Tourist’s guide to Ankara, the capital of Turkey

The city of Ankara is the capital of Turkey, located in the central-western part of the country. The metropolis covers a huge area of ​​25,632 square meters. km and is the largest in the state. According to 2017 data, the number of residents of Ankara exceeds 5.44 million people, and this is the second most populous city in Turkey and the third largest European metropolis.

Ankara city

The city was founded in the 8-7 centuries. BC. and got the name Angira. Already in the 3rd century BC he passes under the auspices of the Celts, but reaches its peak during the rule of the Roman Empire. Despite its remoteness from the sea, Ankara gained great importance due to the intersection of the main land routes in it. After the Romans, the Byzantines rule the city, and in 1073 it was captured by the Seljuks, and Ankara becomes one of the most important cities of the Ottoman Empire.

Ankara, a painting of the 18th century

Over the course of centuries, the metropolis gradually loses its significance and acquires a provincial appearance by the 19th century. However, in 1893 the construction of the Anatolian Railway began, which connected Ankara with Istanbul, thereby returning to it the status of a significant object. With the beginning of the liberation struggle of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the city becomes the focus of revolutionary forces, and with his coming to power it turns into the capital. Since 1923, the metropolis begins to rapidly develop and expand and eventually grows into one of the largest cities in Europe.

Today, Ankara is the most important trade, industrial and cultural center of Turkey. And although it is not popular among tourists because of its remoteness from the coast, rare travelers visit it to get acquainted with a variety of attractions. The ancient buildings of the Roman era have been preserved here, there are several interesting museums and beautiful mosques. A highly developed urban infrastructure provides all the conditions for organizing a comfortable stay. In the metropolis you will find many hotels, cafes, restaurants, nightclubs and shopping centers. What to see in Ankara and what to do during your vacation in the city, we tell below.

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sights

The sights of Ankara will first of all tell you about its rich history, plunge into different eras and generally expand your horizons. The most interesting among them are:

Mausoleum of Ataturk
Mausoleum of Ataturk

In many photos of the capital of Turkey – Ankara, you can see a strict majestic building with columns. This is nothing more than the Ataturk mausoleum, visiting which you realize how much the locals love and revere their national hero. It was this politician who led the country out of religious obscurity, endowed women with suffrage, and made medicine and education accessible to all segments of the population. A beautiful place on a high hill was chosen for the tomb of the Turkish leader, from where a breathtaking panorama of the capital opens. The building itself is simple, but solemn, it is also a museum. The remains of Ataturk were transported here in 1944, and today hundreds of residents come to the mausoleum daily to pay tribute to their hero. It is especially interesting here to watch the changing of the guard.

Guard at the Ataturk Mausoleum
  • You can visit the attraction: from November 1 to January 31 from 9:00 to 16:00, from February 1 to May 14 from 9:00 to 16:30, from May 15 to October 31 from 9:00 to 17:00.
  • The entrance is free.
  • An audio guide is sold in front of the alley in the left tower. The cost for an adult is 4 TL ($ 1), for children – 2 TL ($ 0.5).
  • An inspection of the entire complex will require at least 2 hours.
  • Address: Anıtkabir, Anıt Cad. Tandoğan, Çankaya, Ankara 06520, Turkey.
Museum of Anatolian Civilizations (Anadolu Medeniyetleri Muzesi)
Exhibits at the Museum of Anatolian Civilizations

If you are resting in Turkey in Ankara, then be sure to check out the Museum of Anatolian Civilizations. This is one of the most famous historical museums in the world. Slowly examining the presented expositions, you will plunge into ancient eras and can get acquainted with the culture of the Celts, Greeks, Romans, Byzantines and Ottomans. All exhibitions are organized fairly well, excellent lighting is built, the design is thought out to details. The halls in the gallery follow in chronological sequence, starting from the Neolithic era and ending with the period of the Ottoman Empire. An interactive walk through the ancient village is also available here, which is especially interesting for children.

Museum of Anatolian Civilizations
  • You can visit the attraction daily from 8:30 to 19:00.
  • Entrance fee is 20 TL ($ 5).
  • An audio guide is available for 10 TL ($ 2.5).
  • Address: Gozcu Sokak No: 2 | Ulus, Ankara 06240, Turkey.
Rahmi M. Koc Museum
Cars at the Rahmi M. Coca Museum

This museum is a real paradise for children and men with an incredible variety of exhibits. Here is a huge collection of models of ships, cars, trains, planes, bicycles, etc. The museum will tell you about how Turkey has evolved over the centuries, show exhibitions about the everyday life of people of various classes and present scientific inventions from different eras. In the center of the building is a fashionable restaurant, considered one of the best in the capital. The museum is located in a historic building that used to be a hotel. On its territory there is also a small gift shop.

