Safranbolu, Turkey, is a must-see for anyone interested in Ottoman houses and architecture. Most of this town 155 mi/250 km north of Ankara is under historic preservation and gives a glimpse of domestic life 200 years ago. Safranbolu hasn't been artificially renovated to suit tourists—it's genuine, and the houses are in everyday use.

We recommend the Cinci Hamami (Turkish bath), which has been fully restored for modern use, and the Kaymakamlar Evi (Governor's House), which has been turned into a museum. You'll want a full day to soak up the rare pleasures of this pretty town and to browse its bustling bazaar. Try to spend the night in one of the many restored mansions that have been converted into hotels.

Buses will likely drop you in the new city, about 1 mi/2 km away. From there, catch a dolmus (share taxi) to the old town. The nearest train station is 5 mi/8 km away in Karabuk.

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