Van Things to Do

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

Most Recent Things to Do in Van

  • Akdamar Church

    by colindr23 Written Jun 12, 2013

    Akdamar is probably the most famous attraction from Van. It's no longer an active church but I do think they occasionally have ceremonies when some groups of Armenians visit. It's easy enough to visit by local transport, I had to ask around a bit to find the bus stop but it wasn't too difficult. At the site,I did have to wait for awhile until a bus returning for Van came by, about 45 minutes or so.

    Was this review helpful?

  • Old City of Van

    by colindr23 Written May 26, 2013

    Behind the Rock of Van/Castle are the remains of the old city, destroyed in WWI. It's a haunting, atmospheric place. There are the remains of a few buildings and an old minaret with the remains of the castle looming over. On the far side of the field there are some restored mosques and an old city gate. The place was deserted when I visited except for one family having a picnic and some cows and sheep.

    Was this review helpful?

  • Van Castle

    by colindr23 Updated May 26, 2013

    The castle is a must see while you're in Van. When I visited, there wasn't really any kind of development for tourists, no signs, ticket office, anything like that. At first glance, it looks off limits behind a chain-link fence but in fact, you can explore the whole place. I had to walk along the perimeter some distance but eventually I found an opening and later a path. It was completely deserted when I visited, in the morning but later on in the day there were some other visitors. Many people will warn you to be cautious when visiting the castle. I had no problems visiting alone but it may be better to go with someone.

    There are actually three cuneiform inscriptions in the area of the castle. One, on the side of the massive rock on which the castle is built, which is not far from the path leading up to the ramp. The other, on the other side of the rock where the remains of the ruined old city of Van are. It's high up and a bit difficult to see. The third, is up in the castle but in a rocky area a bit behind the structural remains. This one involves some precarious climbing, is a bit hard to find and is protected by bars, but it's actually the only one you can really see up close and is in good condition.

    The castle is not only interesting to visit in itself but it also gives a great view of the surrounding area, mostly green fields, and part of Lake Van and then the city in the distance. It's a bit outside of the city, a bus is necessary to get there.

    Was this review helpful?

  • ozalp's Profile Photo

    Van Lake

    by ozalp Updated Dec 31, 2009

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Van Lake
    2 more images

    Van Lake is the biggest lake of Turkiye. It is a saline and soda lake and has no outlet (“endorheic” says wikipedia). Lake’s surface is 1640m above sea level. Its widest point is 119 km, average depth is 171m and maximum dept is 451m. Its area is 3755 square km.
    The only fish living in this lake is Pearl Mullet.
    There are 4 islands in the lake. The most famous one is Ahtamar Island. It is the only island open to visit, I think.
    There is a ferry going between Van and Tatvan. It carries the train cars traveling between Iran and Istanbul. Months after writing this tip, I learned that the first Turkish boat on this lake has been built by Mimar Sinan, the great architecht, when he was only a soldier.

    Don't forget: Swimming in a soda lake is a strange experience. Its water is soapy and warm.

    Related to:
    • Water Sports

    Was this review helpful?

  • Behi's Profile Photo

    Van Museum

    by Behi Updated Jul 26, 2009

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Van Museum
    4 more images

    Van Museum hold objects since pre-historic & Urartian era to Ottoman Turks era.
    such as red potteries, gold jewelery, bronze artifacts at lower floor.

    Hakkari Stelae & cuneiform tablets At the inner courtyard. Hakkari Stelae was surprise, we have hundreds of those at Ardebil in Iran & I just knew turkey has 13 of those, really was pleasant to see these 13 stones.

    coins, glasses & manuscript & more potteries on the upper floor.

    sheep shaped grave stones at yard, & many Urartian inscription in yard

    as other places there were not enough English signs or guide.

    no entry fee
    Opening hours: 8-12 & 13-17 except Monday

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Museum Visits

    Was this review helpful?

  • Behi's Profile Photo

    Surprise at Van Museum!

    by Behi Written Jul 25, 2009

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Fravahr, Van Museum
    3 more images

    Iranian objects & depiction such as Fravahr(pic1), Anahita(pic2), Drafsh-e Kavyan(pic3) & lion head in Achaemenid shape(pic4) was great Surprise for us.
    I'm sure Turkey don't know these are obviously Iranian else those have not been shown as the empty place of Achamenid, Parthian or Sassanid & other Iranian era at coin section.

    I'm not gonna describe what is each of them, that would be long long story.

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Museum Visits

    Was this review helpful?

  • Behi's Profile Photo

    Thousands christian crosses, Van kalesi

    by Behi Written Jul 24, 2009

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Thousands christian crosses, Van kalesi
    1 more image

    Thousands christian crosses engraved on southern slopes of Van kalesi mainly below Ottoman sections.

    such this numerous crosses shows many people were under heavy mental pressure.
    I guess, Armenian engraved those during WWI when Ottomans started genocide.

    very sad to see the traces of Thousands killed men, women & children & what they suffered.

    Related to:
    • Archeology
    • Historical Travel
    • Hiking and Walking

    Was this review helpful?

  • Behi's Profile Photo

    Van kalesi (Citadel)

    by Behi Updated Jul 24, 2009

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Van kalesi (Citadel)
    4 more images

    Van kalesi (Citadel) is a massive stone fortification, an alive history album, since king Sardur I, the Urartian King 844-828 BC who first constructed Tushpa, every one whom controlled the region such as Assyrian, Iranian, Arabs, Byzantine, Ottoman Turks left memorials for us.

