Sanliurfa City Guide

Sanliurfa City Guide

Şanlıurfa is the eighth largest city of Turkey. More than 2 million people live in Şanlıurfa and it’s located in Southeastern Anatolia Region of Turkey. Şanlıurfa is one of the most important cities in the Turkish Republic with its glorious feat at the Turkish War of Independence. The city is one of the most developed agriculture city of Turkey with its  Harran Plain. Energy, tourism and animal husbandry also play an important role in the economy of Şanlıurfa. On the other hand, Şanlıurfa has many cultural richness and stunning historical background. Şanlıurfa is also a historical city has been hosted of many civilizations throughout history. Şanlıurfa is known as the city of prophets. In addition to this, Şanlıurfa is home to Göbekli Tepe, the oldest temple in human history. Şanlıurfa, where history and different nations meet together, is among the cities that cradle of civilizations in Turkey.

Şanlıurfa is among the continuously growing cities of Turkey. On the other hand, Şanlıurfa is one of the leader of textile and food industry in Turkey. Şanlıurfa is center of the Southeastern Anatolia Project which is regional development project. Şanlıurfa has a significant proportion of fertile agricultural lands in Turkey. Also, the city has great potential in the renewable energy such as hydroelectric and solar. Şanlıurfa Gap Airport is located in the city and you can find connecting international flights to different cities of the world. If we look at the education perspective, there are not many universities in Şanlıurfa but have the highest quality university of the region like Harran University. However, Şanlıurfa is the most important attraction point for tourism and real estate investments. Check out the most comprehensive Şanlıurfa city guide now. You will find the answers of many questions like “Places to see in Şanlıurfa” or “How to get to Şanlıurfa ?” in this guide.

City Name



Population Density

Population Growth Rate

Surface Area

Number of Districts

Postal Code

Area Code

GDP (Per Capita)


Souıtheast Anatolia


107 / km2

1,86 %

19.451 km2




16.194 ₺

There are important districts in Şanlıurfa like Haliliye and Eyyübiye in terms of population. These two districts are the biggest districts of Şanlıurfa with about 1 million population. Siverek, Karaköprü and Viranşehir are also have an important feature for Şanlıurfa. These districts are among the most crowded districts of Şanlıurfa. For tourism, gastronomy, cultural diversity and historical sites attract the interest of tourist in the city. Haliliye and Halfeti are important tourism centers of the city. Generally, accommodation facilities in Şanlıurfa is within the boundaries of central district. Birecik and Viranşehir has important industrial zones of the city. Eyyübiye, Haliliye and Karaköprü are the most profitable districts for real estate investments in Şanlıurfa.

The districts of Şanlıurfa are Akçakale, Birecik, Bozova, Ceylanpınar, Eyyübiye, Halfeti, Haliliye, Harran, Hilvan, Karaköprü, Siverek, Suruç Viranşehir and Yavuzeli. Haliliye, Eyyübiye and Karaköprü are the central districts of Şanlıurfa. You will find detailed information for all districts of Şanlıurfa in this guide.

Short History of Şanlıurfa

The old names of the city are Ur, Urhoy, Urhei, Orhei, Orhayi, Ruhai, Ruhha, Ar-Ruha, Reha and Edessa. It is known that there has been a settlement in Şanlıurfa since the Polished Stone Age. With the discovery of Göbeklitepe, it has been proven that the city’s history dates back to the 11th century BC. As a result of an archaeological excavation in Şanlıurfa city center, the history of the city dates back to the Neolithic Period. The city lived under the sovereignty of civilizations such as Ebla, Akkad, Sumer, Babylonian, Assyrian, Hittite, Hurri-Mitanni, Arami, Med, Pers, Macedonian (Hellenistic period), Rome, Byzantium during the 11 thousand years of historical period. Şanlıurfa came under the rule of the Great Seljuk State in 1094. Since 1098, the Crusader Edessa County, Eyyubis, Mamluks, Karakoyunlular, Timurid State, Akkoyunlular and Safavids have included these lands within their borders. It was incorporated into the borders of the Ottoman Empire by Yavuz Sultan Selim in 1516. Şanlıurfa, which was previously within the borders of Raqqa Province during the Ottoman Empire, was connected to the Aleppo Province in 1876. The city became an independent sanjak of Ottoman Empire in 1916.

