Balikesir City Guide

Balikesir City Guide

Balıkesir is the fourth largest city of the region in terms of population. More than 1 million people live in Balıkesir and it’s located in Marmara Region of Turkey. However, some of its territory is located in the Aegean Region. Balıkesir is one of the six provinces with two different sea coast in Turkey. Balıkesir is also one of the most important city for the history of Turkish Republic. The military phase of the Turkish War of Independence was completed with the liberation of Balıkesir from the enemy invasion. Balıkesir is also among the developed cities of the Marmara Region in terms of tourism, animal husbandry and agriculture. Olive cultivation, viticulture and fishing are important activities in the coastal areas of Balıkesir. On the other hand, Balıkesir is a touristic center that attracts attention with many places to visit. The city is famous for its seaside towns such as Ayvalık, Erdek and Edremit. Especially, Cunda Island in Ayvalık district is the most popular holiday destination of the city. In addition to this, Balıkesir is home to the Zeytinli Rock Festival in summers.

Balıkesir is also a historical city has been hosted of many civilizations. There are many historical places to visit in these lands like Antandos Ancient City. Also, the city has potential in forestry and mining. If we look at the education perspective, Balıkesir has the highest quality university of the country like Balıkesir University. It is possible to reach Balıkesir by road, airline, seaway and railway. However, Balıkesir is the most important attraction point for tourism and real estate investments. Check out the most comprehensive Balıkesir city guide now. You will find the answers of many questions like “Places to see in Balıkesir” or “How to get to Balıkesir?” in this guide.

City Name



Population Density

Population Growth Rate

Surface Area

Number of Districts

Postal Code

Area Code

GDP (Per Capita)




86 / km2

0,17 %

14,272 km2




37,491 ₺

There are important districts in Balıkesir like Karesi and Altıeylül in terms of being metropolitan districts. On the other hand, the other biggest districts of Balıkesir are Bandırma and Edremit after Karesi and Altıeylül. These four districts have about 700 thousand population. Ayvalık, Erdek and Edremit are also have an important tourism feature for Balıkesir. These districts are among the most popular districts of Balıkesir. Holiday resorts of Balıkesir is generally within the boundaries of these districts. Altıeylül, Burhaniye, Bandırma and Gönen has important industrial zones of the city. Bigadiç, Dursunbey, Gönen, Susurluk and Altıeylül are the most profitable districts for real estate investments in Balıkesir.

The districts of Balıkesir are Altıeylül, Ayvalık, Balya, Bandırma, Bigadiç, Burhaniye, Dursunbey, Edremit, Erdek, Gömeç, Gönen, Havran, İvrindi, Karesi, Kepsut, Manyas, Marmara, Savaştepe, Sındırgı and Susurluk. You will find detailed information for all districts of Balıkesir in this guide.

Short History of Balıkesir

Balıkesir has hosted many people and civilizations throughout history and has taken a different name with each civilization. The most known of these are Misya, Assua and Karesi. Archaeological excavations carried out in many points of the city reveal this historical past. In addition, these studies show that the city hosted the people of Troia in the Bronze Age. Some of the civilizations ruled in this land are Phrygians, Persians, Pergamon Kingdom, Hittite Empire, Greeks, Macedonian Kingdom under Alexander the Great and Roman Empire. When the Roman Empire split into two in 395 BC, the city administration passed to Byzantium. In this period, the city became the episcopal center. After the Battle of Manzikert with Byzantium, the Turks under the Great Seljuk Empire entered Anatolia and started to settle in this region. Although the Anatolian Seljuk State, which settled in Iznik, had Edincik region for a while, later Byzantine troops took it again.

In 1280s, Karesi Bey came to the region and started the period of Karesi Principality. Later, the Ottoman Principality attacked the Karesi Principality and all the administration of the principality passed to the Ottomans. It became an important military and political center during the Ottoman Period. The city faced the siege of Greek armies during the War of Independence. The city played an important role during the war which has a great importance in the formation of nationalist forces. The Great Assault ended with Erdek’s liberation from the occupation and the region was cleared of enemy soldiers.

Cultural Mosaic of Balıkesir

Today, the people of Balıkesir are divided into six ethnographic characters as Manav, Yörük, Çepni, Türkmen (Tahtacı), Muhacir and Tatar. The majority of the people of Balıkesir are Muslim and some of the people have the Alevi faith. Therefore, there are djemevis besides mosques in the province. There are also historical churches within the provincial borders. One of the important beliefs in the province is Hıdırellez, which is celebrated on May 6. It is known as the herald of spring and celebrated with events attended by all the public. Different beliefs and communities that prevailed in Balıkesir have created the cultural mosaic of the city over time.

Accommodation in Balıkesir is an important issue for people who visit city for different purposes like tourism or business. In Balıkesir, close to the city center, it is possible to find luxury hotels in all-inclusive concept and accommodation options that serve in bed and breakfast, half board and room concepts only. You can stay in Balıkesir hotels with pools as well as city hotels suitable for the needs of visitors coming to Balıkesir for business and tourism purposes. If you want to get away from the city center to holiday resorts of Balıkesir and going to the swimming beaches you can choose the hotels in Ayvalık, Edremit, Erdek, Gömeç and Burhaniye districts. You can find a lot of accommodation alternatives in almost all holiday resorts of Balıkesir. There are world-famous hotel chain like Ramada.

