48 Hours in Istanbul, Turkey

To see all the destinations listed in this guide and other ceramic sites in Turkey, check out CERAMIC WORLD DESTINATIONS (CWD), MoCA/NY's interactive map listing over 4,000 ceramic destinations!

Photo courtesy: Alex Azabache

Get ready to embark on an adventure in one of the most beautiful and captivating cities, not only in Europe but in the world—a place that is as mysterious as it is mesmerizing: Istanbul, also known as Constantinople!

As Tevfik Fikret, one of the most renowned Turkish poets of the late Ottoman Empire period, poetically wrote, "Istanbul is a widowed maiden with a thousand husbands.” Despite numerous civilizations such as the Roman, Byzantine, and Ottoman passing through its history, none have been able to capture or possess it. Istanbul has always remained herself, and she always will...

Located in the northwest of Anatolia, Istanbul is a unique city with its deep blue Bosphorus connecting Asia to Europe, seven hills, bridges, historical towers, cosmopolitan buildings, and breathtaking contrasts. It boasts a rich ceramic culture that spans every layer of its history. 

During the Ottoman Empire, Istanbul emerged as a major hub for ceramic production, with notable examples from this period produced in Topkapı Palace. The art of tile-making, particularly known for its intricate patterns in various colors, reached its peak during the Ottoman era.

Ceramic production in Istanbul dates back not only to the Ottoman period but also to earlier times, including the Byzantine Empire. Glazed ceramics were especially prominent during the Byzantine period, and some of these artifacts have survived to the present day. Today, Istanbul continues to be a meeting point for both traditional and modern ceramic artists, with ceramic workshops and galleries showcasing the works of local and international artists alike.


As a metropolitan city, Istanbul offers a wide range of accommodation choices, from the most luxurious hotels to budget-friendly options. These can be found in the historic peninsula, the Beyoğlu-Taksim area, and along the Şişli-Nişantaşı district line. It is also possible to find Airbnbs in the city, with many options in Kadıköy, which is currently the most popular area on the Anatolian side. Check this link: Istanbul Hotels


Transport: Istanbul has two airports providing both domestic and international flights. Istanbul Airport is located in Europe, while Sabiha Gökçen Airport is in Asia. Both airports have easy access to city centers via Havabüs shuttle services, making it convenient to visit Istanbul. Check these links: Havabüs and Istanbul Shuttle

Photo courtesy: Beyzahzah

City Transfer: Istanbul offers many transportation options, including subways, trams, buses, trains, and ferries. We do not recommend renting a car or taking a taxi, as Istanbul is known for its crowds and heavy traffic. To avoid spending long periods on the roads, consider using public transportation and check the timetables.

This general information applies to public transport in Istanbul, not specific areas. For example, traveling from Taksim to Sultanahmet, among other routes, is best done using public transportation. Except for small excursion routes, walking from one district to another is impractical.

Day 1

Taksim Square - Galleries - Pera Museum - and More!

10 AM: Taksim Square

Located on the European side of Istanbul, Taksim Square and its surrounding area have a rich history that reflects the city's cultural and social evolution over the centuries. Historically, Taksim was a point where the main water lines from the north of Istanbul converged during Ottoman times. The name "Taksim" means distribution or division in Turkish, referring to the distribution of water from this point to various parts of the city.

Today, this area is home to many art centers, galleries, and pottery studios. Additionally, there are numerous distinguished accommodation and dining venues from the square to Istiklal Street, extending to Galata Tower and Karaköy. While the square and Istiklal Street are quite expansive, they are walkable and provide easy access to the artistic places mentioned below, which are located close to each other.

At the Taksim Square, visit the Atatürk Cultural Centre (AKM), where you can enjoy various exhibitions, concerts, operas, and stage performances. Inside the building, you will also find a magnificent tile installation made by Kale Seramik, one of Türkiye’s well-established ceramic factories. Performance hours are generally in the evening but vary depending on the event, so checking the website is recommended.

AKM photo courtesy: Emre Dorter

At 11 AM: Arif Paşa Apartment (Alkemia)

Visit Arif Paşa Apartment (Alkemia), located 10-15 minutes from Taksim, between Cumhuriyet and Elmadağ Avenues. This historic building, where renowned ceramic artist Füreya Koral lived and worked from 1973-1997, now hosts contemporary ceramic workshops and studios. Known as Alkimia Shop, it features studios and shops offering a variety of handcrafted ceramics and other materials.

About Füreya Koral:

Füreya Koral (1910-1997) was a leading Turkish ceramic artist known for blending traditional Turkish motifs with modernist influences. Educated in Paris in the 1930s, she incorporated European modernist techniques into her work, creating vibrant, intricate ceramics. Koral's pieces, ranging from decorative objects to functional pottery, are celebrated for their vibrant colors, intricate patterns, and skilled craftsmanship. Her innovative approach significantly shaped modern Turkish ceramics, leaving a lasting legacy that continues to inspire contemporary artists.

Meşher Exhibition Space / Photo courtesy: Ilgın Erarslan

12 PM: Galleries

Continue down Istiklal Street, famous for its variety of cafes, bars, shops, bookstores, restaurants, and artistic venues. As you walk along the street, you'll encounter various galleries such as Meşher Exhibition Space,Akbank Art Gallery, Yapı Kredi Gallery, Zilberman Gallery, Arter Gallery, and Salt Istanbul. These non-profit gallery spaces are sponsored by prominent companies in the country and primarily support contemporary art while also exhibiting artist retrospectives.

