Gaziantep is one of the oldest cities of Hittite origin, located in South Central Turkey with a population of over 2 million people. The city is well-built; filled with bazars, historical sites, parks, and homes while the surrounding land is covered in vineyards and olive groves. Gaziantep was situated in a strategic location along trade routes from ancient times. Pottery from the 4th century has been uncovered in this region and stables for tradesman passing by have been found, proving the city’s connection to the surrounding regions. Gaziantep has been a part of a variety of empires until the 16th century when it was finally captured by the Ottoman Empire. Structures from the 6th century such as the fortress of Byzantine emperor Justinian the first and mosques dating back to the 11th century have been preserved over the years. In general Turkey is rich with history and ruins which show snapshots of this region’s history. Gaziantep is no different, this is a city bursting with stories, history, and of course, lots of food.
Since the Iron Age this corner of the world has been known for its food as well as its trade such as the Yemeni Sandal in particular. These sandals are handcrafted and meticulously designed. You can browse and choose between a variety of color patterns, boot or sandal, and a list of sizes. Fun fact: 600 pairs of Yemeni shoes were made in Gaziantep for the hit film Troy starring Brad Pitt. When visiting this city, you’ll notice that these workshops are connected to the shoe store itself so you can watch the craftsmen at work. These sandals keep your feet warm in the winter and cool in the summer, come visit Gaziantep to witness history in the making.
Gaziantep city is known in Turkey as being the hub for unmatched food and culinary delights. Vibrant festivals and celebrations are held surrounding the celebration of local spices, food, and nuts. Pistachios are particularly known in this region. Gaziantep has roughly 200 pastry shops in the city filled with all sorts of treats ranging from their sweet Baklava to specially made candies. Exploring this city would be enjoyable for those interested in food and ancient history. Eating your way through Gaziantep would be a worthy undertaking. Due to its location and mixed history their food and trades are well known throughout Turkey as the best.
What Can I See When Visiting Gaziantep?
Due to Gaziantep’s expansive history there are plenty of sites and museums to visit. Between art museums and the history of how this area developed its reputation in the food industry, there is plenty to learn and explore. There are other activities such as the zoo, Ancient castles, parks, and markets to roam around and enjoy.
For those looking for more active adventure, you can go hiking in different parts of Gaziantep, schedule a boat tour on the Bericek Dam, take a day trip to visit Sakçagoz where excavations have uncovered ruins from the Stone Age to the 1st Century, or walk around the city admiring the beautiful architecture. Boat tours on the Euphrates are especially beautiful and a great family friendly activity as well. The Dulukbaba Tabiat Park is also a well-known park in the city which makes you feel as though you’re in the countryside. It’s close by and a natural place to adventure or picnic in. The Botanik Bahcesi park is a smaller, flower filled park brimming with natural life. The park’s flowers and colorful bridge create a peaceful setting some say is rather romantic.
How Long Does it Take to Walk Around Gaziantep?
You could walk around the city for about an hour or two. This depends on the amount of adults and children in your group and how much sight-seeing you would like to experience in a day. A couple of suggestions would include taking a walk around Gaziantep’s bazar and old Citadel before resting among the nature in some local parks. The city provides exquisite scenery and a feel for local life from past to present.
What Can I Do with Kids at Gaziantep?
There is a myriad of museums to visit such as the art museum or museums on the excavation sites or artifacts discovered. The natural scenery creates a relaxing atmosphere, this city a great one to picnic in which can be an enjoyable experience for children. From ruins to roam to food to eat, kids can enjoy this city as well. Boat tours on the Euphrates are especially beautiful and a great family friendly activity as well. Kids would also enjoy the Gaziantep zoo or exploring Dulukbaba Tabi park. This park which is so close to the city makes you feel as though you’re in another world. It’s easy and fun to explore or picnic with kids.
Is it Good for Kids and Toddlers?
Yes, though the terrain may make strollers a bit difficult in the city. Baby wearing for young children may be preferable during your visit.
What are the Age Restrictions?
There are no age restrictions! Please note that the terrain may make walking around for elderly or young children difficult.
Where is Gaziantep?
Gaziantep is located in South Central Turkey in the Province of Gaziantep. The city is near the Sacirsuyu River which is a tributary from the Euphrates river which runs from Aleppo, Syria.
How do I get to Gaziantep?
The Gaziantep Airport (GZT) is only a 30-minute drive from the city. A flight from Istanbul to Gaziantep is only 2 hours and 20 minutes. A bus from Istanbul to Gaziantep is roughly 19 hours, flying would be preferable. If road tripping is more your style, it is a 12-and-a-half-hour drive from Istanbul to Gaziantep.
How Much Are Tickets?
Prices vary depending upon the excursions you wish to experience. A Silk Road Moment staff member will handle any information regarding prices and work with what is within your price range.
Where Can I Get Tickets?
Our staff will work to plan the details for your and handle the ticket information. They will provide tickets and pricing for you.
Details and Map
As seen in the map below, the airport is just a 30-minute drive South East of the city.