Bitlis stands in a narrow stream valley in the Eastern Anatolia, just in the middle of a green oasis. Due to its location in Anatolia, it is an important center for tobacco and honey production in eastern Turkey. A Byzantine castle with polygonal towers dominates the town. There are several mosques in the town, such as the Ulu Mosque of the 12th century and the Serefiye Mosque.
The city is surrounded by walnut trees, and if you are traveling through Bitlis in autumn, you will have the chance to buy some of these delicious nuts from the children who sell them by the highway. Local folk dances of Bitlis are also very famous. 25 kilometers northeast of the city, is the harbor town of Tatvan, from which there are passenger and train ferry connections across the lake to Van, sailing around Akdamar Island.