Hasankeyf Travel Guide

  • Hasankeyf
    by colindr23
  • Things to Do
    by colindr23
  • Things to Do
    by colindr23

Hasankeyf Highlights

  • Pro
    cbeaujean profile photo

    cbeaujean says…

     one of the most ancient occupied places in the region 

  • Con
    cbeaujean profile photo

    cbeaujean says…

     if nothing new,will disappear within 4 years 

  • In a nutshell
    cbeaujean profile photo

    cbeaujean says…

     lost city? 

Hasankeyf Things to Do

  • Hasankeyf

    The settlement is cited as "Hesna Kepha" in Syriac sources while it is known as "Hisn Kayfa" in Arabic ,which means "rock fortress".For the phonetical reasons now its called "hasankeyf"which can be translated like "the joy of Hasan" but it has nothing to do with Hasan.This city was the capital of Artuklu Selcuk ( artutids) .(1102-1232 AC) The...

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  • New Hasankey Bridge

    A new steel bridge was built in the past century to link the northern and southern banks of the Tigris. It provides an interesting contrast to the ruins of the mediaeval bridge to its side. Any visitor to Hasankeyf will have to cross this modern bridge to visit the sites on either side of the river, but if you have a chance, stop on the bridge for...

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  • Mausoleum of Zeynel Bey

    Built in 1473 AD, during the brief rule by the Turkomen Ak Koyunlu, this cylindrical, domed mausoleum contains the tomb of a certain Zeynel Bey, who was killed in battle nearby. The design is typical for this period, but in lands further east, namely Persia. It is the only such example in the whole of Anatolia, which is known for its more austere...

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  • The Caves of Hasankeyf

    Thousands of these manmade caves dot the cliffs and hills that surround Hasankeyf and the River Tigris. They were carved over several millennia and as early as 10,000 years ago - archaeologists believe - which would make Hasankeyf one of a handful of the world's longest continuously inhabited settlements (along with Damascus, Aleppo, Byblos, and...

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  • Ayyubid Gate

    According to an inscription on this gate, it was built by the Ayyubid ruler of Hasankeyf Suleyman in 1416 AD. It is located along the path from the lower city up to the Citadel. Although it is partially ruined, the outer façade still contains some of the beautiful decorations of the period. The inner façade is less preserved.

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  • The Tigris

    Known as Dijlah (نهر دجلة) in Arabic, the Tigris is one of the two great rivers that form Mesopotamia. It runs from its source among the snowcapped mountains of Anatolia and meanders its way down to the flat plains of Mesopotamia until it meets its sister river, the Euphrates, just before reaching the...

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  • Artuklu Hamamı

    This lone square, domed structure was built during the Artukid era in the 13th century as a hammam (Arab bath). It was originally a much larger structure, but only the main hall has survived. It is located on the northern bank of the Tigris amid farms. In the mediaeval period, the city of Hisn Kayfa was much larger and this part - which is nowadays...

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  • Koç Mosque Complex

    Yet another structure from the Ayyubid era (14th century), during which extensive construction took place in Hisn Kayfa, Koç Mosque is one of the least preserved. It is located immediate south of the Mosque of Sultan Suleyman and was part of a complex that probably included a madrassa (theological school) and some charitable functions. The mosque...

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  • Kızlar Mosque (Ayyubid Mausoleum)

    Built as a mausoleum during the Ayyubid era (14th century), this structure is now used a mosque. Upon conversion to a mosque, it was expanded and restored. It is unclear whose mausoleum it was, or why it's called the "Girls' Mosque" (Kızlar = Girls in Turkish). Kızlar Mosque is located east of the ruins of Koç Mosque.

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  • Sultan Suleyman Mosque

    At the time of Gertrude Bell's visit to Hisn Kayfa in April 1911, this ruined mosque was known in Arabic as the Mosque of the Kings (Jami'el Muluk or جامع الملوك). Her black and white photos (easily searchable online) show a mosque that differs little from the ruined structure that stands...

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  • The Small Fortress (The Mint)

    Known as Küçük Kale in Turkish (i.e., the Small Fort), this structure lies on top of a rock formation east of the Fort of Hasankeyf. It is thought to have been built in the 12th century as a coin mint by the Artukids and it continued to be used by the Ayyubids.

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  • Old Tigris Bridge

    The ruins of the magnificent bridge of Hasankeyf stand below the Citadel of Hisn Kayfa as a reminder of the importance of this settlement in a different era. Countless Silk Road caravans crossed this very bridge after its construction in 1116 AD by the Artukid Sultan Fakhreddine Karaaslan. Only two central piers and the two ends remain today, but...

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Hasankeyf Restaurants

  • Views over the Tigris

    Located within the bazaar street of Hasankeyf, this shabby looking café offers exceptional views over the Tigris from its back terrace. Even though it was relatively cold in December, we were able to sit outside for a Turkish coffee and a quick snack before leaving Hasankeyf to explore the Tur Abdin region further south.

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  • Not many restaurants

    When I was there, 2012, there were not many restaurants and what they had was a bit expensive, at least compared to what is typical in Turkey. There wasn't a lot of variety. Even though it's a popular tourist destination Hasankeyf is still a very small town without a lot of amenities. I didn't see any places that sold alcohol either in the whole...

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  • River bank restaurant.

    This is the first place I had a hot cup of tea while taking a rest taking in the beauty of the Tigris river and the cave dwellings on the other side of the river.There are 3 or 4 riverside restaurants along the length of the Tigris serving grilled fish but a bit costly than what I get from Hasbahce. One of them with a friendly staff is the Ozoglu...