    Van kalesi (Citadel) extends 1800 meters from the east to the west, and 120 meters from the north to the south. The city of old Van was at the southern foot of the citadel before the First World War.

    admission: 3 TL (2009/88)

    Related to:
    • Hiking and Walking
    • Historical Travel
    • Castles and Palaces

    Was this review helpful?

  • Behi's Profile Photo

    Tushpa (old van)

    by Behi Updated Jul 24, 2009

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Tushpa (old van) view from Van kalesi
    3 more images

    The Tushpa was located at southern slopes of Van kalesi until world war I when it was battle field of Turks against Armenian & Russian During world war I caused the city leveled to ground.
    Just 2 mosque & ruins of 2 minarets & a church remained from old city.

    Related to:
    • Hiking and Walking
    • Historical Travel
    • Archeology

    Was this review helpful?

  • Behi's Profile Photo

    Inscription of Xerxes the Great

    by Behi Updated Jul 24, 2009

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Inscription of Xerxes the Great,  Van Citadel
    2 more images

    Our only motive for travel to Van:
    The rock inscription XV of Xerxes the Great (486-465 BC) cut in the southeastern facade of the Van Citadel.
    The text has been wrote in old Persian (left-hand column), Babylonian, and Elamite and survives in a perfect condition.
    It is the only Achaemenid royal inscription outside modern Iran:

    A great god is Ahuramazda, the greatest of gods, who created this earth, who created that sky, who created man, who created happiness for man, who made Xerxes king, one king for all, one ruler for all.

    I am Xerxes, the great king, the king of kings, king of all kinds of peoples with all kinds of origins, king of this earth great and wide, the son of king Darius, the Achaemenid.

    King Xerxes says: King Darius, my father, by the grace of Ahuramazda built much that was good, and he gave orders to dig this niche out, but because he did not make an inscription, I ordered this inscription to be made.

    May Ahuramazda and the other gods protect me, my kingdom, and what I have made.

    Related to:
    • Castles and Palaces
    • Archeology
    • Historical Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • Behi's Profile Photo

    Parthian/Sassanid structures

    by Behi Written Jul 24, 2009

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Parthian/Sassanid structures, Van kalesi
    4 more images

    Parthian/Sassanid structures at top of the Van kalesi same as Two corridor at Azargoshnasp fire temple in Iran, probably were Mithraism Mehrab & altar belong to Parthian Empire(248 Bc–224 AD).

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Castles and Palaces
    • Archeology

    Was this review helpful?

  • Behi's Profile Photo

    Urartian Mother & daughter temple

    by Behi Written Jul 24, 2009

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Urartian Mother & daughter temple, Van kalesi
    4 more images

    Urartian Mother & daughter temple is an open air temple at northern slope.
    it's where you can trace 3 religions:
    Old Urartian religion, Muslim mosque at front of temple & christian cross at middle of cuneiform inscription (5th pic)

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Castles and Palaces
    • Archeology

    Was this review helpful?

  • Behi's Profile Photo

    Inscriptions in Van kalesi

    by Behi Updated Jul 24, 2009

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Cuneiform inscription, Van kalesi
    4 more images

    There are some cuneiform inscriptions in Urartian & Assyrian & one in old Persian around Van kalesi,
    the oldest one that I've found was the one at northeastern facade near a spring behind a tree (2nd pic)

    4 Inscriptions at Urartian Mother & daughter temple.
    & other 2 at northern facade.

    the big problem is, there are no guide or signs or translation.

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Castles and Palaces
    • Photography

    Was this review helpful?

  • Arkeolog's Profile Photo

    HOSAP CASTLE

    by Arkeolog Written Feb 23, 2009

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    HOSAP CASTLE -VAN

    You cannot visit Van without seeing Hosap Castle, a magnificent aristocratic structure that can be seen for miles around. Expertly constructed on a high rocky outcropping, the castle has been used continuously since the Urartu era and the most recent modifications were carried out during the Ottoman period. A date of 1643 can be found on an inscription at the inner entrance to the castle and is sufficient proof of its age. The structure resembles an inaccessible eagle's nest and has lost none of its splendour or might over the centuries.

    Was this review helpful?

  • Arkeolog's Profile Photo

    Muradiye Waterfalls

    by Arkeolog Written Feb 23, 2009

    4 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    VAN-Muradiye Waterfalls

    The Muradiye (Bendimahi) river rises from the volcanic formations and basalt lavas of Eastern Anatolia and apart from the main waterfall near the village of Degerbilir gives rise to a cascade of smaller waterfalls extending as far as the Devil's Bridge 4 km away.

    The Devil's Bridge is itself a very old and interesting monument constructed in the basalt rock at a very narrow section of the river 4 km from Muradiye and we strongly advise anyone visiting this region to make a point of seeing it.

    In 1985 a suspension bridge was built in front of the main waterfall thus providing visitors with a magnificent view of the waterfall and an ideal spot from which to take photographs

    Was this review helpful?

Instant Answers: Van

Get an instant answer from local experts and frequent travelers

90 travelers online now

Comments

Van Things to Do

Reviews and photos of Van things to do posted by real travelers and locals. The best tips for Van sightseeing.

View all Van hotels