Samsun is a city with a population of over half a million people on the north coast of Turkey. It is the provincial capital of Samsun province and a major Black Sea port. Samsun’s main industry in is in light manufacturing.
Samsun, formerly Amisos, was founded by the Milesians around 750 BC. The city is not only famous for its scenic beauty but also for its monuments and artifacts that survived from the ancient times.
Samsun province is blessed with a generous natural landscape abounding in mountains, lakes, rivers and valleys.
- Population: 605,319 (2013 census)
- 16th largest city in Turkey
- Host city of the U20 European Championship Women 2013
Of great value to Turkish history, Samsun is the historic city where Atatürk laid the foundations of the war of independence during his visit on May 19, 1919. Naturally the region abounds in natural and historical sites worth the visit.
The earliest known settlement in the city began around 1500 BC. The historical site of Dündartepe where many ancient artifacts have been retrieved is among the earliest settlements of the region.
Rich in historical artifacts, Tekkeköy is another ancient site settled during the Hittite period and the Early Bronze Age.
Likewise, numerous artifacts were excavated at the Ikiztepe historical site which was settled during the same time periods as Tekkeköy.
Kaledoruğu Mound and the Lerdüge Tumuli are among the historic sites of the early Bronze Age where ancient rock tombs and artifacts were found.
The Archaeology - Ethnographic Museum, Gazi Museum and the Atatürk Museum are among the important historical centres of the city. Exhibiting the findings of the area and sources related to Atatürk’s visit and his accomplishments in Samsun, these museums are among the must-see sites.
Mosques such as Büyük Camii, Yali, Kurşunlu and Haci Hatun Mosque as well as the Church of Mater Dolorosa are some of the sites representative of the diverse religious structures of the city. Surrounded by innumerable tombs, Turkish baths, monuments and spas, you can get steeped in history and explore the natural landscape of Samsun.
Built in the 17th century, the historical Tashan Bazaar and Fazil Ahmed Pasha Bazaar are comprised of traditional shops where you can buy souvenirs and similar traditional items.
You can swim in the foamy waters of the Black Sea if you are visiting Samsun in the summer months. The Alaçam Geyikkoşan Beach, Bafra Coast, Tekkeköy Yakakent and Çam Lake are some of the beaches where you can explore different types of waters.
In addition to the lush green valleys, where one can engage in trekking there are a numerous other natural sites suitable for outdoor sports such as mountaineering, paragliding or water sports.
Samsun is also well-known for its local cuisine which makes use of corn, cabbage, and beans in addition to meat and pastry as main ingredients. Lahana Çorbasi (Cabbage soup), kaz yufkası (pastry with goose meat), yer pancarı (a dish made of beet), mercimekli bulgur pilavı (bulgur pilaf with lentils), hamsi ekmek (anchovy bread) are some of the local delicacies you should taste.
Famous for its cultural and historical assets, Samsun also becomes the site of a number of entertaining festivals organised all the year round.
The International Folk Dance Festival is held in July every year and welcomes many traditional dance companies from many countries around the World.
The Altin Fındık (Golden Hazelnut) oil wrestling tournaments, traditional Karakucak wrestling tournaments, and Göller Bölgesi (Lakes district) wrestling tournament are among the traditional sports festivities of Anatolian origin.
The Yeşilırmak Culture and Art Festival, Golden Rice Festival, Black Sea Short Film Festival and Sea Games Festival are among the many other festivals that welcome visitors in Samsun.
Located at the midpoint of the Black Sea region, Samsun has a fairly well advanced transportation system.
Samsun Airport, which hosts domestic flights from all major airports, is a practical transportation alternative as it is in vicinity of the city centre. The shuttles and taxis waiting outside of the terminal gates will take you to the desired destination in short time.
Samsun is accessible also via a pleasant road trip by bus from any city in Turkey. Once you have arrived at the bus terminal of Samsun you may make use of the shuttle services and taxis stationed outside of the terminal to get around the province.
Samsun Çarşamba Airport (SZF)
Samsun Çarşamba Havaalanı, 55506 Çınarlık Belediyesi/Çarşamba/Samsun
Phone: 0090 362 844 8830
Distances between Samsun and other main Turkish cities:
Samsun – Ankara: 407 km
Samsun – Istanbul: 736 km
Samsun – Izmir: 1,100 km