1 PM: Lunch

For lunch, consider stopping by Çiçek Pasajı on Istiklal Street, an alley of restaurants where you can experience Turkish cuisine. One excellent option is Hacı Abdullah, located alongside an exquisite Art Nouveau facade. After ending your lunch with a delicious Turkish coffee, you'll be refreshed and ready to continue strolling down the rest of the street!

Pera Museum / Photo courtesy: Yeliz Saydan

2:30 PM: Pera Museum

Visit Pera Museum, a private museum located in Istanbul, Türkiye. It showcases a diverse collection of Orientalist paintings, Anatolian weights and measures, and Kütahya tiles and ceramics. The museum also hosts temporary exhibitions featuring a wide range of artistic and cultural topics. Tickets are reasonably priced, and special day discounts are often available.

Pera Museum / Photo courtesy: Yeliz Saydan
Pera Museum / Photo courtesy: Yeliz Saydan

3:30 PM: Pera Palace Hotel

While visiting the museum, don't forget to take a look at the historic Pera Palace Hotel nearby. The hotel is known for its elegant and luxurious accommodations, blending traditional Ottoman architecture and Art Nouveau with modern amenities. It has a rich history dating back to the late 19th century and has hosted numerous prominent guests such as Agatha Christie, Ernest Hemingway, Atatürk, and Queen Elizabeth II. You can still book a stay here or visit its famous patisserie to enjoy the sweetest delicacies.

Pera Museum / Photo courtesy: Yeliz Saydan

5:30 PM: Galata Tower

Finally, we have reached the Galata and Karaköy area, but let's explore Galata first on foot. In the historic Galata district, you'll encounter one of the most charming towers ever: the Galata Tower. This historic medieval stone tower was built in the 14th century by the Genoese colony as part of the defense wall surrounding their district of Galata.

Throughout its history, the Galata Tower has served various purposes, including as a watchtower, a fire lookout tower, and today, as a popular tourist attraction offering breathtaking views of Istanbul's skyline and the Bosphorus. By purchasing a ticket, you can climb to the top of the tower and enjoy a bird's-eye view of the routes to be visited the next day.

Galata Tower / Photo courtesy: Yeliz Saydan
Kale Design and Art Center (KTSM)
Kale Design and Art Center (KTSM)

6:30 PM: Galata District Shopping

In the Galata district, continue your trip by strolling among the numerous charming boutiques showcasing a carefully curated selection of pottery and ceramics, from traditional designs to contemporary interpretations. You'll also find other items such as lamps, vases, and textiles, making it a one-stop destination for ceramic enthusiasts. 

7 PM: Kale Design and Art Center

Before finishing your cultural tour, if you still have the time, consider visiting KTSM at Perşembe Pazarı in Karaköy. Kale Design and Art Center (KTSM), founded by Kale Seramik, one of the largest tile manufacturers in the country, opened its doors in 2019. It is a non-profit platform that creates space for interdisciplinary sharing, art, and artists, fostering collaborations. The center includes ceramic workshops, galleries, and event areas. Many ceramic artists are hosted here in a guest artist program, with closing exhibitions organized periodically. After visiting the current exhibitions, you can end the day with a glass of Turkish tea while watching the sunset on the terrace.

8 PM: Dinner

Now you're ready for a delightful dinner with a glass of Turkish drink such as rakı or a nice local wine. Immerse yourself in the magnificent atmosphere of Karaköy. Enjoy the seafood that the Bosphorus has to offer under the warm lights of Istanbul, either by the seaside of Karaköy or under the Galata Bridge. Some great recommendations include Akın Balık Restaurant or Tarihi Karaköy Balıkçısı.

10 PM: Fancy a Drink?

After dinner, you may return to Istiklal Street and visit one of the street's popular bars or rooftops to experience Istanbul's night entertainment. Asmalı Mescid or any exclusive venue in Nevizade would be ideal spots for this enjoyment.

Karakoy Fish Restaurant - Galata Bridge

Day 2

Sultan Ahmet Square - Basilica Cistern - Hagia Sophia - Turkish and Islamic Arts Museum - Istanbul Archeology Museum - and More!
Sultan Ahmet Square / Photo courtesy: Yeliz Saydan

9 AM: Sultan Ahmet Square

Spend your second day exploring the historic Sultan Ahmet Square in Istanbul. This iconic square features the renowned Sultan Ahmet Mosque, famously known as the Blue Mosque, with its six minarets and cascading domes, showcasing Ottoman architectural splendor. Nearby, you'll find other significant landmarks like the Hagia Sophia and the Egyptian Obelisk of Theodosius.

Consider obtaining an Istanbul e-pass for ticketed sites and a reasonably priced tour before visiting these attractions. Istanbul e-pass

9:30 AM: Basilica Cistern

Begin your day by exploring the Basilica Cistern, an ancient underground reservoir from Roman times. Marvel at the rows of ancient columns and the Medusa heads supporting the ceiling. Managed by the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality, entry requires a ticket.

10 AM: Hagia Sophia

Continue exploring the area by visiting Hagia Sophia, a former Byzantine church and Ottoman mosque known for its massive dome and stunning mosaics. Discover its rich history as a symbol of both Christian Byzantine and Islamic Ottoman empires, and see the remaining iconographies of Jesus and Christianity. Now a mosque, you can practice Islam and pray here, or visit it as a museum. Managed by the Republic of Türkiye Ministry of Culture and Tourism, entry requires a ticket.

