Having a history dating back to 1200s BC, Bolu has long been the center of attraction due to its nature and climate. The Phrygians dominated Bolu until the 6th century BC, then by the Persians. In 336 BC, Alexander the Great captured Bolu, and later, the Kingdom of Bitinia was established in and around Bolu. In 1324, the Ottoman captured it.
Acting as a bridge connecting İstanbul and Anatolia since ancient times, Bolu neighbors Karabük, Zonguldak, and Düzce on the north, Sakarya and Bilecik on the west, and Eskişehir and Ankara on the south.
Climate and Local Cuisine
With an average altitude of 1000 meters, the city has an extremely mountainous and wooded landscape. In general, the climate of the Black Sea is dominated by the number of rainy days in the city. The city is rich in terms of flora, so meals consisting of vegetable and regional herbs are commonly used in the cuisine there. It is necessary to explain the cuisine of Bolu in special brackets. It is one of the cities that train the most famous cooks in our country. The Mengen district is especially known for the cooks who trained there. Even in the Ottoman times, delicious foods that decorated the palace tables were the works of Bolu cooks. The cuisine of Bolu includes hundreds of different authentic dishes, including the popular yoghurt-soup, Mengen pilaf, sugar beet compote, palace halva, and Turkish pancake with pumpkin. Further, Bolu Beyi dessert and pasha pilaff are authentic dishes that you should definitely taste.
Places to Visit
With its rich nature, lakes and national parks, Bolu also hosts the important historic monuments from the Ottoman times. The best places to be visited in Bolu are listed below:
- Yedigöller National Park: Yedigöller National Park, consisting of 7 different lakes, is 42 kilometers away from Bolu. Different species of trees, plants and birds are present in Yedigöller, which is one of the most beautiful geographical places in Turkey. The national park has great camping areas and is available for walking.
- Abant Lake: Located at an attitude of 1225 meters, the lake covers a 125-hectar area. The natural environment around the lake is fed by the underground waters and is in high demand due to its cool weather, especially in the summer. It is an ideal area for sports, photos, and bird watching.
- Kartalkaya Ski Center: Located south of Bolu, Kartalkaya is one of the most popular ski centers of Turkey.
- Gölcük Natura Park: This lush paradise is the result of a crater lake formed from a volcano. Gorgeous natural beauty provides a stunning location for walks and picnics.
- Sülüklü (leech) Lake: Taking its name from the leeches that are used in the treatment of some diseases, Sülüklü Lake exhibits an unusual view of trees in the water, due to post-earthquake collapse.
- Seben Lake: The Seben Lake is pure beauty and serenity, complemented by clean air and tranquil surroundings.
- Bolu Museum: The Bolu Museum has two different branches that serve as ethnography and archeology museums.
- Historic Bolu Houses: There are 360 different traditional Bolu houses in the city center, and in Göynük, Mengen, Mudurnu, and Kıbrısçık.
- Akkaya Travertines: Akkaya Travertines boats the beauty of natural rock formations and are surrounded by breathtaking scenery.
- Mudurnu Armutçular Mansion: The historic mansion is a unique display of early Ottoman architecture.
- Mudurnu Kanuni Sultan Süleyman Mosque: The mosque is a noteworthy ancient structure with a beautiful natural backdrop.
- Göynük Victory Tower: The structure was built in 1923 in celebration of the establishment of the Turkish Republic. It is situated on a hilltop that can be reached via a 20-minute walk from the center of Göynük.
- Akşemseddin Tomb: Intriguing mausoleum about 96 km from the center of Bolu.
- Seben Rock Houses: Rock houses carved in the surface of the rocks of the deep valleys about 74 km from the center of Bolu.
Bolu, being very rich in terms of nature, history, and cuisine, is able to attract a wide audience to the city through the Bolu Festivals. Mudurnu Silkroad Culture and Art Festival, International Köroğlu Festival, International Mengen Cooking and Tourism Festival, and Seben Apple Festival are some of the top festivals that make the region a center of attraction.
How to Get There
You can easily access the city by road from all over the country. It is located between İstanbul and Ankara, and is the easiest area you can reach with the intercity bus transportation.