Çanakkale: gateway to the legendary Troy

Çanakkale: gateway to the legendary Troy

A small port city is located in the north-west of Turkey, on the coast of the Dardanelles Strait, which connects the Sea of ​​Marmara and the Aegean Sea. In Çanakkale, you rarely hear Russian spoken; a random person you meet is often an archaeologist, a museum employee, or the owner of a ceramics shop, and the property of the embankment is a giant horse from the filming of the film “Troy.” It’s definitely worth coming here if you want to get to know an atypical Turkey.

How to get there and where to stay

Çanakkale: gateway to the legendary Troy

A plane ticket from Moscow to Istanbul costs about 25,000 rubles* per person round trip. There are several ways to get to Canakkale. For example, by bus: METRO (Metroturizm) and Pamukkale are considered the most comfortable for traveling. Tickets can be purchased online on company websites or at the bus station. However, we recommend renting a car; the price per day starts from 1,500 rubles*. This is the most convenient way to overcome the distance between cities. The journey will take about 5 hours. 

Several suitable hotel options:

AVEC HOTEL – from 5000 rubles* per night per person;
Kolin Hotel – from 4800 rubles* per night per person;
Buyuk Truva Hotel – from 3700 rubles* per night per person.

What to do in Canakkale

Çanakkale: gateway to the legendary Troy

In this city, you should definitely get lost in the labyrinth of streets of the old city and buy a fancy jug in one of the shops as a souvenir. Go to the neighboring island to visit the cult fortress, and in the evening return to a rock concert of local musicians. Enjoy a hearty Turkish breakfast and explore the remains of ancient Troy, immortalized by Homer in his epic poem The Iliad.

Take yourself a tour to the world of ceramics

Çanakkale has long been famous for its craftsmen: in the 17th and 18th centuries, clay products were decorated with flowers and geometric patterns, later jugs, vases, pastry bowls and gas lamps in the shape of ships or animals became popular. Among the pottery that has survived to this day, one can find jugs with handles entwined with snakes and vessels with horse heads.

The city honors the traditions of its potter ancestors, so on the central streets there are shops selling ceramics at almost every turn. If you are a fan of unique ceramic tableware, we recommend taking a separate bag for souvenirs on your trip – you will want to buy everything. And if you try, you can get into a master class with a ceramic artist. A product created with your own hands in the company of local craftsmen can become one of the brightest impressions of your trip.

It is better to find such workshops by chance, while walking along narrow, winding streets. Often the shops are not even on the map, since they are a small family business or even the art workshop of some as yet unknown artist. Of the verified ones, we recommend visiting the following.

Çanakkale: gateway to the legendary Troy

Kepenek Keramik

A place with history – the store has been operating since 1996. Here you will find durable terracotta dishes decorated with bright and colorful glazes, as well as small figurines that make excellent gifts. Note the Trojan horses with wheels.

Tulû Seramik

From here you will want to take a coffee or tea pair with you. There are both classic options and unusual finds like a lemon mug or a pumpkin cup.

Ceramic by Elif

This ceramics studio will appeal to lovers of aesthetics – stylish minimalist design, lots of light and a large table where the magic happens.  Pay attention to unusual plant pots and flower vases.

Çanakkale Seramik Müzesi

We suggest finishing the tour with a visit to the museum. Nowadays, both ceramics made in antiquity and works of modern masters are exhibited there. Exhibitions and art conferences are regularly held here, and master classes on making clay products are also held. 

Interesting fact: there used to be a bathhouse on the site of the museum. This explains some of the interior features. Admission is free.

Go to Kilitbahir fishing harbor    

Çanakkale: gateway to the legendary Troy

It’s great to board a ship and literally in 15 minutes find yourself on the Gallipoli Peninsula, where you can not only get in touch with history, but also have a picnic in nature, as the locals do. We recommend visiting the village of Kilitbakhir, which is famous for the fortress of the same name. This masterpiece of Ottoman architecture was erected on the orders of Sultan Mehmet II Fatih 10 years after the capture of Constantinople to protect the strait. The fortress was built in the form of a geometrically even trefoil. You can get inside from 9:00 to 16:00 on any day except Monday. It’s also a great location  for walks and sightseeing photos. Don’t forget to take a couple of pictures of happy cats guarding their dinner from the fishermen on the pier as a souvenir.

