Hatay City Guide

Hatay City Guide

Hatay is one of the largest cities of Turkey. More than 1 and half million people live in Hatay and it’s located on the eastern side of Mediterranean Region of Turkey. Hatay has a special importance for the Republic of Turkey. Because it has been included in the country’s borders as a result of diplomatic struggles for many years. The city is one of the most developed agricultural and industrial port city of Turkey with its İskenderun International Port which is the third largest industrial port in Turkey. On the other hand, Hatay is a rapidly growing city that combines industry, trade, agriculture and tourism. Hatay constantly receives immigration from the Middle East. Hatay is also a historical city which is one of the oldest settlements in the world. There are many historical places to visit in districts of city. In addition to this, Hatay is home to the International Antakya Film Festival and the Evvel Temmuz Festival.

Hatay is one of the leader of iron steel industry in Turkey. Isdemir is the largest iron and steel company in Turkey. Agro and animal industries are also quite developed in the city. As a traditional small industry, leatherworking, shoemaking and furniture making have an important potential. Hatay has rich mineral deposits. There are gold, aluminum, asbestos, iron, phosphate, limestone, chrome and marble reserves throughout the province. Also, the city has great potential in renewable energy sources such as wind and sun. If we look at the education perspective, Hatay has one of the highest quality university of the region like Hatay Mustafa Kemal University. However, Hatay is the most important attraction point for tourism and real estate investments. Check out the most comprehensive Hatay city guide now. You will find the answers of many questions like “Places to see in Hatay” or “How to get to Hatay?” in this guide.

City Name



Population Density

Population Growth Rate

Surface Area

Number of Districts

Postal Code

Area Code

GDP (Per Capita)




278 / km2

1,18 %

5.867 km2




31.024 ₺

There are important districts in Hatay like Antakya and Defne in terms of being metropolitan districts. On the other hand, the second biggest district of Hatay is İskenderun after Antakya. These three districts have about 800 thousand population. Antakya and Samandağ are also have an important tourism feature for Hatay. These districts are among the most popular districts of Hatay for tourism. Holiday resorts of Hatay is generally within the boundaries of these districts. Belen, Erzin, İskenderun and Altınözü has important industrial zones of the city. Dörtyol, Hassa, Erzin, Antakya and Kırıkhan are the most profitable districts for real estate investments in Hatay.

The districts of Hatay are Altınözü, Antakya, Arsuz, Belen, Defne, Dörtyol, Erzin, Hassa, İskenderun, Kırıkhan, Kumlu, Payas, Reyhanlı, Samandağ and Yayladağı. You will find detailed information for all districts of Hatay in this guide.

Short History of Hatay

Hatay is the most important place oldest settlement in Turkey. In archaeological researches, findings dating from 100,000 to 40,000 BC have been reached. The territory of the city came under the sovereignty of the Akads, Hittites, Egyptians, Urartians, Assyrians and Persians, respectively, from the Early Bronze Age. Antakya was founded in 300 BC and the city developed rapidly. The city joined the Roman Empire in 64 BC and became the capital of the Syrian province of the Empire. Later, it remained under the rule of Umayyad and Abbasi. Then it was conquered by Tolunoğulları in 877. The city joined the territory of the Byzantine Empire in 969 and the Mamluk State in 1268. In 1516, Yavuz Sultan Selim conquered these lands and the period of the Ottoman Empire began. Until 1918, Antakya was ruled as a sanjak linked to Aleppo in the Ottoman Empire.

After World War I, Hatay was occupied by the French in 1919. On October 20, 1921, Ankara Agreement signed between Turkey and France. Hatay remained within the borders of Syria under the French administration.  The Hatay Assembly convened and declared the independent Hatay Republic on September 2, 1938. Tayfur Sökmen was elected as the President and Abdurrahman Melek as the Prime Minister. The leader of the Independent Republic of Turkey, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk said “Hatay is my personal matter”. According to the agreement signed between Turkey and France on June 23, 1939, Hatay State Council decided to participate in the territory of the Republic of Turkey on June 29, 1939. the French troops left Hatay on July 23, 1939. Thus, Hatay became the last land to join the homeland.

Cultural Mosaic of Hatay

Hatay is a city that you should definitely see with its thousands of years of deep-rooted history, mystical structures, rich cuisine with hundreds of endemic dishes and natural beauties. Hatay has played an important role in intercontinental and interregional trade throughout its history, it has been a accommodation for passenger and pilgrim caravans and a cultural exchange center for people from various regions. The city became famous as one of the few civilization centers of the world during the Hellenistic and Roman Empire periods. In the Hatay region, which has hosted many nations with various beliefs throughout its history, many poets, scientists and artists have been trained and a rich cultural accumulation has occurred over time. Islam, Christianity and Jewish beliefs live together, mosques, churches and synagogues continue to exist and function side by side in Hatay. These differences are accepted as a richness of the cultural mosaic.

Accommodation in Hatay is an important issue for people who visit city for different purposes like tourism or business. In Hatay, close to the city center, it is possible to find luxury hotels in all-inclusive concept and accommodation options that serve in bed and breakfast, half board and room concepts only. You can stay in Hatay hotels with pools as well as city hotels suitable for the needs of visitors coming to Hatay for business and tourism purposes. If you want to get away from the city center to holiday resorts of Hatay and going to the swimming beaches you can choose the hotels in Samandağ and Arsuz. You can find a lot of accommodation alternatives in almost all holiday resorts of Hatay.

