The Çanakkale city, located in the northwestern part of Turkey, is the part of the Marmara Region. Just like Istanbul, the city links between European and Asian (Anatolian) sides and The Dardanelles separated these two parts and connecting the Aegean Sea and the Sea of Marmara. Two parts of Çanakkale separately have their own fame. The Anatolian part has an important reputation because of the archaeological site of Troy which takes part in Canakkale. On the other hand, the European side Gallipoli Peninsula is one of the most-visited touristic points of Turkey because of the war during World War I between allied forces of British and French Armies and the Ottoman forces. More than 250 thousand lost left behind in the war lasting for more than a year. Çanakkale has already been very famous for grandsons of Anzacs who fought at this war and lost many of their soldiers, but especially after the movie Troy in 2004, the reputation of the city has increased day by day during the last decade. Finally, Çanakkale is definitely a must-see place with its history, natural treasures, traditional cuisine, and above all, reasonable prices!
20- Kilitbahir and Kilitbahir Castle
With a 15 minutes short trip, you can arrive in historical Gallipoli Peninsula and there Kilitbahir is going to welcome you like your first arrival point. Kilitbahir is a small village of Eceabat City. Kilitbahir (Kilit-ül Bahr) originally means that the lock of the sea (Dardanelles), and if you go back to take a look for the Dardanelles War, which explains the reason for this name. Finally, Kilitbahir Castle, challenging centuries, which was built by the order of Fatih The Conqueror, is still well and sound and waiting for your visit.
19- Visit Suvla Wine Factory and taste Suvla Wines
Undoubtedly, when the topic comes to talk about wines, most probably French wines take all the credits at first. This fame causes not only because of taste but also a successful advertisement. So we suggest you taste Suvla wines from the thousands year old historical vineyards.
Suvla Wine Factory located on the historical peninsula is definitely worth for a visit. Although Suvla is a young brand wine launched in 2012, in many national and international contests of wine, it won several medals. Just write it down to your must-see places.
18- Şakir’in Yeri (Sakir’s Place)
The time when I was living in Italy, my main and only “cultural shock” was to notice how espresso is important for locals to socialize! Instead of tea? I was just questioning how would it even be possible living without a cup of tea? Italians can live, but we, the people those living in Turkey, cannot!
There are many cafés in Canakkale where you can whether drink tea and other alcohol-free drinks or beer which I really appreciate with Canakkale. However, the main reason why especially love Sakir’s Place is because of the novel “Bil Ki Hayat Virane” -written by İlyas Barut. The main character of the novel continuously sits there while having the snuffles with the cold and still orders the next beer for himself. You should also go there to drink whatever you wish on condition that you be careful with the wind!
17- See the Map figure of Piri Reis in Çanakkale’s Waterfront
Piri Reis is a historically remarkable Ottoman Turkish figure who lived between the 15th and 16th century by the time of the Ottoman Empire. His adventure as a pirate continued as a great sailor and traveller. During his about 80 years-long-life, he travelled so many landscapes of the world and created his unique world map which made historical fame for himself. You can see it in Canakkale’s waterfront with an imagination for a short trip to a time.
16- Denizcilik Müzesi ve Kent Müzesi (Museum of Marine and Museum of City)
While wandering around the city’s narrow streets, you are being fascinated with the city like open-museum. However, when you come across these two museums do not think twice to step inside.
These two museums, which take place in the center of the city, are two other must-see places for those who attached with history. In Marine Museum, which has been serving as a museum since 1982, you can see so many objects were collected from the battlefield. On the other hand, The City Museum is located at the corner of Fetvane Street, again, which turns to Çarşı Street. You can join the permanent and temporary exhibition about Çanakkale and city life.
15- Ancient Trojan City (Troy-Truva)
So far, visiting the ancient city is one of the best things in Çanakkale to do. If we look back to understand how ancient Troy was discovered, we then come across with an only name: amateur German archaeologist Heinrich Schliermann. He started his excavations in 1871.
