Bursa is one of my favorite destinations, especially in the winter. Bursa with its thermal waters and Uludag, the ski capital of Turkey, is visited by many locals in the winter.
Bursa is also a good summer destination. Bursa is cooler than Turkey’s south coast, and Bursa is full of things to see and historical venues. Also, this city has excellent cuisine.
Bursa is famous for being one of the capitals of the Ottoman Empire and a major trade hub between Europe and Asia.
Bursa is known for its silk, automotive industry, Uludag, Iskender Doner, historical shopping centers, skiing resorts, and its unique cuisine.
Before the pandemic, in 2018, 1 million 625 thousand 275 tourists visited Bursa.
Millions of people come to Bursa every year, and these people leave the city with good memories without any bad experiences. This guide aims to help you be one of them.
As a Turkish local, I will give you a few tips on safely visiting this magical city with maximum fun and zero hassle.
Is Bursa Safe? How Safe is Bursa?
Bursa is one of the safest cities in Turkey. The city hosts many film festivals, opera, ballet, jazz, and modern dance events.
Bursa is a multicultural city, welcoming to all. Bursa also consistently ranks as one of the safest cities in Turkey.
Bursa is a very developed city providing higher than Turkish average public services. Even though it has a population of 3.5 million, Bursa offers high quality of life at way lower prices than Istanbul.
Bursa’s silk has been famous since Medieval Times. In those early ages, China and Japan had a monopoly on silk production. Yet, Bursa’s merchants somehow learned the secrets of silk production. Today, Bursa is one of few places that silk is produced outside of Far East Asia.
For this reason, trade and art production has been a major part of Bursa city.
Bursa is also one of the industrial centers of Turkey. Most of the Turkish automotive production is located in Bursa.
And, there is the Uludag, a volcanic mountain which is one of the best places for skiing in Turkey.
Bursa is a vibrant city and safe tourist hub with its own culture, art, and diverse activities to enjoy during your visit to Bursa.
Bursa Safety Facts
Bursa is the 4th most populated city in Turkey, located in the Asian part of Turkey.
The population distribution is diverse. Bursa hosts people from many cultures. Recently, many refugees settled in Bursa. Yet, the city welcomes all.
Bursa is a large city. The most common crimes in Bursa are simple injury, insult, and threat. Yet, the crime rate is very low in Bursa.
9 Essential Safety Tips for Bursa
Although its population is increasing rapidly, Bursa is a reliable city. Bursa is more secure than other famous European cities. However, some simple tricks can make your trip even more trouble-free.
So, whether you are a solo traveler or with your family, I have compiled a list of useful tips accordingly to make your trip safer.
1. You can witness bears on the outskirts of Uludag Mountain. It is common for bears to ask for food from the locals in the winter. Do not be scared; stay calm and just keep your distance.
2. There is a historic Grand Bazaar in Bursa, just like in Istanbul. Most merchants are honest, yet especially in carpet sales, some scams can happen.
3. Go to well-known places. You can ask locals if in doubt. Use your common sense.
4. Act naturally, locals are your friends, and most are open to chatting with you.
Yet, the rate of Turkish people speaking English is not very good. Those who can speak good English may be hesitant to speak English.
But if you try to speak Turkish, they will try to speak English. I recommend that you know basic Turkish phrases before you go.
5. If you have any doubts or need real help, you may directly ask for help from the local shop owners. Local people feel obligated to help, and also local people believe it’s their duty to keep their neighborhoods safe and civil.
6. If you are coming to Bursa for the first time for a short period, stick with the touristy areas. These areas are fantastic for a short trip. Unknown places may not be worth the trouble.
7. If you are coming to Bursa in winter for skiing, do not come with your own car, use tour agents. The roads of Uludag are a bit rough, and driving can be difficult.
8. Most Turkish taxi drivers are honest, yet scams are common. Taxi drivers may mislead. Insist taxi drivers to use the meters, and they are legally obligated to use taximeters.
9. I wouldn’t recommend talking politics to Turks. Turkish people are very interested in political issues and passionate about their views. Politics is the number one thing you should not discuss with the Turkish people. A friendly conversation could easily turn into a debate.
Is Bursa Safe at Night
I love to dine out in Bursa. Arap Şükrü Street is my favorite destination. You can taste Turkish raki and many Turkish side dishes in high-quality restaurants and taverns in Arap Şükrü Street.
The city is also active during the night. Bursa is a safe and easy place at night.
There is no need to worry, especially if you are in the center.
Is Bursa Safe to Travel for Solo Female Travelers?
You would encounter no problem in Bursa during the daytime as a solo female traveler. Turkey is generally a woman-friendly country, and Bursa is safer than most cities.
Yet, walking alone on a deserted street at night can be a nuisance. Please use taxis or public transport at night.
Is Bursa Safe to Travel for Families?
I think Bursa is one of the Turkish cities where the answer to this question is clearest.
Bursa is one of the cities where you will enjoy it most with your family. The best family attraction in Bursa is Bursa Uludağ Ski Center.
Bursa is a place where you can enjoy shopping, skiing, thermal pools, and a glass of wine near the fireplace.
Kids will also love natural healthy sweets made with dried fruits.
Is Bursa Safe for Students?
In my personal opinion, if I were to be a student again, I would go to one of the Universities in Bursa rather than other cities in Turkey.
