Ankara is a sprawling, modern city that can appear as little more than a dull, concrete jungle at first glance; most non-local Turks view Ankara as a depressive and grey city with nothing to offer other than the boring world of politics. Consequently, many tourists tend to use it merely as a transit point for getting to places like Konya or Cappadocia.
However, Ankara does have a lot to offer for those prepared to look a bit deeper: as the proud capital of the Turkish Republic, it is easy to trace the steps of the early republican years here, whether it be in the shape of the fine buildings of the first national architecture movement or the 1940s monuments following the totalitarian aesthetics of the era.
Local museums abound with some of the best pieces of art in the country, ancient and modern. And since it was built on the mostly barren Central Anatolian steppe lands, Ankara vigorously pursued a policy of tree planting, which resulted in many parks and forestlands around the city, which add to its charms.
History of Ankara.
Ankara is a historically important city and the capital of Turkey. Established in 2026 BC and was the focal point of the Battle of Ankara in 1071. The city has been influenced by several civilizations over time including the Hittites, Persians, Greeks, Romans, and Arabs. In the early 16th century, a grand vizier named Selim I (r. 1512-1520) chose to move the Ottoman capital from Edirne to a location near the old city of Ankara. It was not until the end of World War I that Ankara became the capital of Turkey in 1923.
The city is located in the heart of a vast area of land that encompasses the central plateau of what was known as Upper Asia Minor, with historically rich and diverse cultures that include Hittite, Assyrian, Persian, Phrygian, and Hellenistic.
It is the country’s second-largest city and home to about 4 million people. Ankara is located at the center of both Turkey’s central Anatolia region and the Middle East. Ankara offers a wealth of opportunities for tourists and visitors alike, with its many cafes, restaurants, bars, bazaars, and nightlife.
Understand of Ankara
Ankara is the administrative hub of Turkey and a huge university town, so it has a large population of government workers and university students. As the national capital, Ankara is home to a large population of foreign diplomats and embassy staff, it offers goods and services that might be more difficult to find in other Turkish cities; for example, you will have no problem ordering a cappuccino or a hamburger. Its population is around 5.7 million (2018).
Like most Turks, the locals are generally friendly and helpful to tourists. Ankara has a large university student population and many young people can communicate in English, but it’s still a good idea to have a Turkish phrasebook or dictionary on hand.
Apart from the old town in and around the citadel near Ulus, and unplanned shantytown neighborhoods here and there built hastily by new immigrants from the countryside since the 1960s, most of Ankara, which was a provincial town of 20,000 people in the early days of the Republic, is a purpose-built capital due to its strategic location at the heart of the country, although the history of settlement in the vicinity is millennia old.
While the biggest claim to fame of the town used to be the long-haired local breed of goats named after the former name of the city (Angora), out of which high-quality mohair textiles were produced, today the few places where you can spot them in the city is the lawns in some parks or at the sides of clover-leaf interchanges on the highways—in the form of cute sculptures.
Orientation of Ankara
The city center is around Kızılay Square (Kızılay Meydanı, named after the headquarters of the Red Crescent, the Turkish equivalent of the Red Cross, now replaced by a modern shopping mall) which has a fair number of transportation links to almost anywhere in the city.
To the north, Kızılay Square is connected by a wide avenue, Atatürk Boulevard, to the squares of Sıhhiye (Ottoman Turkish for “sanitary works” as this has been the site of the building of the Ministry of Health since the foundation of the republic), marked by an unmissable Hittite monument in the middle of its roundabout, and Ulus (“nation”, the site of the major institutions of the early years of the republic, such as the old parliament), which has a large equestrian monument of Kemal Atatürk, the founder of the republic, at its side. Ulus, the adjoining Hisar district around the hilltop citadel, and Hamamönü just south of it down the hill from the old town of Ankara.
To the immediate south of Kızılay lies the upmarket districts of Kavaklıdere, Gaziosmanpaşa and Çankaya. The city’s most expensive hotels and restaurants are found in this region, as are most of the embassies and consular services.
