Mersin is one of the most unique places of our country with its natural beauties and rich historical heritage on the Mediterranean coastline. It is one of the most valuable cities of Anatolia with its plateaus reaching up to the highest peaks of the Taurus Mountains, untouched coves and beaches, more than twenty ancient cities, palm trees reaching out to the brightly shining sun, and palatal delicacies.
Located in Ancient Cilicia geography, which is as old as the history of humanity, Mersin has dozens of different routes in the city center as well as its districts, each of which has become a brand in terms of places to visit and see. Places to visit in Mersin should be on your list to explore the city and mingle with the local culture.
Places to Visit in Mersin Center
Mersin ‘s avenues and streets are colorful. Cyclists, laughing children, smiling old people, cats waiting in front of fishermen, dogs chasing long-tailed pigeons, polite peddlers…
Mersin is an unexplored city with its wide squares with modern sculptures, parks decorated with palm trees, organic producers’ markets established on certain days, local texture and paved roads.
It has both the amenities of the big city and the locality of the seaside towns. Start your acquaintance with Mersin, known for its unspoiled calm, multicultural people’s kindness and helpfulness, from the streets of the city.
1. Mersin Marina
Mersin Marina is Turkey’s largest marina in the Eastern Mediterranean basin. The marina, which was put into service in 2011 with the theme of the center of life, brought a new breath to the social life of the city with the understanding of the city marina. The marina, which is part of the Mediterranean atmosphere in Mersin, is the meeting point of the city with its mooring areas and the section serving yachts, as well as a shopping center and restaurant cafes.
The marina, which is one of the most beautiful places in Mersin, is the place frequented by the visitors coming to the city. In the marina, where there are many social facilities such as a restaurant, SPA, bar, yacht club and sports center, there are areas that respond to the needs of yacht owners such as laundry, shower-toilet, supermarket, boat maintenance, fuel oil, customs entrance-exit gate.
2. Fisherman’s Shelter
Fisherman’s Shelter is located in Mersin city center, west of Atatürk Park. Although it looks shabby and complex from the outside, if you like boats and the sea, you can stop by the shelter while walking on the beach. Seafood and fish and bread are also sold at the boat restaurants connected to the shore in the coastal part of the shelter.
3. Mersin Museum
Mersin Museum is located in Yenişehir district, south of Muğdat Mosque. The museum, which was renovated and reopened in 2001, displays the finds obtained during the archaeological excavations in Mersin city center and its surroundings. In the exhibition halls organized in a chronological manner, Mersin history from the first age to the present is explained with visuals and historical artifacts.
A part of the lower floor exhibition hall is devoted to ethnographic works and Mersin’s local nomadic culture. On the upper floor of the museum, the works of Yumuktepe Mound dating back to 7 thousand BC, which has an important place in Mersin’s history, artifacts unearthed from the Ancient City of Soli and the finds unearthed in the Ayaş Elausse Sebaste excavation are exhibited.
4. Mersin Naval Museum
Mersin Naval Museum serves with more than 500 objects revealing the history of Turkish naval wars, and a library with 800 books serving researchers. Chronological information on the history of naval warfare is conveyed in the 450 square meter main exhibition hall of the museum. Models of ships, ensigns, coats of arms, military clothing, weapons and oil paintings from the period are part of the museum’s collection.
In the interactive hall of the museum, digital videos and images are displayed about the Legendary Mahmudiye, Hero Hamidiye, Preveze and Barbaros Hayrettin Pasha, the Nusret Mine Ship that changed the course of history, the hero of the national struggle period Gazi Alemdar and the Yavuz Battle Cruiser. In the open exhibition area, pieces such as torpedoes, mines, radar and submarine models are on display.
5. Mersin Ataturk House Museum
Atatürk House and Museum was established by transforming the house where the people of Mersin stayed for 11 days during their visit to Mersin in 1925, together with Atatürk’s wife Latife Hanım, into a museum. The museum is located on Atatürk Street, right in the heart of the city. The house, which has been turned into a museum and known as the Kristman Mansion, was built in 1897 by the order of the German Consul of the time, for his daughter and son-in-law.
