Where to Visit in Canakkale
Canakkale, ancient Dardanellia, is a city and seaport in Turkey in Canakkale province on the southern shore of the Dardanelles at their narrowest point. The population of the city is 195,439 (2021 estimate).
Canakkale is the nearest major urban centre to the ancient city of Troy, which (together with the ancient region of the Troia) is also located inside Çanakkale Province. The wooden horse from the 2004 movie Troy is exhibited on the Çanakkale waterfront. Today Çanakkale is the main base for visits to the ruins of Troy and to the First World War cemeteries at Gallipoli. Particularly around 18 March and 25 April (ANZAC Day) when there are major celebrations of the two different interpretations of the events of the war the town fills with visitors and every hotel room is likely to be booked up for months in advance. Every year Çanakkale is the finishing point for a demanding swim across the Dardanelles from Eceabat. This event reproduces the swim taken by Lord Byron in 1810. Byron himself was reproducing Leander’s legendary swim from Sestos to Abydos in the story of Hero and Leander.
Çanakkale Airport (CKZ) is 3 km from the city centre. AnadoluJet and Borajet have daily flights from Istanbul and Ankara. Intercity buses run to Bursa, Istanbul and Izmir. In 2022 the 1915 Çanakkale Bridge opened just to the south of Çanakkale to facilitate and speed the crossing of the Dardanelles. In Çanakkale town the old Kale-i Sultaniye is now called Çimenlik Kalesi and is open to the public as a military museum and art gallery. It also contains a replica of the mine-layer Nusret which was used to relay mines removed from the Dardanelles by the Allied forces during the First World War.
A late 19th-century clocktower acts as a signpost for the older part of town where narrow streets are filled with bars, cafes and hotels. Also in this older part of the town is a relatively new Kent Müzesi (City Museum) which lays out the more recent history of the town. (The contents of the old Çanakkale Archaeology Museum have been moved to the new Troy Museum.) The most attractive part of town in the evenings is the wide’waterfront promenade where the wooden horse created for the film Troy starring Brad Pitt and Orlando Bloom can be seen. Many cafes and restaurants line up here to take advantage of the view of the Dardanelles