Located at the junction of the borders of Turkey, Greece and Bulgaria, vibrant and distinctive Edirne is a popular destination for travelers who want a little break from bustling Istanbuland find out how the Turkish outback is doing. True, to call the city of 150,000 that way would be a great slyness. Especially when you consider that in the Middle Ages it was the capital of the Ottoman Empire, and later – its most important economic and military-political center. Edirne almost always had a border status, so many times it fell into historical vicissitudes, repeatedly radically changed its ethnic composition. All these events, as if layered on top of each other, left behind a rich architectural heritage, some examples of which are even included in the UNESCO World Heritage List. Check jibin123 for customs regulations and visa requirements of Turkey.
How to get to Edirne
From Istanbul to Edirne – 235 km, so it is most convenient to get through the capital of Turkey. From the airport. Ataturk you need to get to the Essenler bus station. To do this, you need to take the metro and get to the Otogar station (line 1), from where buses leave for Edirne every hour. On the way, they spend 2.5 hours, following the beautiful track without stopping. You can check the schedule and buy tickets at the office. website (in English) of the bus carrier Metro. Transfer to Edirne from Istanbul airport costs 55-70 TRY. The prices on the page are for September 2021.
Once Edirne was one of the stops of the Orient Express. Today, the city’s railway station is mostly empty, with only one train arriving here daily from Istanbul. Schedule – at the office. website (in English) of the railway carrier TCDD.
Almost all the most interesting things in Edirne are within walking distance. Hiking is facilitated by an absolutely flat terrain. But if something happens, buses will come to the rescue, however, they do not run very often.
There are several taxi services in the city, a trip within the city will cost 15-25 TRY. Parking is mostly free, but there are several large paid guarded parking lots. There are a couple of bike rental shops in the city. Bikes can also be rented at some hotels.
Edirne has an excellent choice of hotels located both in the city and in the surrounding area. But most accommodation options are located in the city center. It is best to settle in the area of the Old Mosque (Eski Kamiyi), the Selemiye Mosque and the Ali Pasha Bazaar – all the sights will be nearby.
A standard room in a five-star hotel with a spa complex is offered for 360 TRY with breakfast per day. A night in a 4 * hotel will cost 220-260 TRY, and in a 3 * hotel – 250 TRY. The city also has enough small “starless”, but very decent hotels – on average, accommodation in them costs 130-250 TRY. There are a couple of hostels in Edirne, a bed will cost 89 TRY per day. Apartments are rented for 170-270 TRY.
What to bring
Edirne is known for its fruity soaps. Moreover, it is not used for its intended purpose (although it is also great for washing), but as a decoration and air freshener – it fills the room with a pleasant, unobtrusive aroma for several months. Also, as a souvenir, you can bring “badem ezmesi” – almond paste. Another unusual gift is a broom. The city has a rich tradition of making them; decorated with ornaments, brooms are even given to newlyweds.
All hotels can be bought in shops on the Sharachlash pedestrian street next to the Selemiye mosque.
Cuisine and restaurants
The culinary pride of Edirne is chiyash. Veal liver is rolled in flour, fried in a cauldron full of vegetable oil until golden brown and served with very hot dried peppers and ayran. The dish has such an attractive smell that it conquers even those who treat the liver with coolness. Chiyash is served both in restaurants and in small chiyashchi eateries as fast food.
Another dish that can be found in many establishments in Edirne is “pilich”, fried chicken. This food, like “chiyash”, is universal – it is offered in cafes and eateries. On average, dinner in a good restaurant will cost 40-45 TRY per person without alcohol, in a small family bistro you can eat for 15-25 TRY.
Most of the most interesting places in the city are concentrated in its central part. True, the northwestern quarters are considered central. The main symbol of the city is the Selemiye Mosque (Mimar Sinan St.). The temple is built on top of a hill, so it seems even bigger than it actually is. The creation of the famous Ottoman architect of the 16th century, Mimar Sinan, was included in the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2011. By the way, the Blue Mosque in Istanbul is almost an exact copy of Selemiye. The giant dome with a diameter of 31 m was considered the largest in the world for several centuries, and the minarets 71 m high were second only to the Delhi Qutub Minar (72 m).
The mosque has 999 windows, which, according to Sinan, symbolized the perfection of Allah. The dome and walls inside are decorated with calligraphy and geometric details in pink and blue. There is a small museum in the courtyard, admission is free.
Next to Selemiye is the Uch Sherefeli Mosque (Sabuni quarter). This temple is notable for the fact that each of its 4 minarets has a unique appearance. One of them has balconies – the name of the mosque is translated as “Three balconies”. The interior is a real celebration of color. All domes, central and small, are painted differently. Another temple worth visiting is the Old Mosque, located across the street from Selemiye. It is the smallest, but also the oldest of the three central mosques. The temple is known for its decoration with numerous calligraphic inscriptions.
Once Edirne was part of ancient Thrace, so a huge number of valuable artifacts of that era were found in its vicinity. Almost all of them are exhibited in the local Archaeological Museum (Kadyrpasha Sokak, 7). Its main treasures are a prehistoric dolmen and a reconstructed Thracian hut in the courtyard.