As Turkey's largest port town, Mersin offers breezy waterfront promenades, traditional seafood restaurants and maritime history. It sits on the Mediterranean coast and is famous for its sumptuous cuisine, from liver kebabs to sizzling lamb wraps.
Things to do in Mersin (Icel)
Explore Mersin's atmospheric waterfront district. As you wander down the narrow lanes you can peer into dimly lit tea houses, aromatic shisha cafes and colourful souvenir stalls. At sunset, head to Ataturk Park, where you can walk along the scenic promenade or enjoy a picnic on the grassy foreshore.
Visit the Mersin Naval Museum, which offers an overview of Turkey's seafaring history in exhibits on radars and torpedoes. The Mersin Museum, meanwhile, showcases archaeological artefacts from nearby burial mounds, such as Yumuktepe.
Mersin serves as a gateway to Tarsus, a nearby Christian pilgrimage site. Pilgrims flock to St. Paul’s Well, which commemorates the place where the saint was born. History buffs can explore Cleopatra’s Gate, the remains of an ancient Roman defensive wall that once encircled the city.
As Turkey's primary port town, it's no surprise that Mersin serves up some of the country's best seafood. You can snag a table at a bustling seafood tavern or enjoy a leisurely lunch on one of the floating restaurants lining the harbour.
Getting around Mersin (Icel)
It's easy to explore Mersin on foot, especially if you stick to the waterfront districts. The city is also well-serviced by a network of local buses. The local bus station offers long-distance connections to major cities and towns across Turkey.