With its population of nearly 400,000 people, Balikesir of today is not far from the original settlement town named Hadrianutherae after Roman Emporer Hadrian. It is reported that Hadrian came to this area in approximately 124 AD to hunt wild bear and after a successful hunt he stayed on and built the estate which consisted of a castle, stables, kitchens and a few homes.the centre of Balikesir has many historical buildings such as the clock tower built in 1892 and the symbol of the city. A beautiful fountain built in 1908 and the Zaganos Pasha Mosque Complex.
The region is mostly agricultural many vegetables are grown here but it is noted especially for melon and grape crops and also stock breeding and dairy farms.
How to Get There
Getting to Balikesir by road from Istanbul takes approximately just over 3 hours at a distance of 281 kilometres on the O-5 passing by Bursa along the way.
Travelling north from Izmir the road journey between the two cities will take about 2 hours on the O-5 with a distance of 203 kilometres and coming in from the countries capital of Ankara will take at least 6 hours on the D200 at 535 kilometres.
What and Where To Eat
One of the regions most well-known dishes is called Keskek it is a wheat or barley stew sometimes with meat added and can sometimes be given to guest on a ceremonial day you either love it or hate it. Naif Restaurant has a good rating of 4 and a half stars and is located on Bandirma street, Balikci Yusuf is a family-friendly seafood restaurant on Cengiz Topel Street this place has a 4 and a half star rating. Nevshehirler Pide Salon basic food at good prices and a four-star rating in central Balikesir.
Balikesir is 133 meters above sea level and the climate is warm and temperate. The summers are hot and can be dry and very rarely would you see rain in July and August. You will see some rainy days from November through to February