Friday, September 23, 2016

Moving to Bursa and Where to Live

So you’ve decided to make the move to Bursa, the fourth largest city in Turkey and you’re wondering where to live in this city of two million people. Whether you’re moving for work, love, school or you just love the city, check out my tips below on where to live in Bursa. 

First of all, it would be helpful to know where you’ll be going everyday. Are you a student and going to Gorukle every day? Are teaching in the old city center of Heykel? Bursa is narrowly spread out across the foothills of Mt. Uludag. You wouldn’t want to commute from an eastern neighborhood in Yildirim to Gorukle everyday, as the commute would take way too long. While traffic isn’t as bad as Istanbul, Bursa traffic is getting increasingly worse with construction and an ever-expanding city.  There is a pretty decent public transport system including a couple of trams, buses and two main metros, but during peak hours, you can feel like a sardine stuffed in a tin can.

Let’s take a closer look at some of the more popular areas in Bursa:
Nilufer: Nilifuer seems to be the most desirable area in Bursa due to its expat friendly neighborhoods, nightlife and its close to proximity to public transport and just about everything else in Bursa. Specific areas that are popular among both locals and expats for living quarters are areas around the Fatih Sultan Mehmet Boulevard (FSM), the Korupark Residence area and Besevler. Housing isn’t cheap in these areas although you can sometimes come across a good deal. Rents in the above areas typically range from 800-1800 TL per month.  You’ll love these areas because of the nightlife (both on FSM and Podyum Park), the Metros at either end of FSM for fairly quick public transportation and you will feel welcomed by the locals.

Osmangazi: Before the Nilufer area became popular, most people lived in the Osmangazi areas of Heykel, Kukurtlu and Cekirge. Rents are more affordable in these neighborhoods with rent ranging from 400-1500 TL per month. Kukurtlu is a beautiful neighborhood with parks, cafes and close public transport. Cekirge is similar although a bit further from the metro. Heykel is the old city center. Traffic can be kind of tight here during rush hour and the streets are usually quite narrow. I love going to Heykel to discover cool shops and to chat with the locals. All the way out near the Bus Garage (otogar) is a massive community called Bursa Modern. The homes and towers are beautiful but if you ever want to meet up with friends (most of them will probably live near FSM), you’ll have a bit of a commute on your hands.

If you’re a student studying at Uludag University, you’ll probably want to live in Gorukle. Gorukle offers some of the most affordable housing options in Bursa but is a bit far from FSM and Heykel. While they have their own little community of bars and restaurants, it’s still a bit far out for my taste. That being said, I know many people living in Gorukle and they do not mind the commute.  Ozluce is another option between Gorukle and FSM offering newer flats with semi-affordable rent.

Many expats live in Bademli. Bademli is a neighborhood that isn’t easily accessible without a car. There is public transport but it is sparse. This area offers many “villa” type homes often coming with swimming pools and 24 hour security. Rent in Bademli can range from 1500-3000 TL per month.

Before you decide where to live in Bursa, my advice to you would be to choose a place close to public transport. No matter where you choose to stay in Bursa, I am sure your experience will be an unforgettable one.


  1. Good afternoon :)

    Just a question. Shortly I am going to live to Bursa and I would like to know if there is any place to learn turkish for free. I would like to improve my turkish as soon as possible and having turkish lessons would be so helpful.
    Thank you !!!

  2. Hi Leire,

    There are some places in Bursa to learn Turkish for free. While I haven't taken any of the courses myself, they are offered from time to time. The sites with the info are in Turkish, so you'll need a Turkish speaking friend to help you navigate the site and make some phone calls. The classes are offered though BUSMEK, Nilüfer Belediyesi or Osmangazi Belediyesi. You can google the sites. Also, consider joining our Facebook group called Foreigners in Bursa. You can find it by searching in Facebook for the group.

    Good luck!

  3. Hi Matt,

    I am a Turkish guy who lives & studies in The Philippines. I found you on Couchsurfing, then saw your blog here.The information that you give people is AWESOME. Hope to drop coffee or tea with you during my visit to bursa on September.
    Thank you !!!

  4. Hi! I am Nerissa, a Filipino living in Italy.
    We just started a website dedicated to the lives of all those living in a country other than the one where they were born. Thru we intend to increase connections, awareness, and understanding among people.
    We would like to ask you to contribute as an author to the website by writing even one single post with photos and/or videos about the region of the world you live in. Your post can be externally linked to your personal websites, blogs, Facebook pages, Twitter account, and/or anything else you like, in order to promote your own activity.
    If possible, we would also like you to write your story (bio - where you live and how you decided to live your life abroad) – example:
    To become an author, it is not necessary to live in a different country from where you were born, but simply to know a bit of the world by having lived, studied, or traveled abroad.
    Please, sign up to our website at and send all your files with things you would like to share (your story or your posts) by email to people(at)peopleabroad(dot)org. In case of big files, send them by WETRANSFER.
    Since this website is still under construction, we do not have yet made it available to search engines for indexation. So, to access it, just type
    We are just starting and that is why your help is essential. We would love to see you onboard!
    All the best,