Adana Turkey

Adana is a city in the Mediterranean Region of Turkey. Located in the south-central Anatolia, Adana is Turkey’s 5th largest city. The city’s name originates in mythology where it’s said that the name was founded by Adanus, the son of Zeus’ father Cronus.

Founded on the delta of the Seyhan and Ceyhan rivers, Adana’s history dates back to 6000 BC. The earliest inhabitants of Adana were the Hittites and the city was called Uru Adaniyya. Later it was ruled by Phrygians, Assyrians, Persians, Seluicuds, Byzantines and the struggle between the Greeks and Persians lasted 1000 years until the Romans conquered the city in the 1st century BC. Adana was an important trade center by then.

Later in 964, it was first captured by the Arab Abbasids and then recaptured by the Byzantine Empire again. In 1132, it was captured by the Armenian Kingdom of Cilicia, followed by the capture of Byzantine forces in 1137, and finally recaptured by the Armenians.

In the age of Islam, it was ruled by first the Egyptian Mamluks and then by the Ramazanoğullari, one of the Turkish families who were brought by the Mamluks. And in the 16th century, Adana was captured by the Ottomans.

During the War of Independence, Turkish nationalists fought against the allied forces and as a result the Treaty of Ankara agreement was signed between France and the Turkish Grand National Assembly. According to the terms of this agreement, French troops and Armenian volunteers withdrew from the city on January 5th, 1922.

At the base of the Taurus Mountains, Adana is situated in the middle of Çukurova Plain (Cilicia Pedia). In south-central Anatolia, Adana has neighbour borders to the cities; Mersin, Niğde, Kayseri, Kahramanmaraş, Osmaniye and Antakya.

The climate of Adana is the typical Mediterranean climate, with hot dry summers and mild wet winters. In Adana, the coldest month is January with an average temperature of 9ºC and the hottest month is August with an average of 28ºC. Although the summers can be very humid and the temperature can go up to 39 °C.

Getting There

By Plane
Adana Şakirpaşa Airport 3.5 km from the city centre and there are domestic flights available to Istanbul, Ankara, Izmir, Trabzon and Antalya as well as the international flights including Jedda, Frankfurt-Dusseldorf, Munich via Ankara, and Koln via Istanbul.

By Train
Apart from domestic services, there are also international rail connections from from Adana’s historical train station which is 1 km away from the city center. Even though train transportation is slow, it’s highly recommended between Ankara and Adana because of the interesting scenery along the way. Main domestic train services are daily to Ankara(14 hours), weekly to Gaziantep (3 hours) and daily to Mersin (1 hour). For further information you can check Turkish State Railway [1] website.

By Car
Adana can be reached via the D-400 Highway and the international TEM highway. It is 472 km from Ankara and 909 km from Istanbul as well as 30 minutes away from Mersin and 1.5 hours from Gaziantep.

By Bus
Located 5 km from the city centre, Adana’s central bus station hosts numerous bus companies that have services to all areas of the country.

By Boat
There are two ports Botaş Port and Toros Fertilizer Factory Port, both serving international ships carrying petrol and freight.

Getting Around

There are transportation services available by Municipality buses and metro as well as by dolmuş cars and private buses.

By Car
Comparing to the other big cities in Turkey, Adana has less traffic jams and wide streets which makes it easy to drive, except the busy old town area.

By Public Transport
Adana Greater Municipality Bus Department (ABBO) [2] has modern buses running all around the city, including the ones specially designed for disabled people. The price is very reasonable and payments are collected via Kentkart Smartcard system. This card can also be used in bus co-operatives as well as cash. Dolmuş is another option with payment cash only. The recently openned Adana Metro is also cheap with easy access.

By Foot
Especially in the old town which is a commercial center, walking is highly recommended.

By Bike
Bicycles are everywhere as the city is mostly flat. It’s common to see two or three people riding standard bicycle, and whole families (man, wife, up to three children!) on motorbikes. Mountain biking is popular in the region.


Adana has so many unique mosques with interesting architecture to see. Ulu Camii which was built in 1541 when Ramazanoğulları ruled the city. By then Church of St. James was converted to a mosque called Yağ Camii. Yeni Camii, also known as Antaki Mosque has architecture influenced by Mamluks. Hasan Ağa Camii is another unique mosque with historical value. Sabancı Merkez Camii is not historical but one of the largest mosques in the Middle East and therefore interesting to see.

There is the House of Ataturk on Seyhan Avenue which is a typical Turkish mansion that Ataturk stayed in during his Adana visits. Büyük Saat Kulesi (The Great Clock Tower) was built by the local governor of Adana in 1882. Unfortunately, it was damaged during the French occupation but rebuilt again in 1935. The historical buildings and tombs next to this tower are also touristic attractions. Through the precious River Seyhan, there’s the ancient Taşköprü (Justinianus Stone Bridge) which was built the 4th century by architect Auxentios. Two historical Turkish baths; Çarşı Hamam and Irmak Hamam are great samples of architecture and in-style.

Adana has plenty of parks and gardens which are offering some green area under the shadows of the trees in hot summer days and nights. Merkez Park (Central Park) is one of them which is located on both banks of Seyhan River, just north of the Sabancı Merkez Camii. Inside the park there’s a big amphitheatre, a Chinese Garden, two cafes,a rowing club, lanscapes and green areas.

If you like to be in the nature or looking for a relaxing space in the busy city, do visit the parks and the botanical gardens in Adana. Atatürk Park and Çobandede Park are both offering nice sceneries. Süleyman Demirel Arboretum and İnönü Botanical Garden are both famous with great collections of plants.

Adana is an art friendly city. Çukurova State Symphony Orchestra has been performing concerts since 1992. Adana State Theater and Adana Town Theater are both hosting impressive art performances. Adana is also famous with its amphitheaters; Mimar Sinan Amphitheater, Merkez Park Amphitheater, Çukurova University Amphitheater, Doğal Park Amphitheater which host performances from April to November. 515 year old Ramazanoğlu Hall is another cultural center helping to enrich Adana’s artistic life.

If you like horse racing, Adana Hippodrome is hosting racing competitions from October to May.

Rowing is also a popular sport in Adana where the rowing competitions are held all year long on Seyhan River and Seyhan Reservoir.

Events And Festivals

  • Adana International Altın Koza (Golden Boll) Film Festival has been organized since 1969.
  • Freedom Day – Adana January 5th
  • International Sabancı Adana Theater Festival