Known as the “Prophets' City”, Sanliurfa is filled with ancient mosques, temples and spiritual sites. Spend your time getting lost in bustling bazaars, peering into tree-shaded courtyards and soaking up centuries of local history. Venture out of town to discover ancient sites dating back to Neolithic times.
Things to do in Sanliurfa
You could easily spend hours getting lost in Sanliurfa's cavernous Central Bazaar. It was built in the 16th century and is adorned with intricate stone carvings. Inside you'll find everything from handmade shoes and sparkling jewellery to colourful spices and syrupy Turkish delight.
One of Turkey's signature experiences is spending a few hours getting pampered at a traditional Turkish hammam. Arasa Hamami is one of the city's top picks, located in a magnificent heritage building. Inside, therapists will scrub you from head to toe.
The cavernous Archeopark is the city's newest attraction. It features the Sanliurfa Archeology Museum, which covers three floors and is filled with ancient sculptures and Palaeolithic artefacts. In the same complex you'll find the Edessa Mosaic Museum, which was built to protect Aleppo Gardens, an ancient Roman site discovered in 2006.
Dating back to 10,000 BC, Gobekli Tepe is one of Turkey's most impressive archaeological sites. It's known as "Potbelly Hill" and was first uncovered in 1995. The site in encircled by wooden boardwalks that let you admire the Neolithic megaliths. Look closely and you'll see lions, vultures and foxes carved into the stone pillars.
Getting around Sanliurfa
Sanliurfa is best explored on foot, especially around the atmospheric Old Town. The city is also serviced by a network of local "dolmus" minibuses. Long-distance buses depart from the "otogar" station, located 30 minutes out of town. Regional flights depart from Sanliurfa Airport, located 35 kilometres away.