The city is on the southern/Asian bank of Dardanelles Strait (Turkish: Çanakkale Boğazı), which links Aegean Sea with the Sea of Marmara while separating Europe from Asia.
The city was called "Hellespontos" or "Dardanelles" in ancient times, and there has been evidence of a settlement in the Canakkale area since B.C. 3000. As the city is on the Dardanelles/Canakkale Strait, one of the two major water passages connecting the Mediterranean and Black Sea, the area is rich in history and culture. The site of the historical city of Troy is close to Canakkale.
During World War I, Canakkale and the Canakkale Strait was the stage of a year-long battle between the United Kingdom, France and the Ottoman Empire. From April 1915 to January 1916, a joint British and French operation was mounted to capture the Ottoman capital of Constantinople (now Istanbul). The attempt failed, but not without heavy casualties on both sides.
There are buses from Istanbul at any time, day or night. Just go to Istanbul's otogar, and look for 'Çanakkale' signs on the windowpanes of bus company offices. It takes five and a half to six hours to get from Istanbul to Çanakkale. Kamil Koç (
) is one of the bus companies transporting passengers for 50 TL pp between Istanbul and Çanakkale. Truva Turizm (
) covers the same route for 45 TL pp (might be a few liras cheaper if the ticket is bought online through their website, but you will need Turkish language skills for that). The busy Çanakkale bus station also has several daily connections with most major Turkish destinations, such as Edirne and Izmir.
Most buses drop their passengers off just next to ferry harbour—which is conveniently located in the city centre—after crossing the Straits by ferry.
Çanakkale is linked to north, east, and south by well-paved highways numbered E87/E90/D550, E90/D200, and E87/D550 respectively. However, as there is no bridge crossing the Straits of Dardanelles yet, you will have to take either Gelibolu–Lapseki, Gelibolu–Çardak, Eceabat–Çanakkale or Kilitbahir–Çanakkale ferry crossings when arriving from north.
Of the possibilities to cross the straits, the 24-hr Eceabat–Çanakkale ferry line, with 20-min intervals during busy morning to midnight hours, is likely to be the most convenient choice to get to the city from European mainland. It costs 2 TL for foot passengers, and 20 TL for cars (flat fare, i.e. not dependent on how many people are occupying the car).
Passengers from Istanbul must be aware that, under bad weather conditions, the sea-traffic in the strait is limited or cancelled, and crossing the strait may become impossible.
Most of the places in Çanakkale are in walking distance. There is a Tourist Information office several meters from ferryboat station (on the right if you are coming from the ferry). You can pick up a free tourist map of Çanakkale and the surrounding areas. They also have schedules of the minibuses to Troy and ferries to Bozcaada.
Archaeological Museum (Arkeoloji Müzesi), İzmir Caddesi (on the highway to Izmir, about 30 min away from the ferry harbour on foot. Minibuses are also available), ☎ , fax: +90 286 217-11-05. Tu-Su 8:30AM-12:30PM 1:30PM-5:30PM. Artifacts excavated from archaeological sites in the countryside surrounding Çanakkale, mostly amphorae and pottery, is among the exhibited in this museum.
Naval Museum (Deniz Müzesi), Fevzipaşa Mahallesi, Çimenlik Sokak (on the waterfront, just west of ferry harbour), ☎ , fax: +90 286 212-77-30. Tu-W F-Su 9AM-noon 1PM-5PM. The museum positioned around (and including) the Çimenlik Castle (Çimenlik Kalesi, also known as Kale-i Sultaniye) which dates back to 1461. A replica of a minelayer named Nusret that was employed in the naval battle of Dardanelles and photos taken during the period is among the exhibition of the museum.
Trojan Horse (2 minute walk east of the ferry harbour, on the waterfront). The one that was used in the movie Troy was donated to the city. free.
Anzac Cove (Gallipoli) (Self drive: Car hire: 100TL, Fuel:30TL, Ferry:25TL Tour: 70TL per person, but you will be rushed and unable to do it at your own pace so I would recommend hiring a car.). A historic battlefield, filled with the memorials and commemorative areas. The free audio guide gives you a great picture of what it was like as a young soldier fighting against a determined enemy. Free.
One thing not to miss while in Çanakkale is bomba, which is the usual döner in half a bread plus an omelette added in. There are lots of buffets making it in the cluster of shops located just across the street from ferry harbor. Totally local, so don't expect to find it in anywhere else.
Damak Tadi, Yali Cad. 20, 17000 Canakkale. small place, tasty food. Close to the justice building and the Naval Musesum.
Peynir Helvasi. a special dessert made of cheese, yolk, semolina and sugar. Husmenoglu is a patisserie famous with that dessert
- Anafartalar Hotel , İskele Meydanı 17100. Tel:+90 286 217-4454
- Anzac Hotel 
- Anzac House , Cumhuriyet Meydanı N:61 17100. Tel:+90 286 213-5969
Otel Efes, Fetvane Sokak 5, ☎ . Small, clean and friendly hotel close to the ferry terminal. The owner has hosted the hotel over 20 years, all by herself! 20 ytl.
- Kolin Hotel , Kepez 17100. Tel:+90 286 218-0808
- Akol Hotel , Kayserili Ahmet Paşa cad. Kordonboyu. Tel:+90 286 217-9456
- Buyuk Truva Hotel , Cevatpaşa Mah. M.Akif Ersoy cad.No:2. Tel:+90 286 217-1024
Hotel Kervansaray, Fetvane Sokak 13, ☎ 217 8792. Nice hotel close to waterfront. Comfortable rooms, helpful staff and lovely courtyard.
There is a public bathroom outside the ferry harbor area, but it costs 0.5 TL, has no toilet paper (napkins on a table outside the bathroom door), and has holes rather than toilets on the women's side. It is probably best to use a bathroom at a restaurant or your hostel.
Çanakkale is a convenient base to explore many nearby sights from.
- Troy (Truva or Troya in Turkish) — an archaeological site about 30 km away. Ruins of the legendary city with the (re-constructed) wooden horse.
- Gokceada (Imbros) and Bozcaada (Tenedos) — two of the biggest islands of Turkey, also the only significant Turkish islands in the Aegean Sea, are nearby.
- Gallipoli is on the opposite banks of Dardanelles Strait. Take a tour with Crowded House Hotel - they will meet you as you diemberk on the ferry in Eceabat.
- Kilitbahir, another village just opposite the city across Dardanelles on the Gallipoli Peninsula, is known for its extremely well preserved castle (that one which is the most obvious landmark seen from the city when illimunated at night). The village has very frequent ferry services (by private, smaller-sized boats) from Çanakkale, which depart from near Naval Museum and is a convenient point for visits onward to the southern, and decidedly less visited WWI monuments of Gallipoli, such as Cape Helles.
Abydos. An ancient city where the story of Hero and Leander takes place.
- Assos (also known as Behramkale; about 100 km to south) is a historically-important, pleasant seaside village.
- Along the Troad Coast — an itinerary south of Çanakkale combining visits to Troy, Assos, and a number of other historical sites along the Aegean coast.
|Routes through Çanakkale|
|Keşan ← Eceabat ←||N S||→ Troy → Izmir|
|Merges with ←||N E||→ Bandirma → Bursa|