This metropolitan municipality in the Kurdish region of Turkey is full historic and important landmarks. Owing to its location (just north of the border with Syria), the city is full of mixed cultures and religions.
One of the oldest settlements in the world, Mardin is a great destination for a first-hand experience of Eastern culture. The city, where people from all religions of the Middle East live together in peace and harmony, is among Turkey’s most colorful cities with its unique architecture and its archeological and cultural heritage. Mardin is a cradle of civilizations in every sense. You do not need a lengthy planning process to meet and experience its unique culture. You can have an unforgettable weekend experience by purchasing your Mardin flight ticket from Pegasus at a great price.
Top Landmarks in Mardin
- The entire city was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site, which gives you an idea of how much there is to see here.
- Travellers can visit the city’s famous mosques, churches, and madrassas (places of study) throughout Mardin. These are excellent places to admire the architecture and history of the city.
- The Kasimiye Medrese fortress, as well as the 15th century Zeynel Bey Mausoleum nearby, are two of the historical areas of Mardin that you can’t miss.
Landscape in Mardin
All of the important sights of Mardin are located in the old part of the city, so make sure you spend a lot of time there. The architecture is so vast and wide that it is considered an open-air museum. Most of the buildings here use the beige coloured limestone rock, which can be found very easily around the area. Make sure you cover every part of this important section of the city, as you don’t want to miss any historic place!
What to Eat and Where to Eat in Mardin
- One of the most satisfying things to do in Mardin is to try the local Assyrian wine. It may be difficult to find, as not all restaurants have it, but the search will be worth your while.
- Such a mix of cultures guarantee a treat for the foodies, especially for those with a sweet tooth. One of the products of this mix in cultures is the cevizli sucuk, walnuts dipped in grape molasses, which make for a delicious afternoon treat
- Great restaurants can be found everywhere. However, the ‘New city’ or Yenisehir suburb is recommended to find the best food in town. Take a walk to the old town for a gorgeous view of the city and a breath-taking sunset.
Transportation in Mardin
Buses and car rentals are available in Mardin just like any other city in Turkey. However, the best advice is to take the town by foot, as many of the sights and attractions are relatively close by.
Mardin airports served
More information about Mardin
Food and Drink
More Places to Visit
Mardin Airport opened in 1999, and it has been through extensive renovation that includes plans for increasing the capacity of its airstrips since 2011. These renovations will increase the capacity of airport to host larger planes.
The most affordable way of getting downtown after your Pegasus flight is by minibus from the airport.
You can also take a taxi from the airport for a more comfortable ride, but it will be more expensive. We suggest that you negotiate the fare with the driver before you get in the cab.
If you would rather rent a car…
You can do so at flypgs.com.
Shopping in Mardin is mostly done in traditional bazaars. Although the locals do frequent the shopping center located outside the city, you will find the most intriguing souvenirs in the traditional bazaars.
- Mardin Bazaars - Mardin has a lot of bazaars of varying sizes, embedded in the city's historic surroundings. Some of them, like Kayseriye and Revaklı, offer a wide variety of souvenirs. We strongly suggest that you take a look at the hand-printed kerchiefs with old lithographs. The woven fabrics at these bazaars will surely find a place for themselves on your souvenir list.
- Midyat and Surroundings - Considered to be the most important craft of this region, silver filigree is at the top of the list of souvenirs to get from this neighbourhood, which is famous for its jewelers. The curvatures of the thin wires will give you a new sense of respect for the local craftsmen.
- Mova Park - Located on the outskirts of Mardin, this shopping center with its movie theater and colorful shops can be visited if needed.
