It is the largest city on the Turkish Black Sea coast.
Samsun has a special place in the republican history of Turkey, as this is where the republic's founder, Kemal Atatürk, set foot to start the War of Independence in 1919.
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- Samsun-Çarşamba Airport (IATA: SZF, Samsun Çarşamba Havaalanı), Çınarlık Bld., Girişi Pk (23 km East), ☎ . There are frequent flights from Istanbul, daily from other big Turkish cities and some international (mainly from Germany) flights in summer.
- Bus Station (Samsun Yusuf Ziya Yılmaz Şehirlerarası Otobüs Terminali, Samsun Otogarı), Şht. Korhan Ekiz Blv (W 5 km). Buses are a cheaper and slower alternative than plane, particularly if you're not coming from Ankara or Istanbul.
- Railway Station (TCDD Gar), Fuar Cd. (Center). Samsun also has a railway connection with the interior of the country, with passenger trains plying the route between Samsun and Sivas via Amasya back and forth. As with the rest of Turkey, this is both the slowest and cheapest alternative, though also the most comfortable, as trains are equipped with spacious seats, usually mostly empty, and equipped with outlets and toilets.
The city has a network of trams, buses, dolmuşes, and taxis.
The city travelcard is called Samkart and can be bought at the main tram stops.
The very modern tramway, with its 21 stations all along the city between its terminii of Gar (mainline train station) and University stations, is possibly the most useful option.
Dolmuş are much more frequent than buses - you can always ask the driver details on where to get off, etc.
There are automated bike rental stands along the seafront. The central seafront is very easy and pleasant to cycle along but west to Atakum is more difficult as the rental stand in Batı Park is not yet operational and the bicycle path past the Sheraton hotel is in poor condition and often blocked by construction vehicles. Although they plan to accept foreign credit cards at the time of writing (Sept 2014) only Turkish credit cards are accepted. If you are a foreign visitor your best bet currently is to go to the central rental stand, and either ask the Sambis staff who are sometimes there if they can help, or join up with a Turkish group. The three rental stands currently in use are all on the seafront and are marked on OpenStreetMap.
- Replica of SS Bandırma. This is the replica of the ferry that took Kemal Atatürk from Istanbul to the port of Samsun. Inside, there is a collection of photographs of Atatürk and his comrades. You can also watch a short film.
- Atatürk and his comrades, 19 Mayis Blv. Walking from the bottom of 19 Mayis Blv towards the sea you can see life size models of historical figures; and Atatürk and his comrades alighting from another, partial, replica of the Bandırma at the sea front.
- Amisos Hill (From the city centre take either number 1 (red) dolmus west to its last stop or tram to Baruthane: then walk up. Alternatively take the cable car from Batı Park.). offers a sea view, Hellanistic era tombs, and cafes in pleasant grounds.
- Kızılırmak Delta (West of the city). this is the delta plain of Turkey's longest river (1355 km source to sea), Kızılırmak (literally "red river", due to its colour). The delta is great for birdwatching (320 species of birds call there home) as well as for fishing.
- Mosque (Büyük Camii).
- Mosque (Kursunlu Camii).
- Göğceli Mosque (Mezarlık Cami), Terme Caddesi (Cemil Şensoy Cd.) (Çay Mahallesi in Çarşamba, a town a little further east (~30 km), inside Göğceli cemetery, (Göğçeli Mezarlığı)). One of the rare wooden mosques in Turkey, this one dates back to 1206, and its construction does not involve even a single nail (all wooden plates were inserted through each other).
- Bedestan (Tarihi Bedestan Çarşısı), Namık Kemal Cd.
- Gazi Museum, Gazi Cd., in Mecidiye (Center). is a witness to Atatürk's activities while in Samsun. The collection includes some clothes and personal paraphernalia, purportedly belonging to him. It also includes a number of old photographs and maps.
- Archaeology and Ethnographic Museum, 19 Mayıs Blv No:5, (near Cumhuriyet Center). is dedicated to local history and artifacts, including the golden Amisos Treasure.
- City Museum, Fuar Cd., Kale Mh.. So new the tobacco still smells good.
- Sea Front — Good for walking or cycling, or you can take a ride in a horse drawn carriage.
- Boat trip. A trip along the coast which takes 2 hours, on a boat named Samsunum ("my Samsun").
Atakum Beach is long, free and sandy and has nice cafes across the small road from the beach. However there is little shade and children and weak swimmers should beware of the variable depth, especially when there are waves.
Fener Beach, has a small daily charge and is suitable for small children in that the water is shallow, it has shade and showers and is sheltered from waves. It is open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. but only in summer. Access by public transport involves crossing a busy road, so unless you are staying at the Sheraton you may prefer to take a taxi if you have small children.
