜ (Ondokuz Mayıs Üniversitesi, one of the local universities). Both festivals are usually celebrated around the end of June.
- Talk to the locals. For a city of half a million there are very few foreigners: so most people will be happy to chat if you want to. Try the sea front, parks or outdoor cafes. No need to feel lonely if you are travelling on your own: just ask one of the many English language schools if their students need any conversation practice - especially if you are a native English speaker they will welcome you with open arms.
- Paintball. There is a paintball ground in the locality known as Körfez, somewhat far from city centre.
- Go Karting. There is a go kart course in Batıpark (West Park)
- Water Skiing. In summer water skiiers are towed around by an overhead circuit, near Dogupark (East Park)
Samsun is one of the largest cities in the world that produces nuts so if you go there,you should buy nuts.According to researchers,samsun's nuts is very healthy and delicious.Another imtortant thing which you must buy when you go Samsun is molasses.
Pide is Turkish bread stuffed with cheese, mince or with some other ingredients and it is originated from Samsun. Life can be found almost in every major city globally and can be addressed as Stuffed Turkish Bread, Turkish Pizza or just as Pide. You can order two kinds as half and half in most of the restaurants with varieties called Kapali and Acik which is in orderly enclosed or not. There is also an option to put an egg or two in the middle of it.
The local people eat Pide with their families every Sunday almost ritualistically.
These pides are totally unique to the city, and even though you can find pide in different cities it will never taste like the ones in Samsun.
- Destur Restaurant & Banquet Room, kale mahallesi kazımpaşa caddesi no:5, ikadım /samsun 55030 (From Cumhuriyet Square face towards the sea and it is near Vakif Bank to your front left (cumhuriyet meydanı vakıflar bankası atm bitişiği)), ☎ (0362) 333 3380, . Eat traditional food, drink Ottoman sherbert and talk about all the old stuff.
Calikusu--another great restaurant on Istiklal Caddesi (Istiklal Road, commonly known as Chiftlik in Samsun). This restaurant, which does not seem very fancy, offers the best doner in the town for a very reasonable price around 4.75 liras (equal to 2 dollars, or 1.5 sterling). Address:Istiklal Caddesi, No.127
- Venn Butik Otel, Cumhuriyet Mahallesi Adnan Menderes Bulvarı No.325, Atakum, ☎ +90 362 407-00-01/02/03, . Beachfront hotel.
- Samsun Marin Hotel - A boutique hotel in Atakum region of the city. Address: Mimar Sinan mah. Ataturk Bulvari No:202, Atakum. <http://www.samsunmarinotel.com/>
- Samsun Municipality Camping - If you are arriving in Samsun in a motorhome / campervan there is a lovely place to stay down near the water skiing facility in East Park. There is electricity, wifi, hot showers, water hookup and toilets in a secure parking location. In November 2014 the price was 15TL per night. Very friendly english speaking manager. N 41.27052 E 36.37302 url="http://www.campercontact.com/campersite/detail/id/25490"
TTNET wifi at the airport is slower than the local tortoises.
- Amasya (3 hours by train or 2 by coach) to the south is a pleasant riverside city with whitewashed houses and plenty of other historic attractions. Train (7.5 TL single) is the nicest way to travel there: after leaving the outskirts of Samsun in the morning the first hour of the journey is the most scenic; peach orchards followed by a steep green river valley. The train is comfortable with plenty of space: but bring your own snacks or drinks as none are served.
- Sinop (3 hours) to west is a historic city enclosed by preserved ancient walls on what is the tip of Anatolia's northernmost cape.
- Ordu (2.5 hours) to east is on the way to more popular cities and sites of eternally rainy and green Eastern Black Sea.