11 AM: Sultan Ahmet Mosque (Blue Mosque)

Admire the stunning architecture of the Sultan Ahmet Mosque (Blue Mosque) with its six minarets and intricate tile work. Marvel at over 20,000 ceramic tiles, handmade in Iznik, featuring floral patterns, geometric designs, and blue calligraphy, which give the mosque its nickname. The mosque welcomes visitors of all religions, and you can also pray inside. Entrance is free.

11:30 AM: Hippodrome of Constantinople

After visiting the Sultan Ahmet Mosque, head to the nearby Hippodrome of Constantinople, once the sporting and social center of the area. Explore historic monuments like the Egyptian Obelisk, Serpent Column, and the Obelisk of Theodosius. Built in the 3rd century AD and expanded in the 4th century AD, the Hippodrome was a major chariot racing venue and social hub in ancient Constantinople. Today, it stands as a historical marker of Istanbul's Byzantine past.

12 PM: Turkish and Islamic Arts Museum

Visit the Turkish and Islamic Arts Museum near the Hippodrome. Housed in the 16th-century palace of Ibrahim Pasha, this museum showcases a diverse collection of artifacts spanning over a millennium of Islamic civilization. Discover illuminated manuscripts, calligraphy, ceramics, textiles, metalwork, and carpets, offering insights into Islamic cultural, artistic, and religious heritage. The museum is renowned for its Seljuk tiles, Anatolian carpets, and Ottoman calligraphy. Entrance requires a ticket.

1:30 PM: Lunch at Hürrem Sultan Hamami

Take a break and enjoy traditional Turkish coffee with snacks at the café in the yard of Hürrem Sultan Hamamı, experiencing the authentic flavors of Turkish hospitality.

2 PM: Istanbul Archeology Museum or Topkapı Palace

Istanbul Archeology Museum / photo courtesy: Yeliz Saydan

Continue your exploration with a visit to the Istanbul Archeology Museum or alternatively, Topkapı Palace. Both venues are under the administration of the Republic of Türkiye Ministry of Culture and Tourism. Entrance requires a ticket.

Istanbul Archaeology Museum, located near Topkapı Palace, house an impressive collection of artifacts from ancient civilizations, including sculptures, sarcophagi, and treasures from Mesopotamia, Egypt, Greece, Rome, and Anatolia. Established in 1891, the complex consists of three main museums: the Archaeological Museum, the Museum of the Ancient Orient, and the Museum of Islamic Art. Designed by Osman Hamdi Bey, these museums attract visitors interested in ancient civilizations and Islamic culture.

A highlight within the museum complex is the Tiled Pavilion (Çinili Köşk). Built in the 15th century for Sultan Mehmed II, this historic structure features exquisite tile decoration and houses a notable collection of ceramics, including Iznik, Kütahya, and Çanakkale tiles and pottery. The pavilion showcases the craftsmanship and artistic heritage of the Ottoman era.

Istanbul Archeology Museum / photo courtesy: Yeliz Saydan
Çannakale Pottery - Istanbul Archeology Museum / photo courtesy: Yeliz Saydan

Topkapi Palace

If time permits before lunch, you may also visit Topkapı Palace, the former residence of Ottoman sultans for nearly 400 years (1465-1856). Known for its intricate architecture, luxurious courtyards, and extensive collections of Ottoman art, manuscripts, and treasures, the palace offers a glimpse into the grandeur of the Ottoman imperial court. Highlights include the Topkapı Dagger and the Spoonmaker's Diamond.

Topkapı Palace also houses an extensive collection of ceramics spanning from the 9th to the 19th centuries, reflecting the artistic achievements of various Islamic civilizations. These ceramics, found in the Imperial Treasury and kitchens, are adorned with intricate patterns, calligraphy, floral motifs, and geometric designs, providing insights into the daily life, traditions, and religious practices of the time.

3:30: Late Lunch and the Grand Bazaar

Treat yourself to a delicious lunch near the Grand Bazaar, one of Istanbul's most famous landmarks. Enjoy traditional Turkish dishes like kebabs, mezes, or Turkish pide at a local restaurant or eatery nearby.

After lunch, spend the rest of the day at the Grand Bazaar, a labyrinthe market with over 4,000 shops selling everything from jewelry, textiles, spices, ceramics, and more! Immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere, haggle with vendors, and take in the sights, sounds, and aromas. Shop for souvenirs or unique items like carpets, ceramics, and Turkish delights. Interact with local artisans, learn about their craftsmanship, and discover the cultural significance behind their products. Enjoy the bargaining experience!

After finishing your tour at the Grand Bazaar, head towards the Spice Bazaar and then begin the return journey towards the Fener and Balat neighborhoods. 

8 PM: Dinner

Conclude your day in Balat with a typical Turkish meal while enjoying the cultural and historical richness of the Golden Horn (Haliç). A popular restaurant choice is Forno Balat, known for its cozy atmosphere and delicious Turkish dishes with a modern twist. Another excellent option is Agora Meyhanesi, a traditional Turkish tavern offering a genuine taste of Turkish cuisine and culture. Both places provide an excellent opportunity to enjoy authentic flavors while immersing yourself in the vibrant atmosphere of Balat.

