Top things to do

Top Choice Monastery in Black Sea Coast

Sumela Monastery

The Greek Orthodox Monastery of the Virgin Mary, better known as Sumela Monastery, 46km south of Trabzon, is one of the Black Sea coast's historical highlights. Founded in the 4th century AD, it was abandoned in 192…
Top Choice Mosque in Trabzon

Aya Sofya Mosque & Museum

Originally called Hagia Sophia (Church of Divine Wisdom), Aya Sofya sits 4km west of Trabzon's centre on a terrace close to the sea. Built between 1238 and 1263, it was influenced by Georgian and Seljuk design, alth…
Top Choice Historic Building in Sinop

Tarihi Sinop Cezaevi

The cells, empty corridors, exercise yards and children's reform school of this hulking former prison within the fortress are haunting and unforgettable. Founded in 1887, it 'did time' as a prison until 1997, when i…
Top Choice Turkish in Trabzon

Kalender

This welcoming cafe-restaurant, just south of the museum, has a cosmopolitan vibe. It's perfect for a post-museum coffee and brunch of menemen (scrambled eggs with peppers and tomatoes) or kuymak (Trabzon 'polenta')…
Top Choice Cafe in Amasra

Lutfiye

The flashy central chandelier initially makes it appear over the top, but this classy little cafe serves decent coffee, snacks and breakfast to a chilled-out soundtrack. It also sells marmalade, nut-studded lokum (T…
Top Choice Seafood in Sinop

Okyanus Balık Evi

Possibly the best fish restaurant on the Black Sea coast, the 'Ocean Fish House' is run by Mert Kanal, whose grandfather founded the fishmonger on the ground floor. Expect fresher than fresh and only in season, plus…
Top Choice Cafe in Giresun

Bahçe Cafe

Just up an alley off Gazi Caddesi, 'Garden Cafe' gets its name from the walled and flower-strewn courtyard that is its main attraction. With an apricot-washed stone Ottoman house as its centrepiece, it's a delightfu…
Top Choice Turkish in Ünye

Sofra Osmanli Mutfagi

Sofra occupies a lovely stone house with a terrace facing the coast road, just a couple of blocks east of the main square. Wildly popular at lunch, it's presided over by briskly efficient, bow-tied waiters serving p…
Top Choice Seafood in Samsun

Pamuk Kardeşler Balık Restaurant

A trinity of seafood restaurants line the marina near the cable car in Batıpark and this licensed one is far and away the best. Try the hamsi sis (barbecued anchovy), followed by the barbun (red mullet). Reach it on…
Top Choice Seafood in Amasra

Mustafa Amca'nin Yeri

In situ here since 1945, 'Uncle Mustafa's Place' is unmissable – a pebble-and-timber 'chalet' facade giving way to a marine theme, complete with squawking parrot, within. Locals recommend it for its excellent canlı …