Rahmi M. Coca Museum
  • You can get acquainted with the exhibits from Tuesday to Friday from 10:00 to 17:00 and on Saturday and Sunday from 10:00 to 19:00.
  • The price of admission for an adult is 16 TL ($ 4), for children 7 TL ($ 1.5).
  • Many travelers note that at least 3 hours should be allocated for visiting attractions.
  • Address: Necatibey Mahallesi, Depo Sokak No: 1 | Altindag, Ankara 06230, Turkey.
Haci Bayram Mosque

One of the oldest mosques in Ankara, erected in the 15th century on the site of the Byzantine church, was named after the mentor of the dervishes – Haji Bayram. The building and the area around it were restored in the traditional Ottoman style and housed in a beautiful landscaped area. Inside the building, the decoration of the doors, which are copies of authentic products, is especially impressive, and the originals themselves are stored in one of the museums in Ankara. Near the mosque you can see the ruins of an ancient pagan temple of the Roman era. Also around the building there are several cafes and shops located in the restored historic buildings.

Haji Bayram Mosque
  • You can visit the Haji Bayram Mosque in Ankara in the morning and afternoon.
  • It is best to come to the sights in between prayers.
  • The entrance is free.
  • Address: Hacı Bayram Mahallesi, Sarıbağ Sk. No: 13, 06050 Altındağ, Ankara, Turkey.

Kocatepe Mosque
Kojatepe Mosque

Another attraction of Ankara in Turkey is Kojatepe – the largest mosque and a constant symbol of the city. This relatively young building, erected in 1987, was designed after the model and likeness of the famous Sultan Ahmet Mosque in Istanbul. Outside, the building impresses with its beauty and scale, and inside it amazes with an unusual crystal chandelier in the shape of a ball. A visit to this attraction will be interesting to both connoisseurs of Islamic culture and curious travelers. It is noteworthy that despite its size, the mosque is usually not crowded, so you can safely walk here and appreciate its magnificent decoration. Kojatepe looks especially beautiful in the evening when the lights illuminating it turn on.

At Kojatepe Mosque
  • The attraction is available for viewing in the morning and afternoon.
  • The entrance is free.
  • When visiting a mosque, it is worth observing Islamic traditions in clothes: the head, arms and legs of women should be covered.
  • Address: Kültür Mahallesi, Dr. Mediha Eldem Sk. No: 67, 06420 Çankaya, Ankara, Turkey.
Hamamonu District
Hamamonu District

The historical area of ​​old Ankara is a cozy and clean place where it is nice to walk and sit in a cafe with a cup of Turkish coffee. This quarter went through a quality restoration, and today you can observe neat houses, well-maintained streets and sights in perfect condition – mosques and a clock tower. Once in the Hamamonu area, you will get a complete picture of what Ankara was a century ago. In addition to numerous cafes and restaurants, there are various shops, so the quarter is considered a good place for shopping.

  • You can visit the Hamamonu area in Ankara absolutely free at any time.
  • Address: Talatpasa Bulvari, Ankara, Turkey.
Citadel (Ankara Citadel)

Another historical corner of the capital was the city citadel. The building was erected in the 7th century from stones left over from former Greek and Roman fortresses. The citadel served as a reliable defender against enemies, which is confirmed by its walls, whose thickness reaches 8 meters. And although the building itself was practically destroyed and not reconstructed, ancient inscriptions and bas-reliefs have been preserved on it.

Ankara Citadel
The main entrance to the citadel

The attraction lies on a hill and on its territory there are several viewing platforms from where the most beautiful view of Ankara opens, especially after sunset. On the way up you will be greeted by dilapidated old houses and souvenir shops. Near the main entrance to the citadel is a Turkish restaurant where you can relax in a relaxed atmosphere with strong oriental coffee while enjoying panoramic views.

  • This attraction of Ankara is available for viewing at any time.
  • The entrance is free.
  • To visit the citadel we recommend wearing comfortable sports shoes.
  • Address: Kale Mh., 06240 Altindag / Ankara, Ankara 06240, Turkey.

Rest in Ankara

Accommodation

Ankara, being the capital of Turkey, although not tourist, is ready to offer a lot of accommodation options. Here you can find hotels of 3, 4 and 5 stars, as well as apartments. The minimum price for checking into a three-star double room is 108 TL ($ 24) per night. On average, the cost varies between 150 – 250 TL ($ 35-55). For those who prefer apartments to hotels, apartments are available at booking, the rental price of which starts from 158 TL ($ 35) per day and ranges from 170 – 250 TL ($ 38-55).

