8 Places You Must See in Balıkesir


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8 Places You Must See in Balıkesir 

Nestled at the convergence of the Marmara and Aegean Seas with the embracing presence of Mount Ida, Balıkesir is an enchanting city renowned for hosting regions with globally esteemed high oxygen levels. Balıkesir stands as a prominent hub for nature and culture tourism, boasting numerous must-visit locations and serving as the backdrop to some of Türkiye's most sought-after sea resorts. For those considering a trip to Balıkesir, our article aims to introduce and offer guidance to eight of these destinations.

Avşa Island


Connected to the Marmara district of Balıkesir, Avşa Island is a mere 2-hour ferry ride from Erdek. This island boasts picturesque beaches for swimming, coupled with numerous entertainment and dining venues. You can also visit the Saint George (Aya Yorgi) Monastery built in 1638,  or take part in water sports activities provided in the island.

Mount Ida National Park


Mount Ida, positioned at the border between the Marmara and Aegean Regions, and boasting the highest altitude on the Biga Peninsula, was known as Mount Ida in ancient times. Described by the famous poet Homer as "the mother of wild animals with abundant springs", the mountain is safeguarded as a national park with its untouched lush landscapes and endemic species. Recognized among the top three locations globally for oxygen abundance, Mount Ida is a must-visit area with its splendid canyons, invigorating waterfalls, and crystal-clear water springs. 

Kuva-yi Milliye Museum


Kuva-yi Milliye Museum was established in the building dating back 1840, originally serving as the residence of an Ottoman bureaucrat. It holds a significant historical role, as it was within these walls that the spark of the Kuva-yi Milliye resistance, a pivotal chapter in the founding narrative of the modern Republic of Türkiye, was ignited in Western Anatolia. On the first floor of the museum, personal belongings of the heroes central to this struggle, alongside materials related to the organization of the resistance are exhibited, while on the second floor, historical artifacts unearthed during excavations in Balıkesir can be viewed.

Cunda Island


Cunda, the largest of the 22 islands of Ayvalık district, captivates with its magnificent beaches and restaurants where you can sample the best of the Mediterranean cuisine. You can take pleasant strolls through the streets adorned with stunning stone houses and visit many historical buildings such as Agios Ioannis Church, Historical Windmill, Historical Taş Kahve (stone coffeehouse) and Moonlight Monastery. If you happen to visit Cunda Island in your trip to Balıkesir, you should definitely try the papalina, a unique local fish dish.

Bandırma Gönen Archaeological Site


Within the open-air museum situated in Gönen district, archaeologists unearthed the remains of a church that dates back to the Early Byzantine Period. The church, reveals a remarkable glimpse into the past, with only the apse, naos, and narthex sections still visible. Particularly noteworthy are the intricate mosaics adorning the church's floor, serving as remnants of the artistic and religious expressions of the era.

Bandırma Saraylar Archaeological Site


Saraylar Archaeological Site stands as an open-air museum positioned on the northeast coast of Marmara Island, renowned for its marble and sculpture works for centuries. This site played a pivotal role in meeting the marble demands of the Roman Empire, dispatching works to the Anatolian, Adriatic, Mediterranean, and Black Sea coasts. The artifacts, many of which are still in an unfinished state, found in the Saraylar Archaeological Site, shed light on the marble processing stages of the past.

Taksiyarhis Memorial Museum


It is believed that the museum building in the Ayvalık district was built as a small church in the 15th century. This church, characterized by its impressive architecture and the elements used in its decoration, underwent restoration in 2012 and was opened to visitors as a memorial museum in 2013. Due to the damages caused by earthquakes in the past, the building is understood to have gone some restorations and the works inside have been renewed in time. The paintings, frescoes, patterns, and columns are works of art worth seeing in this captivating museum. 

Bird Paradise National Park

Situated northeast of Manyas Bird Lake, the national park is a significant waterfowl breeding and accommodation hub in Türkiye. Home to 266 bird species, it is an internationally important natural habitat. The park, with a huge tower for bird watching, is a must-visit for those who want to spend time in a stunning natural landscape.