Birgi: probably one of the prettiest villages in Turkey!

Birgi, you’ve probably never heard of it. And yet here we are claiming this may well be one of the prettiest villages in Turkey. Technically speaking, Birgi isn’t a village, it’s a small town not too far away from Ödemiş in the province of Izmir, but it has the feel of a quaint and an authentic Turkish village. If you’re into off the beaten path experiences, Ottoman houses, lovely settings, and great weekend-getaways in Turkey, then add Birgi to your list. We promise you won’t regret it! This is why.

The Ultimate Ottoman Architecture Feel

The Ultimate Ottoman Architecture Feel

Bıçakçı Esseyyid Hacı Ali Ağa Fountain With Ottoman Houses At The Back

Bıçakçı Esseyyid Hacı Ali Ağa Fountain With Ottoman Houses At The Back

Birgi: a living and breathing Ottoman open-air museum

The collection of authentic Ottoman houses in Birgi is astonishing! Birgi has a rich history thanks to its location along the famous Silk Road. Its name comes from the medieval Greek word Pyrgion, which means little tower. It has been home to Phrygian, Lydian, Persian, Pergamon, Roman, and Byzantine civilizations. Despite that history, at the end of the 20th century, it seemed as if the beautiful old houses of Birgi were about to fall apart after having been neglected for too long.

But, just in time, people started to acknowledge the potential and the beauty of this little town and restored a few houses. Plenty followed after that, making today’s Birgi a delightful place to spend a few days.

Picture Perfect Birgi

Picture Perfect Birgi

One Of The Two Main Streets

One Of The Two Main Streets

The problem with most open-air museums is that there is often a bit of an artificial feel to them; not so with Birgi. This is a lively place with friendly and welcoming people who make your stay all the more pleasant. No matter where you walk, you’re met with a smile, a hoşgeldiniz (welcome) or an invitation for tea. This is Turkey in its most pleasant form and shape.

If you try to visit on a Monday, you’ll enjoy the peace of an ordinary weekday (Birgi can get busy with Turkish visitors during the weekend), and Monday is market day in Birgi; which is always a plus in our books!

Çarşı Fountain And Tea House At The Back

Çarşı Fountain And Tea House At The Back

Market Day In Birgi

Market Day In Birgi

The biggest house of them all: Çakırağa Konağı

Some houses are more spectacular than others. That is without a doubt the case with Çakırağa Konağı, a mansion turned into a museum in 1995, but unfortunately closed for restoration for an indefinite period. Don’t let this bring you down, even without the possibility to enter the building; there’s plenty left to admire from the outside. The mansion dates back to the second half of the 18th century and was lived in until 1975 when it was nationalized and came under the supervision of the Ministry of Culture.

Different sources tell different stories about the person who built it, but almost all mention that he was a local merchant who married twice. One wife came from Izmir the other from Istanbul. Legend is that the paintings of those cities on the walls of their rooms were ordered to make them feel less nostalgic. Historians contradict this lovely story because some buildings portrayed in the paintings suggest the paintings were made at a later date. Make sure to climb up the stairs in the alley next to Çakırağa Konağı to admire the inner courtyard.

You will also find some pictures of the interior of Çakırağa Mansion on the Anadolu Agency website.

Don't Forget To Look Up When Walking Past Çakırağa Mansion

Don’t Forget To Look Up When Walking Past Çakırağa Mansion

A Glimpse Of Çakırağa Mansion's Courtyard

A Glimpse Of Çakırağa Mansion’s Courtyard

A few fascinating mosques

Spread over town, Birgi features a few beautiful mosques, one of which dates back to the 14th century. Ulu Camii was built around 1312 in an Anatolian Seljuk style. It is located on the upper side of the town, right above the river. Its minaret is a true masterpiece, composed of mat red and turquoise glazed bricks. You’ll see three different motifs with geometric patterns, giving this minaret a very distinct design. On the southeast corner of the façade, you’ll see a lion statue of which the origin is unclear. The area around the mosque is lively, with shaded tea houses and local produce shops, perfect for a stop while admiring the beautiful town below.

Ulu Camii Minaret And Lion

Ulu Camii Minaret And Lion

Ulu Camii

Ulu Camii

The Karaoğlu Mustafa Efendi mosque, built in 1782, is in a quiet spot. It has a lovely domed ablution area and offers beautiful vistas of the town and the hammam below. There’s a beautiful muezzin gathering place right above the entrance door.

