Karaman is a town in Central Anatolia, Turkey. It’s named for Karamanoglu Mehmet Bey, who captured it in 1256 and made it the seat of his dynasty. Its museum, castle and main mosque are worth seeing, but its chief interest to travellers is for a stopover on the overland routes to Adana and Cyprus.
The nearest airports are Konya, Mersin and Adana, all with at least daily flights to Istanbul.
YHT trains speed from Istanbul (three per day via Eskişehir, five hours) and Ankara (seven per day, two hours) as far as Konya. These connect with local trains and buses eastwards to Karaman, taking 70-90 min. One train per day, the Toros Express, runs to Adana: its daily timetable (as of Aug 2019) is Konya 14:30 > Karaman 15:49 > 20:17 Adana, and Adana 07:45 > Karaman 12:11 > 13:32 Konya.
The Konya-Karaman-Adana railway is being upgraded to carry YHT trains. Trackwork is complete as far east as Karaman but for the time being only conventional diesel trains run along it, and a start date for YHT trains has not been announced. In the late 2010s, there have been prolonged rail disruptions because of the engineering works, and future disruption remains possible.
1 Karaman railway station is at the north edge of old town, with modern burbs stretching north beyond.
The main highway D715 between Konya (100 km north) and Mersin passes through Karaman. Here Highway D350 branches east via Eregdi to Kayseri and points east. The 2 bus station is at this junction, about 1 km west of town centre.
Buses operated by Özkaymak run frequently direct to Istanbul (12 hours), Ankara (6 hours), Antalya (8 hours), Konya (2 hr 30 min) and Adana (4 hours).
Their buses also run frequently south to Silifke (90 min). Change there for a dolmus to Taşucu, the nearby ferry port. For foot passengers only, a hydrofoil runs May-Sept 3 times a week to Girne (Kyrenia) in Northern Cyprus. An overnight car ferry runs year-round, leaving both ports 3 times a week at midnight to arrive at 06:00. See Northern Cyprus “get in” for current timetable and fares.
Walking will get you to most points of interest. Dolmuses ply all the main streets.
- The 1 castle (Hisar or Karaman Kalesi), on a knoll in town centre, was probably built in the 11th or 12th century by the Byzantine Empire. It was captured by the Seljuks of Anatolia, Karamanids and finally the Ottomans, who restored it in 1465. The castle consists of three concentric ramparts, with the innermost being the citadel. Until the mid-20th century much of the town of Karaman was still enclosed within the outermost ramparts. All those buildings have since been demolished and the entire area is now a public park.
- 2 Karaman Museum covers the history of this region from the Stone Ages through to the Ottoman period.
- Aktekke Cami (100 m east of the museum at 52 Ismet Paşa Cad) is a historic mosque.
Plenty of cheap eating places along Ismet Paşa Cad running east from the museum, and Istasyon Cad running north.
- Eredempark Cafe and Restoran Dunya Mutfagi, 17 Ismet Paşa Cad +90 338 212 3003
- Bayrakci Hotel, Haci Celal Mahallei, 4 Ozcan Genc Cad +90 338 213 8448
- Demosan Spa & Otel, 107 Yesilada Mahmut Cad +90 338 213 7000
- Grand Karaman Otel, 1 km from town along Konya Rd +90 338 221 0202
- Nas Otel, 30 Ismet Paşa Cad +90 338 213 8700
- Karaman Otel – Aygun Otel, 36 Ahi Osman Mah, off Ismet Paşa Cad +90 338 212 7700
For Istanbul, Ankara, Konya, Eskişehir, Adana and Cyprus follow directions in “Get in”.
For Goreme in Cappadocia , with its fairy-chimney landscape, travel to Konya whence a bus runs 4 times a day, 3 hours.