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Edirne

Country
Turkey
State
Edirne Ili
City
Edirne
Type of Location
Multiple
About Location

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Places to Visit
How to Reach

By plane

Of the nearby airports, the most convenient is Atatürk International in Istanbul, which has flights from all inhabited continents and a metro line providing an easy connection to main bus station .

By bus

Easiest way to reach to Edirne is by bus from Istanbul. Departures are at any time with a fare of some €10 and a trip of two hours, although stiff competition between the bus companies may sometimes result in fares as low as 10 TL (€5) pp. Bus station in Edirne is located way out of the city but free service midibuses will take you to the city center.

By train

There are two daily trains from Istanbul’s Sirkeci station (one at 8:30AM in the morning, and the other at 3:50PM in the afternoon. Both arrives in Edirne about four hours later). Trains from Europe to Istanbul also call at the station.

By car

The city is on the main highways linking Turkey and Europe (road numbers: toll-free D100 and toll-road/motorway O-3/E80). A drive takes no more than two hours from Istanbul (224 km away) to Edirne on the motorway, even less if you drive very fast. The main European-Turkish border post Kapikule/Kapitan Andreevo (between Turkey and Bulgaria, SE of Svilengrad) is about 15-20 km away from the city, while less significant Pazarkule border post (between Turkey and Greece, north of Orestiada) is even nearer.

By boat

While it's theoretically possible for even large ships to enter the Maritsa River from the Aegean Sea and navigate upriver up to Edirne, the intense border area through which the river flows makes any use of any kind of water transportation impractical.

Key places to visit
Selimiye Mosque, UC Serefeli Mosque, Macedonian Tower, Sukru Pasha Memorial and Balkan Wars Museum, Medical Museum


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Places to Visit

Selimiye Mosque

That mosque which dominates the skyline of the city, built on a slightly higher hill than its surroundings, although a play on dimensions makes the exterior sight of the building smaller as you get closer to it. A grandiose piece of art by Sinan, the Ottoman architect of 16th century, Selimiye is usually considered the zenith of Ottoman architecture and has been listed as a World Heritage site by UNESCO in 2011. Sinan himself considered this building as his best work. The dome of the building, which hangs high over main hall, encloses a huge space which gives the place an expansive atmosphere, had the largest diameter (31.28 mt) of all domes in the world for several centuries. And its minarets (towers) are the second highest minarets (70.89 mt) in whole world, surpassed only by Qutb Minar (72.50 mt) in Delhi, India.

UC Serefeli Mosque

This mosque is easily recognizable, having four distinctive minarets that all have very different designs, uncommon during the 15th century, one of which has three balconies, giving it its name which literally means "three balconied". Long undergoing restoration, interior of the mosque, which features a colourfully decorated central dome, smaller surrounding domes of varying sizes each featuring a different colour pattern, and very stately columns supporting them, has recently been re-opened to visits. The overall experience of this colourful mosque is perhaps best summarized as "joyful". Free

Macedonian Tower

The sole still intact tower of Edirne’s city walls, named as such perhaps because it roughly watches the direction of Macedonia, or because of the former definition of "Macedonia" which extends all the way to Edirne. A round and robust tower, not unlike Thessaloniki's White Tower except its colour, and next to it is the last visible section of city walls, now surrounded by a nicely landscaped park. It’s possible to enter the tower itself, but impossible to climb upstairs. It’s located in a back alley, so while you are near the Üç Şerefeli, look around on the top of buildings to see the flag on a tower made of red-brick if you can’t exactly locate it. The tower also served as a clock tower until 1953, when the upper part of the tower was demolished because of the danger of collapse. Free.  

Sukru Pasha Memorial and Balkan Wars Museum

This is a monument dedicated to Rüştü Pasha, the commander of the defending forces of the city during the Balkan Wars. Next to it is a small museum with various weapons used during the war. While the place is slightly away from the downtown and is off the usual trail between the main sights, it occupies the highest hill in the city and offers a large overlooking view of the city and the forests surrounding the rivers behind. Free.

Medical Museum

This museum, which was awarded “European Museum of the Year” in early 2000s, was essentially a mental institution used during Ottoman times, part of Beyazıt Complex (Beyazıt Külliyesi). It was notable for its “progressive”/”alternative” approach towards its patients. Instead of locking them into cells with shackles, which was widespread during that time, methods such as meditative music or flower gardens were tried in this institution. Today, many Ottoman miniatures from medical schoolbooks and elsewhere and models of patients are among the displayed.
 

Right Time to Visit

June - September

Temperature