After World War I, Şanlıurfa was occupied by the British first and then the French in 1919. Local people showed an epic resistance against the occupation of Şanlıurfa under the leadership of Ali Saip Bey. Following the heroic struggle, Şanlıurfa was liberated from the enemy invasion on April 11, 1920. In 1924, it became a province of the Republic of Turkey. Şanlıurfa won the metropolitan title in 2012. Şanlıurfa was awarded the Independence Medal by the Turkish Grand National Assembly in 2016, due to the heroism shown by the people of Şanlıurfa in the Turkish War of Independence.

Cultural Mosaic of Şanlıurfa

Şanlıurfa, which has been at the crossroads of important roads throughout history, has been a center where different civilizations, languages and religions have mixed and influenced each other. It connected the east and west world in terms of culture and trade. Şanlıurfa is one of the oldest settlements in human history. The city has its own unique culture and rich historical heritage.

Accommodation in Şanlıurfa is an important issue for people who visit city for different purposes like tourism or business. In Şanlıurfa, close to the city center, it is possible to find luxury hotels in all-inclusive concept and accommodation options that serve in bed and breakfast, half board and room concepts only. You can stay in Şanlıurfa hotels suitable for the needs of visitors coming to Şanlıurfa for business and tourism purposes. If you want to get away from the city center to sightseeing spots of Şanlıurfa and visiting the historical values you can choose the hotels or hostels in Şanlıurfa. You can find a lot of accommodation alternatives in almost all districts of Şanlıurfa. There are world-famous hotel chains like Hilton and Dedeman or many local butiqe hotels.

Continental climate is seen in Şanlıurfa. Summers are too hot and dry, winters are generally too cold. The number of rainy or snowy days in the region is very low. Annual average temperature about 18 ºC in Şanlıurfa. In summer, although the hottest city in Turkey, the humidity is very low. The best time to visit Şanlıurfa is April, May and October. Find the best hotels in Şanlıurfa in our guide easily.

If you are looking for real estate for sale in Şanlıurfa or real estate for rent in Şanlıurfa, you are on the right page. In recent years, the real estate sector is growing in Şanlıurfa. Şanlıurfa is one of the leading agricultural, commercial and cultural centers of Turkey. The fact that the city is the 8th crowded city in Turkey increases the value of the residences. Also, Şanlıurfa is the seventh biggest city of Turkey in terms of parcel area. The population of Şanlıurfa is growing very fast with its high fertility rate. There is also a migration to the city to work in the agricultural and industrial sectors. So, the city much more attractive and preferred for branded housing manufacturers. It is possible to see housing projects of various construction brands in most parts of the city. In Şanlıurfa, where branded housing projects increase, housing prices are valued and rising accordingly.

Şanlıurfa has the eighth highest population in Turkey. Many of districts of Şanlıurfa are valuable for residential investment. In recent years, housing sales have increased in the developing districts of Şanlıurfa such as Eyyübiye, Haliliye and Karaköprü. In addition, districts such as Viranşehir, Halfeti, Eyyübiye, Haliliye, Birecik and Hilvan provide fastest return for real estate investment. Since affordable and luxurious housings are built in these regions, it is preferred by those who want to invest. You can make the most correct investment by examining our ads for apartment options for sale from Şanlıurfa real estate agent. You can also add your listings easily if you are selling or renting a house in different districts of Şanlıurfa.

