Trabzon is a city located in the Trabzon Province of Northeastern Turkey. Notably a city on the Black Sea Coast, the city was along the historical Silk Road which has made it a diverse culture of languages, religions, cuisine, and traditions. At various points in history, Trabzon as a port city in the Black Sea, was a center of trade as well. Trabzon Port from then till now serves as a gateway of commerce and tourism to Turkey, a gateway to Iran on the Southeast, and to Russia and Caucasus on the Northeastern region.
A number of the world’s Cruise Lines have included Trabzon Port in its port of calls as Trabzon is also a tourist destination in addition to an important commercial center. The Holland American Line, Bantumi Cruises are among the Cruise Lines with their ships visiting its port. Cruise line passengers are either ferried to their cruise ship, or alight or board from them in the port itself depending on the size of the ship and the availability of berths. From the port itself, the City Center and the tourist attractions are easily accessible as they are nearby.
The Meydan, a square found in the city center, is one stop for market stalls, shops, restaurants, coffee and tea shops showcasing the colorful and diversity of Trabzon's culture. In the East of Ataturk Alani is a collection of shopping streets. Here you may find a bevy of different things such as leather products, Russian dolls, and souvenirs.
A more expensive item that may be found in more exclusive shops is the Trabzon gold bracelet; it is a local art form that many fear is dying. Surmene knives are also produced in the area.
Things to See
Not to be missed though is the town’s most popular structure. The beautiful Byzantine Church, the Hagia Sophia, has been the most popular tourist attraction in this port city.
The Sumela Monastery is a large structure in the mountains 24 miles from Trabzon. It was built during the Byzantine period. There are many frescoes inside; however, many have suffered damage.
The city museum in Trabzon is a 3 story building that used to be the home of a Jewish banker in the early part of the twentieth century. It houses many artifacts that were taken from the Sumela monastery so it would behoove visitors to visit the museum prior to trekking to the monastery.
The Ayasofya Museum building was originally constructed in 1250-1260. It was built by King Manuel I for his family but was converted to a mosque in 1670. During World War I it had many other functions including that of a hospital, store and police station.
Restaurants and Bars
To savor real Turkish food, visit the Sumela Sark Sofrasi Restaurant. Also nearby are Ibrahim Limman and Roksalana Restaurants that offer a taste of the local cuisine. There are two bars worth visiting for a drink namely The Lobby Bar and 2 Vitamins Bar. Pancho’s Place on the Water also serves great local foods.
The port is a spectacle and is busy during the day and night. This make for the port being an essential part of Trabzon’s city life. From the city center, the port is a mere a three quarters of a mile away. Taxis and minibuses ply the city streets to and from the port making for an easy access to enjoy the different sights and sounds of the city. Parking is available for those with automobiles within the port area as it has now become a major commercial and transportation center that has been newly renovated.