Bandırma Beach is closed for renovation as of 2014.
- Talk to the locals. For a city of half a million there are very few foreigners: so most people will be happy to chat if you want to. Try the sea front, parks or outdoor cafes. No need to feel lonely if you are travelling on your own: just ask one of the many English language schools if their students need any conversation practice - especially if you are a native English speaker they will welcome you with open arms.
In summer locals love to barbeque in the big parks and drink tea from samovars.
- Atatürk Park (aka Egg Park) (Central). —, small and shady: with the famous statue.
- East Park (Doğu Park) (By the sea.). There are a lot of trees, basketball and football areas and a lot of cafes. From here you could walk up the River Mert.
- West Park (Batı Park) (Take dolmus or tram to Baruthane). — Big, with plenty of kitsch. Also by the sea but the trees have not had much time to grow yet. Has cable car to Amisos Hill.
- Çakırlar Korusu (Take the westward tram to Üniversite, which is the last stop. Walk across to the minibus station and as it is only a few minutes drive most minibuses will pass it. Ask the driver to tell you where to get off. You will see it on the other side of the road: be careful as traffic does not stop for the crossing. To return to the city catch any minibus passing the main gate. Or if you have your own transport it is right next to the main road (see map by clicking blue square above) and well signed.). Nature reserve with boardwalks over wetland forested with ash and elm. Picnic and sports area, restaurant and toilets. Free.
- Arts. If you are interested in arts, you will find a thing or two that you might like. There is a very large and interesting opera building with weekly shows.
- Go Karting. There is a go kart course in Batıpark (West Park)
- Fishing. The Black Sea is rich in fish varieties.
- Horseriding. There is a course in town.
- Paintball. There is a paintball ground in the locality known as Körfez, somewhat far from city centre.
- Wakeboarding. In summer water skiiers are towed around by an overhead circuit, near Dogupark (East Park)
- Festivals. Two festivals are celebrated annually in the city. Some competitions are held during the Bike Festival. On the other hand, concerts of popular singers are to be found during the Festival of OMÜ (Ondokuz Mayıs Üniversitesi, one of the local universities). Both festivals are usually celebrated around the end of June.
Pide is one of Samsun's delicious 'events' and has four different types available Kapalı, peynirli-yumurtalı (cheese&egg), pastırmalı-yumurtalı (spicy bacon&egg) and sucuklu-yumurtalı (Turkish wurst&egg) although there are some further varieties also possible such as spinach, kavurmalı etc.
The local people all eat pide every Sunday almost ritualistically.
These pides are totally unique to the city, so don't expect to find them anywhere else.
- Destur Restaurant & Banquet Room, kale mahallesi kazımpaşa caddesi no:5(cumhuriyet meydanı vakıflar bankası atm bitişiği), ikadım /samsun 55030 (From Cumhuriyet Square face towards the sea and it is near Vakif Bank to your front left(cumhuriyet meydanı vakıflar bankası atm bitişiği)), ☎ . Eat traditional food, drink Ottoman sherbert and talk about all the old stuff.
- TTNET Wi-Fi at the airport is slower than the local tortoises.
- Internet cafes usually cost 1 lira/hour, but they're quite slow.
- Internet in hotels is also quite slow.
- Amasya (SW 90 km - 3 hrs by train or 2 by coach, Train (7.5 TL single) is the nicest way to travel there: after leaving the outskirts of Samsun in the morning the first hour of the journey is the most scenic; peach orchards followed by a steep green river valley. The train is comfortable with plenty of space: but bring your own snacks or drinks as none are served.). — to the south is a pleasant riverside city with whitewashed houses and plenty of other historic attractions.
- Bogazkale (SW 310 km). — town close to Hattuşaş, which was once the capital of Hittite Empire, indigenous people of Anatolian highlands
- Ordu (NE 175—km (2.5 hours)). — on the way to more popular cities and sites of eternally rainy and green Eastern Black Sea
- Sinop (3 hrs to west). — an ancient fortified port city jutting out on a peninsula into Turkey's northernmost tip
- Sivas (7 hours by train to the south). is an important city in Turkish history, today relatively small, but with a lovely Madresa complex, and a gateway to Central Anatolia.
- Trabzon, Trabzon Province. (3.5 hours by car, 6 hours by bus). — with its seaside view badly ruined by the Black Sea Highway, is still an important historical city, that is great fun to explore. The main city of the northeast has a lot to offer a visitor, and is the place to stay when traveling to the stunning Sümela Monastery. Take a tour to Lake Uzungöl
- Tokat (S 205 km).
|Routes through Samsun|
|Akçakoca ← Sinop ←||W E||→ Ordu → Trabzon|
|Ends at ←||W E||→ Trabzon → Poti|
|END ←||N S||→ Merzifon → Merges with|