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Sinop is a city in the Western Karadeniz region, on the Turkish Black Sea coast. In 2022 it had a population of 57,404.


The earliest known settlers were Hellenistic people from the 7th or 8th century BC. (The Hittites may have arrived sooner, but historians think not, and that their artefacts here indicate trade goods not settlement.) It was a port for coast-hugging small vessels but, backed by mountains, has poor inland access, so Samsun further east grew into the major port. Sinop was still worth ransacking or raiding, the last incursion being in 1853 when Russia made a surprise seaborne attack: the coast hereabouts has the shortest crossing north to Crimea.

Sinop is nowadays a beach resort for the townsfolk of Istanbul and Ankara, and accommodation gets very full June-September. Few westerners ever come this way.

Get in[edit]

1 Sinop Airport, +90 368 271 5608. Turkish Airlines fly once daily from Istanbul (IST), taking 90 min direct. Airport facilities are adequate for the limited traffic. Sinop Airport (Q1432849) on Wikidata Sinop Airport on Wikipedia

Buses from Istanbul run six times a day and take 13 hours via Gebze, Izmit, Adapazari, Bolu, Karabuk, Safranbolu and Taskopru, for a fare in 2024 of 800 TL. From Samsun they run every hour or two and take 2 hours 30 min. One overnight bus from Ankara takes 7 hours. Bus lines include Metro Turizm and Flixbus.

2 Sinop Otogarı the bus station is 6 km west of town centre. It's modern but filthy inside.

By road from Ankara is 413 km: take D765 north to Kastamonu, then D030 to Boyabat, then D785.

Get around[edit]

Sinop is easily navigable by foot. Parking is difficult in summer.

Dolmuşes and taxis ply to the out-of-town bus station and airport.


  • City walls are best preserved crossing the isthmus west of town centre, with bastions at each end, then along the harbour shore south.
  • Hacı Ömer Mosque just west of Otel 117 was built in 1903 for the harbour workers. The fountain between it and the hotel is a memorial to casualties of the 1853 Russian surprise attack.
  • 1 Sinop Fortress, Bülent Ecevit Cd 13, +90 368 261 30 23. Daily 08:30-23:00. Bastion overlooking the harbour, first built in the 8th century BC by Hellenistic immigrants from Miletus, but extended and repaired several times, for instance in the 14th century when the Genoese fortified the entire city. From 1887 to 1997 it housed a high security prison, so it features in the works of a dozen Turkish writers whose seditious publications got them slammed in here. You can look around and climb to the rooftop cafe for views. Otherwise not much here, plans for a cultural centre have come to nothing; perhaps it could be an escape room? Sinop Fortress on Wikipedia
  • Sinop Harbour is just south of the fortress. The 200 m east wharf is quieter and used for fishing, the 500 m west wharf is a busy commercial dock.
  • 2 Statue of Diogenes on Fatih Cd celebrates the smelly dingbat philosopher who preached Cynicism. Diogenes was a banker, born in Sinop in 412 or 404 BC, who had to flee because as mint-master he trashed the city currency. (This part of the legend is backed up by debased coins of that period, smashed to take them out of circulation.) It's said he was captured by pirates, anyhow he ended up in Corinth. There he cut a cantankerous squalid figure, raging against corruption all around, and rough-sleeping in a wine jar. His statue shows him holding a lantern, which he carried by day saying he was "looking for a man" - this is nowadays glossed as "looking for an honest man" but given his sexual habits it was maybe just as he said. He's accompanied by a dog as he thought they were nobler simpler creatures, crapping in public as he did, and κυνικός (kynikos, "dog-like") became the word "cynic". His name lives on in "Diogenes Syndrome" where someone lives in squalid conditions, seemingly through personal choice, as depicted in the 2015 film "The Lady in the Van".
  • 3 Alaaddin Mosque, Sakarya Cd 35. Built in 1267 AD in Seljuk style after its predecessor was destroyed, and named after its endower Sultan Alaaddin Kayqubad I (1188–1237). It's been restored several times, the latest in 2008. Alâeddin Sinop Mosque (Q6055249) on Wikidata Alaaddin Mosque, Sinop on Wikipedia
The main shopping street
  • Pervane Medrese is across Görgün Sk just north of Alaaddin Mosque. It was a religious school founded in 1262, named for Mu'in al-Din Parwana who ousted Trebizond (a Byzantine rump state) from Sinop. It closed in 1923 when Turkish education was secularised, and became a depot for various archaeological and ethnographic items; it was a museum 1941 to 1970 when the city museum moved to its present site. It nowadays hosts souvenir and craft shops.
  • 4 Archaeological Museum, Okullar Cd 2, +90 368 261 1975. Daily 08:00-17:00. This exhibits artefacts found in the area, plus a Seljuk sultana's tomb of 1395 and a temple to Serapis, presumably Roman. Adult 70 TL. Sinop Archaeological Museum (Q28219932) on Wikidata Sinop Archaeological Museum on Wikipedia
  • 5 Ethnographic Museum, Kemalettin Sami Cd 7. Daily 08:00-17:00. Displays of local culture in the former Aslan Torun mansion.
  • Kef Evi Mosque is on Derviş Sarabil Cd a block north of the ethnography museum. It was built in 1581 AD.
  • 6 Balatlar Church, Kaynak Sk 7. Scrappy ruin of a Byzantine church, though the chapel vault is still roofed and has frescoes. Balatlar Church (Q6031988) on Wikidata Balatlar Church on Wikipedia
  • 7 Seyid İbrahim Bilal Mosque at Okullar Cd 99 is a small mosque and shrine built in 1297 AD. Bilal was the grandson of Huseyin, in turn the grandson of the Islamic prophet Mohammed; sufficient reason for the Byzantines to chop his head off when he strayed this way in the 7th century.
  • 8 Pasha Bastion (Paşa Tabyası) is a half-moon artillery position. It was built to protect the town against sea-borne attack from Russia, too late as town and fleet were bombarded in 1853. This escalated into the Crimean War, as France, Britain and Sardinia-Piedmont (the proto-Italy) weighed in to prop up Turkey against Russian expansion. Enter from Yakamoz Sk on the north side. The area is neglected and overgrown, with only a few grazing beasts left on guard against further Russian advance.

