The 10 Best Places To Visit In Şanlıurfa

Imagine stepping into a city where the echoes of ancient civilizations blend seamlessly with the buzz of modern life. Şanlıurfa, a gem in southeastern Turkey, is a place where stories of prophets and kings are etched into every stone and corner. It’s a city that has captured my heart, and I’m thrilled to share with you the top 10 must-visit spots that make Şanlıurfa an unforgettable destination.

Balıklıgöl – The Pool of Sacred Fish

Let’s dive right into the heart of Şanlıurfa’s spiritual life at Balıklıgöl. This isn’t your average pond; it’s a place shrouded in legend. It’s said that the pool was born from a miracle when Prophet Abraham was thrown into the fire by King Nimrod, and the flames turned to water. Today, the pool is home to countless sacred carp, and it’s believed that these fish must never be caught or eaten. Watching them glide through the water against the backdrop of the Halil-ur Rahman Mosque is a serene experience.

Göbekli Tepe – The World’s First Temple

Next up is Göbekli Tepe, a site that’s rewriting human history. Predating Stonehenge by a staggering 6,000 years, this archaeological wonder is considered the world’s first temple. The massive carved stones arranged in circles are a testament to the ingenuity of our ancestors. It’s a humbling reminder of the passage of time and the mysteries that still lie buried beneath the earth’s surface.

Urfa Castle – The Citadel on the Hill

Perched atop a hill, Urfa Castle offers a panoramic view of the city. The current structure dates back to the medieval era, but its foundations are much older. As you wander through the remnants of this fortress, you’ll feel like you’re tracing the steps of countless others who’ve stood guard over this ancient city.

Harran – A Journey to the Past

A short drive from Şanlıurfa takes you to Harran, a site mentioned in the Bible. It’s famous for its beehive houses, which have been keeping residents cool for centuries. The remnants of the world’s first Islamic university and an ancient astronomical observatory add layers of intellectual allure to this historical treasure trove.

Şanlıurfa Archaeology and Mosaic Museum

For a deep dive into the region’s history, the Şanlıurfa Archaeology and Mosaic Museum is a treasure chest waiting to be opened. It houses artifacts from Göbekli Tepe and stunning mosaics from the Roman era. Each exhibit tells a story, weaving a rich tapestry of the past.

The Covered Bazaars of Şanlıurfa

Shopping and history collide in the covered bazaars of Şanlıurfa. Strolling through these markets is like walking through a living museum. The scent of spices, the clinking of copper craftsmen, and the vibrant fabrics create a sensory feast. Don’t forget to haggle; it’s all part of the experience!

Halfeti – The Sunken City

Halfeti, a town partially submerged by the waters of the Euphrates, is a hauntingly beautiful place. The remaining stone houses and mosques peeking above the waterline create a surreal landscape. A boat trip here offers a unique perspective on the power of nature and human resilience.

The Prophet Job’s Cave

Another site steeped in religious significance is the Cave believed to be where the Prophet Job suffered and was healed. Regardless of your faith, the atmosphere of hope and healing is palpable. The nearby mosque and the spring that flows there add to the tranquility of this sacred place.

Mezopotamya Düğün Sarayı – A Taste of Local Celebrations

Experience local culture firsthand at Mezopotamya Düğün Sarayı. This wedding palace is where locals celebrate their nuptials in grand fashion. If you’re lucky, you might catch a glimpse of a traditional Kurdish wedding, complete with music, dancing, and a feast for the senses.

Sira Nights

Finally, immerse yourself in the cultural tradition of Sira Nights. These gatherings are a blend of storytelling, music, and community bonding. It’s a chance to sit with locals, sip on sweet tea, and feel the rhythm of Urfa’s soulful tunes. It’s an experience that embodies the spirit of Şanlıurfa.


  • What is the best time to visit Şanlıurfa?

    Spring (April to June) and autumn (September to November) offer the most pleasant weather for exploring Şanlıurfa’s outdoor attractions.

  • Is Şanlıurfa safe for tourists?

    Yes, Şanlıurfa is generally safe for tourists. However, as with any travel destination, it’s wise to stay aware of your surroundings and keep personal belongings secure.

  • Can I visit Göbekli Tepe without a guide?

    While you can visit Göbekli Tepe on your own, hiring a guide can greatly enhance your understanding of this complex site.


In Şanlıurfa, every corner tells a story, and every stone holds a secret. From the awe-inspiring Göbekli Tepe to the serene Balıklıgöl, this city is a tapestry of history, culture, and spirituality. Whether you’re exploring ancient ruins, bargaining in bazaars, or joining in on a Sira Night, you’re sure to leave with memories that will last a lifetime. Şanlıurfa isn’t just a place to visit; it’s a journey through time that will captivate your soul.

So, pack your bags, bring your sense of wonder, and get ready to explore the best places to visit in Şanlıurfa. Trust me, it’s an adventure you won’t want to miss.

Kurby Team

The Kurby Content Team is a diverse group of seasoned real estate experts dedicated to providing insightful, reliable information for homebuyers, real estate investors, and real estate agents. With backgrounds ranging from real estate brokerage, property investment, and residential home buying, our team combines decades of experience with a passion for demystifying the real estate world. We at Kurby are committed to helping you make informed, successful real estate decisions. Whether you're a first-time homebuyer, a seasoned investor, or a real estate professional, count on the Kurby Content Team to deliver the most relevant, actionable real estate content you need.