Sanliurfa Travel Guide, from Gobeklitepe to Balikligol

Standing out with its myths, ancient ruins, historical elements, and unique and rich cuisine, Sanliurfa is one of the most important cities in the Southeastern Anatolia Region and the seventh largest city in Turkey. This ancient city, also referred to as the Land of Prophets, is still called as Urfa among the people.





With the title of Sanli (meaning great, glorious in Turkish) granted in 1984 for its brave resistance during the War of Independence, it now welcomes many visitors from Turkey and abroad for its settlement called Gobeklitepe. Balikli Gol, the fish in which are believed to be sacred, has also become one of the most important symbols of Sanliurfa. Here are the must-visit spots in deep-rooted Sanliurfa with deep history...




Must-Visit Places in Sanliurfa


With a history dating back to 10 thousand BC and having been included in the World Heritage List by UNESCO, Gobeklitepe has changed the flow of history from the moment it was discovered and attracted the attention of the whole world on the region. Excavations are still ongoing in Gobeklitepe, which is regarded as the oldest known temple and settlement in the world.  



The 6-meter-high T-shaped monumental pillars of 40 tons are the most interesting part of this settlement. Humans, animals and various fantastic figure depictions on the pillars shed light on the mysteries of the past.

We strongly recommend you to visit Gobeklitepe when you come to Sanliurfa. You can get to Gobeklitepe, which is located on the Harran Plain near Orencik Village in Sanliurfa, by tours or buses. In case of self-driving, you can arrive in 25 minutes from the center.



Balikli Gol

Balikli Gol, also known as Halil-ul Rahman Lake, is one of the most important symbols and must-see places in Sanliurfa. The evil-ruler Nimrod ordered Abraham, who defended monotheism and broke the idols, to be burnt, and the fire was lit by filling the area, where the lake is situated, with wood. Abraham miraculously did not burn, and the fire turned into water and firewood into fish. The look of the composition of the walls of Rizvaniye Mosque neighboring the lake is amazing.



Rizvaniye Mosque

Rizvaniye Mosque, one of the most famous buildings in Sanliurfa, adds value to the city and the region with its fascinating architecture. To crown it all, a breathtaking view forms in combination with the look of Balikli Gol. We recommend you to see the lush courtyard and spectacular gate of the mosque, which was built by an Ottoman governor and replaced the St. Thomas Church, before you leave.




AynZeliha Lake

Neighboring Balikli Gol and with a tea shop close by, AynZeliha Lake is one of the spots with legendary and fascinating views. The legend has it that Zeliha, the adopted daughter of Nimrod, was in love with Abraham and threw herself into the fire after Ibrahim was thrown into the fire, and this lake was formed where she fell. You can enjoy the mysterious ambiance offered by the view while sipping your drink in the nearby tea shop and have great time.



What To Eat In Sanliurfa

The cuisine of Sanliurfa, which includes taste-bud-appealing dishes from the Eastern cuisine, has a well-deserved reputation for its richness and deliciousness. You must taste the special dishes of Sanliurfa when you visit. Liver kebab, which is eaten as breakfast in the city, is exceptionally delicious and mostly consumed in the morning. You can also try delicacies such as lentil soup, tirit, kelle, comek, calabash, honey-cream and cold soup for breakfast.



You can prefer delicacies that are mostly based on kebab such as eggplant kebab, hashas kebab and Urfa kebab or lahmacun and cigkofte for lunch and dinner. The generous and hospitable treatment of the residents of Sanliurfa, which features an extremely rich and delicious cuisine, will make you feel great.


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  • Sandra Mullins
  • 13-06-2022

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