Trabzon: “capital” of Black Sea Turkey part

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Trabzon is one of two biggest cities along on the Turkish Black Sea coast along with Samsun. But because of it’s historical meaning Trabzon is really like onofficial “capital” of this region. It isn’t so polular among tourists as much as Istanbul or Antalya but really interesting.

Historically known as Trebizond it was the capital city of the Empire of Trebizond between 1204 and 1461. This Empire stretched along almost the entire southern coast of the Black Sea and was one of parts of the disintegrating Byzantium.

This article is not intended to be a detailed description of all the tourist attractions of Trabzon but it mentions a list of places that can be visited within one or two days.

Rainy Trabzon

Main places to visit

Trabzon Ayasofya

Hagia Sophia (Ayasofya) has a complex history. It was built as Greek Orthodox church between 1238 and 1263 in the time of Trebizond imperror Manuel I. Probably right after the conquest of the city in 1461 by Ottoman Sultan Mehmed II Hagia Sophia was converted into mosque.

In the 20th century there was a makeshift hospital and depot during World War I. In 1964 Hagia Sophia was turned into a museum but now (from 5 July 2013) it has hybrid status: operating mosque and a museum at the same time.

Trabzon Ayasofya

Trebizond’s Hagia Sophia is one of the best examples of late Byzantine Empire’s architecture. 40 metres high bell tower dates back to 1427. On the second floor it has a small chapel. It is interesting that bell tower was also used as an observatory by local astronomers and after turning of the church to mosque – as minaret.

Trabzon Ayasofya Bell Tower

Ayasofya’s Frescoes

Inside of Hagia Sophia and it’s bell tower you can find a lot of late Byzantine frescoes dating back to the 13th – 15th centuries. Some of them seems to be in a good state after the Edinburgh University restoration, some – not, some covered by textile because building is used now as mosque.

Trabzon Ayasofya frescoes Trabzon Ayasofya frescoes Trabzon Ayasofya frescoes Trabzon Ayasofya frescoes Trabzon Ayasofya frescoes Trabzon Ayasofya frescoes

Address: Fatih Mah., Zübeyde Hanım Cad., 61040

Phone: +90 462 223 30 43

Opening hours: Summer (April 15 – October 2) 09:00 AM 07:00 PM, Winter (October 3April 14) 08:00 AM – 05:00 PM

Entrance ticket: free

Trabzon Kalesi (Trabzon Castle)

Trabzon Castle is a complex of fortifications in the center of old city mostly build in the time of Trebizond Empire. But is believed the citadel was built in about 4000 years ago. However, it’s really just city walls not castle. In the 15th century Trebizond was considered one of the most fortified cities of the time.

Trabzon Kalesi

In present time Walls of Trebizond are mostly in a good condition but the restoration is needed. You can climb to the citadel from small Mehter Sk. which starts near İçkale mosque (İçkale Cami). At the image below you can get out the plan of the fortress drawn up in 1898.

Trabzon Kalesi Planı
Plan of castle was taken from Wikipedia

Trabzon Kalesi

Some parts of the castle are still used for living like city walls in Istanbul. Somewhere near the wall you can find entrances to the dungeons but mostly them are closed. Also there are many fig trees growing there and in September you can eat figs from them.

Inside of Trabzon Kalesi

Address: Fatih Mah., Zübeyde Hanım Cad., 61040

Opening hours: around the clock

Entrance ticket: free

Gulbahar Hatun Mosque and Tomb

Gulbahar Hatun Mosque (Gülbahar Hâtûn Camii) was build in 1514 in honour of the mother of Ottoman Sultan Selim I. It was the first Muslim religious building in the city. The mosque has acquired a modern look after restoration in 1885.

Gülbahar Hatun Camii

The architectural style of Gulbahar Hatun Mosque is hybrid and includes at the same time Seljuk, Ottoman and Moorish elements. Also you can find here the tomb of Sultan Selim’s mother.

Address: Gülbaharhatun Mahallesi, Şenol Güneş Cd. No:17, 61040

Entrance ticket: free

Former Panagia Khrysokephalos Church

Panagia Khrysokephalos Church was built in 11th century on place of the small chapel which was founded according to some reports in the 3rd century AD. After the conquest of the city by Muslims in the 15th century, the church was turned into a mosque.

Former Panagia Khrysokephalos Church

At the time of the Ottoman Empire, a minaret was attached to it. Now former Panagia Khrysokephalos Church is on restoration.

Address: Ortahisar Mahallesi, No:, Fatih Cami Sk. No:1, 61030

Opening hours: closed for restoration

Abdullahpaşa Çeşmesi (Abdullah pasha Fountain)

Abdullah Pasha Fountain was built from marble stone plates in 1844 by the decree of Trabzon Governor Hazinedarzade Abdullah Pasha. It’s located in Gülbahar Hatun Mahallesi. The width of the fountain is 2.10 meters, the height up to the hill is 3.02 meters.


Trabzon is located on the Black Sea coast. There is a big port near the center of the city so usually water is too dirty for swimming. However, along the coast there is a long well-maintained walking zone.



There is a strange sutuation in Trabzon because it has several small museums with intersecting subjects. But all of them are cheap and mostly located in the center of the city close to each other.

Atatürk Köşkü Müzesi

Originaly the pavilion was build in 1923 as a summer residence of the banker Konstantin Kabayanidis of Greek origin. Mustafa Kemal Atatürk was guest in this mansion during his visits to Trabzon in 1924, 1930 and 1937. After his death the pavilion became “Atatürk Museum”.