Day 3

Istanbul Modern Museum - Ferry to Karaköy -  Müze Gazhane - Moda - and More!
Istanbul Modern interior / photo courtesy: Yeliz Saydan

9 AM: Istanbul Modern

Before heading to Kadıköy, we recommend visiting a special museum on the European side.

İstanbul Modernis a significant contemporary art museum, established in 2004. It features a diverse collection of modern and contemporary artworks, including paintings, sculptures, photography, and multimedia installations. Located in the Tophane district, the museum offers stunning views of Istanbul's iconic skyline and the Bosphorus.

11 AM: Ferry to Karaköy and Lunch on the Asian Side of Istanbul

Now we are ready to board the ferry to Kadıköy. Purchase tickets at the Karaköy dock, located just beyond Tophane. Enjoy some Turkish tea on the ferry, relax, and take in the sights during the 20-minute journey. [Check the ferry schedule]

Kadıköy is a vibrant district on the Asian side of Istanbul, known for its rich history, diverse culture, and bustling atmosphere. It serves as a major residential and commercial hub with traditional markets, modern shops, cafes, and restaurants. The Yeldeğirmeni area has emerged as a new cultural center with theaters, art galleries, and a lively nightlife scene, rivaling Beyoğlu. Accessible by ferries crossing the Bosporus, Kadıköy offers a unique blend of old-world charm and contemporary urban life.

Enjoy a large fish sandwich from one of the fish markets in Kadıköy. It may not be luxurious, but it's a fantastically luscious street food experience for a quick lunch. After this snack, we are ready to visit a museum or studio gallery.

2 PM: Müze Gazhane

To reach Müze Gazhane,take a short taxi ride or public bus from the Yeldeğirmeni district. This historic complex, which served various purposes over its 130-year history, is one of Türkiye’s most significant industrial heritages. After comprehensive restoration, it now hosts contemporary art exhibitions, events, and workshops, including ceramic arts. In the evenings, music concerts and performances add to Kadıköy's vibrant cultural scene. Managed by the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality, entrance is free, but tickets are required for special events.

Ibrahim Yildizbas / photo courtesy of the artist

3 PM: Abrahamm Creative Studio

Visiting a ceramics workshop in Kadıköy offers an exciting experience. One of the leading venues is İbrahim Yıldızbaş's Abrahamm Creative Studio. This Istanbul-born ceramic artist transforms amorphous clay into unique forms using color, texture, and plasticity. His remarkable works will transport you from the bustling city into the wild nature of mud.

5 PM: Moda

Take a relaxing evening walk through Moda, a charming neighborhood along the Sea of Marmara. To get there, take a short ride on the Kadıköy-Moda Nostalgic Tramway. [Check the timetables]

Start your walk at Moda Park, where you can enjoy green spaces and sea views. Visit Moda Pier to watch the sunset and enjoy serene moments by the water. Wrap up your stroll with a leisurely return through Moda's peaceful streets. Don't forget to try the famous Moda ice cream, especially from Dondurmacı Ali Usta, known for its unique flavors.

Enjoy a Boat Ride on the Bosphorus

A privileged recommendation for Istanbul: Consider booking a boat trip at sunset on the Bosphorus to admire iconic landmarks illuminated against the fading light. This experience offers an unforgettable way to bid farewell to Istanbul, leaving you with lasting memories of its stunning vistas and cultural heritage.

Typically lasting 1.5 to 2 hours, the boat trip allows you to capture the fairy tale of Istanbul during the transition from day to night. Depart from Üsküdar on the Asian side or Eminönü on the European side, both centrally located and offering stunning views of Istanbul's historical peninsula and modern skyline. The trip includes landmarks such as Dolmabahçe Palace, Çırağan Palace, Ortaköy Mosque, and the Bosphorus Bridge. [Check the tours]

Istanbul / photo courtesy: Yeliz Saydan

In conclusion, Istanbul is a treasure trove for ceramic art lovers, blending ancient tradition with modern innovation. Whether you're a collector, an artist, or simply an admirer of beautiful things, a 48-hour journey through these ceramic destinations will leave you with a profound appreciation for the rich heritage and vibrant creativity of Turkish ceramics!



Yeliz Saydan is the Community Outreach and Business Associate at MoCA/NY and a ceramic artist and researcher born in Turkey. She graduated from the Ceramics Department of the Fine Arts Faculty in Çanakkale Onsekiz Mart University. She has a MA degree in the same discipline. Along with practicing clay art, she is interested in culture-art, media-communication, social and educational projects. She gained experience and involved in several EU projects in Turkey, Germany, Spain and Italy. In particular, she has been conducting research on destinations of ceramic cities. 



Beril Anilanmert is a contemporary ceramic artist known for her innovative techniques and expressive forms in both large-scale sculptures and two-dimensional ceramic paintings. She has held 23 solo exhibitions and participated in numerous national and international exhibitions, symposiums, and workshops. Her sculptures have been displayed worldwide, including in France, Italy, Canada, Germany, Australia, the USA, and Japan, and are part of permanent collections in museums in Switzerland, the USA, Japan, and other countries. Anilanmert is also a respected jury member for various international ceramic competitions.

