Amasra City Guide: The Black Sea’s Most Charming Coastal Town

If there was only one phrase to describe Amasra, it would be a hidden gem. Yes, this cliche has been used thousands of times and you’re probably sick of reading those three words, but Amasra really is one of the biggest hidden gems in Turkey! 

A quaint little port town in the Black Sea, Amasra charms visitors with its picturesque beauty and peaceful atmosphere, making it a popular destination in the summer. Sitting on a peninsula, this town offers a blend of history, culture, and natural beauty — all in one fun-sized package. 

This Amasra travel guide includes everything you need to know, including transportation, accommodations and hotels, what to do in Amasra, and much more. 

Psst! — Amasra sounds very similar to Amasya, another (beautiful) city in Turkey. If you realized that you’re on the wrong page, then don’t worry — we also have an Amasya Travel Guide blog post. 🙂

AMASRA: The Basics

Why visit Amasra? What is Amasra known for?

🏖️ Beaches! — There are many beaches in Amasra and its vicinity, which makes Amasra a popular summer destination.

🐟 Seafood — Thanks to its coastal location, Amasra is famous for its fresh and delicious seafood. 

😌 A cozy atmosphere — Amasra’s small size and quaint cobblestone streets ensure that the city exudes a cozy atmosphere and a unique charm that’s sure to mesmerize visitors. 

How many days do you need in Amasra?

Thanks to its small size, one full day is enough to see the main sights of Amasra, especially if you’re passing through the city as part of a larger trip (like our 2-week Black Sea roadtrip). You’ll have time to walk through the city, take photos, see the main tourist sights, and enjoy some yummy local seafood. 😋  

Amasra Regional Specialties 

Unlike our typical city guides (i.e. Safranbolu or Amasya), this section will be fairly short. However, that doesn’t mean that Amasra doesn’t have any regional specialties — far from it! 

Seafood— It comes as no surprise that a port city like Amasra would be famous for their seafood. 🙂 

Some typical seafood dishes in Amasra include hamsi (anchovies), tava (turbot), istravit (mackarel), levrek (seabass), lüfer (bluefish), and somon (salmon). Of course, there are also plenty of other fish varieties, but we’ve listed the most popular. 

Amasra saladWhat’s so special about a salad? You might ask. Well, you’ll see what the type is about when you visit Amasra. 😉We’re sure that you’ll be amazed at their locally-named salad, which is a combination of more than a dozen vegetables! Likewise, this salad serves as a natural accompaniment to the seafood. 🙂 

There are a dozen fish restaurants in Amasra to choose from, but we recommend Mustafa Amca’nın Yeri (a local favorite for 60+ years) or Gunbatimi Balik (the second floor has a gorgeous view of the castle). 

Honey yogurt — Yogurt with honey (known as Ballı Yoğurt) is a staple on the dessert menu of practically every restaurant in Amasra. It’s a delicious and healthy way to end your meal, and can also be topped with crushed nuts. 

Wooden souvenirs — The entire province of Bartin is famous for its wood handicrafts, including wooden spoons, salt and pepper shakers, trays, souvenir wooden houses, and much more. One of the best places to buy these souvenirs is at the local city bazaar (known as Çekiciler Çarşısı) — click here for the Google Map coordinates.   

How To Get To Amasra

By Airplane — Amasra does not have an airport in the city, but no worries: you can fly into the nearby Zonguldak Airport (code ONQ), which is 50 km (31 mi) from Amasra. There are regular flights from Istanbul starting at just 750 TL for a one-way ticket. 

However, we recommend checking the flight schedule ahead of time, since this route doesn’t fly every day.  

If you’re flying to Amasra, we recommend booking an airport transfer from Zonguldak to Amasra. Click here for availability and pricing →

By Bus — You can easily travel to Amasra by bus. Amasra is reachable from nearby cities like Bolu, Bardin, Cide, Sakarya, and so on. In fact, you can take a bus to Bartin first (since it’s a larger city) and then make a dolmuș to Amasra from there. 

Likewise, there are also bus routes from major cities like Istanbul, Ankara, Bursa, Izmir, Kayseri (Cappadocia), and Konya. 

By Car — The easiest way to get to Amasra is by car. In fact, Amasra is one of the destinations featured in our 2 Week Black Sea Road Trip itinerary! We recommend renting a car (our favorite is RentalCars) because you can visit the nearby beaches and towns (like the beautiful Cide!). 

Getting Around Amasra 

Amasra is very small and easy to get around. In fact, you can walk practically anywhere. 🙂 

There are also a few taxi stands in the center that are run by local drivers — click here for the location on Google Maps. 

