Urfa, Turkey: Top attractions.


 Urfa is a pilgrimage town and spiritual center with a rich history deeply rooted in the Muslim faith. This is where the prophets Job and Abraham left their mark, and the Dergahcomplex of mosques and the holy Gölbaşı area is imbued with a compelling atmosphere specific to the Middle East.

 Opened in 2014, Urfas' new Archaeology Museum forms the city's Archaeopark with the Edessa Mosaic Museum. Across three great floors, the area's historical heritage includes sculptures and art works from Göbekli Tepe, and an impressive insight into the Paleolithic Age.

 Göbekli Tepe is the oldest known temple in the world dating from 9,000 B.C. Its architecture is very impressive, but the planned museum/tourist facility isn't finished, and the archaeological work is in progress, which means access may be restricted. There is no public dedicated transport to the site, but you can catch Bus 90 from Belediye/local Otogar to the turn off (the driver can help you), and you can go trekking the rest of the way.

 With temperatures reaching 50 degrees C or above, it would be advised to enjoy the comfort of more shaded areas. In the park around which the mosques are you can wait for the heat to subside while enjoying Turkish or Arabian drinks before exploring the old town, the bazaar or the mosques. You could also enjoy the unique Narghile (hookah), a water-pipe instrument for vaporizing and smoking flavored tobacco called Shisha. As Urfa is a city of pilgrimage, beer or any other alcoholic beverage is near impossible to get, however you can enjoy the local culinary diversity and exotic drinks.