Spend time in one of the cafes on the embankment

It’s good to travel where the food is delicious. A hearty breakfast, a tasty snack and a cafe with a beautiful view is the minimum necessary for a tourist to reboot and gain strength for new experiences.

Çanakkale: gateway to the legendary Troy


Head to the north end of the seafront for this casual and stylish café that serves great all-day breakfasts. You can put together your own set from individual menu items or choose a fixed-price dish – and enjoy the abundance of fresh cheeses, jams, olives and other goodies on offer. Allow at least an hour for a leisurely feast.

Veranda Coffee Company

Local hipsters’ favorite coffee shop: they serve signature lemonades, lattes with sweet syrups, filter coffee, and pumpkin cheesecake. It’s especially nice to have a cup of warm drink at sunset: the cafe is located just a couple of tens of meters from the bay, and it’s a special pleasure to see off the evening sun, painting the embankment in soft golden tones. 

Babalık tekin peynir helvasisi 

A confectionery where you can pick up sweets to snack on while walking. The signature dish is peynir helwasy, or a dessert made from flour or semolina, butter and sugar. Try it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream for a mid-day snack.

Take a walk in the historical National Park in Gelibolu

On its territory there are archaeological sites, some of which date back to 4000 BC. In addition to memorials, burials and sculptures, pay attention to the amazing natural beauty of the Aryburnu Hills and Lake Tuzla. Green hills, sandy beaches and blue waters are a place where you can reflect on the eternal and enjoy the silence.

Go to a concert in one of the local bars

There is no better way to understand how young people live than to listen to their songs. Turkish rock will definitely surprise you.

Çanakkale: gateway to the legendary Troy

Barduck Çanakkale

A cult place where young bands play. The bar is located in a residential area, so once inside, you may get the impression that you have visited friends and unexpectedly found yourself at a party. A small stage, a cocktail bar, several rooms with graffiti on the walls and a balcony where the most heated discussions of the artists’ work take place. It’s cozy and easy to feel like you belong here.

Çanakkale Hayal Kahvesi

From time to time, rock bands perform concerts in this ancient building not far from the clock tower. There are constantly updated posters outside, so you can pre-search and choose a favorite band that you want to listen to live. Or maybe even learn the words so you can sing along.

Jokers Bar Canakkale

Concerts start around 20:00 every Friday and Saturday. This is an ever-changing scene, so there is always a varied repertoire that will appeal to music lovers. There are many other pubs, cafes and restaurants in the surrounding streets, so it may be worth spending the whole night bar hopping.

Visit the mythical Troy

Çanakkale: gateway to the legendary Troy

A trip that should be on your to-do list for this trip. The ancient city is a 30-minute drive from Canakkale and is easily accessible by one of the public buses that go to your destination every hour. 

Walk among the excavations with ruins, remember the love story of Paris and Helen, feel how legends come to life in this place. Visit the modern Museum of Troy, which displays approximately 2,000 artifacts found throughout Troy and Troas. Particularly interesting are antique sculptures, sarcophagi, metal utensils, gold items, coins.

We recommend exploring the halls “Archaeological zone of Troas”, “Bronze Age of Troy”, “The Legend of the Iliad and the Battle of Troy”, “Troads and Ilium in Antiquity”, “Eastern Roman Empire and the Ottoman Period”, “ History of Archeology” and “Traces of Troy”.

Near the entrance there is a store where you can  buy souvenirs or postcards in memory of the lands sung by Homer. Let them become your personal testimony of the existence of a great civilization. Or just a great gift for family and friends.

*Prices valid at time of publication.

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