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Sivas Travel Guide

Sivas has been known as an important commercial center situated amidst the trading routes of Silk Road and the famous King’s Road since the old times. Its history goes back to prehistoric ages, when it was home to many different civilizations dating back to Hittites. Sivas was called by many different names such as Sebaste, Sipas, Megalopolis, Kabira, Diaspolis (City of Gods), Talaurs, Danişment Province, Eyalet-i Rum and Eyalet-i Sivas throughout history. It was a significant urban center during the era of Seljuks, which seems to be apparent in the architectural layout of many famous buildings including mosques and madrasas. 

Sivas holds a particularly vital place in the modern history of Turkish Republic, not because of its deep cultural and historical roots but also due to its role in Turkish nationalist movement against the occupying forces. The seeds of national unification pioneered by Mustafa Kemal Atatürk were sown at the Congress of Sivas, on 4th of September 1919. Another key feature that makes the city special is the popular Turkish poet Aşık Veysel, who contributed greatly to the Turkish folk music and lived in a nearby village, Sivrialan. Its rich cultural and historical heritage combined with a unique landscape makes this central Anatolian town appeal many visitors. 

Sivas has 16 districts and is neighboring to Erzincan in the east, to Yozgat in the west, to Kayseri, Kahramanmaraş, Malatya in the south and Tokat, Ordu, Giresun in its northern part. 

General Information 

Country: Turkey
Region: Central Anatolia
Area: 2,768 km²
Language: Turkish
Average temperature: 9 °C
Climate: Continental Climate
Vegetation: Meadow
The difference between GMT: GMT+3
Telephone Code: 0346
Currency: Turkish lira
Socket Type: Type C


How to Get to Sivas?

There are frequent flights to Sivas departing from Sabiha Gokcen Airport offered by Pegasus Airlines. You can easily buy your plane ticket and travel from anywhere in Turkey through connections from Istanbul. 

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Transportation from Sivas Airport to City Center

Sivas Nuri Demirbağ Airport is located 22 km away from the city center and can be reached in approximately 45 minutes. There are a variety of options, whether you take the airport shuttle services or a taxi. Pegasus Airlines makes sure that its passengers enjoy a comfortable journey and offers the Pegasus Airlines’ car rental services ‘Cartrawler’.


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Public Transport in Sivas

Transportation is not complicated in Sivas thanks to public buses, minibuses and taxis that are running frequently. The city pass ‘Kent Kart’ enables visitors to benefit from discounted fares and might be purchased from authorized vending points. You can reach all the necessary information regarding the bus routes and schedules online. 

 

Best Time to Visit Sivas 

Sivas has the typical characteristics of continental weather and endures very cold winter days with frequent snow fall whereas the summers are quite hot and dry. The snow covers the whole city for long periods of time; hence winter is probably not the best time to visit Sivas. Spring or fall may be a better choice as visitors will have the opportunity to truly enjoy every beautiful aspect of the city. It is advised to spare 3-4 days to be able to discover all the historical and natural gems of Sivas.

Festivals in Sivas

There are a wide range of festivals organized in Sivas throughout the year. You may want to schedule your trip coinciding at a time when the city celebrates its rich cultural background with great enthusiasm. The updated calendar for all the events and activities in town can be reached through the webpage of Provincial Directorate of Culture and Tourism. Some of the most famous festivals in Sivas are as follows: 

  • Yıldızeli - Banaz Pir Sultan Abdal Event (June)
  • International Kangal Dog Festival (July)
  • Divriği Folk Poets Festival (July)
  • Hafik Culture and Tourism Festival (July)
  • Yıldızeli Traditional Karakucak Wrestling (August)
  • Kangal Sheepdog Festival (July)

Places to Visit in Sivas 

There are numerous places to visit in this beautiful Anatolian city, that are overloaded with many visitors throughout the year. Here is a list of places you should visit while you’re in Sivas. 

Divriği Ulu Mosque

Sivas Divrigi Ulu Mosque

One of the oldest mosques of Anatolia, Divriği Ulu Mosque dates back to Seljuks era. It was built in 1228-1243 along with the Hospital of Divriği. The unique architectural work of Ulu Mosque and Hospital have been included to UNESCO World Heritage List as of 1985.

