Mardin is located in the Southeastern part of Turkey and is a city with a vast history. The city has hosted different civilizations over thousands of years. This enigmatic city is within a 2-hour flight from Istanbul.
Nowadays, Mardin is divided into the Old City and the modern New City. The old part of Mardin still preserves the fabric of ancient civilizations. There are madrasas (Islamic educational institutes) like Kasımiye and Zinciriye from the 15th century with fascinating architectural features as well as striking views of Mardin from above.
Located about 2 hours away from the city center, the district of Midyat is a must-visit place. Midyat is known as the “meeting point of religions and languages” and was founded in the 9th century by the Assyrians and has become the home of Muslims, Christians, and Yazidis ever since. Today, all three of these beliefs get practiced in Midyat. You can visit Mor Gabriel Monastery that was established in 397 and is the oldest surviving Syriac Orthodox Monastery in the world. There is also Izozoel Church, which was established in the 6th century and is 45 kilometers away from Mor Gabriel.
In addition to its unique architecture and ancient buildings, Mardin also offers a combination of delicious flavors from different cultures. Stuffed tripe named Kibbe, Onion Kebab made as stuffing onions with delicious kebab meat, meatballs, and ribs, are some of the most well-known meals in Mardin, while Assyrian wine and Dibek coffee are beverages a visitor should not miss.
Mardin is also famous for its handicrafts. Some handicrafts are wood carving, telkari (thin strands of gold and silver woven like lace into jewelry and accessories including necklaces, earrings, belt buckles, chokers, and rings) tinsmithing, coppersmithing, and soap making. Make sure you return home with some of the high-quality Mardin handmade souvenirs!