Do you want to get detailed information about hospitals in Şanlıurfa? If you’re, our special health guide will be helpful for you. In Şanlıurfa, there are 11 state hospitals, 1 university hospital, 2 training and research hospitals and 6 private hospitals. Almost all districts have hospitals in different regions of the city. You can get high-quality health services in many health instutitions in Şanlıurfa. Especially, Harran University Hospital is the biggest and most modern hospital of the city with its high capacity. On the other hand, construction phase of the city hospital in Şanlıurfa are ongoing.

If we look at the general perspective to Şanlıurfa, the city is located in Southeastern Anatolia Region of Turkey. There are many transportation alternatives for the city. You can reach Şanlıurfa by air and road transportation. Şanlıurfa Gap Airport, located in the centeral district of the city, is located 38 kilometers from the city center. You can come to the city center by using Havaş and city buses services from the airports to different regions of the city. If you want to come to Şanlıurfa by bus, there are bus services from many cities to Şanlıurfa. On the other hand, there are 3 border and customs gates with Syria in Ceylanpınar, Akçakale and Suruç districts.

Road Transportation

For the road transportation concept, Şanlıurfa has the two main connections. You can visit Şanlıurfa by D-400 and E-99 and some other important roads from Gaziantep, Diyarbakır, Adıyaman and Mardin. Şanlıurfa Central Bus Station is the main bus station of Şanlıurfa and it’s located in Eyyübiye district. You can find direct lines from many cities of Turkey to Şanlıurfa.

Air Transportation

Şanlıurfa Gap Airport is the main airport in Şanlıurfa and this is located in Karaköprü district. It takes about 38 km. from Şanlıurfa Gap Airport to the city center, so you can use Havaş, city buses and VIP airport shuttle services to reach city center from the airport. You can find connecting international flight via İstanbul Airport from Şanlıurfa to many countries and cities of the world. Also, you can fly to many domestic cities of Turkey from Şanlıurfa Gap Airport.

Inner-city Transportation

There is only public bus transportation in Şanlıurfa. You can use all of the districts of the city by public transportation. The light rail system in Şanlıurfa will be on the service for the coming years.

You will find the answers of the “Best places to visit in Şanlıurfa” or “Top 10 things to do and see in Şanlıurfa” questions in this guide. Choose your destination, click on the guide and start discovering Şanlıurfa deeply now. Şanlıurfa has a lot of places to visit. First of all, we should start with Göbeklitepe, is the main attraction point of Şanlıurfa. The archaeological site is home to the oldest known belief center in the world. Most of the places to visit in Şanlıurfa are located in the Eyyübiye district. So, it is a popular travel destination especially for foreign visitors in Şanlıurfa. Many of the tourist attractions are located in the district. Kurtuluş Museum, Fırfırlı Mosque, Selahaddin Eyyubi Mosque, Haleplibahçe Mosaics, Balıklı Lake, Halil-Ur Rahman Mosque, Aynzeliha Lake, Urfa Castle, Mevlid-i Halil Mosque and Cave, Bakırcılar Bazaar, Reji Church, Ulu Mosque, Şanlıurfa Archeology and Mosaic Museum are places to visit and see in Eyyübiye district. Haliliye is the busiest point of Şanlıurfa and it’s a must-see destination. One of the most important centers of daily life in Şanlıurfa, it hosts many shopping centers and local restaurants. On the other hand, Harran Castle, Harran Ulu Mosque and Shuayb Ancient Cit yin Harran district, Sumatar Ancient City in Eyyübiye district, old town in Halfeti district are the main historical places you can visit in Şanlıurfa. Yakup Monastery, Nuns Church and Germuş Church are among other places to visit in Şanlıurfa. Finally, Gölpınar Nature Park and Atatürk Dam are also the center of attention for nature lovers. For more, check out our guide now !

There is 1 state university in Şanlıurfa. The university has campuses in Haliliye and Eyyübiye districts. Harran University is most popular university for educational quality in the region. There is no foundation university in Şanlıurfa. Find the best university in our guide below..


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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