Beril Anilanmert's WEBSITE

Special thanks to Işık Gençoğlu at Istanbul Concept

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48 Hours in Çanakkale, Turkey

To see all the destinations listed in this guide and other ceramic sites worldwide, check out Ceramic World Destinations (CWD), MoCA/NY's interactive map listing over 4,000 destinations!

Interior of Mirrored Bazaar: photo courtesy: Yeliz Saydan

A BRIEF OVERVIEW: Çanakkale, Turkey

Located in the northwest of Turkey, Çanakkale is renowned as a stunning coastal town, distinguished among the many ceramic-rich towns in the country. Today, the city proudly preserves its vibrant ceramic heritage and historical legacy. Often referred to as the 'Potter's City,' Çanakkale embodies its rich past while embracing its present charm.

Çanakkale was originally an Ottoman fortress named Kale-i Sultaniye, meaning Fortress of the Sultan. Over time, it became renowned for its pottery, hence the later name 'Çanak Kalesi,' which translates to 'pottery fortress' from the words 'çanak' for ceramic bowl and 'kale' for fortress. From the late 17th century until about the first quarter of the 20th century, Çanakkale was a prominent center for ceramics production, creating works known for their distinctive forms and originality.

Situated on the Dardanelles Strait, one of the main water passages connecting the Aegean and Black Seas and separating the Asian and European sides, the city boasts a rich history and culture. It holds significance as the nearest major town to the ancient site of Troy.

Since ancient times, owing to the availability of suitable clays for pottery-making in its region, Çanakkale has emerged as one of the most important centres for ceramic production, both nationally and internationally, particularly in terms of exportation overseas. Ceramics originating from Çanakkale have brought considerable innovation to Anatolian Turkish ceramic art due to their distinctive styles, compositions, colours, and designs.

Çanakkale ceramics is a folk art that stands out with its simplicity, contrary to Iznik or Kütahya ceramics decorated with flamboyant patterns made for the palace. Animal figurines are a category of late Canakkale ceramics which are very popular among collectors. Horses, lions, and camels (standing or sitting), and fantastic birds, decorated with rosettes and painted with various colours, are offered as souvenirs to the sailors and travelers of the countless ships passing through Canakkale.

Designs are painted in purplish brown, orange, yellow, dark blue, and white under green, brown, oxide-yellow, and colorless glazes. Dishes are decorated with galleons, mortars, mosques, and dwellings as well as animal figures such as fish and birds. 


In this charming town, you will find various accommodation options according to your preferences. It is easy to find a comfortable place to stay in hotels or B&Bs on both sides of Çanakkale (Asian and European sides) that welcome guests with their cozy atmospheres. The most exclusive accommodation venues, such as Truva Hotel, Akol Hotel, Limani Hotel, Foreigners Hotel, and Kervansaray Hotel, located in the city center, will make you feel at home.

TIP: check this website for various accommodation options.

Canakkale view - photo courtesy: Yeliz Saydan


Due to the small size of the city centre, you may not need to use transportation to visit the ceramic shops as most places are easily accessible on foot. However, if your accommodation is located far from the city center, you can take advantage of the public buses or rent smart scooters or bicycles provided by the municipal services.


Museum, Studios, and Sunsets by the Sea

Çanakkale Ceramic Museum - photo courtesy: Emre Erdoğan
Çanakkale Ceramic Museum interior - photo courtesy: Emre Erdoğan

10:00 AM – Çanakkale Ceramic Museum: 

The Çanakkale Ceramic Museum building was purchased by the Çanakkale Municipality from the Turkish Naval Force. This historical building, once a military bath, underwent restoration in 2013 through the municipality's long-standing efforts, transforming it into a ceramic museum showcasing prominent examples of traditional Çanakkale ceramics.

Within the museum, selected pieces from various collections are displayed, both temporarily and permanently, and the museum's studio produces replicas of original ceramics. Enthusiasts can visit and witness Çanakkale ceramics here, which not only reflects the taste of specific periods but also attract attention through their ethnographic diversity, quality, and creativity.

You can also view temporary exhibitions on the upper floor of the museum, and in the souvenir section on the lower floor, you have the opportunity to purchase commemorative ceramic products to take with you.

Finally, end the tour by spending some time in the garden venue, filled with the smell of history, which will make it an unforgettable experience.

  • The museum is open every day except Mondays, with free admission.

11:00 AM – Ergun Arda’s studio (Baba Ceramic Studio): 

At the Studio BABA, located next to the Çanakkale Ceramic Museum, you can witness Ergün ARDA's modern interpretations of traditional Çanakkale ceramics. Additionally, you can engage in enlightening conversations about ceramics and art with Mr./Dr. Arda, who serves as an academic lecturer at the city university.

Plate by Baba Studio - photo courtesy: Baba Studio
Ergun Arda by Baba Studio- photo courtesy: Baba Studio
Baba Studio - photo courtesy: Baba Studio

12:00 PM – Burak CIFTCI Studio (Canakci Ceramic Studio)

You'll transport through time when you explore the traditional ceramics produced by Burak Çiftçi at his workshop just ahead of the city centre. Mr. Çiftçi, a ceramic artist and potter from Çanakkale, demonstrates great mastery in creating replicas of traditional ceramics, a skill he has specialized for years.

His pottery mirrors traditional ceramics in form, color, decoration, and texture, earning a place in the collections of many enthusiasts.

