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Planning on visiting Bursa with your children? Bursa does not usually rank high on lists of kid-friendly Turkish cities for family travelers. With UNESCO’s recognition of Bursa as the birthplace of the Ottoman Empire, Bursa’s claims to fame largely revolve around Ottoman history and culture. This might not sound highly exciting for your children — unless, of course, your family is into Ottoman history and looking for a rich historical and cultural experience.
Having said that, there are some good Bursa attractions for families with kids, and it is certainly possible to keep the children entertained for a few days while in Bursa. Here are a few top Bursa attractions that we recommend for families traveling with children.
If you’re in Bursa during the warmer months, a trip up Uludağ on the cable car (teleferik) can be good family fun. At Sarıalan, for example, your family can enjoy a good self-grilled meal, go for a walk in the meadow, play in the stream, stay in a cabin in the woods, rent bicycles or all-terrain vehicles, or go for a ride in an off-road 4×4.
Bursa Zoo and Botanical Gardens
Bursa’s zoo (hayvanat bahçesi) is a nice little park in the city’s Soğanlı neighborhood. Well curated and easy to navigate, the zoo houses animals from all over the world in habitats that allow visitors to get up close and personal.
Adjacent to the zoo is the city’s botanical gardens (Botanik Park). This large, wide-open green space consists of a number of gardens featuring plants and trees from the world over. Visitors can have a meal at one of the many cafés, play on the playgrounds, and rent bicycles for a ride around the park.
If you’re looking for a good family-friendly park closer to the city center than Botanik Park, visit Kültürpark on the west edge of downtown. Here, your family can spend the better part of a day enjoying picnic areas, playgrounds, cafés, paddle boats, bumper boats, sidewalk vendors, and a small amusement park. You can also walk through the small archaeology museum and visit the monkey exhibit.
AquaPark and Star Park at Podyum Park
Podyum Park is an open-air entertainment area in Bursa’s Nilüfer district consisting of restaurants, pubs, shops, a cinema, a garden, a playground, and a tennis club. Podyum Park’s biggest family-oriented attractions are Star Park amusement center and AquaPark aquatic center. You and your kids can spend an afternoon at the water park, grab a good meal, and then catch a film or enjoy the evening at the amusement park.
Bursa Science and Technology Center
Bursa Bilim ve Teknoloji Merkezi is a recently constructed, child-focused, hands-on science and technology experience. The center seeks to offer visitors quality, engaging, interactive learning opportunities. With nearly 270 exhibits in 14 galleries, as well as laboratories, simulations, education rooms, cinema rooms, and a planetarium, the science center offers a learning experience for everyone.
Bursa’s museums are small, interesting, and easy to navigate. In one day, for example, you can visit the city history museum, the carriage museum, the clock museum, the archaeology museum, the energy museum, the textile museum, and the immigration museum. At most museums, the entry fee is small or even free. Visiting Bursa’s museums is usually a highly enjoyable experience for our children. One caveat: in most museums, the signs and placards are written in Turkish, not in English.
A good way to spend a nice weekend morning in Bursa is by making a visit to Haflinger Çiftliği. Located on the edge of town, Haflinger offers an excellent Turkish breakfast in their farmyard café. After breakfast, your kids can ride horses in the corral under the skillful watch of trained farmhands. It’s a nice family experience.
That’s probably more than enough to keep your active family entertained for a few days in Bursa. Of course, if your family is interested in Ottoman history and Turkish culture, Bursa is a great place to be. In that case, we recommend that you spend some time in Cumalıkızık and consider following some of our self-guided Bursa walking tour.
Looking for more? See our Top Ten Things to do in Bursa on Holiday.