Kütahya is not on the tourist trail but it’s an interesting city nonetheless. I was surprised by how much I enjoyed it. It’s a pleasant city, the people are friendly, and there are plenty of things to see to make for a busy day, including restored Ottoman homes, historic mosques, museums, and a ruined castle.
Kütahya is located in Anatolia, about seven hours by bus from Istanbul. I stayed there for four days, using it as a base for a short day trip to the ruins of Aizanoi and longer day trips to the cities of Uşak and Afyon. It’s also just an hour from Eskişehir. The city is famous for ceramic tiles and pottery, and as the ancestral home of the great Ottoman traveler, Evliya Çelebi.
I arrived at the bus terminal where I took a free transfer to the city center. From there, I bought local bus tickets at a corner store and found the correct bus to my hotel, which was a bit out of the way. The tickets are one-time use cards that you scan as you get on the bus.
Since Kütahya isn’t really on the tourist trail, the hotel choices online are geared more towards business travelers, and unfortunately nothing inexpensive. It’s probably better to try your luck once you get there. There are a couple of mom and pop hotels on the main strip that don’t look too expensive as well as some big name chains.
I ended up staying at the Grand Çınar Hotel. The hotel was fair. I expected better for the price. The room was comfortable and clean, which is the best thing about it. Wifi barely worked in the room and I had to spend a lot of time in the lobby. Breakfast was terrible. And the worst thing was the location. The map was misleading and made it look a lot closer to the city center than it is – in the middle of a residential area and about a 15 minute bus ride to the city center. There’s a bus stop right in front of the hotel, but the buses are usually jam packed and uncomfortable.
Getting around Kütahya in the city center is easily done on foot. All the attractions are pretty much located in a small area. The bus system is very easy to use, and you’ll be able to use it to get to the bus terminal for any day trips. On Atatürk Bulvarı, you can take the #6 bus to the otogar (bus station).
As far as food, I didn’t encounter anything special and ended up eating kebabs or pide most of the time. There are a few nice restaurants I’d like to try on a return trip.
I don’t have much else to say about Kütahya other than it’s very safe and everyone I encountered was friendly and helpful.