Traveling to Sanliurfa (GNY)
Having a history that stretches to our day from the Paleolithic Age, Urfa earned the epithet of "sanli" meaning glorious in 1984, due to the resistence it showed to French invasion following the World War I. This city, which is also known as the city of prophets, is an important destination of culture and religious tourism thanks to its myths as well as the richness of its abstract and tangible cultural heritage. You can buy your flight ticket to Urfa via flypgs.com to explore its cultural and natural richness and plan your trip.
- Sanliurfa is a medium sized city on the South Eastern border of Turkey, next to Syria.
- Christian and Muslim legend both have Sanliurfa being the birthplace of the patriarch Abraham, as well as some prophets of the Old Testament such as Elijah.
- Sanliurfa is an interesting mix of Turkish, Arab, and Kurdish inhabitants making for a unique blended culture.
Food in Şanlıurfa
The primary industries of the city are agriculture and animal farming. Like most of Turkey, the land is very fertile, and local crops are mostly grains such as barley and lentil. The variety of nationalities make for interesting cuisine, and the food is often spicy and heavy with vegetables.
- For centuries an ancient tradition has existed in Şanlıurfa, for men of commerce to begin their day in prayer for the good fortune of their neighbours.
- Although the practice is fading with globalization, many inhabitants still get traditional tattoos of animals and weapons. Ink is taken from local plants to form the base of the tattoos
- Sanliurfa is a temporary home to some of the remaining nomadic tribes of Turkey. They come down to Sanliurfa in the Winter and reside in the East for Summer.
Top landmarks in Şanlıurfa
- Urfa Castle; a famous castle constructed in 814.
- Rizvani Mosque is a large mosque constructed during the reign of the Ottoman Empire. The Great Mosque of Urfa is an older mosque constructed in 1170.
- Many locations of ancient architecture, such as ruins of the old city walls and public baths, were constructed during the Ottoman period
Şanlıurfa airports served
- Şanlıurfa GAP Airport (GNY)
More information about Sanli Urfa
Food and Drink
More Places to Visit
Sanliurfa GAP Airport, which has been opened to service in 2007, is 35 km away from the city center. After landing on Urfa via Pegasus with the most adventageous prices, the easiest way to reach the city center is by Havas buses. Don't forget that Havas buses are scheduled in accordance with your flights. Also, one can easily find a taxi at the airport but we should mention that taxi prices are very high here. When it comes to car rental services that will allow you to have a comfortable trip, flypgs.com will be the best address.
Although shopping is mostly done in bazaars and marketplaces in Sanliurfa, there is also mall where there are chain stores.
- Huseyniye Bazaar (Coppers' Bazaar) - This historic place, where you'll move along the voice of hammers, is right in front of you with handmade copper trays, pots and coffee cases. It's time to think about all the present you'll bring home. The twin of this bazaar has been spared for jewelry stores. Accessories made of gold will dazzle you.
- Bedesten (Kazzaz Bazaar) - Once you go through one of these doors that open to a colorful world, you'll feel as if you're a part of an Eastern fairy tale. Silk and velvet from Syria pour out of tiny shops throughout the bazaar. Bedesten is the favourite of female visitors and photographers thanks to traditional clothes, scarves and fabrics. We recommend you not to forget to buy Urfa's famous "isot".
- ŞURKAV Traditional Handicraft Shop - It was decided upon to show crafts like carpentry, felting and weaving in Taziye Evi, which had been restored by ŞURKAV and started to be used as Traditional Handicraft Museum in 2011. This museum's shop offers you the chance to buy some of these products. It'll help you go home with a wider variety of presents.
- Urfacity AVM - Even though it's a bit outside of the historical heart of the city, you can find brands you can see in big cities and entertainment alternatives from cinema to go kart, if you have a lot of time to spend in Urfa.
Food & Drink in Sanli Urfa
You may lose yourself among the food of Sanliurfa which known as the land of "lahmacun" and "cig kofte". We definitely recommend you to try "sillik tatlisi", which is one of the most famous dishes of Urfa where it's a heaven for those who love eating meat with its kebabs and liver sellers on the streets.
For lunch hours...
