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Van Travel Guide, Turkey

Van, Turkey - Overview: The Pearl of the East

Van is a city located in east Turkey. The city is situated on the east shore of Lake Van. The city of Van is the seat of the Van Province and had a population of 284,464 according to the 2005 census. The city has been nicked as the “the Pearl of the East” for its scenic beauty of the surrounding landscape. Van was located at the southern foot of the Van Citadel, constructed by Sardur 1, a Uratian King before the First World War.


Van is well connected with Tatvan, which is 96 kilometres away by sea route and 250 km away by rail route. The traffic in the city has increased in recent times, but travelling to Western Turkey from Van by car or bus is not recommended, as it is quite a distance away. The city of Van is served by a flight from Turkish Airlines, which files everyday from Istanbul and two flights connect the city with Ankara.

Van Cuisines

As a tourist, you should try tea drinking in Van at least once as it is like a ritual and drunk with a fair amount of pace. The local residents get an amazing taste, while drinking tea at an eluding peace. Visitors to the city of Van also love the easy availability of fresh fruits, especially when a visitor is a health freak. “Donduma” is a special ice cream that is available in almost all restaurants of Van and people love its different tastes. Apart from these, “Kurt Kofte” is another Van delicacy, which is basically a ball made from herbs and bulgur wheat. Van is famous for its milk cheese and a special soft, spiced and dry cheese.


There are many interesting spots in Vans, which attracts a lot of tourists every year. The Rock of Van, 100 m in height and 1,500 m in length structure is a tapered protrusion and a must visit for every visitor. Besides this, there is the Hosap Castle, the Sarduri and the Akdamar Island, which has a famous church of the Holy Cross.

Hotels and Accommodation

The city of Van has a wide range of hotels and lodges, catering to all types of budget. Some of the famous and affordable hotels are the Hotel Buyuk Asur situated in the Cumhuriyet Caddesi, the Akdamar Hotel, the Hotel Buyuk Urartu and the Grand Urartu Hotel. All these hotels have excellent facilities, offer standard conveniences and a comfortable stay in Van.

Pay a visit to Van, the Pearl of the East, and you’ll be amazed by its scenic beauty!

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