Atatürk Köşkü Müzesi

Address: Soğuksu Mahallesi, Ata Cad., 61040

Phone: +90 462 231 00 28

Opening hours: 9:00 AM – 07:00 PM

Entrance ticket: free

Trabzon Museum (Kostaki Mansion)

It is a historic museum with archeological and ethnographic exhibitions located in old house built in about 1900th by Kostaki Teophylaktos. That Greek man was a notable banker in the time of the late Ottoman Empire.

Trabzon Museum

Address: Gazipaşa Mahallesi, Zeytinlik Cd. No:7, 61030

Phone: +90 462 326 07 48

Opening hours: 8:30 AM – 07:00 PM

Entrance ticket: 5 TL

Şehir Müzesi (City Museum)

It is mostly an ethnographic museum dedicated to the culture and life of the Black Sea Turks and some other local ethnic groups like Lazi. The museum has a rich collection and modern exhibition equipment.

Trabzon Şehir Müzesi

Address: Kemerkaya Mahallesi, Kahramanmaraş Cd. No:14, 61200

Phone: +90 462 323 23 03

Opening hours: 8:30 AM – 05:30 PM

Entrance ticket: 5 TL

Tarih Müzesi (History Museum)

It is another small local historic museum with the exposition related to the times of the late Ottoman Empire and the Republic of Turkey.

Trabzon Tarih Müzesi

Address: Ortahisar Mahallesi, Sarayatik Cami Sk. No:8, 61030

Phone: +90 462 321 90 58

Opening hours: 9:00 AM – 05:00 PM

Entrance ticket: 5 TL

Kanuni Evi

This place can be described as a museum of the Ottoman Empire but it is also small and unfriendly to the foreign tourists because it’s staff speaks Turkish only.

Kanuni Evi

Address: Ortahisar Mahallesi, Zağnos Cd. 21 A, 61030

Opening hours: 9:00 AM – 05:00 PM

Entrance ticket: 4 TL


Zagnos Valley Park

Zagnos Valley Park is located in Trabzon city center. It’s nice city park near ancient Walls of Trebizond. It has beautiful mixed artificial and natural landscape with walkways, benches, flower, gazebos, picnic areas etc.

Zagnos Valley Park

Trabzon Meydan Parkı

Trabzon Meydan Parkı with big Atatürk statue is located in the heart of the city and usually called simply “Meydan”. This is a common meeting place for the local people.

Trabzon Meydan Parkı


In Trabzon you can find a lot of special dishes related to the Black Sea Region of Turkey.


Hamsi tava

Trabzon is located on the sea cost so fish takes a significant place in the diet of the locals. The most popular fish type is “Hamsi” or the European anchovy. It can be fryed in a skillet with vegetable oil (“Hamsi tava”) or grilled (“Hamsi izgara”).

Hamsi Ekmek

Ussualy it’s served on the plate with vegetables like on a picture but also can be cooked in the form of fastfood inside bread (“Hamsi ekmek”). Hamsi is seasonal dish outside Black Sea Region but in Trabzon you can find it throughout the year.

Where to eat: “Murat Balık Lokantası”, İskenderpaşa Mahallesi, İskele Cd. No:5, 61100


Pide (Sürmene Pita) is like hand-made “Turkish pizza” with local cheese and/or meat products. In Trabzon you cand find a lot types of pide. The materials and cooking style are different from another regions.

Karadeniz Bölgesinde "yağlı" olarak adlandırılan tereyağlı-yumurtalı pide

Very special for this part of Black Sea region is round pide with cheese, egg and local butter. If you have been in Georgia and eaten there “Ajarian khachapuri” you can find that it’s simular to the “Trabzon pide”. It’s because Ajaria is close to Trabzon and before 1878 was a part of Ottoman Empire.


Where to eat: “Karpi Pide”, Kemerkaya Mahallesi, Kunduracılar Cad./halkevi Sok. No:15, 61200

“Terminal Ekmek Fırını”, Sanayi Mahallesi, Terminal Sk. No:4, 61100 (near Otogar)


City market

If you are in Trabzon, you just have to visit bazaar in the old part of the city. For local cheeses famous all around Turkey, butter, fresh fruits and vegetables you should go to the part of it with name Kadınlar Pazarı (Women Markets).

City market

Address: Pazarkapı Mahallesi, Dereboyu Sk. No:29, 61200

Opening hours: 8:00 AM – 05:00 PM

Trabzon Forum AVM

If you prefer a modern style of shopping go to Trabzon Forum AVM.

Trabzon Forum AVM

Address: Ortahisar, Devlet Sahil Yolu Cad., 61200

Opening hours: 10:00 AM – 10:00 PM

Useful contacts

Tourist Information Center

Address: Ortahisar Mahallesi, İskenderpaşa Mahallesi Belediye Cad. Eski Belediye Binası Altı, 61000

Phone: +90 462 326 47 60

Facebook: TouristInformationOfficeTrabzon Go to the page

Trabzon Airport

Address: Üniversite Mahallesi, Trabzon Havaalanı, 61080

Phone: +90 462 328 09 40

Site: Go to the page

Central Bus Station (Otogar)

Address: Sanayi Mahallesi, Devlet Karayolu No:86, 61100

Phone: +90 462 325 20 81

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