- Durak Kebap Evi - You may not think at first that you'll eat the best kebab of Urfa in this casual kebab place which has been known as "Kebapci Kose". However, you won't regret. Address: Hasimiye Meydani Kovace Pazari D:10 Tel: 0 414 216 01 91
- Cigerci Aziz Usta - You pre pare your own onions and roasted peppers on the low tables of Aziz Usta, which is the most famous liver restaurant in Urfa, and then wait for the delicious liver served in "lavash", which is similar to tortilla shell. You can also try liver at breakfast like Urfa locals do. Address: Pinarbasi Mah. Isotcu Pazari No: 2 Tel. 0 414 316 68 86
- Sevgi Ciger Salonu - Definitely taste the soft liver which has been cooked without getting dry served with a plate full of mint, onions and parsley and ice-cold ayran served in copper glasses. Be careful about the chili pepper! Address: Sehitlik Mah. Ipekyol Uzeri Trafo Yani Gayberi Apt. Alti Tel: 0 414 314 03 29
- Kahraman Urfa Kebap Salonu - We recommend you not to miss elaborately cooked chops served in two layers of lavash on a tray. You can also find a variety of kebabs in this 80-year-old restaurant. Address: Koroglu Carsisi Tel: 0 414 215 21 30
- Baklavaci Badilli Dedeoglu - You should definitely try its "kadayif" and "katmer" with cheese. "Billuriye" is very delicious as well. It's great for a dessert break after the lunch. Address: Sarayonu Cad. Oruc Is Hani No:57/A Tel: 0 414 215 37 37
- Cevahir Konuk Evi - In the yard of an amazing renovated Urfa mansion, you'll find the chance to taste kebabs as well as traditional dishes. You can also join traditional song nights on wednesday, friday and saturday nights if you'd like. Address: Yeni Mah.1281 Sok.No:3/1 Tel: 0 414 215 93 77
- Gülhan Restoran - A clean and modern restaurant. In addition to kebabs, there are also some pot dishes. It'll be a good alternative when you decide to take a break from kebab. You should definitely try "lahmacun" here. Address: Next to Akbank No:32 Tel: 0 414 312 22 73
- Urfa Sofrasi - A nice place to try the traditional dishes and desserts of the Urfa cuisine. We especially recommend "cig kofte" here. We also recommend you to try Sillik, Urfa's famous and interestingly named dessert, here. Address: Karakoyun Is Merkezi Kat: 1 No: 226, Koprubasi Tel: 0 414 216 90 51
- Cift Magara - You can try different kinds of kebabs of Urfa in a stylish and mystical atmosphere. You can also enjoy the peerless view with "mırra" (some kind of bitter coffee) or shisha. Address: Behind Dergah Mosque, Balikligol Tel: 0 414 215 97 57
- Urfa Acem Sofrasi - In the restaurant which serves kebab varieties and many pot dishes, you may also have some dessert. Don't leave before tasting "lahmacun" there. Address: On the opposite of Yenisehir Turk Telekom Tel: 0 414 313 60 60/ 0 414 314 60 60
Accommodation in Sanli Urfa
There are many accommodation alternatives in Sanliurfa, which is an important tourism center in terms of religious and cultural importance. There is a wide variety of alternatives for stylish and luxurious Urfa hotels to simple, clean and affordable ones.
- Hilton Garden Inn - Hilton Garden Inn meets all your expectations from a modern and comfortable hotel with its 159 rooms, 3 meeting rooms, indoor pool and gym. It's ideal for both business trips and comfortable holiday. It also has a ballroom with a capacity of 330 people for special events. Address: Karakoyun Mah. 11 Nisan Fuar Cad. No:54 Tel: 0414 318 50 00
- Dedeman Hotel - It's the best equipped hotel for meetings and business trips in Sanliurfa thanks to its 6 meeting rooms with a total capacity of 750 people. Also, its 3 restaurants, indoor pool, gym, sauna and Turkish bath guarantee a comfortable stay. Address: Atatürk Mah. Hastane sok. Tel: 0 414 318 25 00
- Hotel El-Ruha - The hotel that has been designed in the style of traditional Urfa architecture is the place for those who can't give up luxury but also looks for an authentic style. It's ideal for touristic visits thanks to its view of Balikligol and central location. Address: Balıklıgöl Yanı Lekeler Cad. Tel: 0 414 215 44 11
- Hotel Harran - In this hotel, where there is a jacuzzi in each room and an indoor pool, Turkish bath, sauna, massage and gym in the shared areas, there is also a meeting room. It's suitable for touristic visits thanks to its central location. Address: Atatürk Bulvarı Tel: 0 414 313 28 60
- Hotel Arte - This hotel, which draws attention with its modern and minimal decoration, is the choice of those who look for a not luxurious yet problem free. It's in walking distance to all of the touristic centers. Address: Atatürk Bulvarı Sinema Sokak, No:7 Tel: 0 414 314 70 60
Places to Visit in Sanli Urfa
Şanlıurfa offers a great amount of alternatives to see with its historical heritages like castles, mosques and churches as well as natural riches like Balikligol and Harran Plain.
- Balikligol (Halil-ür Rahman Gölü) - The lake, which has a formation story in which Prophet Abraham is thrown into fire and the fire turns into water while woods turn into fish, is the symbol of the city. Fishing is forbidden since they are cosidered holy by the locals.
- Sanliurfa Castle - The castle, which is thought to have been built on a mound from Neolithic age, offers a peerless city view with two 17 meters long Corinthian columns. It’s known that the castle was restored in 814 by the Abbasids.
- Sanliurfa Museum - Although the exhibition pieces started to be collected in a primary school in 1948, the museum has been opened to visitors in 1969. In addition to prehistoric remnants, works from many Mesopotamien and Anatolian civilizations are also exhibited in the museum, where archeological findings of the city are shown.
- Firfirli Mosque - The building, which was built as The Church of 12 Apostles, has been turned into a mosque in 1956. It was called Firfirli (Frilled) Church because of its elaborate stone ornaments.
