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Elazığ (pronounced ay-LAH-zuh) is a city in the mountains of Eastern Anatolia, at an altitude of 1067 m and with a population of 387,072 in 2022. Although the railway and main eastern highway pass through, it's almost an island, as huge modern reservoir lakes surround it.


The ancient fortress and hilltop town of Harput was part of the Kingdom of Urartu, and had a majority Armenian population until the 20th century. The smaller settlement of Mezre developed in the valley, and in the 19th century was renamed Mamuret-ül-Aziz, which morphed into Elaziz then Elazığ. This became a barracks town and military base, outgrowing Harput. There were massacres of the Armenians in the 1890s, then systematic genocide in 1915. Harput was abandoned for 40 years, until re-occupied and prettified from the 1950s.

Get in[edit]

By plane[edit]

1 Elazığ Airport (EZS  IATA) (10 km south of town on D885), +90 424 255 1410. This has flights daily from Istanbul (IST and SAW) and from Ankara (ESB). The single terminal is small but clean with the usual facilities including car hire. Take a taxi to town, the Havaş bus no longer runs. Elazığ Airport (Q1431244) on Wikidata Elazığ Airport on Wikipedia

By train[edit]

Vangölü Ekspresi runs twice a week from Ankara, taking 19½ hours via Kayseri, Sivas and Malatya and arriving towards 07:00. There are couchettes but no sleeping car or buffet. The train continues to Tatvan (7 hours), with dolmuş and ferry connections to Van. For times and tickets see Turkish Railways[dead link].

You could also take the YHT high speed train from Ankara to Sivas (2 hr 30 min), joining Vangölü Ekspresi shortly after 23:00. From April to July a weekly tourist train runs between Ankara and Tatvan, with extended stops at Elazığ and Palu.

Fırat Ekspresi between Elazığ and Adana remains suspended in 2024.

2 Elazığ Garı Elazığ railway station on Wikipedia the railway station is 1 km south of town centre.

By bus[edit]

Flixbus runs 3 times a day from Ankara and takes 11-12 hours via Kırıkkale, Kayseri and Malatya, for a fare in 2024 of 1000 TL; these buses continue to Tatvan.

One bus a day by Metro Turizm is direct from Istanbul. Other services are available by changing at Malatya.

3 Elazığ Otobüs Terminali is on the main highway 3 km southeast of town centre. A new bus terminal is under construction, with no word on when it might open.

By road[edit]

From Ankara follow D260 to Kayseri then D300 via Malatya. This highway continues east to Tatvan, Van and the border with Iran.

A scenic alternative from Malatya is to turn north through Battalgazi and cross the Karakaya Dam lake by ferry, which sails three times a day and takes 20 min. From the opposite bank you can return to D300 or wind north via Baskil.

Get around[edit]

Harput Castle

Frequent dolmuşes run between town centre and Harput.


  • 1 Rüstempaşa Mosque on Billur Sk is 20th century, built in Ottoman style.
  • 2 Elazığ Science Centre (Elazığ Bilim Merkezi), Cahit Dalokay Blv, +90 424 218 7029. M-F 08:00-17:00. Museum of natural history and other sciences.
  • 3 Harput was an ancient Armenian town, abandoned after the genocide of 1915, while the present town of Elazığ developed in the valley 7 km southwest. It was partly restored from the 1950s. Harput Castle sits on an outcrop and is free to enter M-F 08:00-19:00, Sa Su 08:00-17:30.


  • Football: Elazığspor play soccer in TFF 3rd League, Turkey's fourth tier. Their home ground Atatürk Stadium (capacity 18,400) was rebuilt 2019-23; it's 2 km west of town centre.
  • Elazığ Kültürpark is a large recreation area 2 km west of town centre towards the football stadium.


Kültür Park
  • Half-a-dozen small stores are in town centre, typically open daily 09:00-22:00.



  • Eskibağlar is a pretty winery 35 km south of Elazığ, overlooking Lake Hazar. It produces red out of the local Öküzgözü and Boğazkere cultivars, and offers accommodation on site.


Lake Hazar
  • 1 Gunay Hotel, Nalbant Sk 17 (corner with Hürriyet Cd), +90 424 218 7202. Mostly good reviews for this central hotel. B&B double 1500 TL.
  • Turistik Otel is east side of Gunay Hotel on Hürriyet Cd.
  • Hotel Grand 23, Hürriyet Cd 64 (200 m east of Gunay), +90 424 218 2323. Clean and comfy enough.
  • 2 Doubletree by Hilton, Vali Fahri Bey Cd 37, +90 424 234 5000. Gloomy and tatty. B&B double 2500 TL.
  • 3 Marathon Hotel, Istasyon Cd 17, +90 424 238 8686. Smart efficient business hotel with spa and fitness centre. B&B double 2500 TL.
  • 4 Dedeman Park, Atatürk Blv 41, +90 424 233 5523. Clean and comfy chain hotel on highway. B&B double 2000 TL.


Elazığ and its approach highways have 4G from all Turkish carriers. As of Feb 2024, 5G has not rolled out in Turkey.

Go next[edit]

  • Keban 47 km northwest is by the barrage dam that created Lake Keban.
  • Kemaliye (locally known as Eğin) 145 km northwest is a fine old town, with adventure sports in its "Dark Canyon".
  • Lake Hazar 30 km south is an inland beach resort, with Gezin and Sivrice its service villages.
  • Ergani 100 km south is a large town with archaeological sites.
  • Malatya 100 km west is modern, but on its doorstep is the old town of Battalgazi.
  • Tunceli 80 km north via a ferry has rafting and mountain trekking.

Routes through Elazığ
KayseriMalatya  W  E  → Bingöl ( N / S) → MuşVan
AnkaraDivriği  W  E  END

This city travel guide to Elazığ is a usable article. It has information on how to get there and on restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.