Approaching Mardin by bus gives you are taste for what is in store for your visit. It is a fascinating city that appears to be carved out of the mountain. Mardin is essentially divided into two main areas. The old city perched on the mountain which provides most of the attractions but also a growing and pleasant new city below which offers alternative accommodation options and more facilities. They are linked by a short but steep 10 minute ride on the little yellow minibuses that ply Mardin’s streets.


Bus System Map of Mardin

Note – The map only contains a small number of bus lines in Mardin due to the need for simplicity.

Getting to Mardin

The main bus station (otogar) is located around three kilometres from the new town.  Strangely the terminal is located on a slope making it inconvenient for travellers. You can find a small park at the bottom of the slope if you are looking to kill time. The terminal itself is rather run down but contains a small cafe and also has toilets.  There are a number of buses which connect with the old town with the most direct being the Kızıltepe bus which stops at the terminal itself rather than outside on the slope. One route connects with the edge of the old town. There is no signage to assist first time visitors where to pickup the buses. One route (H3) connects with the edge of the old town. Two hotels are close to the otogar namely Ramada Plaza hotel and Mesopotamia Garden hotel.

The Kızıltepe bus passes the airport and runs around every 15 minutes. You can find a reasonable shopping centre directly adjacent to the airport.

Мардин Bushaltestelle автовокзал
Ticket area of otogar
Entrance to otogar with Kızıltepe (blue) bus
Ramada hotel near otogar

Getting around in Mardin by public transport

Mardin is served by a bus system consisting almost entirely of small yellow minibuses which can manoeuvre around the narrow street in the old town as well as the twisting roads all over the city. They are an interesting adaptation of the dolmuş. The bus system is operated by MARTUS. Payment is made using a smart card which can be purchased in a small office in the centre of the new town and also topped up at a limited number of machines.

Sadly the bus terminal does not seem to offer any options for purchasing a card to use to get into town. The card can also be used on buses to and around the nearby town of Kızıltepe. The limited number of charging points in the city it is advisable to add enough at the start to see you through your visit. When you purchase your card please make sure to register your HES code on the website. For more information on HES codes fore coming to Turkey please click here.


minibus Mardin yellow маршрутка Мардин
Typical MARTUS minibus
Mardin 马尔丁 旅行卡 Мардин Проездной
Mardin stored value card

While there are supposedly fixed routes with numbers the map provided by MARTUS is not always accurate and during every trip passengers asked the driver questions and a couple ended in an argument, so the development of a regulated and understandable bus system is still a work in progress. However they do allow the visitor to easily and cheaply get around the city. Although there are designated bus stops drivers often stop along the route to pick up a drop off passengers. Buses are pretty frequent running every ten minutes or so.

Mardin Old Town

ماردين المركز التاريخي
Narrow lanes all through old city
Mardin исторический центр Мардинالمركز التاريخي
Many interesting stairs linking the lanes
Кемал Ататюрк Мардин
Kemal Atatürk statue off main road

The old city is the main reason for coming to Mardin and it is a joy to explore. The bus will snake its way eastward all along the one way main street called 1. Cadde. You can jump off at almost any place along this route and most hotels, restaurants and tourist related shops are located here. Above and below this street is a fascinating labyrinth of very narrow lanes and steep stairs connecting them. Apart from the occasional motorbike you will see no traffic on these lanes. Best to just wander and immerse yourself in a very different world resembling what it must have been like centuries ago. Enjoy getting “lost” as you will eventually stumble upon either the main street or if you go down further then you will reach Yeni Yolu Cad where buses run.

Mind your head!
Steep stairs
исторический центр historisches Zentrum 历史中心 المركز التاريخي исторический центр Мардин 马尔丁 ماردين
Lively alleys

Unfortunately the castle at the top of mountain is off-limits and the whole area surrounding the summit is used as a military area. Even the road at the top is now blocked off.

Yeni Yolu Cad. (street)

Mardin Мардин 马尔丁 ماردين

At the bottom of the old town is Yeni Yolu street. While the road itself is not interesting it provides great views of old Mardin and the castle from above, especially from the western part of the road. Also you can also enjoy breathtaking views of the valley below. From this road you can grab a bus and head back to the new city or walk back as it is mostly downhill.

Valley below Mardin
Mardin Мардин 马尔丁 ماردين
View of Mardin old town
Mardin new town

New town

Yenişehir is the new town that nicely complements old Mardin and is well worth visiting or staying during your time in Mardin. While there are no real tourist attractions it is a pleasant place to hang out for a while with some decent parks, a range of restaurants.  It also hosts a medium sized, well maintained shopping mall called Mardian . There you will find a supermarket in the basement as well as some restaurants, clothing shops and a popular Starbucks at the front which displays its drinks menu and prices. The area contains a number of good quality hotels. The Hilton Garden Inn is a little distant from the main street but provides good value with an indoor pool, steam room and sauna especially welcome after a tiring day exploring the city.

To get from the new to old town just hop on a MARTUS bus and this will take around 10 minutes to get to the start of old Mardin. The best route to take is the M9 which passes through the main street in Yenişehir and then along the main street in old town and going back to the new town along Yeni Yolu Cad. This route will take you through the main points of interest in Mardin and runs every ten minutes or so.

Street in new Mardin with castle view
торговый центр Einkaufszentrum 购物中心 مركز تسوق Мардин 马尔丁 ماردين
Mardian Mall exterior
торговый центр Einkaufszentrum 购物中心 مركز تسوق Mardin Мардин 马尔丁 ماردين
Mardian Mall interior

Bus from Mardin to Kızıltepe

If you have some time on your hands then something different is a bus to the town of Kızıltepe around 34km from Mardin. Although it does not have any particular attractions it is a modern town with a wide range of restaurants and coffee shops. The route passes Mardin airport and a decent mall called Mova Park. The bus costs 5 lira (Sept 2021) and uses the smart card. One option is to take a look around Kızıltepe and then stop off on the way back at the mall. This bus also travels through the new town and is also close by to the Hilton Garden Inn as well as heading to the otogar at Mardin.

Kızıltepe Кызылтепе
On the way to Mardin
Mova Park Mardin торговый центр Einkaufszentrum 购物中心 مركز تسوق
Mova Park exterior
Mova Park interior

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