Practical tips + some tourism
16.09.2014 - 18.09.2014 18 °C
Arrival by bus; Our bus dropped us at Safranbolu Otogar which is a couple of kilometres from the old town. You can get a free shuttle service (people calling out 'service' when you arrive) into the new town if you're staying there. But if you stay at Efe Pansion in the old town, they'll pick you up from the bus station.
For our departure, we got a taxi from the pension up to the bus booking office in new town Safranbolu and then the shuttle bus over to Karabuk station, which is another 8ks or so. Some buses supposedly to Safranbolu only go as far as Karabuk, but they'll always put on one of these shuttles if you are booked to Safranbolu.
There are probably public buses from the new town to the old town but we didn't find out.
Sights: The old town is very compact, so you can walk around it in a couple of hours, but it also has so many sights and so many interesting places to look around or saunter through that you can easily do as we did and spend more than 24 hours just in that old part of town.
The magnificent Caravanserai, originally built in 1645, has been restored into a posh hotel, but is also a museum and a lovely spot to sit and have a decent cappuccino, imagining the days when you'd be sitting among spice traders and camels in the courtyard.
The main mosque in town AND the hammam (which is famous all over Turkey - especially the women's side) were both built in 1661, so this was a thriving place through that period.
There are two main bazaars, although any of the little narrow streets feel like a bazaar in themselves. We liked the blacksmiths bazaar best and succombed for the first time to the temptation to buy stuff: a wrought iron kettle is now on its way (we hope) to Australia.
Coffee: Don't miss the Arasta Boncuk Kahvesi for a real Turkish coffee, brewed on hot coals, then served with water and grape juice to help the palate before and after the coffee hit.
We went back to the same place for evening meal and had delicious Turkish pasta and pizza type meals.
Mosques: We loved the mosque a little way out of town which is built right over the river. Lovely wooden minaret and amazing to see the foot baths lining the river banks, where people go even today to wash their feet before entering the mosque.