A visit to Kayseri is not just a journey, the destination is home to a diverse group of people waiting to be explored. On my second trip to Kayseri i discovered so much more that should be shared.

Sleep at The Hilton
A luxury hotel with splendid views of the castle and Mount Erciyes lies in the heart of the bustling retail, eating and commercial district, this multi -level hotel caters for all ones needs and comforts. Within walking distance of all major public transport and not far from the old bazaar and modern shopping malls, the Hilton features tasteful interiors and furnishings. I stayed in the junior suite and was spoilt with space, views and the comfort of the bed. The buffet breakfast spread is vast with a range or local as well as popular Turkish specialities.

Fish market
‘ Yes please,fish, you want fish? Buyurun “ if you stop and look at the selection of fish at Karadeniz balikcilik expect to hear this sentence from the fishmongers. Fresh fish is an essential part of Turkeys culinary culture. A good fish market is loved by the locals where they can pick up the days fresh catch and take it home to grill. Located down the main road not far from Hilton you also have the choice of buying ready cooked fish. Dont be surprised when you see the gills of the mackerel turned inside out, this is a local practise by fishmongers to showcase their freshness, the brighter they are the fresher the fish. With water all over to keep them fresh and prices strewn across the fish , even if you are not a seafood lover take time to stop and watch the age old tradition of selling balik ( fish ).

Flower sellers
Hanging baskets of flowers, bouquets or just a single stem blue rose there is a flower for everyone. The street alongside the Hilton has various sellers with their bright coloured flowers and some additional accessories like balloons . The city itself ensures the public spaces are filled with colour, using the seasonal flowers to decorate and create patterns throughout.

A town in central Anatolia it hosted several civilisations and goes back to 1500 BC.It is full of many underground and above ground treasures that include coffee shops and restaurants. Wanderers should follow the serendipity of their nose, with an eye to the sky. The best spots are hidden up ally ways and carved into the rock walls where steps descend into magical rooms filled with aromatic Turkish specialities. Or climb steep steps upwards where facades are hung with colourful items like miniature hot air balloons, thousands of ribbon strands or the popular upside down umbrellas.

Very cupcake
Inside Kayseri Park you will come across this delightful cupcake stand. Not a major tourist attraction I found the cupcakes fresh and designs unique. The layout was cute and pink candy stripe decor added to the girly feel. With a take away or sit down option the attention to detail makes it worth sitting and drinking a cup of tea (cay)


Hire a bicycle
The bicycle rental service is found all over Kayseri. With heavy traffic and the cost of petrol more and more locals are making use of this mode of transport. A card is required that a person will load with credit, this card enables you to unlock a bicycle at any of the locations around the city. Known as the Kaybis. Application in person is required for a kaybis kart38 and takes up to 2 days to receive.

Mount Erciyes by night
This imposing mountain and former volcano is now a resort area used for skiing and other winter sports. In the summer time mountaineers and hikers enjoy the hikes. This stratovolcano is 3917 meters high. During the summer the hotels at the base of the mountain are closed making the area very quite and peaceful. The mountain is the highest in the Central Anatolian plateau and the 5th highest summit in Turkey. Besides the winter wonderland of the snow capped mountain taking a drive up to the base of the mountain in the early evening is magic any time of year. The city lights twinkle down below in the distance and the millions of stars light up the night sky. Its a little or actually large piece of heaven that lends itself to a bucket list moment.

Pastrami, sucuk and manti
Kayseri is renowned for specialities like manti, nevzine ( a dessert )pastrami and sucuk.
The dried, seasoned beef called pastırma came to Anatolia from Central Asia, carried in the saddles of Turkic warriors and nomads. When Ottoman influence brought pastırma into Europe, it later became known as pastrami. The highest-quality meat comes from beef sirloin or tenderloin cuts. Production begins in September when the weather in Kayseri is sunny, low in moisture, and with a light wind. The meat is left in salt for up to a week and then hung up to dry in the wind for another week. Pastırma’s distinctive flavor comes from the coating of cumin, garlic, and red pepper, which also helps preserve the meat.
Then there is mantı, of which there are over 30 varieties in Kayseri. The classic Kayseri mantı is a coin-sized bundle of thinly rolled pastry filled with mince, spices, and onions. After boiling, the mantı is served in hot water with oil, tomato sauce, garlic yogurt, and sumac poured over the top.

Night life
Hard to believe but there is some night life in Kayseri. The Talas area has many baches ( gardens ) to go to that play live music. On a hot summer evening sitting outdoors and soaking in the fresh city air one can relax and enjoy the sounds of Turkish music drifting through the night sky. A spot I really liked was Mahalle Mutfak, the closed courtyard has different coloured chairs causally mismatched around tables under an umbrella of trees, games boards lie on the tables and all over your eyes are drawn to colourful sign boards of quotes and treasures . They are not the only spot so wander the streets first before deciding on a location.

Drink salep
A definite weak spot for me, the Turkish hot milk drink with cinnamon is a rich frothy beverage. Made with hot milk and sweetened with sugar that is thickened with flour made from wild orchid tubers. It is flavoured with rosewater or orange blossom water, cinnamon and occasionally dusted with ground pistachios. Thick and silky this exotic tasting drink reminds one of watered down porridge but so much better. Sahil Cafe in Talas serves a delicious, thick salep on an attractive wooden tray with a cookie.

Fly Turkish Airlines to your next destination
Of course a firm favourite for me, I hoped onto Turkish Airlines at Kayseri Airport and within less than two hours was safely in Istanbul. The window seat views were breathtaking as the snow peaked cap of Mount Erciyes was clearly visible and the ever changing landscape between the two cities keeps ones faced peeled to the window. On board service was faultless as always.

There is still so much more to this region.The diverse landscape , adventure junkies activities , incredible culture , ancient history, scrumptious food and warm and welcoming hospitality of the locals. The best part for me as a solo female traveller , here you don’t hear “ hello ,my friend “ half as much as you do in major tourist areas.So even if at times I feel like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz with the constant attention I attract , In Kayseri I am pretty much left up to my own devises to wander the streets in my own little world minus the yellow brick road.

Little Black Book



Mahalle Mutfak – Address: Kiçiköy Mahallesi, No:, Ali Saip Paşa Cd. No:83, 38280 Talas/Kayseri, Turkey + 90 532 481 5005

Very Cupcake – Address: Alpaslan Mahallesi, No:12, Orgeneral Eşref Bitlis Blv., 38030 Melikgazi/Kayseri, Turkey + 90 54 320 4002

Also Read 

Yilki Horses – The hidden treasure of Kayseri

Kayseri the “Anatolian Tigers” – what you should do in this city

Mount Erciyes – World Class Ski Facility

10 Must do’s in Cappadocia ( land of beautiful horses )