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  • Restaurant hanging on the river.

    Another tourist-geared restaurant with a large terrace hanging above the river is the Yolgecen Hani. I can’t vouch for the quality of food and service as I did not take any meals here but for tourist information only. They have a big stilt-supported terrace right standing on the river very near the remnants of the historical bridge.

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  • Restaurant overlooking the river.

    This is one of those restaurants geared towards tourists either local or foreign. Specialty if pide (Turkish pizza) which I find a bit expensive at TL15 including a small bottle of coke.They have a sitting area on the terrace overlooking the river and the old bridge. It is located one building away from the main Ataturk Cad. along Kale Cadessi...

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  • Friendly local restaurant.

    Lokantasi is a Turkish word for local restaurant, and Nehir Lokantasi is a friendly neighborhood restaurant located right along the main highway of Ataturk Cadessi, on your right side if you’re facing the bridge beside a ministore and the dolmush (shared van) waiting for passengers going to Batman.I took my corba (soup) breakfast with fresh breads...

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  • Fresh Delicious Fish right from their...

    Hasankeyf Hasbahce, not only accommodate guests on its several units of rooms lining up above the large garden, also serves the freshest, most delicious grilled fish in town.The live trouts swimming on its two fountain ponds in the garden are served as grilled – or may be fried. I took two meals of those big delicious trouts, more than a foot-long,...

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  • Cave Dining

    If you are touring Hasenkeyf, this is THE place to eat. This is probably the most unique place I ate at in Turkey. The restuarant is in a cave, complete with waterfalls. The establishment is located immediately beneath the summit of Hasenkeyf, along the banks of the Tigris River. This is the area where a number of vendors have booths along the...

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  • a lot of restaurants ,feet in tigris...

    on riverside:tables put on the river....so you can enjoy fish ,legs in refreshing tigris waters!unfortunately,no beers at all!

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Hasankeyf Transportation

  • Getting to Hasankeyf

    Hasankeyf is located in the Batman province of southeastern Turkey. The province is named after its capital city Batman (no relation to the superhero), which is located about 40 minutes by northwest and is the closest city with an airport (but nothing to see or do). Most visitors drive from Diyarbakir (2 hours), from Mardin (1:45 hours), or from...

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  • Transport from Istanbul to Hasankeyf

    By air - the nearest airport to Hasankeyf is Batman airport. The dolmush (shared van) ride from Batman costs only TL3 and you'll be in Hasankeyf in an hour or less.Turkish Airlines is flying to Batman airport from Istanbul’s Ataturk airport while Pegasus Airlines (flypgs.com) is flying out of Sabiha Gokcen airport.Other option is flying to Mardin...

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  • Transport from Diyarbakir to Istanbul

    OnurAir is becoming my favorite domestic airline in Turkey as they’re almost always cheaper than any other budget airline, competing perhaps with Atlasjet who have limited destinations anyway. Both airlines beats the others in that both lands at the more popular Ataturk airport, not the far Sabiha Gokcen airport.Service is good, refreshment is on...

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Hasankeyf Shopping

  • The Bazaar

    The curved street that leads up to the base of the citadel is the bazaar of Hasankeyf. Much is geared towards tourists, with rugs and other souvenirs. As we were the only tourists visiting on Christmas Eve 2012, we were able to bargain hard on a rug purchase. Arabic served me well, since half the town's population is ethnically Arab (though they...

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  • Minimarkets around town.

    There are several minimarkets at Hasankeyf. Now you know there are places to buy food, nibbles, drinks, toiletries, and everything you need while in town – in case you plan to stay overnight or so. Or may be longer. Food, drinks, toiletries, etc...

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  • Scarves, clothing, fresh produce at...

    Just along the street and side street of Eyyubi Mosque, right in the middle of the town you’ll find a long line of stalls selling fabrics, colourful scarves, socks, and other clothing. On one side of the street are the vegetables, crops and fruit sellers, some coming from trucks.The atmosphere is very local and people will greet you or engage in a...

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Hasankeyf Local Customs

  • MM212's Profile Photo
    Cows roaming the streets, Dec 2012 4 more images

    by MM212 Updated Dec 15, 2013

    Hasankeyf is located in a poor, rural part of Turkey and surrounded by farmland. Within the town itself, animals (cows, chickens, and cats, etc.) roam freely. The site of them and sounds of roosters reminded me of my trip to India!

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Hasankeyf Off The Beaten Path

Hasankeyf Favorites

  • Ataturk Cadessi

    This isn't a sight to behold but just so you know how the town of Hasankeyf looks like, the pictures is taken along the main road or highway of the town. Buses that ply through the Mardin-Midyat-Hasankeyf-Batman route passes by here.

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  • ATM Machines

    I brought in some cash enough to pay for my accommodation, food and miscellaneous expenses as I thought maybe there’s no place to draw cash from. Again, I’m wrong.A small town like Hasankeyf has about 3 ATM machines from different banks (AK Bank, Halk Bank, and I forgot the other one) all beside each other along the main Ataturk Cadessi right at...

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  • Internet Cafes

    Hasankeyf is a small town that looks like out of reach of advance technology – I was wrong.I have seen about 3 or 4 internet café right at the center of the town along the main Ataturk Caddesi. One is Odak Intenet *& Café, the other one which I won’t forget is Lemon.So, if you don’t have your laptop with you, you can use the desktops of any of...

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