"Ottoman hosts or ghosts?" Top 5 Page for this destination Safranbolu by Tijavi

Safranbolu Travel Guide: 102 reviews and 325 photos

Istanbul aside, Safranbolu was the most touristy place I've been to (complete with Japanese and Korean package holidaymakers). The whole town thrives on tourism with restored Ottoman houses converted to pansiyons, markets awash with souvenir items, and various other shops catering to tourists' needs. In fact, it was the least hospitable place I've visited, beating even megalopolis Istanbul.

Safranbolu's major tourism asset is the well-preserved old Ottoman village of Carsi - a World Heritage site. Traipsing through Carsi's narrow cobbled streets takes you back in time when the town was a favorite haunt of affluent Turks seeking refuge from central Anatolia's biting winter. Safranbolu's location on the meeting point of three valleys adds a dramatic effect to the whole old Ottoman picture (the location also shields the town from harsh winter winds).

Many of the old Ottoman homes have been lovingly restored and converted to pansiyons. In fact, the main highlight of my visit was staying in one of such homes. But there was an eerie feel to it. I wouldn't say it was haunted, but it felt you are being watched as you move around. The creaking wooden floors didn't help either.


Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Authenticity of main attraction - old Ottoman houses
  • Cons:Very touristy
  • In a nutshell:Spooky!
  • Last visit to Safranbolu: May 2006
  • Intro Updated Jun 14, 2006
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Reviews (8)

Comments (8)

  • Trekki's Profile Photo
    Oct 18, 2009 at 1:09 AM

    Looks lovely and if the bus loads are there only on weekends, it is a good idea to come during the week. I love spooky experiences but might ruin my bank account because I love (the image of) buying old houses which need love and restoring :-)

  • DSwede's Profile Photo
    Oct 14, 2008 at 1:11 PM

    Thankfully not logging in at ungodly hours... the Caribbean is treating me well so far. Like the recounting of your first raki experience... amazing when a clear alcohol mixes with clear water to make a white drink!

  • matt10gonzalez's Profile Photo
    Nov 7, 2007 at 9:16 PM

    Ooohh!! Really? I thought it wasn't touristy because on the map, it looks out of the way! Hahaha! Looks like I was wrong!

  • toonsarah's Profile Photo
    Oct 14, 2007 at 1:56 AM

    Sounds a fascinating place to visit, despite all the tourists, and the B&B looks so wonderful it would be worth braving the ghosts for!

  • kokoryko's Profile Photo
    Aug 10, 2007 at 1:46 PM

    Ooops I almost wanted to go on another page after your intro! Touristy, but the place looks nice, with all these half timbered houses. And yes, hospitality is priceless in these areeas and further East. I liked to read your pages.

  • deecat's Profile Photo
    Mar 18, 2007 at 10:20 AM

    What a joy to read your fascinating insights into Safranbolu and area. Meeting the university students and the kind tinsmith made for a great read. The Old Ottoman B&B description is priceless. Hidirlik Parki was excellent. Super travelogue.

  • norain's Profile Photo
    Jul 3, 2006 at 4:30 AM

    nice pages :)

  • Arkeolog's Profile Photo
    Jun 22, 2006 at 5:49 AM

    beautiful shots of old houses and traditional streets. another great page here. congrats


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