Amasya is an ancient city set on the Yesilirmak River and surrounded by rugged mountains. Stroll around the atmospheric historic district, relax at riverside restaurants and explore centuries-old tombs carved into the sheer limestone cliffs that tower over the city.
Things to do in Amasya
Put away your map and get lost in the enchanting historic district. The narrow streets are lined with whitewashed Ottoman houses with wood-frame facades. Peer into beautiful mosques and shop for souvenirs at the bustling bazaar, while there are also several hammams where you can enjoy traditional Turkish steam baths and massages. Treat yourself to extras like full-body scrubs and relaxing oil massages.
The ancient Tombs of the Pontic Kings tower over the city and date back to the 4th century. The tombs are carved into the limestone rockface and are best viewed from the southern bank of the river. Alternatively, climb the wooden steps up to the tombs for sweeping views over the valley.
Dive into the city’s ancient past at the Amasya Museum. Exhibits get you up to speed on centuries of history. Along with Ottoman artefacts, you’ll see Copper Age tools, Byzantine bronzes and mummies dating to the Ilkhan period.
Wrap up a day of sightseeing on a riverfront terrace. Enjoy colourful meze platers and refreshing pots of “cay” Turkish tea. After dark, you’ll be lured into atmospheric restaurants housed in beautifully restored Ottoman houses. Enjoy local dishes like “manti” Turkish ravioli, chickpea soup and “etli bamya” okra stew topped with mint yoghurt.
Getting around Amasya
Amasya is compact and easy to get around on foot, while buses and taxis are a fast and affordable way to cover longer distances. Amasya is in the Black Sea Region, a four-hour drive from Ankara and 7.5 hours from Istanbul. Trains connect Amasya with towns and cities along the Black Sea coast, including Havza, Ladik, Kavak and Samsun. Ankara Airport is a four-hour drive away.