Trabzon (formerly Trebizond) is the largest city in the Eastern Karadeniz region of Turkey. Trabzon functioned as an independent state or empire during several periods in its long history, ruling over a vast area from Sinop in the west to Georgia in the east, even including territory in Crimea. Within Turkey Trabzon is known as a hospitable, energetic, traditional and patriotic city, which is culturally somewhat distinct from the rest of the country.
Best Time to Travel
The best time to visit Trabzon is during the spring and autumn seasons (March – May and September – November). Trabzon experiences a humid subtropical climate. It has typical Black sea weather patterns with lot of Precipitation.
Summer (June – August): The summers are humid and warm with an average temperature of around 26 degrees Celsius which makes it a good season for outdoor activities.
Winter (December – February): Winters are often cool and wet. The temperature is likely to be around 5°C on an average.
Spring (March – May): The average temperature in spring is about 14 degrees Celsius. During May month, day temperature raises up to 19 degree Celsius and night temperature goes down up to 13 degrees Celsius. Weather is quite clear during May month which makes it the best time to visit Trabzon.
Autumn (September – November): Precipitation is high during the autumn season and the average temperature is around 20°C.
BoraJet, Onur Air, Pegasus, SunExpress, and Turkish Airlines have flights to Trabzon from Ankara and/or Istanbul. There are some international flights as well from Germany, Georgia and the Crimea.
There’s frequent direct bus service from Istanbul, Ankara and other major Turkish cities, particularly by the Ulusoycompany.
Although the Black Sea coast offers some beauty spots, it’s really not worth the long drive and the fuel expense to drive all the way to Trabzon from some distant city. Unless you have a particular interest in many cities and towns along the coast, we’d suggest that you fly to Trabzon, then rent a car there if you want to explore further on your own.
Trabzon Museum (Kostaki Mansion)
A mansion built by prominent banker Kostaki Theophylaktos in the early 1900s is now the museum of Trabzon history. Exhibits cover Trabzon’s archeological and ethnographic history, as well as that of the mansion itself—a fine example of upper-class Ottoman Black Sea domestic architecture.
Old Trabzon was a walled city. Parts of the walls are still to be seen, particularly near the Atapark, a shady park west of the center along Uzun Sokak.
Certainly one of Trabzon’s most important sights, the Sumela Monastery is quite the amazing structure as it’s tucked right in a steep cliffside overlooking the beautiful natural landscape. Dedicated to the Virgin Mary, the Greek Orthodox monastery, built in 386 AD, is at an altitude of 1,200 meters (3,937 feet) over the Altındere National Park.
Located in Trabzon city, the Trabzon Castle’s foundations date back to the Byzantine era. The beautiful and historic structure is composed of three fortresses, and experts believe that the uppermost part dates back to 2000 BC when it served as an acropolis. Alexios II of Trebizond built the middle and lower fortresses, while the tuğra (signature) of Ottoman sultan Mehmed II is visible at one of the gates.
Atatürk Köşkü Müzesi
Built as a summer home for a notable Greek banker in 1890, this beautiful mansion (designed by an Italian architect) was later the place where Mustafa Kemal Atatürk himself would stay in 1924. In 1987, the home became a museum of archaeology and ethnography.
Hagia Sophia (Ayasofya)
Most prominent of Trabzon’s historic churches is the fairly well-preserved and restored Hagia Sophia (Ayasofya, 1263). Dedicated as a museum in 1964, its main hall was re-converted to a mosque in July 2103. Though still worthy of a visit, some of the historic building’s best features are no longer open to view.
Also dating from the 1200s, this Byzantine church is now a mosque (Ortahisar Fatih Büyük Camii) on the campus of the Mufti of Trabzon. Although, like all Turkish mosques, it is open to visits by non-Muslims, the building is not always unlocked. You may want to schedule your visit for just before or 30 to 45 minutes after one of the five daily prayer-times.
Other Churches & Mosques
Other notable churches include the Church of St Anne(Küçük Ayvasıl, 885), and St Eugenius (Yeni Cuma Camii, 1200s), which you may be able to visit around prayer-times.