The Ankara Hotel - 5 star hotel in Ulus
The ankara hotel

When choosing a hotel, it is very important to pay attention to the area of ​​accommodation. If the purpose of your trip is to visit the sights, then it is most reasonable to stay in the historical quarter of Ulus. The most convenient for public transport is the Kızılay district: here the main metro lines intersect and the main bus routes pass. In addition, in Kyzylai you can find many restaurants, inexpensive cafes and large shopping centers. Well, if you are looking for a cozy and calm quarter with an abundance of coffee houses and bars, it is best to book a hotel in Tunalı.

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Food
Lunch at an inexpensive cafe in Ankara

Holidays in Ankara will definitely appeal to lovers of quality restaurants and cafes, because the choice of such establishments here corresponds to the metropolitan level. The city has many budget options for a quick snack. So, dine in an inexpensive restaurant will cost an average of 20 TL ($ 5) per person. And for 16 TL ($ 3.5) you can have a bite to eat in one of the fast foods. For a three-course dinner for two in a mid-range establishment, you will pay 70 TL ($ 15). Below are the prices of popular drinks:

  • Local beer 0.5 – 12 TL ($ 2.5)
  • Imported beer 0.33 – 15 TL ($ 3.5)
  • Cup of cappuccino – 8 TL ($ 2)
  • Pepsi 0.33 – 3 TL ($ 0.60)
  • Water 0.33 – 1 TL ($ 0.25)

Having studied the institutions of Ankara, which received the highest rating from visitors, we noted:

Tapas at L'avare Restaurant
L’avare
  • L’avare (Italian, Mediterranean and European cuisine)
  • Trilye Restaurant (seafood, Turkish and European dishes)
  • Pizza Il Forno (pizza)
  • No4 Restaurant Bar Lounge (international cuisine)
  • The Bigos – Bahcelievler (fast food)

Shopping

The capital of Turkey is replete with a variety of shopping centers, which are represented by both global brand stores and departments with popular Turkish brands. It is worth noting that the quality of local textiles is at a high level, so we recommend buying clothes in Turkey. It is also worth paying attention to leather goods – shoes, bags, outerwear. Shopping in Ankara is best done in trusted shopping centers, where a large selection of products of various brands is presented. Among such complexes:

Shopping at ANKAmall Alisveris Merkezi
ANKAmall Alisveris Merkezi
  • ANKAmall Alisveris Merkezi
  • Armada Shopping & Business Center
  • Cepa shopping mall
  • Kentpark Alisveris Merkezi

Weather and climate

Ankara in the summer

It is best to visit the capital of Turkey in the warmer months, when your vacation will not be overshadowed by cold and rainfall or the heat with scorching sunshine. The most comfortable months for visiting Ankara are June and September. At this time, the air temperature during the day ranges from 23-30 ° C. But July and August are not very favorable months for a visit to the metropolis. During this period, the thermometer does not drop below 31 ° C, and this temperature can bring real discomfort, especially when you consider that the city is far from the sea coast.

Cloudy weather is typical for March and April in Ankara, and the most precipitation falls in May, therefore it is better not to plan a trip to the capital for these months. It is cold in winter, it rains, and when the temperature reaches minus marks, snow falls. You can find more detailed weather information in Ankara in the table below.

MonthDaytime average temperatureAverage temperature at nightNumber of sunny daysNumber of rainy days
January3.5 ° C-2 ° C143
February7.2 ° C-0.3 ° Cthirteenone
March11.6 ° C2.6 ° Csixteen3
April18.1 ° C7.1 ° C213
May22.9 ° C11.1 ° C226
June27.5 ° C14.6 ° C282
July31.4 ° C18.8 ° Cthirty0
August31 ° C19.7 ° Cthirtyone
September27 ° C16.5 ° C28one
October19 ° C10.6 ° C262
November12 ° C4.6 ° C21one
December5.7 ° C-0.2 ° C172

Transport connection

Direct flight by Turkish airlines

You can get to Ankara from Kiev or Moscow by direct international flights or on flights with transfers. The nearest airport is Esenboga, located 28 km northeast of the center of the capital and daily receives flights from Russia and Ukraine. Direct flights to designated destinations are carried out by Turkish companies Pegasus airlines and Turkish airlines.

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Three modes of transport are available for moving between cities within the country: airplane, train and bus. The easiest and fastest way to get to Ankara is on domestic flights, which are operated daily from almost all major cities. You can see the tickets at the proven carriers – Pegasus airlines, Onur Air and Turkish airlines.

By bus to Ankara

Also, Turkey has a well-developed network of intercity bus routes, so it will not be difficult to get to the capital from different points of the country by bus. See ticket prices and timetables at www.obilet.com.

Many megacities are connected with Ankara by railways, so the train will be another option to get into the city. In order to study the available routes and the cost of the trip, look at ebilet.tcddtasimacilik.gov.tr. Here, perhaps, are all the most convenient ways to get to the city of Ankara.



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Ankara