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Is Harran worth it?

Manchester, United...
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Is Harran worth it?

Hi,

I'll have a day and a half in Sanliurfa, and while initially I was really keen on the idea of Harran, the more I read about it, the less I think it is worth eating into the Sanliurfa time for a trip out.

How long do you need to leisurely look round the whole site?

Is it easy to find the site from where the bus from Urfa drops you off (my understanding is that you have to walk through the new town, but is it easy to find the way?)?

How long does the bus take? Google maps has it at 51 minutes.

What times do the buses start leaving Urfa? If they start leaving early (say 7am?) this is good as I can make an early start, getting back to Urfa to do some more exploring there.

Is it easy to get a bus back to Urfa? If not would it be possible to find a taxi driver in Harran?

Last but not least, does it have the feel of a tourist trap? That's the overwhelming impression I get from doing research about it. I initially loved the idea of seeing the beehive houses, but I've read that they're actually quite modern and just made for tourists.

The guide book also says it's the one place in Turkey where there is a real risk of malaria, so it would mean having to take a full course of pills (for 5 weeks).

Any thoughts, advocates or critics welcomed!

Manchester, United...
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1. Re: Is Harran worth it?

Anyone got any ideas? :)

The New Forest, UK
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2. Re: Is Harran worth it?

I spent about an hour there once, wasn't very impressed. I assume Gobekli Tepe is on your list, that's a must-see.

Manchester, United...
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3. Re: Is Harran worth it?

It isn't at the moment - as Harran is, but I could forget about Harran and see Gobekli instead. Or alternatively I could just spend a little more time in Urfa as I will be there for less than two full days.

How did you find getting to and from Harran?

Istanbul, Turkey
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4. Re: Is Harran worth it?

I personally think harran is worth seeing yes,but given you have so little time for Urfa I'd use that time in the city.I would also agree that regardless of how little time you have you should go to Göbeklitepe though.

Harran is touristic,why?Well why is Ephesus touristic?Because they represent very important parts of Anadolu history :) but do it next time.

Manchester, United...
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5. Re: Is Harran worth it?

Point taken about whether it's touristy or not. I guess what I was referring to is that there's a difference between a place which is popular with tourists, versus a place where the things to look at are actually made specifically for the tourists. Granted, there's more to Harran than the beehive houses, but maybe many people look at these as though they date back to biblical times, when in reality they have been made to draw the tourists in?

The New Forest, UK
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6. Re: Is Harran worth it?

Obviously there is over 4 thousand years of history associated with Harran, and it's been inhabited for all that time. Unless you're a huge history/archaeology fan, it might not be worth it, but certainly visit the museum in Urfa - tripadvisor.co.uk/Attraction_Review-g652373-…

I had my own transport, so Harran was pretty easy for me to visit.

Manchester, United...
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7. Re: Is Harran worth it?

Thanks David. Yeah, history is kind of my thing, one of my main motivations for going to the region, hence my concern with being disappointed with the authenticity of the beehive houses. Anyway, enough about them, I think the castle and Islamic school could still be interesting.

Any info on getting there and back from Urfa by bus, particularly the return journey (times, frequency etc) would be really helpful.

Chesterfield...
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8. Re: Is Harran worth it?

Hi again.

I think (from what I remember of my lost trip report) that it took about 1 hour to get there (due to a tour of the suburbs of Urfa pickign up passengers) and about 45 mins to get back. The site comprises the ruins of the old city, the remains of the university, the bee-hive houses and the castle. The city ruins start right next to where the dolmus drops you, and are a very extensive area of grassed over blocks of masonry, which along with the university is very atmospheric. The bee-hive houses are meh, but the castle is pretty damn cool. Not very castle-like but there's three levels of half ruined rooms to explore. I thought it was far more fun than Karak in Jordan. There's a fair bit of hassle from prospective guides where the dolmus drops you, and I got pestered by a begging kid in the new village, but away from that you're on your own.

Its an interesting place and worth a visit, but its not essential. I'd suggest seeing how you go on your first half day in Urfa and getting an early start the next day if you want to. I imagine that the dolmus will start pretty early.

Lastly, i doubt you'll need to worry about Malaria; I certainly didn't. If you want to justify it to yourself, I believe the mossies that carry it don't fly during the day and if you do a bit of trawling online you'll find that there are a microscopic number of cases in Turkey each year.

Manchester, United...
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9. Re: Is Harran worth it?

Thanks once again Bedknobs. You've provided me with lots of info and I'm very grateful to you.

10. Re: Is Harran worth it?

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