Malatya Travel Guide

Plan your perfect trip to Malatya, Turkey with our comprehensive travel guide, featuring top attractions, hiking routes, food scene, accommodations, and more.

Introduction to Malatya

Malatya is located in Eastern Anatolia, in Turkey. This beautiful city offers a perfect blend of history and modernity, making it an ideal tourist destination. The city is known for its traditional architectural styles, citrus orchards, apricot groves, and its unique cuisine.

Travelers can walk through the old town of Malatya to discover the city’s ancient churches, monuments, and museums. They can also explore the nearby mountains and valleys that offer excellent hiking, biking, and camping opportunities.

List of Places to Visit in Malatya

Culturally Important Attractions: Museums and Historical Places

  • Malatya Museum: The museum exhibits a remarkable collection of objects from the Hittite, Roman, Byzantine, and Ottoman periods. It also features traditional clothing, weapons, and jewelry from the Malatya region.
  • Battalgazi Grand Mosque: This mosque was built during the Seljuk period and is a fine example of Turkish-Islamic architecture. The building has an elegant façade, beautiful domes, and intricate tilework.
  • Aslantepe: Aslantepe is an archaeological site that dates back to the Neolithic period. The site was a center of Hittite civilization and consists of palaces, tombs, and temples.
  • Akçadağ Ski Center: This ski center is located in the Akçadağ district of Malatya. It features ski slopes, cafes, restaurants, and a great view of the surrounding mountains.

Natural Attractions of Malatya: Outdoor Adventures and Scenic Views

  • Mount Nemrut: The UNESCO World Heritage site is located in Adıyaman Province, about 60 km from Malatya. It features the tomb of King Antiochus I Theos of Commagene and is surrounded by a stunning landscape.
  • Arslantepe: Arslantepe is another archaeological site that dates back to the Neolithic period. The site is located on a hill, and it provides a beautiful view of the city and the surrounding mountains.
  • Darende: Darende is a small town located in the countryside of Malatya. It is known for its beautiful rock formations, waterfalls, and lemon farms.
  • Pistachio Orchards: Malatya is renowned for its pistachio production. A visit to the pistachio orchards during the harvest season can be a memorable experience.

Hiking/Biking Routes of Malatya

Malatya is surrounded by beautiful mountain ranges and valleys. Trekking and cycling tours are an excellent way to explore the natural beauty of the region. Here are some of the most popular routes:

  • Mount Nemrut Hiking Trail: This trail is about 5 km long and provides a stunning view of Mount Nemrut and the surrounding landscape. The trail is moderate to difficult and usually takes around two hours to complete.
  • Aslantepe Hiking Trail: This trail is about 10 km long and passes through the Aslantepe archaeological site. The trail is an easy-grade and takes around three to four hours to complete.
  • Darende Cycling Trail: This trail is about 15 km long and passes through the countryside of Malatya. The trail is easy with minor climbs and usually takes around two to three hours to complete.

Best Things to Do in Malatya: Activities and Tours

  • Taste Malatya’s Cuisine: Malatya is renowned for its unique cuisine, which includes local specialties such as Bulgur Pilaf, and Malatya Kayısı Tatlısı. Tourists can taste these unique dishes at the local restaurants and brasseries.
  • Traditional Hamams: Malatya is famous for its traditional Hamams, which offer an authentic and relaxing Turkish bath experience. Tourists can indulge themselves in one of the many Hamams, such as the Kaplicali Hamam, and Kiremitlik Hamam.
  • Shopping: Malatya’s bazaars and markets are famous for their authentic handicrafts and artifacts. Tourists can buy souvenirs and gifts such as leather goods, copperware, and jewelry.
  • Visit Local Villages: Malatya is surrounded by small villages where tourists can experience the traditional Turkish ways of life. They can try local homemade jams, pickles, and handicrafts.

Week-Long Itinerary for Malatya

Day Activity
Day 1 Visit the Battalgazi Grand Mosque and the Alacahan Mosque
Day 2 Hike the Aslantepe Hiking Trail and visit the Aslantepe Archaeological Site
Day 3 Visit the Malatya Museum and explore the old town
Day 4 Taste Malatya’s Cuisine and visit the local food markets
Day 5 Explore Darende Town and its surroundings
Day 6 Visit Akçadağ Ski Center and try skiing or snowboarding
Day 7 Visit Mount Nemrut and watch the sunset

Food and Drink Scene of Malatya

Must-Try Dishes

  • Bulgur Pilaf: Bulgur Pilaf is a traditional Turkish dish made from wheat grains. It is served with roasted meat and vegetables and seasoned with tomato paste.
  • Malatya Kayısı Tatlısı: Malatya Kayısı Tatlısı is a traditional Turkish dessert made from apricots. The apricots are simmered in syrup and served with clotted cream.
  • Plain Sucuk: Plain Sucuk is a spicy Turkish sausage that is usually eaten as breakfast. It is made from beef, garlic, and a variety of spices.

