Eskişehir translates to “Old City”, but that doesn’t correctly describe it. The city has been undergoing a transformation since the beginning of the 21st century that has turned a boring Anatolian university town into an innovative model of progress for the rest of Turkey. With its mix of modern upgrades and traditional Ottoman homes, Eskişehir is an great place to spend a day and the perfect base for exploring nearby smaller towns such as Söğüt, Osmaneli, Bilecik, Seyitgazi, and the Phrygian Valley.
It’s also possible to travel to and from Istanbul and Ankara via high speed rail on a TCDD Yüksek Hızlı Tren. From Istanbul it takes about 2 ½ hours and from Ankara 1 ½ hours.
From the bus terminal, it’s very easy to get into the city center (Çarşı). There’s a light rail service called EsTram and tickets can be bought outside the stops. Individual tickets are 2.70TL (as of November 2016).
I stayed at the SRF Hotel in the modern city center. It was a very nice hotel for about 90TL per night. Rooms were large, comfortable, and clean. They had a very big breakfast buffet in the morning and the staff was helpful. It was only a short walk to many restaurants and shops. I enjoyed my stay there.
I had dinner at one restaurant during my stay in Eskişehir. It turned out to be one of the most memorable and best tasting meals I had in Turkey. The restaurant was called Kasr-ı Nur, and it’s located in a restored Ottoman home in the Odunpazarı district.
I ate the keşli cevizli erişte, which are homemade buttered noodles topped with crushed walnuts and a dried yogurt called keş. They were served with a few dips and bread. To drink, I had an ayran, and finished my meal with a Türk kahvesi (Turkish coffee). Everything was incredible, and the setting added to the experience.