Karaoğlu Mosque

Karaoğlu Mosque

View Of The Hamam From Above

View Of The Hamam From Above

The Derviş Ağa Mosque located on the river banks is richly decorated with colorful motifs on the outside and has – just like the Karaoğlu Mustafa Efendi mosque – a muezzin gathering place right above the entrance door. This mosque dates back to 1663.

Derviş Ağa Mosque

Derviş Ağa Mosque

Derviş Ağa Mosque Entrance

Derviş Ağa Mosque Entrance

Achingly beautiful Ottoman houses

A walk around Birgi is a walk surrounded by beautiful Ottoman houses, some of which have been expertly restored. You can’t help but falling from one surprise into the next when strolling along the streets of Birgi. Whether the houses are renovated or not, doesn’t really matter. They are all equally beautiful. And the real beauty of it all is that you’ll run into people living in those streets, no matter how far your walk takes you. Make sure to look around and to look up. The woodwork finishing of the doors and roofs is jaw-dropping at times.

Ottoman Houses Opposite Our Hotel

Ottoman Houses Opposite Our Hotel

Detail Of Unrestored Roof Corner Decoration

Detail Of Unrestored Roof Corner Decoration

Practical information for your Birgi visit

In all honesty, there was nothing about Birgi we didn’t like. Our only regret was that we would have loved to stay here longer. Birgi is special. It offers a perfect balance of quaint, typical, old and new, not too big or too small, and a living small Turkish town. Birgi is the kind of place that puts a smile on your face from the moment you arrive. It makes you feel at ease, inviting you to discover everything it has to offer.

While this beautiful little town has managed to remain under the radar of foreign tourists, Turks love to visit here, especially after Birgi was featured in a popular Turkish television series called Yeşil Deniz, which translates to Green Sea. There’s a good selection of boutique hotels in Birgi. We stayed at Saliha hanım Taş Konak, a restored Ottoman house that was awarded a prize for its beautiful restoration. It’s the perfect pied-à-terre for your Birgi getaway, with all of the towns’ beauty within walking distance, and well-decorated rooms in the typical style.

Wandering The Streets Of Birgi

Wandering The Streets Of Birgi

How to get to Birgi?

Birgi lies not too far from Ödemiş and the D310 road to the E85 highway between Aydın and Izmir. If you’re relying on public transport, count on an approximately 2-hour trip from Selçuk, changing buses at Tire and Ödemiş.

✔️ Have you been to Birgi? Then please head over to our Turkey Trip Planner to leave a review. Alternatively, if you plan on visiting, you can add the town to your bucket list.
Old Houses Alongside The River

Old Houses Alongside The River

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What we like may not be what you like, so reading these reviews on TripAdvisor is the best way to discover what other travelers think. We visit each place personally and all photos are our own. So, basically, what you see is what you get. If you have any questions about a place, feel free to ask. You can send us a message through our contact page, or leave a comment on our Facebook page.

Birgi gets cold and wet in winter, take that into account when planning your visit.

Clicking these links will take you to pages of places and products we love and we’ve tested. If you happen to book or buy something, we may earn a small commission from it, at no extra cost to you. So here’s a thank you for adding some coins to the tip-box! 😉

You must have guessed it already, we’re independent travelers. Joining groups for excursions or activities isn’t really our cup of tea. But we fully understand that not everyone is keen on exploring Turkey on their own. That’s when Get Your Guide comes in handy. They do not offer tours to Birgi though, but we would recommend combining your Birgi visit with a stop at Sardis, one of the Churches of Revelation. You can pre-book their Churches of Revelation tour online.

Clicking these links will take you to pages of places and products we love and we’ve tested. If you happen to book or buy something, we may earn a small commission from it, at no extra cost to you. So here’s a thank you for adding some coins to the tip-box! 😉

We still love to use Booking.com when searching for the perfect hotel or vacation rental in Turkey. Unfortunately, the website isn’t accessible from within Turkey without the use of a VPN. If you don’t have a VPN, and you’re already in Turkey, Hotels.com is a good alternative.

For our stay in Birgi, we’ve booked Saliha hanım Taş Konak through Agoda and we LOVED it! Honestly, it is the perfect base in every way.