Local Beverages

  • Ayran: Ayran is a refreshing drink made from yogurt, water, and salt. It is a popular drink in Turkey and is usually consumed with meat dishes.
  • Türk Kahvesi: Türk Kahvesi is a traditional Turkish coffee that is strong and sweet. It is usually served with Turkish delight or lokum.
  • Pekmez: Pekmez is a sweet syrup made from grapes or mulberries. It is usually consumed for breakfast with bread and butter.

Where to Stay in Malatya: Hotels, Hostels, and Guesthouses

Malatya offers a range of accommodations to suit every budget. Here are some of the best options:

  • Dedeman Malatya Hotel: This hotel is a luxury choice, located in the city center. It features a spa, restaurant, rooftop pool, and offers free Wi-Fi.
  • DoubleTree by Hilton Malatya: This hotel is located near the airport and offers comfortable accommodations, a restaurant, and a fitness center.
  • Taşhan Hotel: This hotel is located in the old town of Malatya and offers traditional Turkish-style rooms, a restaurant, and a garden.

What to Buy in Malatya: Souvenirs and Local Products to Bring Home

  • Malatya Kayısı: Malatya is famous for its tasty apricots. Tourists can buy dried apricots, apricot juice, and other products made from apricots.
  • Traditional Handicrafts: Malatya’s bazaars and markets offer a variety of traditional handicrafts such as leather goods, copperware, and jewelry.
  • Malatya Pistachios: Malatya produces one of the best pistachios in the world. Tourists can buy fresh or roasted pistachios, as well as pistachio oil.

Local Culture and Customs of Malatya

Malatya has a conservative culture, and visitors should be respectful of local customs and traditions. Tourists should cover their heads and remove their shoes before entering a mosque. It is also important to dress modestly, especially when visiting rural areas.

Best Time to Visit Malatya

The best time to visit Malatya is during spring, from March to May or autumn, from September to November. The weather is pleasant during these seasons, and tourists can enjoy outdoor activities such as hiking and trekking.

Do’s and Don’ts of Malatya


  • Try traditional Malatya cuisine
  • Visit the historical sites and museums
  • Be respectful of local customs and traditions
  • Take a Turkish bath


  • Drink tap water
  • Ignore dress codes when visiting mosques
  • Be loud in public places
  • Touch or damage historical sites

Safety and Health

Safety in Malatya

Malatya is a relatively safe city, and tourist areas are well-policed. Visitors are advised to be cautious when using public transport and avoid walking alone in unfamiliar areas at night.

Health in Malatya

Visitors to Malatya should make sure that their routine vaccinations are up-to-date. It is also advisable to get vaccinated against Hepatitis A and B. It is best to stick to bottled water and avoid drinking tap water.

Getting to Malatya: Transportation Options and Logistics

Malatya is well connected to several cities in Turkey via air and road.

Airports Near Malatya

  • Erhaç Airport: Erhaç Airport is located about 34 km from Malatya city center. It offers domestic flights to major cities in Turkey.

Bus Stations Near Malatya

  • Malatya Otogar: Malatya Otogar is the main bus station in Malatya. It offers regular services to other cities in Turkey, including Ankara, Istanbul, and Antalya.

Other Options

  • Train: The Turkish State Railways run trains from Malatya to other cities such as Ankara, Istanbul, and Adana.
  • Car Rental: Tourists can rent a car to explore Malatya and its surroundings.

How to Get Around in Malatya

Public transport in Malatya includes buses and dolmuş, which are a shared taxi. Taxis are also available, and they are reasonably priced. Visitors can also rent a car to explore Malatya and its surroundings.

Where to Go Next from Malatya: Nearby Destinations and Excursions

  • Cappadocia: Cappadocia is a historical region located in central Turkey. It is known for its unique rock formations, underground cities, and hot air balloon rides.
  • Adıyaman: Adıyaman is a nearby city that offers beautiful scenery, historical sites and is famous for its Mount Nemrut.
  • Gaziantep: Gaziantep is a city famous for its traditional food scene, cultural landmarks, and bazaars.


Malatya is a fascinating and unique city that offers a perfect blend of history, culture, and natural beauty. Tourists can explore the city’s ancient churches, museums, and architectural styles. They can also enjoy outdoor activities such as hiking and trekking in the beautiful mountains and valleys. Malatya’s cuisine, handicrafts, and traditional Hamams are some other highlights of a visit. With this travel guide, tourists can make the most of their trip to Malatya and experience its charm and beauty.