Download GPX file for this article
36.583336.1667Full screen dynamic map

From Wikivoyage
Jump to navigation Jump to search

İskenderun, also known as Alexandretta, is a city in Hatay, Mediterranean Turkey. It's a major port on the Mediterranean Sea.

Understand[edit]

Many cities founded by Alexander the Great (Büyük İskender in Turkish) were named for him. Only a few still carry his name, İskenderun included: other examples are Alexandria in Egypt, Kandahar in Afghanistan, and Iskandariya in Iraq.

İskenderun has a population of about 250,000 people as of the early 2020s and is a centre of heavy industry, with petrochemical plants and steelworks in the outskirts. However, its centre is nevertheless enjoyable with a lovely palm-lined esplanade.

Get in[edit]

By plane[edit]

The nearest airport for international flights is in Adana (ADA IATA) to the north. For domestic flights, Hatay Airport (HTY IATA) located in the outskirts of Antakya to the south (45 min driving) is another option.

By train[edit]

The national operator TCDD runs regional trains from Mersin via Adana twice daily, one morning and one late afternoon departure.

  • 1 İskenderun railway station (İskenderun Garı) (East of the city centre, end of İstasyon road). İskenderun railway station (Q43398812) on Wikidata İskenderun railway station on Wikipedia

By car[edit]

The city is connected to the rest of Turkey by the motorway numbered O-53 (toll-road). The highway leading south towards Antakya and Syria is also well-paved but winding when crossing the Amanos Mountains in-between.

Get around[edit]

There are no dolmuşes in Iskenderun, and though there may be city buses, their routes are not easy to figure out with no Turkish language skills. The town centre is walkable; however to get from the centre to the bus station, you're best off taking a taxi, which should cost about 10-15 TL.

See[edit]

On the waterfront, there is a big globe surrounded by flags of Turkic countries, and a park with a number of interesting structures.

  • 1 Iskenderun Naval Museum (İskenderun Deniz Müzesi), Atatürk Blv. Contains artifacts from the Ottoman navy, and a room dedicated to the reincorporation of Hatay (for several decades ruled by France) into Turkey. Admission 8 TL, photography license 10 TL. İskenderun Naval Museum (Q28221546) on Wikidata İskenderun Naval Museum on Wikipedia
  • 2 Cathedral of the Annunciation (İskenderun Katolik Kilisesi). Roman Catholic church built in 1871. Cathedral of the Annunciation, İskenderun (Q5052424) on Wikidata Cathedral of the Annunciation, İskenderun on Wikipedia
  • 3 Surp Karasun Manuk Armenian Church (Surp Karasun Manuk Ermeni Kilisesi). Historic Armenian Apostolic church. (Q13054890) on Wikidata
  • 4 Sokollu Mehmet Pasha Caravanserai (In nearby town of Payas, just north of Iskenderun). A 16th century caravanserai, roadside resting place. Sokollu Mehmet Pasha Caravanserai (Q54922796) on Wikidata Sokollu Mehmet Pasha Caravanserai on Wikipedia

Do[edit]

Iskenderun coast
  • Take a walk in Iskenderun coast, which offers great views.
  • 1 Soğukoluk Plateau is a picnic area with dense pine forests 18 km south, near Müftüler.

Buy[edit]

  • 1 Park Forbes AVM is a shopping mall on the coast with cafes and food chains.

Eat[edit]

  • Künefe — one of the most famous regional desserts; best enjoyed hot when the cheese within is melted. No doubt delicious.
  • Döner — a type of kebab, made of seasoned meat stacked in the shape of an inverted cone and cooked slowly on a vertical rotisserie. It's then thinly sliced and wrapped in a flat bread. In parts of Europe, it is known as an after-party food.

Drink[edit]

Sleep[edit]

Connect[edit]

Go next[edit]

  • 1 Arsuz Arsuz on Wikipedia (ancient Rhossus or Rhopolis) is a local resort 35 km south. The area is predominantly small farms in the rural and mountainous inland and a strip of small groups of summer homes on the coast. Hemmed in by craggy mountains and isolated pebble beaches, a scenic coastal road complete with the longest uninterrupted bike path in Turkey leads southwards to the Titus Tunnel near Samandağ, where it diverts inland towards Antakya.
Routes through Iskenderun
Ends at E90-TR.svg (W / E)  N E91-TR.svg S  AntakyaAiga immigration.svg Yayladağı/Kessab



This city travel guide to Iskenderun is a usable article. It has information on how to get there and on restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.