Bursa is located in the northwestern part of Turkey, near the Sea of Marmara, about 20 km inland. It was the first major city that the Ottomans had control of and served as the capital of the Empire between 1326 and 1365. The city is filled with historical sights dating back from the early Ottoman period.
Today, it is Turkey’s fourth largest city. It is the gateway to one of Turkey’s highest mountains, Uludağ , and the hear of the winter sports in the country.
Getting from Istanbul to Bursa is not hard and you’ve got plenty choices. It’s all up to you (and the travel budget, of course). Although Bursa is served by an airport , the short distance between Istanbul and Bursa do not require a flight. So, when flying from abroad, you’ll land on Istanbul’s Ataturk Airport (IST) before continuing to Bursa.
The fastest way between Istanbul and Bursa is to travel by ferry to Güzelyalı, followed by a bus to Bursa. Or you can take the bus directly from Istanbul to Bursa but spend about 4 h traveling. Prices are about the same though.
Buses from Istanbul to Bursa
Metro Turzim is one of the companies operating buses from Istanbul’s Büyük Otogar (main bus terminal) to Bursa’s bus terminal. There are buses departing every ½ h to 1h from Istanbul, between 7 a.m. and 9 p.m. The travel time is 4 h and the single fare is either 22 Turkish Liras / €9.30 or 24 Turkish Liras / €10, depending on the type of ticket.
>>read more about Bus Travel in Turkey
Trains from Istanbul to Bursa
Bursa is not served by a railway station, but you can travel by train and bus from Istanbul to Bursa.
1) Istanbul to Eskişehir by train: there are four trains departing from Istanbul each day (07:00 a.m., 10:30 a.m, 1:30 p.m., 5:30 p.m.) The travel time is 4 h.
2) Eskişehir to Bursa by bus: buses leave right from the train station. Metro Turzim operates 8 buses per day (first one at 3:00 a.m. and the last at 7:30 p.m.) and the travel time is 2 ½ h. The single fare is either 13 Turkish Liras / €5.50 or 15 Turkish Liras / €6.30, depending on the type of ticket.
>>read more about Train Travel in Turkey
Ferries from Istanbul to Bursa
The fastest option to travel between Istanbul and Bursa is the ferry. Ferries depart Istanbul Yenikapı terminal , on the European side of the city and they arrive at Güzelyalı, about 20 km from Bursa. From Güzelyalı you can catch one of the buses which await passengers at the ferry terminal.
The ferry crossing takes 80 minutes and costs 20 Turkish Liras / €8.40 one way ; the bus to the Organize Sanayi metro station in Bursa takes 30 minutes and costs 2 Turkish Liras / €0.85 one way.
Another option is to get from Istanbul to Yalova and from there catch a minibus (dolmus) to Bursa.
Driving from Istanbul to Bursa
You can rent a car and drive the 240 km between Istanbul and Bursa on E-80 and E881. The travel time is about 3h 40 min.