1:00 PM – Golf Family Tea Garden and Relax with a View of Dardanelles:

After your first day of touring ceramics, you can unwind by the sea. As you reach the seaside in the northern part of the city, you'll find a family-friendly spot to have some drinks. In this beautiful place, you can enjoy the view of the Dardanelles while sipping on Turkish coffee or tea.

6:00 PM – Gergedan Bar and Sunset

The sunsets in the westernmost part of Turkey, are undoubtedly indescribable. From the rooftop of Gergedan Bar, you can sip your drink and relieve the tiredness of the day.

7:30 PM – Limani Restaurant:

For those who prefer a quieter dining experience, have dinner at the Limani Restuarant which offers a variety. This place is located by the seaside, near Gestas Dock, and also features a hotel on the upper floor, making it a viable option for accommodation as well. 


Gallery, Museum, and a Ferry Ride to Kilitbahir Castel

10:00 am – Çanakkale Art Gallery:

You can start your second day from the Çanakkale Art Gallery, which is often referred to as Madame Kety's mansion. Facing the Canakkale Strait, the gallery, managed by the City Cultural Directorate of Canakkale, hosts periodic exhibitions throughout the year. This historical venue not only accommodates various art events but also showcases works by local and foreign ceramic artists. 

11:00 AM – Çanakkale City Museum and Archive

At the corner of Fetvane Street merging into Carsi Street, opposite Yali Mosque, you’ll see Çanakkale City Museum and Archive which opened its doors to visitors in 2009. The ground floor of this two-story building hosts temporary exhibitions, typically changing every two months.

The first floor comprises two interlocking sections. In the initial section, information boards detail Çanakkale's Ancient Periods, the Ottoman Period, and the First World War. This section also displays donated objects from the Çanakkale War in compartments along the wall. The second section serves as the primary exhibition space, featuring informational boards with texts and visuals covering various aspects of the city.

On the second floor, visitors can access the city archive and library, and see their collection of Çanakkale ceramics. For those eager to delve into the history of Çanakkale city, this museum offers a wonderful exploration.

  • The museum is open every day except Mondays, with free admission.

1:00 PM – Kilitbahir Tour and Kilitbahir Castel

This charming village, steeped in tourism and history, is easily accessible via a ferry ride from the city center, offering the experience of seeing Çanakkale from the European side. Known as the 'Lock of the Sea,' this village marks one of the intersection points between Europe and Asia. Here stands the sole remaining castle, located at the heart of the city.

These castles, constructed during the Ottoman period by Fatih Sultan Mehmed, hold significant military and strategic importance. Today, this location serves as an attractive travel destination, inviting tourists to breathe in the scent of history.

On this tour, you'll have the opportunity to explore the castle's interiors and exteriors and take a short tour around the hills of Kilitbahir village, where small ceramic selling points await your visit.

Also, enjoy a unique street delicacy, fish bread, as your lunch in Kilitbahir village.

  • Kilitbahir Castel is open every day except Mondays, with an entrance fee.
  • Click here to view Gestas ferry round trip schedule

7:00 PM – Dinner at Yalova Restaurant

As you return to the Canakkale city centre, prepare yourself for an evening feast. Indulge in the exquisite dining experience at Yalova restaurant, an incredible culinary destination in Canakkale known for its gourmet delicacies and seafood. You can also enjoy a seaside view if you prefer a table outside. The restaurant is located close to the ferry dock, along the city's southern coastline.

Day 3

A Visit to Cimenlik Castel, Ceramic Studios, and a Bazaar

10:00 am – Cimenlik Castel and Naval Museum Tour

Enjoy your morning exploring Cimenlik Castle and the Naval Museum located on the Canakkale side of the castles. This castle was ordered to be constructed by Mehmet the Conqueror in 1452. It now operates as a small military museum featuring exhibits on the Gallipoli battles and some war relics.

Sakirs Place - photo courtesy: Yeliz Saydan

12:00 PM – Sakir’s Place (Sakir’in Yeri) and a view of the Dardanelles

Sakir’s Place holds nostalgic value for anyone who spent their childhood in Çanakkale. It's the perfect spot to enjoy freshly brewed Turkish tea while observing the ships sailing in and out of the Dardanelles.

1:00 pm – Lunch at Dardanelle -  I Love Fish

Surrounding the historic clock tower square, you'll discover a great selection of dining and drinking options. Among them is 'I Love Fish,' located directly across from the tower. 'I Love Fish' is an initiative by Dardanel, one of Turkey's most important canned food and seafood companies. Here, you can choose from a diverse menu, ranging from seafood fast food to sushi, and experience the love of fish.

photo courtesy: Yeliz Saydan

2:30 pm – Ceramists’ Street visit

Prepare for an intergenerational experience as you witness the tradition of establishing ateliers next to the castle, a practice dating back to the Ottoman period, which continues to thrive today. Many workshops in the Fevzipasa District welcome ceramic enthusiasts, continuing their production and offerings. Here are some notable examples:

Adem Yavuz: photo courtesy: Yeliz Saydan

4 PM: GAK (Adem YAVUZ)

Adem Yavuz, known for producing some of the most original ceramics in the city, has infused pop art elements into his creations. His postmodern ceramics feature a combination of life mottos and depictions from our surroundings, hand-drawn by Yavuz and transferred onto the ceramics.

We guarantee that sipping coffee from one of these cups will bring a smile to your face. You can also commission Yavuz to engrave personalized expressions onto his ceramics.

