Winter Tourism in Turkey: Best Places in Marmara

The Marmara region is one of the most popular regions when it comes to winter tourism in Turkey. It includes famous cities like Istanbul, Bursa, and Kocaeli. This region gets its name from the internal Marmara sea, connecting to the Black Sea and the Aegean Sea through straits. In summers, more than 10 million tourists visit this region. However, if you are planning to visit Turkey during winter, we strongly suggest you experience these beautiful cities in winter. Here are the best places to visit in the Marmara region during winter.


Istanbul, with a 16 million population, is the most popular city in Turkey. Although the city is beautiful in summer, there are many reasons why this city should be on your list for winter tourism in Turkey. First of all, there is no extreme cold weather in Istanbul during the winter. Considering its calmness, it can be a wonderful experience to visit museums without having to wait in long queues.

Topkapi Palace Museum and Istanbul Archaeological Museums will be a great start for your winter tourism in Turkey. If you are lucky, you will witness a mesmerizing view of the historical city under the snow. You can walk from Kabataş to Ortaköy to explore the city. We recommend you to take a break at Beşiktaş, and drink a warm tea in one of the local cafes. You can also take a ferry to Kadıköy while watching the beautiful view of the Bosphorus or walk on the coastline and have a great lunch or dinner in one of the best restaurants in Istanbul.


Bursa is the city of winter with its most popular ski center Uludağ. Due to its closeness to Istanbul (it takes about 1.5 hours to reach Bursa from Istanbul), it is preferred as a perfect winter holiday by many Turkish and international tourists. Uludağ is a very famous mountain (meaning “Holy Mountain” in Turkish) for its ski center, hotels, transportation way. Uludağ is accessible by a cable car that is also one of the landmarks of Bursa.

In fine weather, the cable car takes you up to Uludağ averagely in 25 minutes. It is a fascinating view to see all pine-trees in white. You can have your drink while climbing up. Just like Istanbul, Bursa is also a peaceful place in winters and has its own cultural and historical background. Bursa was the first capital of the Ottoman Empire, so if you ever visit Bursa in winter, do not miss your chance to see historical places and museums with no waiting queues. You can take a trip to the city center and visit Ulu Cami, Yeşil Türbe, Koza Han, and other landmarks.


Being the 10th biggest city of Turkey, Kocaeli is the rising star of recent years of the winter holidays in Turkey. It is known for its unique nature and holiday destinations. Kartepe, the newest Turkish ski center is located in Kocaeli. It is a popular option not only for Turkish people but also for international tourists since the city is very close to Istanbul – it takes about 1 or 2 hours to reach there.

Other than Kartepe, Kocaeli has a natural wonder called Maşukiye. Maşukiye is a paradisiacal holiday destination on the foothill of Kartepe and at the side of Sapanca Lake. During winters the entire forest turns white, making it even more beautiful. You can have breakfast in its wilderness while warming yourself with a heating stove, and probably it will be the best breakfast you’ll ever have. Kocaeli is an industrial city, so there is nothing much to do in the city center, but each of its districts is worth seeing during winters.

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