Food and Drinks in Mardin
Although first things that come to mind upon hearing Mardin are kebabs and desserts, its most famous dishes are kaburga dolması (stuffed ribs) and içli köfte (kibbeh). Here are our suggestions for sampling Mardin’s cuisine:
- Kebapçı Rıdo - Rıdo is one of the best places to taste kebabs made with minced meat. With their 100 years-old tradition, they make your meal feel like a proper feast. Order your kebab hot or mild, but do not forget to get a cup of ice-cold ayran (a salty yoghurt drink) to go with it. Address: Öğretmenevi karşısı, Yenişehir Tel: 0482 212 15 15
- Cercis Murat Mansion - Serving its customers in a nineteenth century mansion, this restaurant is one of the most prestigious establishments in Mardin. Its ambiance and delicious meals make it a definite must see. You can taste local dishes here, and of course, the main course is stuffed ribs. Address: Birinci Cadde No: 517 Tel: 0482 213 68 41
- Garajlar Kebap Salonu - Garajlar is another great place for Mardin-style kebabs–hot or mild–as you like it. We also suggest that you try their garlic kebab. Address: Diyarbakır Kapı Tel: 0482 212 59 10
- Tavacı Reco - Roughly translated, the name, Pan-Man Reco, might leave the impression of a dump, but Tavacı Reco is actually a very big and elegant restaurant. Tavacı Reco’s forte is, as the name suggests, dishes prepared on a sheet pan. Address: Ravza Caddesi Kaya Bey Apartmanı, Hilton Otel karşısı, Yenişehir Tel: 0482 213 11 14
- Antik Sur Restaurant - At this chic restaurant, you can sample local dishes while enjoying its unique building. The restaurant also organizes traditional sıra gecesi (all-male band music performances) several nights a week. Address: 1. Cadde Kuyumcular Çarşısı, Kervansaray Surur Hanı Tel: 0482 212 24 25
- Ebrar Mahalli Yemekler - This restaurant offers local cuisine. We suggest that you give the braised meat and the işkembe dolması (stuffed tripe) a try. Ebrar is more on the local joint side of the scale, offering a delicious menu and satisfying service. Address: 13 Mart Mah. Zirve İş Merkezi No:1 D:1 Nur, Mardin Merkez Tel: 0482 212 16 48
- Münir Usta - In business since 1981, we definitely recommend Münir Usta's kibbehs and stuffed lamb ribs. In its spacious and modern setting, don’t hesitate to taste the traditional Mardin desserts. Address: Karayolları arkası Mataracı Apartmanı altı No: 1/A Yenişehir Tel: 0482 213 66 68
- Café Del Mar - When he was in Mardin for filming, Bollywood star, Salman Khan, decided to improve the cafe he was frequenting the most. The end result, from its decoration to its sound system and menu, is Café Del Mar… Both the ambiance and the dishes are great. Café Del Mar is a great place to visit, regardless of the time of day. Address: Eski Hükümet Konağı Üçyol Girişi, Müze Yolu Tel: 0482 212 70 80
- Sadık Künefe - The number of kadayıf (noodle dessert) assortments alone might surprise you, but their leading star, künefe, is the most delicious. If desserts are your thing, this surely is the place for you in Mardin. Address: Samanyolu Apartmanı No:1 Yenişehir Tel: 0482 213 31 61
- Turistik Meat Restaurant - Turistik Meat Restaurant, with its authentic decoration and its “oriental corner,” caters to tourists. That does not mean that their dishes are not extremely delicious. We especially suggest their sembuse (meat stuffed pastry), pumpkin dessert and Mardin stew. Address: Cumhuriyet Meydanı No: 49, Merkez Tel: 0482 212 16 47
- Midyat Saray Restaurant - If you are ever in Midyat, you should stop by Saray. Decorated like a small local restaurant and open until the evening, the restaurant has a diverse and delicious menu that includes pide (elongated pizza), grilled dishes and stews. Address: Cumhuriyet Caddesi. Askerlik Şubesi karşısı Maliye Lojmanları altı No:16/H Estel/ Midyat Tel: 0482 462 34 36
- Gelüşke Hanı - Used as a backdrop for many TV series, Gelüşke Inn is currently used as a restaurant. You can sample local dishes in this relatively touristic establishment. The inn has several different areas, and the most interesting of these are the 10-people concert rooms. Address: Eski Midyat Kuyumcular Çarşısı Midyat Tel: 0482 464 14 42
Accomodation in Mardin
The traditional Mardin architecture will catch your eye when you are looking at Mardin hotels too. Here are some hotels that reflect the soul of the city, provide peace and comfort and will surely attract your interest:
- Hilton Garden Inn - Hilton’s quality and luxury is within your reach in Mardin. The hotel ready to cater to all your needs and is very successful in terms of service quality. With its swimming pool, fitness center and 4 meeting rooms, Hilton is the place for both business and leisure trips. Address: Yenişehir Mahallesi, Barış Caddesi 29 Sokak No: 34 Tel: 0482 213 96 00
- Erdoba Elegance Hotel And Convention Center - Located on the way to Midyat, Erdoba was designed for conferences and meetings. Ideal for business trips, the hotel is located a bit outside of the city. It offers its guest every luxury and comfort conceivable. Address: Midyat Yolu 3.km. Tel: 0 482 212 15 00
- Reyhani Kasrı - Housed in a historic building in the center of Mardin, Reyhani is one of the rare establishments that has successfully managed to meld the old with the new. It is one of the best choices with its modern service and magnificent view. Address: 1. Cadde No. 163 Merkez Tel: 0 482 212 13 33
- Antik Tatlıdede Konağı - A 580 year-old mansion, this boutique hotel allows you to admire Mardin’s unique stone masonry. Antik Tatlıdede has a great location and reflects the soul of the city. Address: Ulucami Mah. 104 Sok. No: 27 Tel: 0 482 213 27 20
Places to See in Mardin
Mardin is an open-air museum in the full sense of the word. The city offers its visitors unforgettable experiences with its unmatched silhouette, characteristic architecture and cultural heritage. Myriad tourists flock to Mardin, regardless of the season, just to photograph the traditional Mardin houses. Here is our list of must see tourist attractions in Mardin:
- Mardin Museum - Located in the Old Assyrian Catholic Patriarchate Building, the museum has a wide variety of artifacts ranging from the early bronze age to the Ottoman era in its collection. The cylindrical seals and stamps of the Mesopotamian civilizations are especially noteworthy. The museum also hosts art exhibitions occasionally.
