Mersin has hosted the XVII Mediterranean Games in June 2013.
Once a small fishermen's village, Mersin grew as the export harbour of the surrounding region, as more and more of the wilderness of the Cilician Plains was ploughed up to produce cotton, which was in high demand the world around with the start of the industrial revolution in the textile sector. It still hosts the largest port of the country today, with its export articles being diversified.
There are fairly modern and air-con trains every hour or more frequently during the rush hours to and from Adana and Tarsus. The journey time is between 45-80 minutes, depending on the number of stops. The price is 5.50 TL for one way and 9 TL for a roundtrip. There is an option to buy an unlimited card for 110 TL, valid for a month. The price is 80 TL for students. You should buy the ticket before you enter the train, otherwise the price is doubled.
The only international train link is from Syrian city of Aleppo, from where weekly trains depart at 3AM on Fridays, and arriving in Mersin about nine hours later, at 12:18PM. They cost € 14 pp. (This train is halted indefinitely for a while, so it is wise to check before planning the trip)
There is a bus station in eastern part of the city. There are city buses running between the city center and the bus station. Usually each bus company has its own shuttles running between city center, western (coastal part) and the bus station.
From the bus station there are buses to almost every city in Turkey, including, among others, Gaziantep (5 hours, 25 TL) and to small cities and villages in Cilician Mountains (the rest of Mersin Province), such as Silifke (2 hours, 10 TL).
- Mersin Grand Mosque (Turkish: Ulu Cami) is located just off the main shoreside promenade in the Akdeniz district. Originally built in 1898 (and subsequently labeled New Mosque), it was refurbished in futuristic fashion in the 1970s and renamed. It is a three storey mosque with a capacity of up to 3,000.
- Muğdat Mosque (Turkish: Muğdat Camisi) was built in the 1980s in Yenişehir district of the city. It is named after Miqdad ibn Aswad, one of the early Muslims. Its capacity is up to 5,500, which makes is the largest mosque in the city of Mersin and the third largest built in the Republican era of Turkey. It has a rare six minarets, two of which were only added recently. It lies a mere 300m from the Mediterranean Sea.
- Atatürk Park is a public park, which was used during the 2013 Mediterranean Games held in the city. It lies along the coast from north east to south west and is roughly 40 acres in size. At the north-east edge is the Congress and Exhibition Centre with several conference venues and a swimming pool.
- The Catholic Church of Mersin (Turkish: Latin Italyan Katolik Kilisesi) was built in the 1853 as Mersin began to develop as a port city and become more important to Christians in the area. The church and the accompanying school are still active today despite closure during WWI.
- Ataturk's Museum (Turkish: Mersin Atatürk Evi Müzesi) is a museum housed inside a beautiful, seven-room villa where Atatürk once stayed when he was visiting the city in 1925. The house was originally built in 1897 by H. Christman, the German consul to Mersin. Nowadays, the museum's seven original rooms all feature original furnishings.
- Yümüktepe is a tell, or burial mound, in the Toroslar region of the city, which contains evidence of Neolithic settlements continuing up to the Middle Ages. In total, there are 23 levels of occupation from c. 6300 BC until roughly 13th century BC as part of the Hittie Empire - as nearby Soli was flourishing, it was abandoned, plundered by Sea Peoples from Europe and later raided by Assyrians from Upper Mesopotamia.
- Flamingo Park
- Yenişehir Urban Forest (Yenişehir Kent Ormanı)
- Walk on the Antic Road, constructed in the Roman Period.
- Mounted excursion in an ambient within nature at mounted sports club.
Buy very high quality leather jackets from the bazaar just beside Holly Mosque (local name Ulu Cami). Don't forget to bargain, and after bargaining for 15 minutes, you might be able to buy leather jacket for half price. There is an antique store behind the Mersin Hotel specialising in prayer beads. The prices range from 10 TL to over 5000 TL and it is hard to evaluate the price; the 50TL-100TL range is adequate for a souvenir. Dösim Store is a trustworhty place to buy a souvenir; the prices are fixed (no bargaining) and often cheaper than other stores. Since it is a public institution, the products are authentic and usually come with a certificate in English. Dösim store is beside the Atatürk's House in Mersin.
- Mersin Forum AVM is a large mall in Yenişehir district.
Tantuni, finely minced fried meat and onion wrap, is one of the most famous food in this region. Don't leave the city without tasting it. In the center of the city, you will see several small local restaurants with this special fantastic food.
Haslets are very common ingredients of the food in Mersin. There are dishes made with intestines, lung, liver, kidneys, stomach, brain. Even though there are restaurants serving this food all through out the day, this type of food can be found easily late at nights. Especially soups with inner organs are drank late at night after consumption of alcohol.
Cezerye is a mix made of carrots and fig and lots of spices may also include nuts depending on where you buy it from.
Kerebic is dessert unique to this area. It is a dough filled with pistachios and served with vegetarian cream on top of it.
Künefe is also another dessert completely unique to the Arabic influenced areas. Its oven baked shredded pastry with salt-free cheese filling in thick syrup. Although its really requires a developed taste, it carries the spirit of the vicinity
Şalgam can be found on every street in Mersin even though it is a drink from Adana. Good examples of local brands are Serafressh (with double s) and Turnib (with b, not p). Since the cities in Çukurova all have similar cuisines taste of Salgam doesn't differ that much.
In the past there were many Boyan (licorice drink) sellers in the city center. Such drink still exists but cannot be found easily.
Kaynar is another local drink, generally served to celebrate a newborn. It is usually served hot with cinnamon and walnut. The ingredients of kaynar can be found in some stores and can be a cheap exotic gift.
There are many hotels in the city, but one of the best ones is Sultasa Hotel. It is a kind of in the city center. The entrance fee for this place is 35YTL excluding accommodation. For accommodation, you should pay 80YTL more.
Lamos Hotel is a five star hotel on a peninnsula. Blue flaged sea and a stunning service. Luxury rooms..
- Kizkalesi (Maiden's Castle) and Cennet-Cehennem (Heaven-Hell) are located west of city, about 60 km away, on the Mediterranean shore.
- Adam Kayalar — Near Cennet-Cehennem, a few km inland, are many ruins, ancient gravings and human body reliefs carved on rocks.
- Tarsus to the east is a historical wonder by richness of religious and biblical entities' mausoleums.
|Routes through Mersin|
|Antalya ← Narlıkuyu ←||W E||→ Tarsus → Adana|