Further out[edit]

  • 9 Hamsilos Nature Park (Hamsilos Tabiat Parkı) is 14 km northwest of town, off the road to İnceburun. It's a scenic bay surrounded by forest, with camping and picnic areas and rocky beach. In 2024 you pay 50 TL per car.
  • 10 İnceburun 23 km northwest of town is a breezy peninsula with an 1863-built lighthouse. It's nearly the northernmost point in Turkey but the area against the Bulgarian border edges it.
  • 11 Erfelek Tatlica Falls are a cascade of 28 waterfalls reached by hiking trails to the southwest.
  • 12 Çeçe Sultan's Tomb is a Seljuk-era pilgrimage site in the hills above Gerze to the southeast.


Diogenes searching with his lantern
  • Beaches close to town are trash-strewn. Go to Karakum Plajı on the headland east, or to Akliman beach on the north shore beyond the airport.
  • Football: Sinopspor play soccer away down in the amateur leagues. Their home ground Sinop Şehir Stadyumu (capacity 5000) is 1 km west of town centre off Fatih Cd.


Lots of small stores, usually open daily to 21:00.


Eating places around the harbour and fortress are Cem's Kitchen, Mavi Ay, Poyraz, Saray, Hey Yavrum and Nihavent.


  • Kale Burç Cafe Bar, Bülent Ecevit Cd 13 (top of Sinop Fortress). Daily 09:00-01:00. Harbour views and sometimes live shows.
  • Mavi Esinti is a tearoom on the seafront 200 m east of the fortress.
  • Others nearby are Chillin Cafe, Vento del Nord and Vitrin Club.


  • 1 Otel 117, Kurtuluş Cd 8, +90 368 210 0117. Pleasant hotel in a historic mansion near the harbour; rooms are modern. B&B double 4000 TL.
  • Sinopark Hotel, Kurtuluş Cd (opposite Otel 117), +90 368 261 3257. Clean comfy simple place in town centre. B&B double 2000 TL.
  • Reis Hotel, Kurtuluş Cd 19 (next to Sinopark Hotel), +90 368 260 4020. Clean friendly central hotel. B&B double 2000 TL.
  • Hotel 57, Kurtuluş Cd 29 (just east of Reis Hotel), +90 368 261 5462. Another acceptable downtown hotel. B&B double 2000 TL.
  • 2 Sinop Orman Kampı, Plaj Yolu 1-1, Gelincik, +90 368 260 5760. Sinop has a dozen campsites, this is the closest to town. Pleasant coastal site, basic facilities.
  • 3 Sinop Antik Hotel, Ordu Cd, Gelincik, +90 368 261 2526. Charming hotel in a converted mansion, with private beach and good catering. B&B double 3000 TL.
  • 4 Sunrise Otel, Enver Bahadır Cd 113, +90 368 240 0303. Good hotel on the headland 3 km east of town, so you need your own transport. B&B double 2500 TL.


Sinop Fortress

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

Go next[edit]

  • Samsun is a large resort and harbour town, where Atatürk launched the fightback of the Turkish War of Independence.
  • Boyabat inland has an extensive hilltop citadel.
  • Amasra is another resort on the coast to the west.

Routes through Sinop
AkçakocaAmasra ← İnebolu ( S) ←  W  E  Kızılırmak Delta Bird ReserveSamsun

This city travel guide to Sinop 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.