It is famous for its historic and touristic places. It is known that the Athenians lived here in the 2000s B.C. Some of the major Ottoman monuments in the city are the mosque of Zağanos Pasha, the tomb of Karesi Bey and the clock tower, which resembles the Galata Tower in Istanbul.
Among the touristic resorts in Balıkesir, especially Ayvalık, Edremit, Oren and Akçay are very attractive. Mt. Ida, where the first beauty contest, theme of many legends, took place, is in Altınoluk. On the hillsides of the mountain are the remains of the altar of the Temple of Zeus. This mountain is also famous for having the highest oxygen rate in Anatolia and a lot of herbs, while Edremit is known for olives and olive oil. The Kapıdağ Peninsula, in the north of Bandırma, is also an attraction with the Temple of Hadrian, the historic city of Kyzikos, the open-theatre and aqueducts.