We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Van Castle (Van Kalesi)

Address: 5 km from the city center, Van, Turkey
Improve this listing
Ranked #4 of 18 Attractions in Van
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Type: Castles, Sights & Landmarks
Attraction details
Type: Castles, Sights & Landmarks

Hotels near Van Castle (Van Kalesi)

Write a Review

40 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Polish first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Turkish first
  • Any
English first
Cammeray, NSW, Australia
Top Contributor
57 reviews 57 reviews
24 attraction reviews
41 helpful votes 41 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed December 11, 2014

The ascent of Van Rock makes a pleasant end to a day. There is a very well maintained path to the top - but I wouldn't plan to come back after dark as the path lighting appears to be broken. The actual castle ruins are pretty average and where mud bricks were used have eroded badly. Climb the rock for... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes
Tabriz, Iran
Senior Contributor
33 reviews 33 reviews
28 attraction reviews
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 15, 2014

Excellent historical place for history lovers that anciant van city was there. ancient castle and walls are displayable clearly. in this ancient area the castle is above and drowned stony hill. In the end of acstel and stony hill to the lake and in the middle of hill you can see ancient Inscription of Xerxes the Great Iranian King.

Was this review helpful? Yes
Top Contributor
130 reviews 130 reviews
29 attraction reviews
115 helpful votes 115 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 24, 2014

Amazing fortress with splendid view for the sunset if you come on time. There is also a "secret" non-tourist path which allows you to walk along the great fortification wall of the castle. It is used only by locals and is simply not accessible if you come from the main entrance.To climb the wall you have to enter the site... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes
San Francisco, California
Top Contributor
87 reviews 87 reviews
27 attraction reviews
54 helpful votes 54 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 20, 2014

We were there to see the cuneiform inscriptions. With a guide we followed an old worn stone path with some rough stairs cut out of the mountainside. Steep and narrow stairs lead to the large panels with cuneiform inscriptions. They were impressive. This area was fenced in but the guide unlocked the gate. Past the panels the stairs took us... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes
Fort Worth, Texas
Top Contributor
156 reviews 156 reviews
55 attraction reviews
118 helpful votes 118 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 1, 2014

An easy climb to see the rebuilt walls. Check out the white cats for different colored eyes. Would like to have seen signs to tell what we were seeing.

Was this review helpful? Yes
Senior Contributor
34 reviews 34 reviews
11 attraction reviews
16 helpful votes 16 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 

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
New York City, New York
13 reviews 13 reviews
8 attraction reviews
20 helpful votes 20 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 

Was this review helpful? Yes 5
Senior Contributor
37 reviews 37 reviews
12 attraction reviews
36 helpful votes 36 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 

Was this review helpful? Yes
Pleasant Hill, California
Top Contributor
236 reviews 236 reviews
58 attraction reviews
93 helpful votes 93 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.

Was this review helpful? Yes
Manchester, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
12 attraction reviews
14 helpful votes 14 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!

Was this review helpful? Yes 1

Travelers who viewed Van Castle (Van Kalesi) also viewed

Van, Van Province
Van, Van Province

Been to Van Castle (Van Kalesi)? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Register now for free — and start getting automatic notification of new reviews, responding to traveler feedback, adding new photos to your listing and much more.

Manage your listing

Questions & Answers

Questions? Get answers from Van Castle (Van Kalesi) staff and past visitors.
Posting guidelines
Typical questions asked:
  • Do I have to buy a ticket for my infant?
  • How do I get there using public transportation?
  • Is there a restaurant or café onsite?