Malatya is a grand South-Central Turkish city with half a million inhabitants, a historical human settlement for thousands of years. Expect a dynamic and busy city that will provide you with the experience of everyday life in a Turkish city.
The Turkish city life
Start your stroll around the city center with a free visit to the Yeni Cami mosque – an architectural jewel of Malatya featuring three minarets. This is the main and most central part of the city. Nearby, you will find The Dried Apricot Bazaar of Malatya (Sire Bazaar) where you can find a huge variety of apricot-based goods ranging from the actual fruit to soap, jam and even skincare products. Because the region of Malatya is quite conservative, there is only one pub in Malatya. But don’t worry, along the canal (Kanalboyu), you’ll find a great assortment of cafes and restaurants. Many restaurants serve shish kebabs with grilled apricot – definitely something you’ll want to try. We also recommend you enjoy a Turkish coffee along with a hooka (if that’s your sort of thing) at Nostalji Tarihi – a traditional Turkish café.
A mandatory visit to Mount Nemrut and Gunpinar Waterfall
Malatya or Meliddu, as the Assyrians once called it, is the perfect base for tourists visiting Mount Nemrut. This natural splendour represents the site of an ancient burial tomb and was declared a world cultural heritage site by UNESCO. There you can admire the temple and tomb of King Antiochus and the beautiful statues that surround it dating from the first century BC. The giant stone heads will make you feel like a visitor in the land of an ancient civilization. Many tourists prefer to visit Mount Nemrut at sunrise or sundown for the breath-taking view that looks as if it’s from another planet.
Another must-see in the Malatya region is the Gunpinar waterfall. You can even enjoy a Turkish coffee and a grilled kebab at the café just by the waterfall. You can’t possibly ask for a better view. One of the best things about the waterfall is the organic and relaxing sound that the water makes when it hits the rocks. You should take a short hike up to the top of the waterfall to take a look at this natural wonder from above. During summer time, the place is full of locals and tourists enjoying a picnic in the sun to experience the unforgettable view.
For the best experience of Malatya, hire a car with easyCar and visit during the International Arts and Apricot Festival in July. The city will be buzzing with events and markets and you’ll be able to taste some of the best apricots in the world, alongside a wide range of apricot based products.