For many years, the City of Safranbolu served as a significant caravan trade centre. Its streets and architecture are characteristic of Ottoman cities. The hamlet expanded into a commercial hub during the Turkish conquest in the eleventh century, and by the thirteenth century it had become a prominent caravan post. Its layout demonstrates how the town expanded organically in response to economic development, and its buildings demonstrate how its socioeconomic structure altered up until and beyond the disappearance of the original caravan routes.
Safranbolu has three significant historic neighbourhoods: Kranköy, where the city market is located, Balar, and its environs (the Vineyards). Two rivers form a triangle in the area of ukur, which is found at the lowest part of the town. The homes and shops operated by artisans flank the market square, which is in the centre. Cities in Anatolia frequently have segregated city centres.
The Safranbolu district of Karabük, which is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, was popular with tourists from the Far East before the pandemic, but in recent years, Americans and Europeans have started to enjoy the historic city.
Inns, baths, palaces, fountains, mosques, and bridges are just a few of the ancient structures from the Ottoman era that make Safranbolu one of the most sought-after tourist attractions for both domestic and foreign visitors.
Prior to the pandemic, Safranbolu was the Far Eastern tourist destination of choice. In the first 10 months of 2022, the USA, Germany, France, Poland, Russia, and Kuwait were the top visiting nations. Elif Köse, the mayor of Safranbolu, told the following to a reporter for hlas News Agency (UHA):
“We have experienced a long pandemic process. Cities like ours, which earn their bread from tourism, have been adversely affected by this situation. One of the reasons for their negative impact was the arrival of tourists from the Far East to this region. The beginning of this pandemic started in the Far East, that is, in China. Naturally, Far Eastern tourists, who have the potential of this place, have started not to come. However, our work was not only dependent on the tourists of a country or region, but also to ensure that European tourists who value cities that are developed especially in terms of cultural tourism come to our city. Our work has always been in this direction.”