Mediterranean climate is seen in Hatay. Summers are too hot and dry, winters are quite warm and rainy. The city is among the rainy regions in Turkey. Annual average temperature about 18 ºC in the city. The best time to visit Hatay is every season of the year. You can visit the historical and cultural places of Hatay in the winter season and enjoy the sea and the sun in the summer season. Find the best hotels in Hatay in our guide easily.

If you are looking for real estate for sale in Hatay or real estate for rent in Hatay, you are on the right page. In the recent year, the real estate prices is increased about 10 percent in Hatay. Hatay is one of the leading industrial and logistic cities of Turkey. Also, the fact that the city has the 3rd largest industrial port in Turkey increases the value of the residences. Hatay is the thirteenth biggest city of Turkey in terms of population. The population of Hatay is growing every year with migration to work for a industrial and agricultural sectors in the city. So, it is possible to see housing projects of various construction brands in most parts of the city.

Hatay has the 13th highest population in Turkey. Many of districts of Hatay are valuable for residential investment. In recent years, housing sales have increased in the developing districts of Hatay such as Dörtyol, Hassa, Erzin, Antakya and Kırıkhan. In addition, districts such as Payas, Reyhanlı, İskenderun, Belen and Kırıkhan provide fastest return for real estate investment. Since affordable housing projects are built in these regions, it is preferred by those who want to invest. You can make the most correct investment by examining our ads for apartment options for sale from Hatay real estate agent. You can also add your listings easily if you are selling or renting a house in different districts of Hatay.

Do you want to get detailed information about hospitals in Hatay? If you’re, our special health guide will be helpful for you. In Hatay, there are 9 state hospitals, 1 university hospital and 10 private hospitals. Almost all districts have hospitals in different regions of the city. You can get high-quality health services in many health instutitions in Hatay. Especially, Hatay State Hospital is the biggest and full-fledged hospital of the city with its high inpatient bed availability.

If we look at the general perspective to Hatay, the city is located on the eastern border of Mediterranean Region of Turkey. There are many transportation alternatives for the city. You can reach Hatay by air, seaway and road transportation. Hatay Airport is located 25 kilometers away from the city center. You can come to the Hatay city center by using Havaş services from the Hatay Airports to different regions of the city. If you want to come to Hatay by bus, there are bus services from many cities to Hatay. On the other hand, there are 4 border and customs gates with Syria in Antakya, Reyhanlı, Yayladağı and Altınözü districts.

Road Transportation

For the road transportation concept, Hatay has the three main connections. You can visit Hatay by D-817, D-825 and E-91 and some other important roads from Adana, Osmaniye and Gaziantep. Antakya Bus Station is the main bus station of Hatay and it’s located in Antakya district. You can find direct lines from many cities of Turkey to Hatay.

Air Transportation

Hatay Airport, located in Antakya district, is the main airport in the city. It takes about 25 km from Hatay Airport to Hatay city center, so you can use Havaş shuttle services to reach city center from the airport. You can find direct and connecting international fligthts from Hatay Airport to the many countries of the world. Also, you can fly to many domestic cities of Turkey from Hatay Airport.

Seaway Transportation

You can reach Hatay from the cities on the Mediterranean coast by sea via İskenderun Port. On the other hand, it will soon be possible to reach Cyprus, Mersin and Beirut from Hatay by high speed craft.

Inner-city Transportation

There is only bus transportation alternatives such as city buses, public buses and minibuses in Hatay. The rail system is not yet built in the city. You can use all of the districts of the city by public transportation.

You will find the answers of the “Best places to visit in Hatay” or “Top 10 things to do and see in Hatay” questions in this guide. Choose your destination, click on the guide and start discovering Hatay deeply now. Hatay has a lot of places to visit. First of all, we should start with the Antakya district which is the central part of a city. Most of the places to visit in Hatay are located in Antakya.  Hatay Archeology Museum, Saint Pierre ChurchAntakya Ulu Mosque, Antakya Castle, Habib-i Neccar Mosque, Hatay Medical and Aromatic Plants Museum are places to visit and see in Antakya district. Hatay Archeology Museum has the largest mosaic exhibition area in the world. Habib-i Neccar Mosque is the oldest mosque in the borders of the Republic of Turkey. Saint Pierre Church or St. Peter’s Church is also the center of pilgrimage of Christians. Antakya Long Bazaar is the busiest point of Hatay and it’s a must-see shopping destination. One of the most important centers of daily life in Hatay, it hosts many souvenirs, traditional products and local delicacies. On the other hand, Samandağ district is the other attraction point of Hatay. Many of the tourist attractions are located in Samandağ district. Titus Rock Tunnel, Beşikli Cave and Saint Simeon Monastery are places to visit in Samandağ district. However, Payas Castle in Dörtyol, İskenderun Naval Museum in İskenderun, Koz Castle in Altınözü are among the historical places you can visit in Hatay. Those who want to enjoy the swimming should go to the holiday regions of Hatay. Samandağ are holiday destination of Hatay with their azure sea. Samandağ and Çevlik beaches are among the favourite beaches in the city. Hatay is also famous for its hot springs. Erzin Baslamis Hot Springs and Reyhanli Hamamat Hot Springs are the most known. For more, check out our guide now !

There are 2 state universites in different districts of Hatay. For educational perspective, we can say the universities in Hatay provide world-class education quality in different languages. Especially, Hatay Mustafa Kemal University is so popular for international academic staff and educational quality worldwide. Find the best university in our guide below.


Enes Sahin

Hello, I am Enes, I write content for Expat Guide Turkey every day. Don't forget to check it out! You can contact me via e-mail

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