- Mardin Ulu Mosque - Dated to the Artuqid era, this mosque is a impressive work of architecture. Its stone-masonry, which contains features of both pre-Ottoman Anatolian Islamic works and regional architecture, is definitely a must see.
- Mardin Fortress - Mardin Fortress overlooks the city and dates to the 10th century. Aside from the beauty it adds to Mardin’s landscape, the fortress is also known for having been constructed with minimal additions to the bedrock on which it was built.
- Deyrülzeferan Monastery - Deyrülzeferan Monastery not only houses the tombs of 52 Assyrian patricians, but also consists of three temples from various eras and is among the most important places of worship for the Assyrian community. The monastery dates to the 4th century and has mosaics from several different eras.
- Kasımiye Madrasa - Built with ashlar stone blocks, this building is from the late Artuqid era with a madrasa, a mosque and a mausoleum.
Sakıp Sabancı Mardin City Museum and Dilek Sabancı Art Gallery - The building of the museum was originally cavalry barracks, but was turned into a museum after restoration. The museum promotes and exhibits Mardin's evolution into an urban settlement and its culture. Dilek Sabancı Art Gallery, on the other hand, is Mardin’s modern art gallery.
- Kırklar (Mor Benham) Church - Known as the Mardin Metropolitic Church today, the building was named after the bones of forty martyrs who were brought to the church in 1170. It is among the city's jewels with its stone-masonry specific to Mardin, precious historic artifacts and its majestic wooden gates.
- Latifiye Mosque - Another Artuqid-era structure, this building got its wooden minbar and mahfel during the Seljuk reign and its minaret during the Ottoman era. Its eastern entrance is the best-preserved arched gate in Mardin.
- Dara Ruins
Although Dara was among the most important cities of Mesopotamia, today it is a small village. Consisting of dwellings carved into rocks, the antique city includes rock graves and the ruins of churches, a palace, a dungeon and a bazaar.
- Deyrulumur (Mor Gabriel) Monastery
Located 18 km east of Midyat, this monastery is one of the most important structures in the history of the Assyrian religion. Estimated to have been built around the fourth century, the monastery sits on a high location overlooking its surroundings. It is also known for its comprehensive library.
- Midyat - Midyat, like Mardin, is a museum-city. With its rare works of stone-masonry you stumble upon around every corner, local buildings in the regional style and its narrow streets, Midyat is a delightful city to roam around. Also, we strongly recommend a visit to the historic filigree masters, who are keeping alive a dying art.
Neighborhoods of Mardin
- Central Mardin: The city center, where you can observe the historical fabric of Mardin, is truly a stunning place. You should walk around the city, where stone turns into art, to your heart’s content. Streets covered with abbaras(tunnels) take visitors to another time and place.
- Yenişehir: As its name “New City” suggests, Yenişehir is Mardin'’s newer residential area… But, it is not completely disconnected from Mardin’s old settlements. The city's daily life happens here, and many famous restaurants are located in this district.
- Midyat: Midyat is a glorious medieval city outside of Mardin. Similar to Mardin with regards to the style of its stone structures, the city offers the advantages of being a smaller settlement. It is Mardin’s most touristic site.
Nightlife in Mardin
You cannot really say that Mardin has a very active nightlife scene, but here are our suggestions for a good time in the city:
- Abbara - One of Mardin’s most famous bars, Abbara offers both tasty drinks and delicious meals. There is also live Turkish folk music three days a week. Address: 1.Cadde Garanti Bankası karşısı Oscar Pasajı No: 401/3 Tel: 0482 213 22 31
- Hilton Lobby Bar - Located in the lobby of the Hilton hotel, you can enjoy some quality time with your friends in the pleasant atmosphere of this elegant bar. Address: Yenişehir Mahallesi, Barış Caddesi 29 Sokak No: 34 Tel: 0482 213 96 00
- Coffee Life - You can have a good time with your friends at this cafe, which is one of the most charming establishments in Mardin.
- Address: 13 Mart Mahallesi Vali Ozan Caddesi No:102/12 Yenişehir
- Seyr-i Mardin - On weekends, you can enjoy live music here while observing Mardin’s wonderful scenery. Address: Şar Mahallesi 1.Cadde (Ptt Karşısı) Merkez
- Provincial Code: 0 482
- Provincial Directorate of Tourism: 0 482 212 37 76
- Police: 0 482 212 24 50
- Gendarmerie Emergency: 156
- Police Emergency: 155
- Medical Emergency: 112