Hans and Bazaars of Bursa

The historic city center of the UNESCO World Heritage city of Bursa is home to several great examples of hans (caravanserais). These two-story rectangular buildings with open courtyards, along with the bazaars, seem to be the blood running through Bursa’s veins.

Most of the hans were built in the 15th century for the silk trade. Each one is full of shops selling every kind of good or souvenir you can imagine, usually with at least one café or restaurant in the center.

The most famous of these hans is probably Koza Han (Cocoon Han), which has an entrance on Koza Parkı. Koza Han was built in 1491.

Koza Hanı in Bursa, Turkey

Koza Hanı

Koza Han in Bursa, Turkey

Koza Han

Koza Han in Bursa, Turkey

Koza Han

Koza Han had the liveliest atmosphere of all the hans. The center is packed with tables and there were several people shopping in the stores, especially for silk products.

Koza Han in Bursa, Turkey

Koza Han

Koza Han in Bursa, Turkey

Koza Han

Koza Han in Bursa, Turkey

Koza Han

Other hans I visited include Balibey Han; Pirinç Han (Rice Han), built in 1508; İpek Han (Silk Han), built in the 15th century; and Fidan Han (Plant Han), built around 1470. While nice to pop into, none of them, except perhaps Pirinç Han, matched the atmosphere of Koza Han.

Balibey Han in Bursa, Turkey

Balibey Han

Pirinç Han in Bursa, Turkey

Pirinç Han

İpek Han in Bursa, Turkey

İpek Han

Fidan Han in Bursa, Turkey

Fidan Han

Fidan Han in Bursa, Turkey

Fidan Han

The hans don’t stop there. Geyve Han, Emir Han, Apolyont Han, Zeytin Han (Olive Han), and Tuzhan (Salt Han), and the Bedesten are also located in the area.

The hans are connected by a maze of bazaars, the biggest ones being the covered bazaars of Uzun Çarşı (Long Bazaar) and Kapalı Çarşı (Covered Bazaar). They run along one long street.

Kapalı Çarşı in Bursa, Turkey

Kapalı Çarşı

Uzun Çarşı in Bursa, Turkey

Uzun Çarşı

Next to Ulu Cami there’s also the Havlucular Çarşısı (Towel Maker’s Bazaar), with several different shops, and the Gümüşçüler Çarşısı, which used to be the Şengül Hamamı.

Gümüşçüler Çarşısı in Bursa, Turkey

Gümüşçüler Çarşısı

After exploring the covered markets, it’s fun to get lost on the other streets. My favorite is Tuzpazarı (Salt Bazaar). You’ll find all kinds of Turkish specialties along with fruits, vegetables, nuts, and honeycomb. Mixed in with all the action are small mosques, hamams, and other buildings. Personally, I enjoyed exploring the bazaars more at night than during the day!

Tuzpazarı in Bursa, Turkey

Tuzpazarı

Tuzpazarı in Bursa, Turkey

Tuzpazarı

Honeycomb at Tuzpazarı in Bursa, Turkey

Honeycomb at Tuzpazarı

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