September 2010
« Aug   Oct »

Edirne: The gateway to Turkey, named after the Roman Emperor, Hadrian

Edirne is the capital of the Edirne Province, in Turkish Thrace, the westernmost part of Turkey. It’s named after the Roman Emperor, Hadrian. The English name for Edirne, “Adrianople” was dismissed by the Turkish Postal Service Law of 1930, and is no longer used. Edirne is like the gateway to Turkey, as it shares its borders with two other countries: Greece (7 km) and Bulgaria (20 km) and is the first stopover for people coming in from Europe. The city’s population is less than 1,50,000.The place is popular for its Mosques, elegant domes and Minarets. Probably the most important monument in this city is the 16th-century Selimiye Mosque, built by Turkey’s greatest architect, Mimar Sinan. It is named after the then reigning the Sultan. This mosque is a perfect representation of Turkish marble handicrafts and is covered with valuable tiles and fine paintings.
Besides a host of other beautiful Mosques, the city has other attractions like the Palace of Edirne, the colourful bazaars of “Bedesten” and “Arasta”, which bring back Edirne’s rich ancient past and the lovely Ottoman stone bridges. Edirne is the centre of grease-wrestling, the national sport of Turkey. Every year championships are held here in July, and hundreds of people gather to watch this entertaining spectacle. But unlike other Turkish cities, Edirne does not attract too many tourists, maybe because of the absence of a Mediterranean tourist destination nightlife, which other Turkish cities boast of.

Best time to visit /Climate:

The climate of Edirne is Temperate Continental. Summer are hot and sometimes rainy with temperatures reaching up to 40 degrees C. Winters are cold, rainy and sometimes snowy with temperatures falling as low as -10 degrees C. Spring and autumn months tend to be a bit warmer, as compared to Turkish coastal cities. The best time to visit would be during the months of February to April and September to October.

Location on Google Maps:

View Larger Map

Driving directions to Edirne from Ankara:

View Larger Map

How to get there:

Buses are the best way to get to Edirne. There are many bus services operating from Istanbul, and because of the competition, the rates are very economical.

Trains take off from Istanbul’s Sirkeci station, twice daily.

You can drive on your own. Edirne is a two hour drive from Istanbul. If coming from outside Turkey, contact your local travel and tours provider.


Tourism is still on the rise in Edirne. Some top rated hotels are given below:

1. EFE Hotel Edirne
Maarif Street No 13 Kaleici, Edirne 22100, Turkey
2. Hotel Simsek Iletisim
Trakya Universitesi | Tip Fakültesi karsisi D100 karayolu üzeri, Edirne D100, Turkey
3. Selimiye Tasodalar Butik Hotel
Selimiye Camii arkasi Hamam S 3, Edirne, Turkey
4.Antik Hotel Edirne
Maarif Caddesi 6, Edirne, Turkey

Source: Trip Advisor

Edirne is popular for Liver , which is cooked in and served in a unique way. For non-vegetarians, it’s a must to try it. Edirne has a lot of liver-only restaurants. Other foods are also available from these restaurants, for people who are vegetarian or would prefer to eat something different. Some of the top rated restaurants are given below:

ortakapI caddesi, Edirne 22100, Turkey
2. Kofteci Hocaoglu
Cuisines: Turkish
saraclar, Edirne 22100, Turkey
Tel : 90 284 2147300
3. Bagirans
Cuisine: Turkish
feyzullah pasa sokak, Edirne 22000, Turkey
4. Cafe Pena
alipasa ortakapI, Edirne 22100, Turkey

Source: Trip Advisor


1. A brief history:

“The area around Edirne, thanks to its strategic position on the major routes towards Istanbul, Bosphorus, and onward to Asia, is one of the spots on earth that was heavily fought for—it has been site of no fewer 16 major battles and sieges since the days of Ancient Greeks.
Edirne’s former name is Adrianople (Hadrianoupolis), i.e. “City of Hadrianus”, named after the Roman emperor who founded the city on the site of Thracian village of Uskudama.
Then in 14th century, Ottomans captured the city and made it their capital, a situation which lasted until the Fall of Constantinople. Even after the dynasty moved to Constantinople in mid 15th century, Edirne was one of, if not the most, important centre’s of European part of the Ottoman Empire, which once extended all the way well into Hungary, and still was some sort of semi-capital of the empire, with some sultans even favouring the city over Istanbul and mumbling (to no avail) about returning the throne back to the city. Between 1700 and 1750, Edirne was the fourth biggest city in Europe, with an estimated population of about 350,000 people.”

2. Things to do, sightseeing and attractions:
“Main sights in downtown are quite close to the main square and to each other, and can be (hastily) done in half a day.
Selimiye Mosque (Selimiye Camii), (at the central square). That mosque which dominates the skyline of the city, built on a slightly higher hill than its surroundings. A grandiose piece of art by Sinan, the Ottoman architect of 16th century. Sinan himself considered this building as his best work. The dome of the building, which hangs high over main hall, encloses a huge space which gives the place an expansive atmosphere, had the largest diameter (31.28 mt) of all domes in the world for several centuries. And its minarets (towers) are the second highest minarets (70.89 mt) in whole world, surpassed only by Qutab Minar (72.50 mt) in Delhi, India.”

• “Watch an oil-wrestling competition, the national sport of Turks (although surpassed a little by soccer lately), which annually takes place in the stadium in Sarayiçi, northwestern outskirts of the city, on the banks of Tundzha. (Although dates vary year to year, it always takes place in late spring or early summer, such months as May, June or July.) This is the most prestigous wrestling tournament in Turkey and the winner is titled ba?pehlivan (“chief of all wrestlers”) of the year.”


Photo Gallery:
• Various pictures of Edirne:
• Pictures by a traveller:

Videos on You tube:
• Video of a busy market:

• Exploring Turkey: Edirne.

Leave a Reply

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>