Although the ancient Troy has thousands of visitors every year, it may be hard to get involved with the city because of the lack of informative models and complicated digging working. However, despite every difficulty, to be able to see the famous city of King Priam and many others flourished here and take part in Homer’s Iliad, you cannot ignore this historical point.
14- See the famous Trojan Horse
Trojan Horse is most probably one of the first things about Çanakkale among many remarkable monuments.
I believe that each potential reader of this text has probably seen the movie Troy (directed by Wolfgang Petersen in 2004, played by some very well-known actors and actresses, -such as Brad Pitt, Diana Kruger, Eric Bana, so on) and so the wooden Trojan horse. After the movie became very famous, the horse was gifted to Canakkale and now it takes its place in Çanakkale’s waterfront with an informative model of the site at the base of the horse. Do not forget to stop here to snap a photo!
13- Chill out in Özgürlük Parkı (Park of Liberty)
As long as you have a curiosity to watch a city from the top, Özgürlük Parkı is the best place to meet your expectation.
Concerts during summer, a wonderful panorama of Dardanelles and Kilitbahir Castle in Peninsula… These beauties suit very well to describe Özgürlük Parkı together with its dominant location on the top of a hill. Either you can go there by taxi, or if you feel strong enough you can even go by walking. For the second option, it may take you about 30 mins. because of its declivitous way which you will need to climb up through the way. But it definitely worth for the final arrival!
12- Anzac Cove (Anzak Koyu)
Anzac Cove, located in Gallipoli Peninsula in Turkey, is a small cove which became popular on 25 April 1915.
Many people don’t know what ANZAC means in spite of its fame. Before explanations on the story of ANZACs, it is better to point out what it means. ANZACs -Australian and New Zealand Army Corps) landed that cove on 25 April 1915. During World War I and Gallipoli Campaign ANZACs lost a large number of casualties.
Turkish Government officially recognized this cove as the ANZAC Cove in 1985 on Anzac Day.
11- Shopping in Aynalı Çarşı (Old Bazaar & Halyo Çarşısı)
It was built by Ilya Halyo by the Sultan’s order in 1889 during the reign of Sultan Abdulhamid II. Ilya Halyo was included in one of the well-known and beloved Jewish families in Çanakkale. During World War I, the old bazaar was damaged by British armies’ bombardment, after almost 50 years, in 1967, it was renovated for the public use.
Aynalı Çarşı (Old Bazaar) is one the first place where all tourists stop by. Compare to Istanbul’s grand bazaars, Aynalı Çarşı is much smaller and cheaper. There is a couple of spice and souvenir shops, where you can buy Turkish eye and magnets which will remind you of your memories in Çanakkale when you return home. Although English is less spoken than Istanbul’s bazaars, we are sure that you will find a way to communicate as people are still lovely.
10- Eat Fish and Bread On The Edge Of Yellow Stream
Having passed the Çanakkale’s waterfront, turning to the left side to Fevzipaşa, and after a while walking through its narrow streets, you will be gotten hungry. So what next? Don’t you want to fix your hunger?
Everyone has a different taste of food, for sure. However, I can’t imagine someone in Canakkale without eating fish and bread! It has such a delicious taste that even made me hungry while writing these lines…
Where the Yellow Stream meets the Dardanelles…
9- Drink in the Pubs’ Street on Yalı Avenue
When the daylight turns into the night, you will then face with the nightlife of Canakkale. With lots of pubs, cafés, concerts, … Pub’s Street is the best place to hang out! Moreover, you will also surprise when you see how cheap prices are.
8- The Old Synagogue
Cultural diversity, acceptance for different believes, tolerance for different one, … These were the foundation of Çanakkale and let us understand better the existence of The Old Synagogue in Çanakkale.
It is the only synagogue which has been able to arrive today. Yaşan Synagogue is about 200 years old and is still known as Mekor Hayim. The building on Büyük Hamam Sokak, also known as the Old Havra Street, was first built as a pavilion and later converted into a synagogue.
The historical cemetery was expropriated as it was within the city center, and part of the city’s Muslim cemetery was allocated to the Jewish burials.
