A significant province which keeps growing every day despite being a small area, Kocaeli attracts many visitors for its historic and natural riches.
The city was settled for the first time in the 8th century BC and has been home to many major civilizations since. The Gültepe Necropolis Area, Üçtepeler Great Tumulus, the Pavilion of Sultan Mehmet the Conqueror and the Clock Tower are some of the most significant ancient settlements you can sightsee in the area.
Exhibiting the artifacts from the earliest periods to the present the museums of the region offer large collections that can be sightseen by culture enthusiasts. The Kocaeli Museum of Archaeology and Ethnography, Eskihisar Osman Hamdi Bey Museum, Floating Museum of Kocaeli, TCG Hızırreis Museum, Gölcük Maritime Museum, Yarhisar Ship Museum and Izmit Electronic City Museum are some of the museums worth the visit.
The Kasr-ı Humayun's Palace and Museum, Kaiser Wilhelm Mansion, Blacksmith's Mansion, Pink Mansion, Old Governor's Mansion and Sırrı Pasha Mansion are among the historic structures exemplifying the architecture of the Ottoman era.
The Orhan and Fevziye mosques, Pertev Mehmet Pasha and Coban Mustafa Pasha Mosque complexes are some of the faith centers worth to sightsee while the Eskihisar Castle is another precious legacy dominating the skyline of the city.
After visiting the Mevlevi House and the Imre Thököly Memorial House and Mausoleum you can take a break at the Suleiman Pasha Hamam or relax in the healing waters of Yenikoy Summer Spa or Maşukiye and Soğuksu thermal baths.
An ideal location for outdoor sports, Kocaeli is the hub of a variety of sports activities. You can take time out in nature and add some adrenaline to your holiday by engaging in activities such as trekking, horse trekking, hiking, cycling, climbing, horse riding, water sports, scuba diving and botany and birding.
Kartepe is the most visited spot in Kocaeli particular during winter months. Indeed, Kartepe is the closest ski resort to Istanbul and welcomes weekenders who want to enjoy the nature clad in crisp white snow. Kartepe is ever ready to welcome visitors with its four mechanical skiing facilities, a total of 14 ski runs and 42 km of skiing area. The mecca of ski enthusiasts, Kartepe is a must see place if you spent your winter holiday in Turkey.
Located at the crossroads of different cultures and the epitome of the integration of local culture with a variety of cultures, Kocaeli attracts also attention for its delicious cuisine. Dishes such as chicken keşkek, umaç çorbasi (umach soup), mancar yemeği (collard meal) walnut pie as well as sweets such as pişmaniye, saray helvasi and höşmerim are some of the regional delicacies that will delight your palate.
We suggest you to take the opportunity and visit Hereke which is famous for its hand-woven carpets. You can purchase some valuable rugs here which will lend some authentic flair to your home.
A holiday destination within the vicinity of Istanbul, Kocaeli harbors a variety of tourist attractions to explore.