Balıkesir has a coast on the Marmara and Aegean seas. Mediterranean climate is seen on the Aegean coast. Summers are hot and dry, winters are warm and rainy. Black Sea climate is seen in Marmara coasts. So this place is warm in the summer. Terrestrial climate is seen in the inner parts. Therefore, winters are cold and snowy in the interior. Annual average temperature about 14.6 ºC in the city. The best time to visit Balıkesir is spring and summer months. Find the best hotels in Balıkesir in our guide easily.

If you are looking for real estate for sale in Balıkesir or real estate for rent in Balıkesir, you are on the right page. The prices of houses for sale in Balıkesir have increased by 9.84% in the last year. The average residential area is 115 square meters. The depreciation period of the houses for sale is around 23 years. The fact that Balıkesir is one of the most popular city of the country in terms of tourism with seaside towns on the Aegean and Marmara seas. It is possible to see housing projects of various construction brands in most parts of the city. The districts that gained the most value in Balıkesir province were Bigadiç, Dursunbey, Gönen, Susurluk, Altıeylül respectively. On the other hand, the districts with the fastest return in Balıkesir province were  Manyas, Kepsut, İvrindi, Dursunbey, Bandırma respectively. Since affordable and luxurious sites are built in these regions, it is preferred by those who want to invest. You can make the most correct investment by examining our ads for apartment options for sale from Balıkesir real estate agent. You can also add your listings easily if you are selling or renting a house in different districts of Balıkesir.

Do you want to get detailed information about hospitals in Balıkesir? If you’re, our special health guide will be helpful for you. In Balıkesir, there are 1 city hospital, 16 state hospitals, 1 university hospital and 4 private hospitals. Almost all districts have hospitals in different regions of the city. You can get high-quality health services in many health instutitions in Balıkesir. Especially, Balıkesir Atatürk City Hospital is the biggest and full-fledged hospital of the city with its high capacity.

If we look at the general perspective to Balıkesir, the city is located in Marmara region of Turkey. There are many transportation alternatives for the city. You can reach Balıkesir by air, railway, seaway and road transportation. Balıkesir Koca Seyit Airport is located 88 kilometers away from the city center. You can come to the city center by using airport public bus services from the Balıkesir Koca Seyit Airports to different regions of the city. If you want to come to Balıkesir by bus, there are bus services from many cities to Balıkesir.

Road Transportation

For the road transportation concept, Balıkesir has many roads such as İstanbul – İzmir Highway connections. You can visit Balıkesir by D-230, D-240, D-565, O-5 and some other important roads from Çanakkale, Bursa, İzmir, Manisa and Kütahya. Balıkesir Intercity Bus Station is the main bus station of Balıkesir and it’s located in Karesi district. You can find direct lines from many cities of Turkey to Balıkesir.

Air Transportation

Balıkesir Koca Seyit Airport is the main airport in Balıkesir and this is located in Edremit district. It takes about 88 km from Balıkesir Koca Seyit Airport to the city center, so you can use public bus shuttle to reach city center from the airport. You can find connecting and direct international flight from Balıkesir to many countries and cities of the world. Also, you can fly to many domestic cities of Turkey from Balıkesir Koca Seyit Airport.

Railway Transportation

For the concept of railway transportation, it is possible to reach Balıkesir by train lines such as 9 Eylül Express, İzmir Blue Train, Karesi Express, Aegean Express and 6 Eylül Express. You can go to Balıkesir by using these lines from cities such as Ankara, Eskişehir, Manisa, İzmir and Kütahya.

Seaway Transportation

You can reach Balıkesir in 2 hours by scheduled ferries from Istanbul. Ferries depart from Bandırma Pier. It is useful to take a look at IDO sea voyages before your trip.

Inner-city Transportation

There is only bus transportation alternatives such as city buses, public buses and minibuses in Balıkesir. However, ferry services are organized to Marmara Island and Avşa Island. The rail system is not yet built in the city. You can use all of the districts of the city by public transportation.

You will find the answers of the “Best places to visit in Balıkesir” or “Top 10 things to do and see in Balıkesir” questions in this guide. Choose your destination, click on the guide and start discovering Balıkesir deeply now. Balıkesir has a lot of places to visit.Balıkesir are home to the most popular holiday resorts in Turkey. The city has many points to discover. There are many holiday resorts such as CundaAyvalıkAltınoluk and Avşa Island. In addition, there are countless natural beauty and historical places to explore in Balıkesir. One of the most important points in the list of places to visit in Balıkesir is Mount Ida. The area around Mount Ida is covered with lush forests. Kazdağı National Park, located in Edremit district of Balıkesir, is definitely worth a visit with its numerous tree species and legendary Şahinderesi CanyonAkçay is one of the touristic stops that should be on the list of places to visit in Balıkesir. Akçay offers affordable holiday opportunities. Altınoluk has the second cleanest air in the world which is famous for its olive groves. Antandros Ancient City, located at the foot of Mount Ida, is located 2 km from Altınoluk. This historic city is famous for its mosaics. Ayvalık is one of the favorite destinations for long summer holidays which is especially famous for Sarımsaklı Beach and Cunda Island. One of the regions where summer tourism is most developed is ErdekManyas Bird Paradise is the smallest national park of the country. The national park hosts 266 bird species. These places should definitely be on the list of places to visit in Balıkesir. For more, check out our guide now !

There are 2 state university in Balıkesir named as Balıkesir University and Bandırma Onyedi Eylül University. Especially, Balıkesir University is one of the oldest universities in Turkey and it’s preferred by thousands of students every year. Find the best university in our guide below.


Enes Sahin

Hello, I am Enes, I write content for Expat Guide Turkey every day. Don't forget to check it out! You can contact me via e-mail

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