The City of Çorum

/ By Josh

The city of Çorum isn’t in and of itself a real tourist destination. One of the best reasons for leaving the countryside and coming into the city itself is to find a hotel. Most of the sights in the area are in the countryside and small villages, many of which have little to no hotel options at all. While Çorum may not be a popular destination, that doesn’t mean there aren’t a few things to see and do while you’re here.

City of Çorum

According to locals Çorum is ranked as the cleanest city in Turkey, and while we can’t confirm this, it definitely looks true. The downtown core in particular with its bustling shops, fountains, parks, and restaurants is a great place to spend an evening.

Why Visit?

Çorum Museum

Çorum Müzesi

Cost: 10tl

Müze Cards Accepted

City of Çorum Museum Müze

Housed in an attractive historic building, the Çorum Museum is a small though excellent collection of artifacts from around the province. Displays range from the Hattian and Hittite eras down through the Phrygian and on into the Roman and Byzantine eras. There’s a fantastic collection of cuneiform tablets, pottery, weapons, coins, jewelry, and figurines. There’s also a life size model of a Hattian grave like the ones found at Alacahöyük.

City of Çorum Museum Müze
Cows head drinking vessel at the Çorum Museum
City of Çorum Museum
A display showing an ancient burial technique.

Downstairs is a small Ethnographic museum like the ones you’ll find all over the country. These ethnographic museums show life in Turkey from around a hundred years ago with awkwardly posed mannequins set among odds and ends from the past.

Outside is a collection of massive clay pots, a trio of ornate sarcophagi, and a collection, of Christian and Islamic era tombstones.

Turkish Baths

Hamamlar

Cost: Varies

Çorum Ali Paşa Hamamı Turkish Bath
The common room of Ali Paşa Turkish Bath in Çorum

Çorum is home to a pair of fine Turkish Baths. Ali Paşa Turkish Bath is one of the better Hamams that we’ve reviewed so far and a great place to experience the culture, the beauty, and the weirdness of the Turkish Bath tradition. For more details see our detailed review of Ali Paşa Turkish Bath or our Guide to visiting the Turkish Bath.

Eskiciler Street

Eskiciler Sokak

Cost: Free

City of Çorum Eskiciler Sokak

If you happen to be in Çorum and you want to see a street that looks liked it got plucked out of the past and plopped down in the middle of the city then this is where you want to be. If you’re looking to get your shoes polished or fixed, then again this is where you want to be.

The street, known as ‘the street of the sellers of old things,’ was left behind when much of the surrounding buildings were torn down to make way for the new bus station. Today the tiny shops along the alley are used by shoe shiners, cobblers, and other shoe related trades.

Çorum Ayakkabıcılar Sokak Cobblers street
The tiny cobblers street in Çorum’s city centre

Leblebi

Cost: Cheap

City of Çorum Leblebi
Fruit flavored leblebi on display.

For locals all across Turkey, Çorum means leblebi. Leblebi is a dry-roasted chickpea snack that’s healthy but not altogether very good. In Çorum however, leblebi can be much more; you can find chocolate covered leblebi, fruit flavored leblebi, Turkish Coffee flavored leblebi, and many other varieties. In Çorum leblebi shops abound and you’ll see them all over the city. Driving by the city at night your eyes will be assaulted by endless rows of bright LED signs advertising leblebi shops to those just passing through.

Plain leblebi being roasted outside a shop.

Çorum Castle

Çorum Kalesi

Cost: No entry

The city of Çorum Castle
The rather sad remains of Çorum Castle.

Not much is known about Çorum Castle. According to the renowned Ottoman traveller, Evliyya Çelebi who visited the area in the 17th century it was originally built by the Seljuks a few centuries before. The castle is made of repurposed Byzantine stone and newer stones, though, the sandstone used in the construction has slowly washed away making parts of the castle dangerously fragile.

Within the old castle walls are a hand full of old houses set along the cobbled streets as well as a mosque in the gateway. Unfortunately, the castle is now closed and, while there has been talk of reopening it with restored buildings or a park inside, nothing is certain, and it doesn’t look like work will begin anytime soon. The only thing accessible is the mosque.

How To Get There

Bus

Çorum’s main bus terminal is right on the edge of town and, lacking an airport and any train service, is a bustling hub with regular service to cities all over Turkey. Coach busses are still the preferred way of travel for most people in Turkey and are a simple, comfortable way to travel between cities. For more about using these busses, buying tickets, and more check out Getting Around.

Plane

There is no airport in Çorum so if you are planning on flying the closest you’ll be able to get is Merzifon Airport 67 kms away. The problem with Merzifon airport is flights are pretty rare. Your best airport options are Esenboğa Airport in Ankara (233 kms away) or Çarşamba Airport Airport in Samsun (192 kms away). From either of these you could rent a car or take a bus to Çorum.

Where To Stay

Çorum offers a fairly wide range of accommodation options from the recently renovated five-star Anita hotel down to the hovels near the castle. All along the main street (İnönü and Gazi streets) you’ll find a good selection of hotels ranging from two to four stars at reasonable prices.

Have any tips or info to add? Spot any mistakes? We’d love to hear about it.

1s & 0s by knowler