Safranbolu's old town, known as Çarşı, is a vision of red-tiled roofs and meandering alleys chock-a-block full of candy stores and cobblers. Having first found fame with traders as an isolated source of the precious spice saffron, Safranbolu now attracts people seeking to recapture the heady scent of yesteryear within the muddle of timber-framed mansions now converted into quirky boutique hotels. Spending the night here is all about soaking up the enchanting Ottoman scene – all creaky wooden floors, exuberantly carved ceilings and traditional cupboard-bathrooms. A day at the old hamam or browsing the market shops and revelling in the cobblestone quaintness is about as strenuous as it gets, but if history begins to feel a bit like old news, then hiking in the wondrous Yenice Forest nearby, remapped and rediscovered, will show you exactly why Unesco stamped this region as a World Heritage site in 1994.
These are our favorite local haunts, touristy spots, and hidden gems throughout Safranbolu.