Visiting Göbekli Tepe

Göbekli_Fig. 1

Temporary shelter over the main excavation area (Photo: K. Schmidt, Copyright DAI).

Important note: Due to construction of two protective canopies at Göbekli Tepe’s southeastern and northwestern depressions, which ultimately will help protecting the Neolithic architecture unearthed and improve visitor accessibility and experience, the site will be closed to visitors from June 13 until December 31 2016. More details can be found here.

[Update: completion of both canopies was slightly delayed and could not be achieved by the end of 2016 – the site remains closed to visitors as of yet; as soon as an official new opening date is announced, it will be made public here as well.]

[Update 2: Meanwhile the Turkish General Directorate of Cultural Assets and Museums announced that the site will be re-opened 15th July 2017.]

[Update 3: Unfortunately the shelters are still under construction as of August 2017 and the site remains closed to public visitors for the moment. Hopefully all work will be finished and the site re-opened later that year in autumn.]

The archaeological site is situated about 15km NW of the provincial capital Şanlıurfa. The town is best reached by plane. Turkish Airlines operates flights on a daily basis via Istanbul or Ankara.

The way to Göbekli Tepe has been signposted in recent years, streets are in good condition. If you are not going with a rented car, a taxi is an affordable alternative. Ask about the price before the start of the tour.

Göbekli Tepe is part of the program of many travel operators offering guided excursions in eastern Turkey. As the offers and companies are constantly changing, unfortunately we can not offer advice here.

Please note that we can not offer any advice on the current security situation. Contact your embassy or other appropriate authorities before planning a visit. For German visitors, we highly recommend to check the “Reise- und Sicherheitshinweise“ offered by the Auswärtiges Amt [external link].

A touristic infrastructure is on the way of being installed at Göbekli Tepe by the Turkish authorities. There is an entrance fee, and a system of ways has been constructed. We ask all vistors to respect this way system. It is not possible to enter the enclosures directly. This is not only to protect the fragile archaeological substance of the site, but also for your own safety. Please note that the site is under video surveillance.

Turkey has very rigid laws (prison sentences of up to ten years) regarding the export of archaeological artefacts. A very wide definition of “artefact” applies. However, we would ask visitors not to collect or move any artefacts found during their stay also out of respect for the site.

Scientific work of any kind is only possible in accord with the excavation director and prior permission by Turkish authorities.