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Welcome to Kayseri!
Located in central Anatolia, Kayseri, Turkey, is a great destination for history buffs, archaeological enthusiasts, and food lovers. From the beautiful Ottoman, Seljuk mosques and churches, to a popular ski resort, Kayseri is definitely not short on unique attractions and interesting things to do.
After you land in Kayseri airport, instead of roaming around the city without a plan, explore the city as a worldwide local and discover some of the city’s best attractions from a different perspective. This travel guide takes you to Kayseri’s historical landmarks, cultural attractions, and other special spots.
Begin with a Trip into History
Nestled in the center of the Old Town, Hunat Hatun Mosque is a great complex by Empress Mahperi Hunat who was the wife of the famous Seljuk Turkish Sultan called Alaettin Keykubat. Here, you will find a theological school, the lady’s octagonal tomb, and the impressive mosque. Dating back to the 12th century, Surp Krikor Lusavoriç is another religious monument worth exploring while visiting Kayseri. It is the oldest Armenian Church, in the city, and features a highly baroque iconostasis covered in gold leaf. Although the services at the church are held only during the religious holidays, the local guardian of the church is always more than happy to open the doors for curious travelers.
Worldwide Local Tip: Travelers visiting Kayseri during winter should definitely visit Mount Erciyes. This former volcano serves as a skiing center nowadays and attracts large crowds of both local and international visitors. There is a nice restaurant at the skiing center where you can enjoy the local cuisine.
Visit a Unique Museum
Situated right next to Mimar Sinan Park, the Gevher Nesibe Sultan Madrasa and Hospital is one of Kayseri’s most unique attractions. This hospital used to be an institution for patients with mental health issues during the Seljuk era, but instead of other similar centers in Europe, this hospital used treatments based on baths and music. Today, the building is home to the Seljuk Civilization Museum where travelers can admire ceramic and bronze artifacts from the Seljuk era.
Worldwide Local Tip: Although there are many cafes and eateries in the city, Kayseri is not famed for its nightlife. Most shops and bars don’t sell alcoholic beverages and close their doors early in the evening.
For a local experience, pay a visit to the Kayseri’s charming Ethnographic Museum. With painted wooden wall-ceilings and panels, the interior of the museum looks very impressive. Expect to see plenty of interesting exhibits, including the highlight of the famous 18th-century stone Güpgüpoğlu Konağı. Don’t leave the city without stopping by the Kayseri Castle which was first constructed by the Roman emperor Gordian III and rebuilt by Seljuk sultan Alaattin Keykubat in the 13th century.
Worldwide Local Tip: When it comes to the local cuisine, the dried seasoned beef, also known as pastirma, is in popular demand. Production of tenderloin cuts or beef sirloin used to make pastirma starts in September when the weather is nice. The meat gets left in salt for up to 7 days and then it’s hung to dry in the wind for a week or two. In the end, the meat is seasoned with pepper, garlic, and cumin. Dating back to 1938, Göncüler Pastırmacısı is one of the best pastirma shops, in Kayseri.
Enjoy Your Visit!
Steeped in history, this is a lovely city with plenty of historical attractions, and since it’s easy to get from Istanbul to Kayseri Erkilet Airport, there’s no excuse not to visit. Explore the city’s best landmarks as a worldwide local, which will guarantee to make your visit to Kayseri an unforgettable experience.