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Van Castle (Van Kalesi)

5 km from the city center, Van, Turkey
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Ranked #4 of 14 attractions in Van
Type: Castles
22 visitor photos
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24 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Turkish first
  • Any
English first
Senior Contributor
33 reviews 33 reviews
10 attraction reviews
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 5, 2014

There is no problem to climb up to the top of the castle though the path was snowy and partly icy. And it is definitely worth going there: you have a stunning view into all directions, over the beautiful lake to the snow-covered mountains, all views are really wonderful. And from the southern edge, you can see the few rests... More

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New York City, New York
12 reviews 12 reviews
8 attraction reviews
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 16, 2013

Van Kalesi (Van Castle), part of the Urartian capital (~1000 BC) is ~2 miles west of the city. It is built on a rocky outcrop (The Rock of Van) about a mile long, 350 ft tall and quite narrow. The highlight of the visit is the rock tomb of Argishti 1 (785–760 BC) set in the sheer cliff south face... More

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Senior Contributor
36 reviews 36 reviews
12 attraction reviews
32 helpful votes 32 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 1, 2013

if you need to take public transport, there is a dolmus that says KALE to take you close to the site. Where the dolmus drops you off you need to walk around 1km down a dirt road to the entrance where you pay your 3 lira entrance fee. most of the path up to the top has been recently re... More

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Pleasant Hill, California
Top Contributor
170 reviews 170 reviews
41 attraction reviews
76 helpful votes 76 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 1, 2013

Due to the altitude it took a little longer than at sea level to climb to the top of Van Castle. Well worth the visit if you have a guide to give you all the information. Great views.

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Manchester, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
9 attraction reviews
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 26, 2013

You need quite a lot of imagination to realise what must have been on the site but the views from the top are excellent and not every city has a great big historic rock so close to the centre of town!

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Hong Kong, China
Top Contributor
82 reviews 82 reviews
29 attraction reviews
42 helpful votes 42 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 19, 2013

Very good castle but hard work in the July heat. Path and steps uphill about 0.75 klms . There is a beautiful tea garden at base and a grass lawn

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Ankara, Turkey
Top Contributor
81 reviews 81 reviews
15 attraction reviews
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 26, 2013

A visit to the city of Van should start with local breakfast. The cheese with herbs is aromatic and you can buy them at the Cheese Market of the city. Van is also famous for its honey but rumors say that the honey is recently produced in Antalya (!). Van Castle is a broad and big structure on top of... More

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Top Contributor
92 reviews 92 reviews
67 attraction reviews
57 helpful votes 57 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 19, 2013 via mobile

This castle was an unexpected bonus. It isn't on the top of most people's list of places to visit in Van but it's one of the best castles in an urban place. It sits on a hill surrounded by open space, and it is huge. It can't be seen from the town center, and yet the view from the top... More

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Dakar, Senegal
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
15 attraction reviews
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 12, 2012

it's a bit dodgy to go there (may be it improved) but once you get where the entrance is (at the extreme west side of the hill, opposite from Van city), you get to climb and check out the castle. The castle in itself is nice but it's worth going to check the great views!

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Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed May 10, 2012

it was closed so i just saw it from the ground, there was a hole in the fance but some wired dogdy men wandering around so as a female traveller i was afraid to go there, hope they open up soon again

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