- Harran Plain - The area, which starts from the southeast of the city and stretches till the Syrian border, is 44 km away from Sanliurfa. It’s told to be one of the most fertile plains.
- Halepli Bahce - This the area where Urfa’s, or Edessa’s if we use its Ancient Greek name, most important remnants come to light. Tens of floor mosaics where many Greek myths from Amazon queens to Trojan War wra subjects wait for their visitors right in the middle of the city.
- Halil-ur Rahman Mosque - The mosque, which was built by El Melik’ül Eşref Muzafferüddin Musa, who is the nephew of Selahattin Eyyub between the years 1211-1212, has lost most of its Eyyubi architectural traits due to an extensive renovation conducted in 1810. It’s still a must-see with its location by Balikligol.
- Sanliurfa Independence Museum - Mahmud Nedim Mansion, which was built in 1903, is a building that combines European mansion style with traditional Urfa architecture. The mansion that draws attention with bullet and artillery marks still visible on its walls, has been in use as Sanliurfa Independence Museum since 2009.
- Rıdvaniye Mosque - It was built in 1717 by Rakka governor Rıdvan Ahmet Paşa. Ornaments on its impressive entrance is one of the best examples of the Ottoman art of “kündekari”. This mosque also has an amazing location by Balikligol.
- Lake Aynzeliha - The story of this lake that is located near Balikligol is related to the same story. When Prophet Abraham was thrown into fire, Nemrut’s daughter Zeliha, who is in love with him, also throws herself in fire and this lake comes out where she falls. Fish of this lake are also considered holy.
- Reji Church (Saint Petrus and Saint Paulus Church) - It was built in 1861, on the remnants of an older church. It was used by Assyrians until 1924. The building which was handed over to Board of Regie, started to be known as Regie (Reji) Church by the locals. Today, it is used as Vali Kemalettin Gazezoglu Culture Center.
- Grand Mosque - The mosque, which has been built in the place of a church that is known as Kizil (Red) Church, is thought to belong the times of Nureddin Mahmud Zengi, who was the ruler of Aleppo. Moreover, some parts of the church were used in the construction of the mosque. The most prominent indicators of this is the bell tower that has been turned into a minaret. During the foundation of Turkish Republic, a clock was added to this minaret and it was repurposed as a clock tower. Also, since the well in its yard is related to several myths, its told to have been health-giving.
- Haci Hafiz Ahmet Efendi House (Fine Arts Gallery of The State) - This building, which is understood to have been built in 1888 thanks to its inscriptions, is a beautiful example of traditional Urfa houses. It has been restored and started to be used as Fine Arts Gallery of The State in 1998, after being expropriated.
Neighborhoods of Urfa
- Old Urfa - The southern part of the city generally bears the traces of traditional Urfa architecture. Old Urfa, where you go through narrow streets and the color yellow is dominant, is the area where historical buildings, touristic businesses, marketplaces, and symbols like Urfa Castle and Balikligol are located. However, markets and shops are still located on the main streets of Old Urfa.
- New Urfa - Urfa has a modern face which has been enriched with high buildings, modern education buildings and green areas. This settlements, which are mostly focused on the northern part of the city, generally make up the housing area. You can still find big malls, which have started to be built recently, in this area.
Nightlife in Sanli Urfa
The traditional nightlife of Urfa is generally comprised of bars where folk songs are played and “sira” nights where kebabs of Urfa are consumed. However, if you look for somewhere calm after a “sira” night, you can prefer bars of hotels.
- Çardakli Köşk - A 200-year-old mansion, an amazing atmosphere with the view of Balikligol and Urfa Castle… We recomend you to add a “sira”night to the joy of Urfa cuisine in the atmosphere. The view is much more enjoyable when accompanied by traditional Urfa songs. Address: Balıklıgöl karşısı Tel: 0 414 217 10 80
- Harran Konuk Evi - You’ll meet many delicacies from “icli kofte” to “bostana” thanks to the rich “sira” night menu which includes all the special tastes of Urfa cuisine. Address: Bedendibi Cad. A. Bahçıvan Parkı Karşısı 956. Sok No:1 Tel: 0 414 216 83 83 - 216 81 82 (Pbx)
- Pınarbasi Konagi - Fun is guaranteed in the number 1 place of “sira” night entertainments. While lively folk songs are played for those who like dancing, you’ll also have a chance to watch traditional dances. Address: Demokrasi Caddesi (Eski 12 Eylül Caddesi), Ulu Camii Arkası, No: 82 Tel: 0 414 215 73 33
- Dedeman Roof Restaurant Bar - The restaurant and bar, where delicacies from the Turkish and world cuisines are offered, is suitable for those who want a different atmosphere. Address: Atatürk Mah. Hastane Sok. Tel: 0 414 318 25 00
- City code: 0 414
- City Toruism Directorate: 0 414 312 53 32
- Police: 0 414 313 00 00
- Gendarmy: 156
- Pharmcy in call: 118
- Police Emergency:155
- Health Emergency:112