Manisa is a district of the Manisa province in the west of Turkey’s Aegean region. Manisa’s neighbours include Izmir (34 km to the west), Aydin (156 km to the south) and Denizli (172 km to the southeast).
Manisa has an extensive history, going as far back as 500 BC. However, the first known occupation of the city can only be dated back to the 14th century BC. The Ottomans used Manisa as the training grounds of their crown princes. Therefore, you can see many examples of Ottoman architecture, including the 16th century Sultan Mosque. Currently this mosque is host to the yearly Mesir Macunu Festival, which is dedicated to Ayse Sultan for whom the mosque was built. More examples of Ottoman architecture can be seen in nearby Kula.
You will also find many items of interest in Manisa’s Archaeological Museum, which is housed in the Murad Bey Medresse. There are more historical sites of interest in the surrounding area.
Sardis, in Salihli, was the ancient capital of Lydia during the reign of King Croesus. Earthquakes have destroyed most of the ancient city; however, you can still see traces of the Temple of Artemis, a gymnasium and a 3rd century Synagogue. Some of the Synagogue’s engraved coloured-stone panels and ornate mosaics can still be seen.
In Alasehir the ruins of a Byzantine Church, from the ancient city of Philadelphia, can be found.
If you are interested in the regions culture you could visit Yunt Dagi, Kula and Demirci, which are renowned for their exquisite carpets and kilims. Also, during the month of September, you can immerse yourself in the regions wine making tradition during the Vintage Festival. Enjoy the atmosphere as the fruits are harvested from the fields and vineyards for export to Izmir or to wineries for wine making. Afterwards, visit Spil Mountain where you can enjoy the forests, beautiful flora and vegetation (approximately 120 types of endemic plants) and the hot springs. You can camp in this area or you can explore the mountain and see the ‘crying rock’ of Niobe.
Hotels provide accommodation facilities within the district of Manisa, with restaurants and bars providing evening entertainment. You will also find accommodation in other parts of the Manisa province.
You can reach Manisa via train from Ankara and Izmir or via the national bus network into Izmir’s main bus terminal (otogar) which is 600 m away.