Bursa is neither as expensive as Istanbul nor as boring as other Anatolian cities for a student. Therefore, Bursa is an excellent option for Turkish students and international students.
According to the data, there are 625,700 students in Bursa. Bursa provides many events and activities for young people.
Is it Safe to Drive in Bursa?
Driving in Bursa can be problematic because of the high congestion areas in the city. Especially in the morning and at the end of the workday, traffic jams are common.
Drive defensively because drivers may drive with unpredictable behavior.
The road conditions are near excellent throughout the district, and outside the city center, it can be pleasurable to drive with scenic roads.
If you wish to learn, check my articles on
How is Healthcare in Bursa?
Bursa has adequate health services for its population. In Bursa, there are many private and public health services to choose from.
Bursa has 42 Hospitals and 953 Public Clinics.
According to UNDP, Turkey has a High Human Development on par with other industrial nations. Bursa has even better health services than other cities of Turkey because Bursa has one of the highest living standards in Turkey. [Source] [Source 2]
Dangerous Parts of Bursa
Most of the Bursa is safe, and you will intentionally need to search for unsafe parts of Bursa.
Yavuz Sultan Selim District is Bursa, known to be the most dangerous neighborhood in Bursa. Nothing to see in this area, so it is unlikely you will visit this part of the city.
Is Tap Water in Bursa Safe to Drink?
Tap water is clean and safe to drink. The water of Bursa comes from Uludag, a volcanic mountain with a high altitude, and natural springs coming from this mountain provide very clean water, and the water tastes good.
Normally, drinking tap water is not recommended in Turkish cities, but this is not valid for Bursa.
The bottled water Erikli, which you can buy anywhere in Turkey, is water from Bursa’s natural springs. In other words, bottled water that you drink in Turkey is Bursa’s tap water.
You can check the article on the safety of Turkish tap water to learn more.
Security Risks (Terrorism) in Bursa
Bursa is home to 2 million Turkish people and thousands of refugees, yet it is considered safe.
There is a rare possibility that Turkey and Bursa may be a target of a terrorist organization. There has not been any armed conflict around this region since the Coup of 1982.
Bursa is approximately 1000 km away from the conflict zones of the Middle East.
Please do not let this rare possibility ruin your trip. Bursa is a safe and fantastic place to experience.
Natural Disaster Risks in Bursa
In Bursa, there are no major natural disaster risks. Small earthquakes are common but have nearly zero effect on daily life.
The weather can be hot in summer, and dehydration can be a problem. Carry bottled water with you.
In addition, climate change affecting the whole world has caused abnormal rainfall in Bursa. This can create floods in the city center, but this happens very rarely.
Landslides are the most common type of disaster in Bursa’s rural areas. Landslides mostly occur in rural areas of Inegol and Gemlik, and they are not a threat to tourists.
Is Food Safe in Bursa?
Food is safe and legendary in Bursa. Bursa has many high-quality restaurants and many dishes specific to this city. Bursa is famous for its food, and you will not have trouble finding delicious, fresh, and tasty food.
Bursa cuisine has many types of meat, vegetable, seafood, or mixed dishes. Bursa style Doner is also a must-try, and it is known as Iskender or Bursa style doner in Turkey.
Turkish institutions regulate all restaurants and food ingredients. Just use your common sense and, if in doubt, ask Turkish locals for the best place around.
Slight warning, Turkish food may be a bit oily for your taste. This may create a problem for you if you are not used to it. Yet, you may ask the restaurant to serve with less oil.
Check my other guide if you wish to learn more about Turkish Food and What to expect in Turkish Cuisine.
Are Taxis Safe in Bursa?
Taxis are generally safe in Bursa. Unlike other metropolitan cities, as per my personal experience, taxi drivers are more polite in Bursa.
Taxis may ask for higher fees for Uludag in winter. This is against the rules, but I can understand their request because the road is usually full of snow and hard to drive when you travel to skiing resorts in the Uludag mountain.
I also searched complaints about Bursa taxi drivers on Turkish websites, but I could only find one taxi complaint in Bursa. The complaint was about making the road longer and overcharging. Yet, it was not a serious incident.
Check my other guide if you wish to learn more about Taxis in Turkey and the cost of taxis in Turkish cities, common taxi scams, and more tips.
How Much Taxis Cost in Bursa?
The starting fee of taxis in Bursa is 5 TL (0,60 USD), and you will pay an additional 4 TL (0,48 USD) per kilometer. Regardless of the distance, the minimum fee is 10 TL (1,25 USD) regardless of the distance.
The Turkish Lira value will change due to inflation, but you can always calculate a rough estimate of your taxi travel.
You can check the distance with Google maps and use the USD numbers above to calculate your rough taxi fare.
Example cost taxi calculation.
A 20 km taxi ride in Bursa will cost you around 10,2 USD. 0,60 (starting fee) plus 9,6 USD (20 km x 0,48) for 20 km.
Taxi fees do not change day or night or for any other reason.
Last Word About Travel Warnings about Turkey
Remember, these warnings are not prepared city-specific, and they are written for Turkey as a whole.
I do not agree with them, especially for Bursa, because I believe they lack most likely and crucial advice and exaggerate rare possibilities.
I tried to give you a local’s perspective on safety in Bursa city. Hope you liked it.