Three sides of the synagogue are surrounded by street and worship can be made only when there are enough visitors because there is no Jewish population resident anymore in the city.
7- Armenian Church
Surp Kevork Armenian Church was built in Fevzipaşa Neighbourhood after 83 Armenian families came to Çanakkale from Iran in 1669. The church, demolished in 1691, was rebuilt in 1873 by the order of Sultan Abdülaziz.
The 150-year-old Surp Kevork Armenian Church is located in Fevzi Pasa Mahallesi, Zafer Meydanı (Victory Square), in the center of Canakkale. The Church has been used as Archaeology Museum and Theatre since 1915, however, it is been open for devotion and visitors.
6- Eat Cheesy Halva (Peynir Helvası) in “Babalık”
Beyond that all the must-see places, if you wish to taste a famous dessert, you should definitely stop by in Babalık, where is located in Fetvane Sokak, and try a portion of Cheesy-Halva.
Here are the ingredients and recipe for those who want to cook!
- Fresh salt-free cheese from 1 kg sheep milk
- 1 glass of water semolina
- 1 egg yolk
- ½ kg. sugar
Recipe of Cheesy Halva:
The cheese is put into the pot before and crushed. Put it over the fire and blend with a wooden spoon until it is melted. 1 egg yolk is put on the cheese which starts to melt and it is continuously mixed with a wooden spoon. The semolina is poured and stirring is continued, the egg yolk with cheese on a light flame is cooked by stirring continuously as it makes the same flour. Powdered sugar is poured on this mixture and continued to mix with a wooden spoon. When the sugar is poured and melted, we mix and boil until the sugar melts. Then poured into the bowls and we serve. You can eat hot yet eating cold is the most favorable.
5- Enjoy the view from Şehir Kulübü (City Club)
Sehir Kulübü, located at the very middle of the seaside, is another ideal spot to enjoy with the view before you step forward.
4- Visit the Ceramic Museum in Esenler Neighbourhood
The historical building which was built in 1905 as the Turkish Bath for Private Soldier (Er Hamamı) in Çanakkale city center was turned into a Ceramic Museum in 2013 after the restoration works of Çanakkale Municipality.
As it can be understood from the title, Ceramic Museum is another must see place in Canakkale. While you are being entranced by the beauty of ceramics, you will also understand better the connection between the city and ceramics. It is located in Cevatpaşa Mahallesi, Kaya Sokak No:33-35.
Ceramic Museum in Esenler Neighbourhood
3- Gallipoli Peninsula (Gelibolu Yarımadası)
Gallipoli Peninsula was declared as the National Park in 1973. The Peninsula has uncountable beauties and historical value due to the Dardanelles Wars during the World War I. This war was one of the most bloody ones which left behind almost half a million dead from both allied forces and the Turkish Army.
Located at the point where the Dardanelles Strait meets the Sea of Marmara, this special place takes its name from the words of the Galli Polis, which means the beautiful city. When you observe and spend some time in Gallipoli, you are no longer being surprised with the reason for this name.
2- Drink a Turkish Coffee in Golf ve Donanma (Golf and Fleet)
After a long and tiresome walk in the city, you should stop by in Golf and Fleet where belongs to Municipality, and there drink a Turkish coffee accompanied by the waves of the Dardanelles.
1- Yalı Han (Inn of Yalı)
It is no coincidence that Yali Han is ranked as the first on the list! As the center of art, literature meetings, theatre and every other kind of cultural activities you can name, Han undoubtedly deserves to be the first!
With a lot of historical treasures and natural beauties, Canakkale is welcoming people from all around the world. Furthermore, the center of the city also offers many opportunities for visitors to discover. Among many of them, Yalı Han, again, can be remarked as the first one. It is located on Fetvane Street, at the very center of the city. You can have a rest and chill under the shadow of more than hundred-year-old great plane trees. Plus, do not forget to taste the delicious cognac.
Short in the long story, Çanakkale is the city of peace, cultural diversity, and historical treasure. The population of university students is nearly one-third of the city’s all population and it seems they are perfectly integrated with the city as local. So what are you waiting for being a local in Canakkale?