Clicking these links will take you to pages of places and products we love and we’ve tested. If you happen to book or buy something, we may earn a small commission from it, at no extra cost to you. So here’s a thank you for adding some coins to the tip-box! 😉

When searching for flights, we like to use Skyscanner. It’s easy to use, and reliable. Find the best flights to Turkey and domestic flights that will take you all around the country here.

Do you prefer some good old road tripping? Once you get used to the unconventional driving style in Turkey, you’ll love to hit the road. After all, it’s all about the journey, and you may expect some very scenic rides! Renting a car in Turkey is easy. If you’re looking for an established car rental company that allows pick-up and drop-off at different airports, check out Europcar. They have offices all over Turkey.

Clicking these links will take you to pages of places and products we love and we’ve tested. If you happen to book or buy something, we may earn a small commission from it, at no extra cost to you. So here’s a thank you for adding some coins to the tip-box! 😉

What we like may not be what you like, so reading these reviews on TripAdvisor is the best way to discover what other travelers think. We visit each place personally and all photos are our own. So, basically, what you see is what you get. If you have any questions about a place, feel free to ask. You can send us a message through our contact page, or leave a comment on our Facebook page.

Birgi gets cold and wet in winter, take that into account when planning your visit.

Clicking these links will take you to pages of places and products we love and we’ve tested. If you happen to book or buy something, we may earn a small commission from it, at no extra cost to you. So here’s a thank you for adding some coins to the tip-box! 😉

You must have guessed it already, we’re independent travelers. Joining groups for excursions or activities isn’t really our cup of tea. But we fully understand that not everyone is keen on exploring Turkey on their own. That’s when Get Your Guide comes in handy. They do not offer tours to Birgi though, but we would recommend combining your Birgi visit with a stop at Sardis, one of the Churches of Revelation. You can pre-book their Churches of Revelation tour online.

Clicking these links will take you to pages of places and products we love and we’ve tested. If you happen to book or buy something, we may earn a small commission from it, at no extra cost to you. So here’s a thank you for adding some coins to the tip-box! 😉

We still love to use Booking.com when searching for the perfect hotel or vacation rental in Turkey. Unfortunately, the website isn’t accessible from within Turkey without the use of a VPN. If you don’t have a VPN, and you’re already in Turkey, Hotels.com is a good alternative.

For our stay in Birgi, we’ve booked Saliha hanım Taş Konak through Agoda and we LOVED it! Honestly, it is the perfect base in every way.

Clicking these links will take you to pages of places and products we love and we’ve tested. If you happen to book or buy something, we may earn a small commission from it, at no extra cost to you. So here’s a thank you for adding some coins to the tip-box! 😉

When searching for flights, we like to use Skyscanner. It’s easy to use, and reliable. Find the best flights to Turkey and domestic flights that will take you all around the country here.

Do you prefer some good old road tripping? Once you get used to the unconventional driving style in Turkey, you’ll love to hit the road. After all, it’s all about the journey, and you may expect some very scenic rides! Renting a car in Turkey is easy. If you’re looking for an established car rental company that allows pick-up and drop-off at different airports, check out Europcar. They have offices all over Turkey.

Clicking these links will take you to pages of places and products we love and we’ve tested. If you happen to book or buy something, we may earn a small commission from it, at no extra cost to you. So here’s a thank you for adding some coins to the tip-box! 😉

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Check the weather

Never wonder about the weather in Turkey again. The Turkish climate is as diverse as the country with significant differences between the regions.

This page contains the current weather and weather statistics for all regions in Turkey.

Prepare your trip

How to order a tourist visa for Turkey?

What about public transport?
Can you skip the line at Istanbul Airports?

General Turkey travel information, essential to help prepare your trip, on one page!

LISTS & REVIEWS

Bookmark your favorite places, find other destinations nearby, get directions from your location, and read or leave reviews.

Our Turkey Trip Planner wad designed to do just that. You'll find all our favorite spots in one place, including scenic road stops.

Map of Turkey

Do you like to see things on a map? On our interactive tourist map of Turkey, you'll spot nearby points of interest right away. We've done the heavy lifting for you. Just click on the icons to go to each post.

Enjoy our practical and inspirational map of Turkey!

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Birgi: probably one of the prettiest villages in Turkey!