Welcome to Diyarbakir!
A city oozing with distinct character and regional pride unrivaled anywhere in the country, the city of Diyarbakir, Turkey, is brimming with history and a warm local welcome. Behind ancient basalt walls stands a vibrant city that embraces both its past and future. Worldwide locals can get lost in a labyrinth of alleyways under the gaze of modern glass buildings. From historical buildings and ornate mosques to luxury hotels and gourmet restaurants, Diyarbakir is a city full of things to do. This guide will take you through the fascinating areas and attractions to immerse yourself in the everyday life of the locals. This is our insider’s guide of Diyarbakir.
Step into History
The Great Mosque of Diyarbakir is Anatolia’s oldest mosque dating back over 800 years. Located on the historic old quarter of the city, the mosque is a complex that consists of several buildings, including 2 mosques and madrasas, with a spacious courtyard. Explore the main square as you waltz past the fountain and head inside the main mosque’s elegant hallways. Learn about the Roman, Selcuk, and Ottoman empires that once took control of the complex. Also in Diyarbakir, Armenian influences can be found in churches around the city.
Worldwide Local Tip: The locals love to sit back and socialize with a cup of a hot drink. Whether it is the traditional Turkish coffee or a choice of fragrant teas, natives flock to Hasan Paşa Hanı. Located in an inn established 500 years ago, it provides a historic ambiance and great beverages.
A Can’t Miss Neighborhood
Just across the Great Mosque is the Kervansaray. A bustling hub of local life with cafes, restaurants, and shops spanning over two floors. The beautifully restored caravanserai is something out of a fairytale, with an enclosed square, flanked by arches filled with trinkets for sale. The main square springs up tables where the locals enjoy a cup of traditional coffee while chatting about their day or simply people watching. The dark passageways inside the building take you through an eclectic shopping area where you can find anything from jewelry to a charming bookstore.
Worldwide Local Tip: Look for accommodation around the Dağkapi Sur district, you will be staying amongst friendly locals. The area is close to historic landmarks, while also having a great selection of traditional restaurants, and is also within walking distance.
Music in Diyarbakir
Head to the Dengbêj Evi for an afternoon of traditional folk music. The Dengbêj is a tradition where elders assemble in groups to tell a story through song, in an enchanting way. Even if you don’t understand a word, the art of the celestial and chant-like song is mesmerizing to listen to. You are treated to a cup of delicious tea as you watch oral poetry unfold before your very eyes.
Worldwide Local Tip: Before you get on your flight from Diyarbakir to Istanbul, enjoy a meal at a local treasure. The Dag Kapi Cigercisi Restaurant is a local favorite for their traditional fare and a bustling ambiance. The restaurant is situated in an old house serving specials such as "ciger", grilled liver on a skewer, which is a staple meal in Diyarbakir.
Enjoy Your Stay!
A city filled with a complex history that is still evident even to this day, Diyarbakir is perfect and off the beaten path. Diyarbakir is a city of two tales, a modern district with tall glass buildings dominating the cityscape, and an old quarter alive with chaos and commotion of an ancient city. Feel the atmosphere of a historic and authentic Eastern metropolis, in Diyarbakir.