What To Do in Amasra

Thanks to the city’s small size, the tourist attractions in Amasra might look a little different — in fact, some of the best things to do in Amasra are to take a leisurely stroll around the city, lay on the beach, and enjoy the atmosphere! 

Explore the Old City

Known as the Kaleici Mahalle (Inner Castle neighborhood), Amasra’s ‘Old Town’ is full of charming traditional houses and cobblestone streets. We loved getting lost in the side streets and meeting the cute cats. 🙂 

Visit the Amasra Museum

For such a small museum, we were impressed at how well-curated it was! The Amasra Museum covers five eras of history — the Hellenistic, Roman, Byzantine, Genoese, and Ottoman periods — and is a must-visit stop for getting acquainted with the history of this region. The exhibits are well-done, with interactive displays, archaeological artifacts, ethnographic items, and even two rooms full of historical sculptures and busts. 

Take a Boat Tour

During the tourist season, there are multiple scenic boat tours around the harbor and Rabbit Island. Head over to the harbor and you’ll see a few kiosks advertising the tours. 

Cross Kemere Bridge

This historical bridge, which was built in the 9th century, connects two parts of Amasra’s Castle and is an attraction in its own right. It’s a lovely place to take a photo or watch the sunset. Just be careful when walking inside the tunnel, as it’s open to both pedestrians and cars!

Relax on the beach

🏖️ Büyük Liman Beach — Carved into the eastern side of the city, this beach has everything you need, including umbrellas, sunbeds, shower and dressing rooms, and toilets (for a fee). However, thanks to its location, it can get very popular during the summer, so be sure to come early. 

🏖️ Küçük Liman Beach — Located on the opposite side of Büyük beach (above), but a little more rocky. 

🏖️ İnkumu Beach — A 30-minute drive from Amasra, this is a sprawling beach with warm sands and plenty of amenities. 

🏖️ Çakraz Beach — Known for its clear waters and scenic beauty, great for swimming and sunbathing. In fact, it’s often called the most beautiful beach in Amasra! 

Other Tourist Attractions in Amasra

⛰️ Kuşkayası Monument — Located just outside of the city, this is a beautiful monument carved into the side of a cliff. It was used as a traditional road marker during the first century AD and dedicated to Emperor Claudius. 

⛰️ Güzelcehisar Cliffs — One of the most unique natural wonders in Turkey is located just a 40-minute drive from Amasra! Güzelcehisar are lava columns that were formed 80 million years ago as a result of the cooling and crystallization of lava flowing from volcanoes. There are facilities for tourists, including wooden walkways, observation terraces, and small hiking trails. 

Where To Stay in Amasra

Despite its beautiful beaches and tourist potential, it’s surprising that there aren’t a lot of hotels in Amasra. However, we still managed to compile a list of the best accommodations and hotels in Amasra. 🙂 

Diamond Hotel

The best of the best, Diamond Hotel is it. This large complex has 67 rooms, including 59 standard rooms, 6 family rooms, and 2 suites. Besides the comfortable and spacious rooms, the hotel also has a fitness center, Turkish hamam, sauna, and outdoor pool with sprawling views of the sea. 

Sardinia Otel

A beautifully restored hotel right near the fortress. There’s also a spacious terrace and jaw-dropping views of the bay from the rooms.

Amasra Ceylin Otel

This is one of the top-rated hotels in Amasra (it has a 4.7/5 rating and 500+ reviews!) and offers stunning views from its cliffside location by the Black Sea. It is well-regarded for its comfortable accommodations, with spacious rooms, free parking, and friendly employees.

Amasra Kerem Apart

 For those who prefer to have the space and convenience of an apartment, Kerem Apart is within walking distance to the center and has an amazing view from the terrace. As a bonus, there’s free parking for guests.

Kum Butik Hotel

Before we get any further, we’d like to point out that kum means sand in Turkish. 🙂 This hotel is located in a traditional Ottoman mansion and within a block of the city center and the beach!

Kaf Konak

This was the hotel we stayed at during our trip to Amasra. It’s actually located in Bartin (a 20-minute drive from Amasra), but I fell in love ever since I saw the photos of Kaf Konak on — and knew that I had to stay here! 

This hotel is an authentic konak, which is a traditional Ottoman-style mansion. The hotel was immaculately restored in 2010, when the owner added modern conveniences yet kept much of the original wooden walls, design, and heirlooms. 

Honestly, this was one of the best hotels during our entire Black Sea trip! The rooms were absolutely fantastic, with plush bedding, adorable little touches (like a retro radio, embroidered lace towels, etc). There’s an on-site restaurant with a nice mix of local and European dishes, and the complimentary Turkish breakfast was amazing!

Photo credits: Main image – Jorge Franganillo | hotel photos from respective hotels


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