Welcome to Bandırma, a vibrant and bustling city located in northwestern Turkey on the shores of the Sea of Marmara. With a population of over 161,000 inhabitants and a rich history dating back to ancient times, Bandırma is a hidden gem just waiting to be discovered. Whether you’re a history buff, a nature lover, or a foodie, there’s something for everyone in this charming district of Balıkesir Province.
Bandırma is a city that is easy to reach, located just two hours away from Istanbul, Izmir and Bursa. It can be accessed by land, sea, air and rail, making it a convenient destination for travelers. Regular ship trips are made to Tekirdağ and Istanbul from Bandırma every day. The accelerated train services between Izmir and Bandırma, which are made every day in connection with the ferry, offer a different transportation alternative.
Bandırma is home to the fifth-largest port in Turkey, second in the Marmara sea to Istanbul. The annual average trade volume of Bandırma Port, which meets 90% of the exports from Balıkesir Province, is 800 million dollars. It is a bustling hub of commerce and a gateway for goods to travel in and out of Turkey.
History buffs will delight in exploring the ancient ruins and archaeological sites dotted throughout the city. Bandırma, which has been named as Cyzicus, Panderma, Panormos in the past, is a very old settlement center. It is thought that Bandırma was founded between the 8th century and the 10th century BC from a sarcophagus found during excavations in Cyzicus. The first archaeological research about the region was carried out by Kurt Bittel in 1952, and the excavation continued until 1960. Common archaeological data in both excavations reveal the history of the region, determining that there are Neolithic settlements dating back to the middle of the 6th millennium BC and Chalcolithic settlements from the end of the 5th millennium BC. The ancient ruins of Daskyleion are also in the region, making it a fascinating destination for history enthusiasts.
Nature lovers will be enchanted by the stunning landscapes and natural beauty of Bandırma. To the south of Bandırma is Lake Kuş, also known as Lake Manyas or Bird Paradise. The area of 24,047 hectares where this lake is located was declared a national park in 1959 with the name Kuş Cenneti National Park. The park is home to 239 bird species according to the periods. This park was included in the Ramsar Convention in 1998. Visitors can enjoy fishing, hunting, and bird watching in this beautiful park. Bandırma also has many beautiful beaches, including the popular Altınkum Beach and Koru Beach, perfect for swimming and sunbathing.
Foodies will love exploring the culinary delights of Bandırma. The district is known for its delicious seafood, with fresh fish and seafood caught daily from the waters of the Sea of Marmara. There are also many local specialties to try, such as Bandırma Kebab, a local version of the famous Turkish dish, and Kelle Paça, a hearty soup made from lamb head and feet. Visitors can also sample the local wines and olive oil, which are produced in the surrounding countryside.
Bandırma is a vibrant and welcoming city, where visitors can experience the best of Turkish hospitality, culture, and history. With its convenient location, rich history, stunning natural landscapes, and delicious cuisine, Bandırma is a destination that should be on every traveler’s bucket list. Come and discover the hidden gem of northwestern Turkey today!