Bitlis City Guide

Bitlis City Guide

Bitlis is located Eastern Anatolia Region of Turkey near Van Lake. Bitlis, one of the hidden beauties of Eastern Anatolia, is a city that is not well known due to the lack of publicity and therefore cannot attract visitors. However, this is an important city of history and culture with its thousands of years of history. On one side, it houses unique historical artifacts such as cupolas, mosques, castles and caravanserais. On the other hand, it hosts natural beauties such as lakes and volcanic mountains. Bitlis economy is completely based on agriculture and animal husbandry. In fact, the geographical structure of the city is not very suitable for agriculture. However, the field crops grown, albeit limited, constitute one of the most important sources of income for the people of Bitlis. The main agricultural products grown in Bitlis; wheat, barley, rye, tobacco, beans, potatoes, sugar beets, walnuts, peanuts, pears, apples, cherries and grapes.

Check out the most comprehensive Bitlis city guide now. You will find the answers of many questions like “Places to see in Bitlis” or “How to get to Bitlis ?” in this guide.

City Name



Population Density

Population Growth Rate

Surface Area

Number of Districts

Postal Code

Area Code

GDP (Per Capita)


Eastern Anatolia


39 / km2

-0,37 %

8,555 km2




3,394 $

Tatvan is the biggest district of Bitlis with 90.000 population while city center has only 70.000 population. The district has an important industrial and agricultural center of the city. The economies of other districts are based on agricultural and livestock activities.

The districts of Bitlis are Adilcevaz, Ahlat, Güroymak, Hizan, Mutki and Tatvan. You will find detailed information for all districts of Bitlis  in this guide.

Short History of Bitlis

The known history of the Bitlis region starts with the Hittites in the 2000s. During this period, the region first came under the rule of the Hittites, then the Hurri-Mitanni State and Assyrians respectively. B.C. Urartians, who put an end to the domination of Assyrians in the region in the 1280s, settled in Van and Bitlis regions. The region used by the Urartians as the capital is Arzaşkun city in the north of Lake Van. The Scythians, who got stronger in the Front Asia during the Urartu period, advanced towards the south, meanwhile they put an end to the power of the Urartians in the region. Bitlis and its environs, which had been the scene of struggles between Medes and Lydians, came under the domination of Meds first and then Persian Empire. Bitlis, which was occupied by Russian and Armenian troops for 5 months during the First World War (1916), gained its independence on 8 August 1916. While the city was an accident in Muş between 1929 and 1935, it was brought to the status of a province after 1935.

Accommodation in Bitlis has become easier with the new investments. You can find many different accommodation alternatives in Bitlis easily.

If you are looking for real estate for sale in Bitlis or real estate for rent in Bitlis, you are on the right page. As of the end of July 2020 in Bitlis, the prices of houses for sale increased by 22.96% in the last year. Average for sale residential property size is 150 square meters. Considering annual averages, as of the end of July 2020, the districts that gained the most value in Bitlis for residential properties were Ahlat, Tatvan, Adilcevaz, Güroymak in descending order.

Do you want to get detailed information about hospitals in Bitlis ? In Bitlis, there are 7 state hospitals  and 3 private hospitals. Almost all districts have hospitals in different regions of the city.

Road Transportation

It is very easy to reach Bitlis, which is located at the intersection of Eastern and Southeastern Anatolia regions, by road. You can find a direct bus service goes to Bitlis from many major cities in Turkey. Bitlis’s central bus station is located in Tatvan district. You can use city shuttles, buses and minibuses to get to Bitlis center from Tatvan Bus Station.

Air Transportation

There is no airport within the province of Bitlis. The closest airport you can use to come to Bitlis by plane is Van Ferit Melen Airport.

Railway Transportation

Work is currently underway for the high-speed train that will pass through Kırklareli. A branch of the high-speed train that will travel between Halkalı and Kapıkule is reserved for Kırklareli. This high-speed train route reserved for Kırklareli will be approximately 60 km and will pass through Büyükkarışıra, Lüleburgaz and Babaeski stations. One of the alternative ways to go to Bitlis is to take a train ride. You can reach Bitlis by using the Van Lake Express, which operates between Ankara and Tatvan two days a week. Tatvan Train Station is located in the district center, very close to Tatvan Ferry Pier and Tatvan Bus Station.

You will find the answers of the “Best places to visit in Bitlis” or “Top 10 things to do and see in Bitlis” questions in this guide.  It is known for its famous lakes and mountains of Turkey’s most important Bitlis of travelers each year and is home to the visit of amateur photographers. Start exploring Bingöl, which we come across with many activities, from mountain climbing to ski tourism. One of the biggest touristic places of Bitlis is Nemrut Crater Lake. Nemrut Crater Lake, which is one of the largest crater lakes in the world with a width of 10 meters, has a unique natural beauty. Thousands of people come to Nemrut every year just to see this crater lake. One of the few in the world where you can see the natural beauty of Lake Van, Turkey’s is known for being the largest lake on the property. Located in the borders of Van and Bitlis, the lake is on the coastline of Tatvan district of Bitlis. Lake Van, thought to have been formed as a result of the volcanic eruption of Mount Nemrut, has been offering a visual feast for thousands of years. Bitlis Castle is one of the most magnificent buildings in the city center. Built in 312 BC with the instructions of Alexander the Great, the castle is located on a steep slope.

There are only one state university located in Bitlis named as Bitlis Eren University.


Enes Sahin

Hello, I am Enes, I write content for Expat Guide Turkey every day. Don't forget to check it out! You can contact me via e-mail

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