GAK studio - photo courtesy: Gak Studio
GAK Studio - photo courtesy: Gak Studio
GAK Studio - photo courtesy: Gak Studio

Ilter Ozyildirim: photo courtesy: Yeliz Saydan

5:00 PM: Muddy Sweet Ceramics

The workshop owned by Ilter and Burcu Ozyildirim, two prominent ceramicists in Çanakkale, produces ceramics that push the boundaries of creativity. Their workshop features a wide array of fun figurines alongside iconized products. Offering pleasure, fun, and childlike excitement together, the Ozyildirim couple also organizes workshops for those interested.

Muddy Street Studio - photo courtesy: Muddy Street Studio

5:30 PM – Aynali Carsi (Mirrored Baazar)

This covered 'bedesten,' which has been the subject of local songs of Canakkale, stands as a significant icon of the city. Formerly known as Canakcilar Pazari (Potters' Market), it resembles a miniature version of Istanbul's Grand Bazaar. Today, it's said that only the entrance gate of the Mirrored Bazaar, situated on Carsi Street in the heart of Canakkale, remains in its original state. Following restoration by the Canakkale Municipality, this bazaar has gained further popularity.

Interior of Mirrored Bazaar: Yeliz Saydan

Here,  you can discover a wide array of spices, local products, and an extensive range of rich souvenir options. Enjoy the tradesmen's conversations in the bazaar, where you will spend time visiting small workshops and ceramic sales points.

Apart from a few boutique ceramic studios, some shops operate on a wholesale basis. Ceramics such as mugs, pots, magnets, and various products come from different production ateliers around Çanakkale and many nearby towns and provinces. These shops are mostly engaged in artisan trade.

Ayse Kunelgin: photo courtesy: Yeliz Saydan

6:00 pm – Studio visit Ayse Kunelgin (Kepenek Ceramic Studio)

Ayse Kunelgin, a prominent ceramicist in Canakkale, has run her workshop at the entrance of Yali Inn for over twenty years. This significant workshop, the product of long effort and patience, is one of the pioneering establishments among the new generation of artists in Canakkale.

Kepenek Studio - photo courtesy: Yeliz Saydan

You'll find symbols of the city—cats, horses, birds, and various herbal forms—created as decorative trinkets.

Kepenek Ceramics: photo courtesy: Yeliz Saydan

6:30 pm – Yali Hani or Han Kahvesi (Yali Inn)

Since 1889, this historical venue, also known as the passenger inn of Canakkale, has welcomed travelers for centuries. Notably, it stands as Turkey's only double-covered inn, featuring front and back doors, making it a cherished social hub in the city. Nowadays, it is a meeting point where people of all ages, especially youngsters, are regulars.

Aside from the Han Coffee House, which offers cold and hot beverages, Yali Inn boasts bars, ateliers, and boutique shops, creating a delightful and cozy atmosphere where intellectual activities often take place. Even if you choose to sit alone, you'll soon find yourself engaging in social interactions, and who knows how many people you will meet to make lasting friendships.

Yali Inn - photo courtesy: Yeliz Saydan
Yali Inn back entrence: photo courtesy: Yeliz Saydan

8:00 pm – Dinner at Mor Salkim Meyhanesi and Fun Times at Barlar Sokagi

On your final evening in Çanakkale, indulge in traditional Turkish appetizers (meze) and salads while savoring Turkish raki at Mor Salkim Meyhanesi. Located on Bar Street, the city's liveliest street, this restaurant offers a pleasant dining experience. Following dinner, enjoy the colorful world of Bar Street.


Excursions to Significant Sites

9:00 am – Troia Ancient Side

To reach the museum, located 30 km away from the town, aside from renting a car, you can opt for public minibusses. The minibusses to Troia depart from the shelter station, providing services every half hour, and will take you directly to the Troia Ancient Site in Tevfikiye village. From here, you can first start your tour by visiting Troia Ancient City, then explore the Troia Museum.

The Ancient City of Troia, renowned as the battleground of the Trojan War mentioned in Homer's Iliad, was included on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1998. Dating back to 3000 BC, it stands as one of the world's most famous archaeological sites. Ongoing excavations since 1871 have revealed the city's history of construction and destruction across numerous layers. These excavations unearthed forty-two building layers and nine city layers, unveiling a theater, baths, various artifacts, an advanced sewage system, and building foundations. Today, archaeological efforts continue under Canakkale 18 Mart University. The Troia Museum houses some of the most remarkable discoveries from these excavations, offering visitors the chance to witness these outstanding examples firsthand.

Troia Museum outer view - photo courtesy: Yeliz Saydan

11:00 AM – Troia Museum

Opened in 2018 to visitors, the museum building is located at the entrance of the Ancient City of Troy in Tevfikiye Village, operating as a unit of the Canakkale Museum Directorate. The construction of the Troy Museum began in 2013 following the National Architectural Project Competition with Free Participation and Single Stage.

At the Troy Museum, visitors delve into the life, cultures, and archaeological history of Troy, which left its marks on the Troas Region and is renowned for Homer's Iliad Epic. This narrative unfolds through artifacts from the excavations.

While visiting the museum, visitors follow a story divided into seven sections: Archaeology of Troad Region, Bronze Age of Troy, Iliad Epic and Troian War, Troas, and Ilion in Antiquity, Eastern Roman and Ottoman Period, History of Archaeology, Traces of Troy. Enjoy seeing the antique ceramics excavated from each layer.

