Urfa Travel Guide

Urfa is a city that is located in the Southeastern Anatolia Region of Türkiye and plays a historically and culturally important role. Known also as "Sanliurfa", it is one of the important cities in Mesopotamia. Here is Urfa travel guide for those who want to visit this beautiful city!





Sanliurfa is a mystical city with streets that smell of history. This beautiful city offers so much to do that you can have difficulty in deciding where to start when you are making your travel bucket list. It gives you the feeling of time travel as soon as you step into this unique city. You will feel like you get lost in the depths of history while walking around the old madrasahs and mosques. This mystical atmosphere surrounding you while wandering Urfa will make you realize that this trip will bring unforgettable memories.



Must-Visit Places in Urfa

Thanks to its thousands of years of history, Sanliurfa offers visitors an excellent experience. There are a number of important must-visit places during your trip to Urfa.






You must start your tour by visiting Gobeklitepe, which is located about 15 km northeast of Urfa. This special place is recognized as the "Oldest Known Temple in Human History" by archaeologists and has a history dating back to 9600 BC. Gobeklitepe is included in the World Heritage List of UNESCO for its historical importance and interesting architecture. 



Balikligol and Halil-ur Rahman Mosque

Balikligol is one of the must-visit places that is located in the center of Urfa. This pond attracts the visitors with its fantastic story that is told in legends. You can also visit the house where Hz. Ibrahim was born. Located near Balikligol, Halil-ur Rahman Mosque is a beautiful example of Ottoman architecture and makes its visitors enjoy a mystical atmosphere.



Sanliurfa Archeology and Mosaic Museum

You must visit Sanliurfa Archeology and Mosaic Museum for a closer look at the history of Urfa. Here, archaeological artifacts, mosaics and historical artifacts that have survived from the past in this area are displayed. The museum offers a great opportunity to have a grasp of the rich cultural heritage of the city.



Ancient City of Harran

The ancient city of Harran is located about 50 km southeast of Urfa and houses interesting historical structures. Harran was one of the important centers in Old Mesopotamian and is famous for its domed houses. It offers a great tour route to feel the historical atmosphere and see various interesting remains.



Rizvaniye Mosque and Bazaar

Rizvaniye Mosque is one of the oldest mosques in Urfa, and its historical texture makes it worth seeing. The visitors enjoy a quiet and peaceful environment during their visit to the mosque. Local products and handicrafts are also available in Rizvaniye Bazaar that is located in the vicinity of the mosque. You can take a look at our article Explore the Mystery of the Southeast on the GAP Tour for must-visit cities in Southeastern Anatolia.



What to Eat or Drink in Urfa?

Urfa is a city that is extremely rich in gastronomy. It offers unforgettable delicacies for travelers who love to eat and drink. Here are some local dishes and drinks that you must try when you visit Urfa:





Urfa Kebab: Named after Urfa, Urfa kebab is a worldwide-known kebab that is made with pomegranate syrup, isot (Urfa's red pepper) and butter. Urfa kebab is such a delicacy that gives meat an extremely delicious taste.




Liver Kebab: Liver kebab is a dish that is made by flavoring finely chopped liver with several spices and grilling it on fire, and it cheers up the palate with its savoriness.

Sileki Dessert: This local delicacy is a very sweet, syrupy dumpling with honey color. 



Menengic Coffee: Offering a different and savory experience, this coffee is made from ground terebinth fruit.

Urfa is an ideal city to discover these excellent flavors and unique tastes. You will find yourself enjoying an unforgettable gastronomic experience as you have the opportunity to taste these local delicacies in the restaurants of Urfa.




Tips for an Unforgettable Urfa Trip

Thanks to its historical texture, delicacies and hospitable people, Urfa welcomes thousands of tourists every year. Here are tips to enjoy an unforgettable Urfa trip:

  • You must taste the famous delicacies of Urfa before you go back. In particular, liver kebab and Urfa kebab are one of the must-taste delicacies.



Visit important cultural sites like Sanliurfa Archeology Museum, Gobeklitepe and Balikligol. They will fascinate you with their historical richness and help you get to know the cultural heritage of Urfa.

  • There are many hand-woven carpets, copper products and traditional handicrafts in Urfa. In some of the places, you can watch these handicrafts being made.




Do not forget to visit the towns and villages around Urfa like Harran and Halfeti. They will allow you to observe the traditional lifestyle and enjoy natural beauties.

  • The people of Urfa are so friendly and hospitable towards their guests. Try to talk with the locals and get to know their lifestyle better while exploring the city.





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