The 10 Best Things To Do In Tarsus

Tucked away in the Mersin Province of Turkey, Tarsus beckons with its rich tapestry of history and culture. It’s a place where the whispers of the past meet modern-day charm, and trust me, it’s a hidden gem that’s ripe for exploration. Whether you’re a history buff, a nature lover, or just in search of a unique adventure, Tarsus offers a treasure trove of experiences that are sure to captivate your heart.

1. Step Back in Time at Cleopatra’s Gate

One of the most iconic landmarks in Tarsus is Cleopatra’s Gate, an ancient Roman arch that’s steeped in legends of love and power. It’s said that this is where Cleopatra entered the city to meet Mark Antony, and standing before it, you can’t help but feel the weight of history. The gate is a stunning example of Roman architecture, and it’s the perfect spot to snap a photo that’ll transport you back to the days of empires and epic romances.

2. Discover the Tarsus Waterfall

Who would’ve thought that you’d find a waterfall in the midst of a historic city? The Tarsus Waterfall is a natural oasis that offers a serene escape from the hustle and bustle. The sound of cascading water is like music to the ears, and the surrounding park is ideal for a leisurely picnic. It’s a favorite among locals and visitors alike, and once you’re there, you’ll understand why.

3. Explore the Ancient Streets of Tarsus

There’s something magical about wandering through the old streets of Tarsus. Each cobblestone path tells a story, and the beautifully preserved buildings are a testament to the city’s ancient roots. Take a stroll, and you’ll come across quaint shops selling everything from spices to handcrafted souvenirs. Don’t be shy to strike up a conversation with the friendly locals – they’re sure to share fascinating tales and insider tips.

4. Visit Saint Paul’s Church

For those intrigued by religious history, Saint Paul’s Church is a must-visit. This church is dedicated to Saint Paul, who was born in Tarsus. It’s a place of quiet reflection and spiritual significance. The church has been beautifully restored, and its peaceful courtyard is a haven for contemplation. Whether you’re religious or not, the sense of history here is palpable.

5. Uncover the Secrets of the Tarsus Museum

History buffs, rejoice! The Tarsus Museum is a treasure trove of artifacts that span millennia. From ancient coins to intricately carved sarcophagi, the museum showcases the rich tapestry of Tarsus’s past. It’s a small but mighty institution, and the knowledgeable staff are always eager to share the stories behind the exhibits.

6. Indulge in Local Delicacies

Let’s talk about food, shall we? Tarsus is a haven for foodies, with its mouthwatering array of local dishes. From succulent kebabs to sweet, syrupy desserts, there’s something to satisfy every palate. Be sure to try the local specialty, cezerye, a delightful confection made from carrots, nuts, and coconut. It’s as delicious as it is unique!

7. Take a Walk on the Wild Side at Tarsus Zoo

If you’re traveling with kids or just love animals, the Tarsus Zoo is a fantastic place to spend the day. It’s home to a variety of species, both local and exotic. The zoo is well-maintained, and it’s evident that the welfare of the animals is a top priority. It’s a fun and educational experience for visitors of all ages.

8. Marvel at the Ulu Cami (Grand Mosque)

The Ulu Cami, or Grand Mosque, is another testament to Tarsus’s rich religious heritage. This architectural marvel dates back to the Ottoman era and features stunning calligraphy and tile work. The mosque is still in use today, so it’s a great opportunity to witness local religious practices first-hand. Remember to dress modestly and respect the customs when visiting.

9. Enjoy the Tranquility of Tarsus’s Parks

After a day of sightseeing, there’s nothing like unwinding in one of Tarsus’s many parks. These green havens are perfect for a bit of relaxation. You’ll find families enjoying picnics, friends chatting by the fountains, and children playing in the open spaces. It’s a slice of everyday life in Tarsus that’s both heartwarming and grounding.

10. Experience the Tarsus Bazaar

Last but not least, immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere of the Tarsus Bazaar. This bustling marketplace is where you’ll find everything from fresh produce to handmade crafts. Haggling is part of the fun, so don’t be afraid to negotiate for that perfect keepsake. The bazaar is not just a shopping destination; it’s a cultural experience that you won’t forget.


  • What’s the best time to visit Tarsus?

    Spring (April to June) and fall (September to November) offer pleasant weather, making it ideal for exploring the city’s attractions.

  • Is Tarsus suitable for family travel?

    Absolutely! With its historical sites, parks, and zoo, Tarsus offers activities that can be enjoyed by visitors of all ages.

  • How do I get around Tarsus?

    The city is quite walkable, but there are also local buses and taxis available for longer distances.


In Tarsus, every corner holds a story, every street echoes with the footsteps of the past, and every experience is imbued with the warmth of Turkish hospitality. From the romantic allure of Cleopatra’s Gate to the bustling energy of the bazaar, Tarsus is a city that truly offers something for everyone. Whether you’re marveling at ancient ruins, indulging in local cuisine, or simply soaking up the city’s vibrant atmosphere, your time in Tarsus will be filled with unforgettable moments. So pack your bags, bring your sense of adventure, and get ready to discover the ten best things to do in this enchanting corner of Turkey.

Kurby Team

The Kurby Content Team is a diverse group of seasoned real estate experts dedicated to providing insightful, reliable information for homebuyers, real estate investors, and real estate agents. With backgrounds ranging from real estate brokerage, property investment, and residential home buying, our team combines decades of experience with a passion for demystifying the real estate world. We at Kurby are committed to helping you make informed, successful real estate decisions. Whether you're a first-time homebuyer, a seasoned investor, or a real estate professional, count on the Kurby Content Team to deliver the most relevant, actionable real estate content you need.