Troia Museum interior view: photo courtesy: Yeliz Saydan
Troia Museum interior view - photo courtesy: Yeliz Saydan
Troia Museum ceramic foundings - photo courtesy: Yeliz Saydan
Troia Museum ceramic foundings - photo courtesy: Yeliz Saydan

12:30 PM – Tevfikiye Archeo-Village

Tevfikiye, one of the villages in the centre of Canakkale, is known for its villagers who have been supporting the excavations since the time of Schliemann. For this reason, an archeo-village project was designed to give the village a touristic identity. In this project, a story was created within the village based on three main components of Troia. They aim to create a sustainable creative interaction ground between Çanakkale city centre and Troia, Tevfikiye Archeo-Village, and to highlight Tevfikiye Archeo-Village as a living cultural area which is identified with Troia in the national and international arena.

Tevfikiye Archeo Village - photo courtesy: Yeliz Saydan

2:30 PM –  After the Troy tour, you have two options to consider for the last day:

1. Assos

Assos Athena Temple - photo courtesy: Yeliz Saydan

Enter the world that is the Anatolian equivalent of the Antique Greek period. Founded by the Ancient Greeks around the 7th century BC, the city of Assos is crowned with an impressive temple dedicated to the Goddess Athena. Although the temple has limited remnants, it stands as the sole Doric example in the Anatolian region.

Among the sights to explore in Assos are the remarkable ancient city walls, a Hellenic city gateway with two massive towers, a Roman theater, a gymnasium, an agora, and the necropolis (cemetery).

Assos - Behramkale - photo courtesy: Yeliz Saydan

The town also features structures from other periods, including an Ottoman-era mosque and fortress dating back to the 14th century. Excavations at the archaeological site are carried out in cooperation with Canakkale 18 Mart University and the American Institute.

Wandering through the narrow streets of the village, you’ll lose yourself in the historical ambiance, encountering various art galleries, ceramic and glass studios, and souvenir shops.

Assos local shop: photo courtesy: Yeliz Saydan

After taking a walk on the Aristotle Road, you can climb to the temple of Athena to salute the sun and complete the day. During the summer season, don’t forget to swim in the beautiful bays and dive into the azure blues.

  • To reach Assos by car from the Canakkale-Izmir Road, follow the signs south to Ayvacik and then proceed along the scenic road leading to Assos/Behramkale.
Assos Ancient Harbor - photo courtesy: Yeliz Saydan

2. Bozcaada

Bozcaada Castel - photo courtesy: Yeliz Saydan

This triangular-shaped island, measuring approximately 5-6 km on each side, lies 5 km from the Turkish mainland. Accessible by ferry from Geyikli district dock, the tiny island welcomes visitors with its castle amidst the deep blue waters.

Known as Tenedos in Greek, Bozcaada is a small Aegean Island, considered the more charming of the two islands in Canakkale. It has a different climate from its surroundings, a clean sea, and a unique lifestyle.

The famous Greek poet Homeros once said, 'God created Bozcaada so that people would live long.'

According to mythology, Poseidon's grandson Tenes was thrown into the sea in a wooden chest and washed ashore at  Leucophrye. Climbing the island slopes, Tenes settled there and cultivated grapes from wild vines, making viticulture and wine production the symbols of Tenedos for over 3000 years.

Bozcaada city - photo courtesy: Yeliz Saydan

Bozcaada's population has undergone frequent changes due to invasions, migrations, and wars throughout history. After the 1500s, under Ottoman rule, Turks and Greeks fostered a rich common culture. However, starting in the 1960s with the forced migration of the Greek population, viticulture and wine production disintegrated. In the last decade, many efforts have been made to revitalize this old local culture.

Additionally, the island is focused on handicraft production and has become a thriving tourist destination, attracting the interest of both local and foreign visitors. Besides numerous ceramic workshops, art galleries exhibit contemporary artworks. 

Bozcaada view - photo courtesy: Yeliz Saydan

The island, which becomes quite crowded, especially in summer, is invaded by tourists. For this reason, it is necessary to make reservations in advance for accommodation and restaurants.

Don't forget to swim in the crystal-clear waters of Ayazma Beach before leaving the island. If possible, consider taking a boat trip to explore all the bays.

7:30 pm – Dinner and Accommodation

In both districts (Assos or Bozcaada), dinner promises to be spectacular, offering seasonal fish caught by local fishermen, and delightful salads and appetizers. As you can see, in almost every region of Canakkale, seafood is an anticipant and distinguished part of the city's cuisine. 

For accommodation, you can comfortably stay in hotels that have been transformed from the unique structures within these beautiful historical and touristic districts.

To explore our extensive listings of galleries, museums, design stores, and other destinations in Turkey, go to the CERAMIC WORLD DESTINATION MAP!


Yeliz Saydan graduated with bachelor's and master’s degrees from Canakkale Onsekiz Mart University at the Ceramics Department. She gained experiences in the fields of culture and arts and participated in EU projects. In particular, she has been conducting research on destinations of ceramic cities. She also took part in an internship program at the Italian Association of Cities of Ceramics, collaborating with Canakkale Municipality to specialize in the subject. Currently studying at the Art and Design Department of Izmir Dokuz Eylul University as a Proficiency in Art student. She carries out her art works and research in Canakkale.

Yeliz Saydan's Blog

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