Where to Visit in Mersin

Mersin is a large city and port on the Mediterranean coast of southern Turkey. It is the provincial capital of the the city (formerly İçel) Province. It is made up of four district governorates, each having its own municipality: Akdeniz, Mezitli,  Toroslar and Yenişehir. As urbanisation continues eastward, a larger metropolitan region combining the city with Tarsus and Adana (the Adana-Mersin Metropolitan Area) is in the making with more than 3.3 million inhabitants. The City lies on the western side of Çukurova, a geographical, economic and cultural region of Turkey. It is an important hub for Turkey’s economy, with Turkey’s largest seaport located here. The city hosted the 2013 Mediterranean Games. As of a 2021 estimation, the population of the Adana-Mersin Metropolitan Area was 3,300,000 inhabitants of whom 1,064,850 lived in the city area which consists of the aforementioned four urban districts, making it the 11th most populous area of Turkey.

Adana Şakırpaşa Airport (ADA), 69 kilometres (43 mi), from the city centre is the nearest international airport. Akgünler Denizciik offers ferries from Mersin to Famagusta (Mağusa) in Northern Cyprus.Mersin is linked to Adana via Tarsus by way of TCDD trains. On 6 February 2023 the city was shaken by the twin Turkey-Syria earthquakes. Citizens made homeless in cities further to the east also flocked to the city in search of shelter. The city Interfaith Cemetery, in the Yusuf Kılıç district, is serves as a cemetery for all religions with graves of Muslims, Christians and Jews.

The City is home to a State Opera and Ballet, the fourth in Turkey after Istanbul, İzmir and Ankara. Mersin International Music Festival was established in 2001 and takes place every October. The photography associations The City Fotoğraf Derneği (MFD) and Mersin Olba Fotoğraf Derneği (MOF) are amongst the city’s most popular and active cultural organisations. Some cultural activities are sponsored by the İçel Sanat Kulübü (Art Club of Mersin) and Mediterranean Opera and Ballet Club. The The City Citrus Festival is a festival organized to promote the citrus produced in The City. The festival typically includes folk dancers from different traditions and sculptures constructed from different types of citrus. The first festival was held in 2010. The festival is held annually on a weekend in November.

There are six museums within the Mersin urban area; The City Archaeological Museum, The City Atatürk Museum, The City Naval Museum, The City State Art and Sculpture Museum, The City Urban History Museum, The City Water Museum. In the western suburb of Viranşehir (Ruined City) the remains of the ancient city of Soli/Pompeiiopolis stand close to the sea. Only two colonnades dating from the 2nd or 3rd century are obvious although the outline of the agora and of a mole from the harbour can just about be made out. The Chasms of Heaven and Hell are located in the rural region of Silifke, a district in The City. The chasms are two sinkholes that were naturally formed from underground waters melting the layer of limestone above. The heaven sinkhole has a small monastery located in the corner of the entrance. The deepest point of the sinkhole is 135 meters deep. The hell sinkhole is 128 meters deep. In mythology, there is a story of Zeus temporarily trapping Typhon in the sinkhole.

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Mamure Castle

Mamure Castle, One of the biggest and most well-preserved castles in Turkey looks out over the Mediterranean Sea in the Mersin province. Although its exact origins are not known, excavations have revealed quite the story that goes back to around the 3rd or 4th century. You can’t help but be stunned when you see Mamure [...]