The museum, which was expropriated in 1980 and transferred to the Ministry of Culture in 1982, and officially opened in 1992, is considered one of the best examples of civil architecture made of cut stone. In the museum where photographs, documents and 22 personal belongings belonging to Atatürk are exhibited, there are also ethnographic works and Kuvay-i Milliye corner.
6. İçel Art Club
İçel Art Club is located on 5226 Street, also known as Art Street, in the Akdeniz district of Mersin. The club is a non-governmental organization founded in 1989 by a group of art lovers living in Mersin who are sensitive to urban life and history.
Aiming to bring the productions of people and institutions that produce art, culture and science in Mersin to the masses, İçel Art Club organizes many cultural and artistic events, talks, exhibitions, meetings and organizations throughout the year. The atmosphere of the club, which also has a small cafe in its garden, gives peace
7. Hz. Mugdat Mosque
Hz. Muğdat Mosque was built in 1980 at the intersection of Gazi Mustafa Kemal Boulevard and Adnan Menderes Boulevard, in the Pozcu district of Mersin’s Yenişehir district. Known as the second largest mosque of the Republican Period after Ankara Kocatepe Mosque, the building has the title of the largest mosque in Mersin. The mosque takes its name from Mikdâd bin Amr, one of the first companions to believe in Islam. In the garden of Hz. Miktad’s Tomb.
The mosque, which has 6 minarets with three balconies, conference hall, library, soup kitchen and health center in total, carries the traces of classical Ottoman architecture. The prayer area capacity of the mosque, which is built on an area of 3 thousand square meters, is 5 thousand 500. Mersin Naval Museum and Mersin Museum are neighbors to the mosque on the south side.
8. Kushimoto Street
Kushimoto Street is a street located in the Pozcu district of Yenişehir district, famous for its cafes and entertainment venues. The street is considered to be one of the concrete reflections of the friendly relations between Turkey and Japan in Mersin, the foundations of which were laid after the Ertuğrul Frigate sank near the Japanese city of Kushimoto in 1890.
Ottoman Sultan II. The Ertuğrul Frigate, carrying the Turkish delegation, which had completed the task of presenting the Order of Honor to the Emperor of Japan, Leiji in 1890 by the order of Abdulhamit, sank on the way back, and 587 Turkish sailors lost their lives in the accident. Entertainment venues, cafes and restaurants are lined up on the street, which is one of the most lively places in Mersin. Most of the places on the street, where young people spend their time, are open until late.
9. St. Michael and Gabriel Orthodox Church
Saint Michael and Gabriel Orthodox Church was built with the permission of the Ottoman State on the land donated by Dimitri and Tannus Nadir in 1849 in the Akdeniz district of Mersin . Dedicated to the archangels Mihael and Gabriel, the church is also known as the Mersin Greek Orthodox Church .
The church, whose name is ‘Greek’ due to the fact that the entire Orthodox population living in the empire was called ‘Greek’ during the Ottoman period, was actually founded by Arab Orthodox from Cappadocia, the islands and different parts of the Middle East. The church is the oldest church in Mersin that still has a congregation and is open for worship. The church can be visited with special permission and by appointment.
How to get to Mersin
Mersin is a city with transportation connections to all corners of Turkey . The closest airport to Mersin city center is Adana Şakirpaşa Airport, 66 km away. In addition to the HAVAŞ shuttles departing every half hour from Adana Şakirpaşa Airport, you can go to Mersin with the option of taxi and car rental.
Mersin, which is 946 km from Istanbul, can be reached in 10 hours by private car by following the Aksaray, Pozantı, Tarsus route by using the Istanbul-Ankara Highway. Uşak, Afyonkarahisar, Konya, Ereğli, Pozantı, Tarsus routes are followed to go from İzmir to Mersin by private vehicle. Check out my blog post on how to get to Mersin for transportation to Mersin.
Mersin is an underrated city in Turkey where you can feel the spacious, peaceful and warm atmosphere of the Mediterranean . The city, which stretches along the Mediterranean coastline, is worth seeing with its untouched bays and beaches, ancient cities that shed light on the history of the region, magnificent architectural structures where you can see the traces of the civilizations that dominate the region, and delicious food.