A good place to start exploring Kastamonu is near Nasrullah Köprüsü, an old Ottoman bridge that crosses over the river through the middle of town. Unfortunately, it’s not fully intact. The ends were destroyed to build the main roads through town.
On the east side of the river is Cumhuriyet Meydanı, a large square that contains the stunning government building, the Kastamonu Valiliği. The centerpiece of the square is a monument to Atatürk that honors the contribution of Kastamonu in the Turkish Independence War.
Nasrullah Meydanı lies to the west of the bridge in the city center. This square contains several historic buildings. The most prominent is the Nasrullah Camii, a mosque built in 1506.
Two 15th century caravanserais are the other historic buildings on the square. The Kurşunlu Han, currently a hotel, was built in 1443. The Aşirefendi Hanı is the other one. The Cem Sultan Bedesteni, a historic workshop built in 1469, is just off the square.
Behind Nasrullah Camii is the Yılanlı Camii, which contains a small Selçuk gate from the original mosque built in 1272, and the Münire Sultan Medresesi, an Islamic school (now a craft market) built in 1746.
Osmanlı Sarayı, the former Ottoman government building from 1915, is also near the center. It now functions as a hotel. The historic Arabapazarı Hamamı, built in 1515, is located across the street.
The city center is full of modern buildings, but once in a while you’ll come across a few impressive Ottoman mansions. With all the restoration work underway during my visit, it was obvious that many of these buildings had been neglected for years, but the owners finally see the potential and have been investing a good amount of money in them. Kastamonu could be a solid tourist destination if the majority of these buildings were restored.