While there are burial mounds in the countryside around Hilvan (for example, in the village of Balki), there have not been any archaeological researches yet, and as such, ancient history of the town remains unclear. The recorded history of the place starts with 19th century, when Hilvan was settled by a nomadic tribe.
The town is home to about 23,000 people, and the urban district to about 41,000 (2012).
Lots of vineyards around the town give good opportunities to visit.
Hilvan is famous for its Lahmacun (Kurdish Pizza) and various kebaps.