Blessed with the eternal life, bravery, and poetry after drinking the three magic water bubbles, Köroğlu was born in Bolu. This simple city is advantageous and highly enjoyable due to its location and nature; however, it was successful to protect its quietness because of its modesty. It would be fair to call this city a ‘slow city’ that is the equivalent of the recent years’ term ‘cittaslow.’ Many articles could be written about small settlements that start with its air is this or its water is that, but Bolu has a mesmerizing nature that makes the best of air and water.       

Although, Bolu that hosts many people during breaks taken in Bolu Mountain between Ankara and İstanbul or daily trips taken on a weekend to natural wonders such as Abant, Gölcük, Yedigöller is known mainly with its natural grounds, the city does not only consist of the magnificent beauties that were endowed by the nature. In Bolu, where underground waters are as generous as the nature, thermal springs culture is a relaxing and enjoyable alternative for the ones who savor it. A peaceful weekend spent at the thermal hotel next to the forest on the way to Gölcük, or a day spent by breathing the fresh air while resting in the healing waters of the thermal in its close approximate feels like a therapy after the chaos of busy cities such as Ankara or İstanbul. Additionally, Sultan Hamam, and Orta Hamam, both of which are located at the city center, are the alternatives of thermals with their authentic and historic atmospheres.

Once you are at the city center, do not forget to visit the Great Mosque that Yıldırım Bayezid had it built in 1382, and Taşhan, which was built next to it in 1804. Bolu doesn’t send its visitor empty handed in terms of historical places, also.

Bolu means ‘good food’
A must for every trip is definitely ‘good food.’ Bolu is the center of it. The School of Culinary Arts in Mengen and Bolu being where the best chefs come from are good enough reasons to plan a trip chasing after good flavor. You shouldn’t miss the Yurdaer Hotel’s restaurant that offers unique dishes of the Ottoman and the Bolu Cuisines. Trout farms and many garden facilities that offer breakfast are located along the road to Abant after the Yurdaer Hotel. In addition, you can find cafes and restaurants that serve homemade dishes such as mantı (raviolis) and gözleme (griddle pastries) in the city.

If you happen to be in Bolu on a Monday, the day that the farmer’s market is set, there is no doubt that you are going to be leaving the market with your bags full of fresh domestic produce. One could visit Bolu only to get fresh farm bread, butter, cheese, cream of milk, and yogurt from the farmer’s market. When it is in season, between October and December, you can find lactarius (commonly known as Kanlıca mushrooms in Turkey) on stalls at the market. Healing cranberry and dried yogurt soup, homemade tomato paste, a domestic cheese called keş that is unique to Bolu, farmer’s potato bread, pinecone jam, vegetables and fruits that are freshly picked from gardens or fields are colorful and appealing.

A fine address for winter sports
Bolu, which offers a different kind of visual feast and joy in each season, is one of the addresses that come to mind for winter sports. Kartalkaya, where it is not easy to locate an available hotel room during the busy season due to its location, is the center of the attraction with its ski runs, the food quality at the hotels, and the ease of access for the people who care about skiing.

The forests and lakes that are in one-hour distance from the city at most have relaxing and refreshing atmosphere in Bolu. If you’d like to catch a different ambience, Mudurnu Sünnet Lake and thermals is like therapy both for the body and the soul. Following an evening spent in front of the fireplace; waking up to a morning at the lakeside is a great idea to experience the one aspect of the winter that warms you inside. You shouldn’t go back before tasting Mudurnu’s famous Saray Helvası (Palace Halvah) and griddle pastry with squash that you can find in the farmer’s market.

Bolu, which renews, soothes, makes one feel the nature’s energy, and offers special flavors, owes its serenity to being unspoiled and protective of itself.

Let’s not forget the contributions of İzzet Baysal to Bolu
Aside its rich cuisine, quietness, and nature, one of the values that makes Bolu what it is, is İzzet Baysal who was named as the “Father of Bolu” and honored with the “Distinguished Service Medal of the State.” Having contributed numerous works to Bolu mainly in health and education fields such as school, hospital, and university, İzzet Baysal is the additional source of pride for Bolu and its residents. When traveling around Bolu, one should not forget even one person’s contributions to a city.

Breathe in the fresh mountain air during the nature walks.

Enjoy the snowy winter landscape while watching out the window at one of the hotels in Kartalkaya.

Your completion of tasting the flavors of Bolu is not considered valid, if you haven’t tasted the pasta with keş and walnuts, a specialty unique to Bolu.

Definitely try the delicious Bolu ravioli, which is shaped in large triangles on the contrary to Kayseri ravioli.

Bolu Chocolate is sold everywhere under different brand names, but you can find the original taste that has been sold in the same package design for years at the İmren Bakery in the city center.