Atatürk Congress Building and Ethnography Museum

The Congress Building holds a particular importance in the history of the Republic of Turkey as it was the place where the civil resistance movement was initiated with the Congress of Sivas, in 1919. The structure served as high school until 1981 and then was renovated as a museum where the ground floor hosts Ethnography Museum and the first floor is spared for Atatürk Congress Museum where you can also see the study and resting rooms that belonged to Atatürk.  

Eğri Bridge

Built by Seljuks upon Kızılırmak River, Eğri Bridge is 180 meters long. It is slightly tilted towards the northern half and thus was called “Eğri” which means bent in Turkish.  The bridge was laying upon the Silk Road in ancient times. 

Lake Gökpınar

Lake Gökpınar, located in the Gürün district showcases the stunning natural landscape of Sivas with its amazing colors. It’s a must-see place for those who are seeking a peaceful getaway in the nature. 

Balıklı Thermal 

Sivas is known for its hot springs and thermal spas, which are very good for the health. Balıklı Thermal is among those favored destinations, where you can go on a short retreat during your trip to Sivas. The most interesting part of Balıklı Thermal is that it actually has fish inside, a feature that gives the facility its name. 

Gök Madrasah 

Another important structure that dates back to Seljuks is the Gök Madrasah and exhibits the main features of Seljuk architecture with an outdoor courtyard. The building embodies the Turkish ornament art in such a special manner. It was used for the purposes of Islamic education for centuries until it got turned into a museum in 1926. 

Where to Stay in Sivas?

Sivas offers a great variety of accommodation opportunities to its visitors ranging from luxurious hotels to budget friendly pensions. Buruciye Hotel, Hilton Garden Inn, Büyük Hotel, Eretna Hotel, Selçuklu Alaaddin Hotel and Revag Palace are among the most popular options which are located close to the city center. It is recommended to pick a spot close to the Castle of Sivas since it is quite central.  


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What to Eat in Sivas?

Sivas offers a real feast with its typical Anatolian cuisine marked by savory plates. Sivas meatballs are especially quite famous but there are more to discover. Stuffed dry cucumbers, Sivas Kebab, madimak and pezik pickles are also some local tastes. Here are some of the best places to get a real taste of the local cuisine.

  • Traditional Anatolian cuisine: Aşçıbaşı Restaurant, Lezzetçi Çamlık Restaurant
  • Traditional cuisine of Sivas: Sivas Sofrası, Osman Ağa Konağı
  • Kelle: Sivas Kellecisi ve Çorbacısı
  • Soup: Lezzetçi Çorbacım
  • Pide: Mücahit Etli Pide
  • Sivas meatballs: Köfteci Ahmet, Özen Kebap

Shopping in Sivas: The Best Souvenirs to Buy

Sivas is an artisanal city with its renowned silver craftsmanship, weaving and knife making. Sivas kilims and carpets are especially listed among the most authentic souvenirs. Atatürk Street is the main attraction of the city to do some shopping. But you can also find handcrafted goods at other parts of the town such as Pasha Mosque Square, Jewelers’ Bazaar or Şifaiye Madrasah. 

Nightlife in Sivas 

Sivas is definitely not famous for its active nightlife. But if you are looking for a night-out you can find places that are open until late at night, mostly on Atatürk and İstasyon Street. Heybeli Bar, Balkon Cafe, Neşve Sivas, Captan Crown Bar ve Brother’s Cafe & Bar are some of the popular places in town. 

Things to Know Before Visiting Sivas 

  • Sivas has been the cradle of many different civilizations since ancient times which makes it unique. For those who are interested in history it is highly recommended to do a quick research on the cultural and historical background of the city beforehand, to get a better grasp of the main patterns the city represents.  
  • You may also consider practicing your bargaining skills while shopping for the handcrafted goods that are of best quality in Sivas. 

Essential Phone Numbers to Know

Sivas City Code: 0346 

Sivas Airport: 0346 224 86 87

Sivas Airport Shuttle Service/Havaş: 0346 223 15 17

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