Official language: Turkish
Time zone: UTC +3
Currency: Turkish lira (TRY)
Tokat is also famed for an innovative kebab recipe. Meat and eggplants are sliced into pieces, skewered and then put into a marinade for a couple of hours and grilled.
The regional, solid variation of a Turkish grape syrup called “pekmez.” It’s made from green grapes mixed with molasses and then boiled. When most of the water evaporates, egg white is added.
It’s a museum in the district of Sogukpinar Mahallesi. The permanent exhibition includes, e.g., traditional garments and paraphernalia used by Turkish Dervishes during their ritual dance.
Historically, the area of Tokat was inhabited by representatives of diverse cultures. Traces of the Hittites, Phrygians, Romans, and Byzantines are still to be found here. A few magnificent mosques and the temple complex have been preserved in the city to the present day.
Start your tour of Tokat by visiting the famous castle with 28 towers. It was erected on top of a rocky peak in the city center. The earliest finds from this place come from the 5th century. In 1074, the Tokat Castle was taken over by the Danes and then captured by the Turks. It was used as a prison for rebels and, according to the recent discoveries, it was here that Vlad the Impaler (known as Count Dracula) was held hostage. He got arrested in 1442 during a diplomatic meeting with Sultan Murad II.
Ali Pasha, a temple complex dating back to the 16th century, contains a mosque, Koran school, and Turkish bath. The mosque building is exceptionally beautiful – it was entirely constructed of cut stone. The complex is not only a tourist attraction – the hammam, for both men and women, is still in use today. You can enjoy bathing or a body massage.
Don’t miss a chance to go on a trip to the famous Ballıca Cave (Ballıca Mağarası). It’s located 26 km southeast of the city. The limestone labyrinth abounds in rock formations, halls, and rock shelters. One of the most interesting spots is a gallery leading to some open space with a pond. The colonies of dwarf bats live in this cave, but they’re rather heard and smelled than seen. You can also admire a rainbow of amazing colors dancing on the walls of the cave.
A 20-minute car ride west of Tokat will lead you to the small town of Pazar. It lied along the historical trade route from Persia to the Aegean Sea coast and later on the Silk Road linking China and Europe. To this day, you’ll find here a caravansary – an inn used in the past for sheltering travelers and caravans. It was restored in the 21st century, so you can step into it for a great meal. We highly recommend the local kebab.