"Bergama it is!" Bergama by June.b
Bergama Travel Guide: 147 reviews and 584 photos
Got tired in Istanbul staying for a week, bought a Metro bus ticket to Bergama. About to buy it at this travel agency in Sultanahmet along the tram track just beside Starbucks café (as the other agency further down the road is closed on Sundays), the guy there may be thinking that I don’t have much idea about fares so he quoted me YTL50..hmmm… sounds like a rip-off, so I headed down to the Otogar anyway am juz biding my time – it’s YTL45, so I bought it... well… juz the same if I will count the fare to and from Otogar, just that the ripping-off idea makes me feel sad, and if I bought it from the travel agent – I will have the guilt of consenting rip-offs.
There are 2 buses to Bergama from Istanbul – 9:30AM and 9:30PM. If I take the morning bus, I will be arriving late evening and nothing could be done upon arrival – than sleeping. So I took the night bus and I could sleep better at the bus which I did. The bus stops several times to pick up passengers at 2 more otogars in Istanbul and the thing I like – the bus loads onto a ferry and you could get out of the bus and enjoy the evening (freezing breeze) of the ocean at night, the ferry has a cafeteria on the 3rd floor.
The trip was fast than the one I took to Safranbolu. It arrived Bergama (passing by Ayvalik) at exactly 7:00AM as promised. But as usual, Metro bus really have the tendency to heat-up a little during the trip making me sweat when the temperature outside is freezing zero.
It stopped at Bergama bus terminal, (DON’T GET OUT HERE!), then it continues to the town central where I got off. I was a little sluggish but I braved the cold of the early morning and searched the pansiyon where I booked the night before. (Athena Pansiyon). I guess, I asked about 4 people before I saw the sign of the pansiyon at the old quarter of the city. Not really very hard to find, juz that, it’s about a kilometer away from where the Metro bus stops.
Bergama is not among the popular highlighted tourist track (Istanbul-Cappadocia-Ephesus-Pamukkale-Antalya-Bodrum, etc…), though it's gaining popularity.
But hey, it would be a big miss not seeing this place if you really have enough time in Turkey. A small town that offers a lot of remarkable sights. Most tourists go to Bergama on a day tour from nearby Izmir or Ayvalik and as far as Istanbul. Yet, staying a couple of nights in Bergama is worth it.
I arrive around 7AM in Athena Pension in the old part of the town and I woke the owner up to find out that I am the only person staying at the pension. Felt like, well, OK I own the whole place but mid-day spoiled that feeling when I woke up from a brief nap I heard english echoing from the common area downstairs -- a couple from Australia, that makes 3 of us now. Two sisters from Berlin came the following day, another two from Korea, a couple from NZ, and 3 locals until the day we left. I almost thought.....
I like Bergama a little more than Canakkale. The town hosts the Ancient City of Pergamum with it’s dramatic hillside ancient amphitheater, countless ruins, some where marvelously preserved and in a really vast area of the whole mountain.
The Red Basilica which is just some meters away from the pension. The Asclepion – believed to be worlds first medical complex and psychiatric center, and other notable sights spread across the town.
The town is a little on the quiet side, particularly the old part, that I could maybe stay there for a longer period next time I’m in town.
- Pros:Lots of sights to see
- Cons:Nothing that I could think of...
- In a nutshell:So much sights so little time...
The best sight in the ancient city of Pergamum. It's huge theater built on one side of the mountain. more travel advice
The Sanctuary of Demeter and its many ruins. more travel advice
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