Southwest of Kızılay, past the aptly named Bakanlıklar (“ministries”) district, İsmet İnönü Boulevard (named after the second Turkish president) leads into the area collectively known as Eskişehir You (literally “the road to Eskişehir”), which is lined by most of Ankara’s large and afforested university campuses and the buildings of the administrative institutions, including the National Parliament. The area becomes exurbs several tens of kilometers out of the city, which eventually give way to the wide-open steppe.
Climate of Ankara
Ankara experiences a semi-arid, continental climate, with hot, dry summers and cold, snowy winters. Similar to most other continental climates, the season with the highest rainfall in spring, when afternoon showers and thunderstorms are common.
Summers are fairly hot, and temperatures regularly see the 30°C mark, especially during July and August. Humidity is also quite low during the summer, which makes the heat more tolerable. Partly because of this low humidity, summer nights are often on the chilly side, with some nights being chilly enough that someone with light clothing might get uncomfortable.
Winters, on the other hand, is quite cold and often snowy, even though the snow is generally not very heavy, and extreme cold (below -20°C) is very rare. Night-time temperatures are often moderated by the remnants of Mediterranean humidity at this time of year, mitigating the extreme cold that is experienced further east in the country.
Spring and fall are mild, but with chilly to cold nights. However, autumn is generally a better time to visit Ankara, especially early on in the season. This is because of the fact that spring is storm season in Ankara, when heavy afternoon thunderstorms occasionally cause flash flooding, damaging winds and hail.
Tourist Attractions in Ankara.
The city was planned and developed by the Young Turks in 1909, and it has grown considerably ever since then. Ankara’s museums are worth visiting for their fine art, handicrafts, and other artifacts from around the world.
Ankara has many tourist attractions. The most well-known destinations are the Anıtkabir, Akşehir Castle, Hacı Bayram Mosque, and the Altındere National Park. Anıtkabir is the mausoleum of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, who is revered as the founding father of modern Turkey. There is a museum inside the building.
The Akşehir Castle has been converted into a military museum, with an exhibit on Atatürk’s time in Ankara as commander-in-chief of the Turkish army. The Hacı Bayram Mosque is a historical mosque in Ankara and was built about 250 years ago. This is the fourth-most popular destination for tourists in Turkey, according to an official survey conducted by Turkish Airlines and Anadolu Kültür Sanat Müzesi (Ankara Culture and Tourism Museum) The Altındere National Park is a national park in Ankara. The park has an area of 492 hectares and is the only one in the city.
Best way to get around in Ankara
If you’re looking for the best way to get around in Ankara, then you should look into using the metro. The metro provides fast and efficient service to all the major tourist attractions in Ankara. It is also the cheapest form of transport around this city. The next cheapest option would be to use a taxi, but they are more expensive than public transportation and can take a while to arrive at your location. The metro is the best way to travel around in Ankara and it’s only €1.50 for a one-way trip. Visitors can also take advantage of different passes with discounts on public transportation and seeing exhibitions at the Grand Bazaar in an hour.
🏨 Hotels Near Ankara
|Warwick Ankara||📍 Kavaklıdere Tahran Street No:5, 06680 Çankaya/Ankara, Turkey||Çankaya||📞 +90 312 468 54 00||warwickhotels.com/warwick-ankara/|
|ROX Hotel Ankara||📍 Kızılay ****, Necatibey Cd. No:5, 06420 Çankaya/Ankara, Turkey||Çankaya||📞 +90 312 441 06 06||roxhotelankara.com/|
|Divan Ankara||📍 Yıldızevler, Jose Marti Cd. No:2, 06550 Çankaya/Ankara, Turkey||Çankaya||📞 +90 312 457 40 00||divan.com.tr/divan-ankara/tr|
|Alba Hotel Ankara||📍 Kızılay, Kocatepe Mahallesi, Yüksel Cd. No:19, 06000 Ankara, Turkey||Ankara||📞 +90 312 419 10 20||albahotels.com.tr/ankara/|
|CPAnkara Hotel||📍 Gazi, Mevlana Blv. No:2/F, 06330 Yenimahalle/Ankara, Turkey||Ankara||📞 +90 312 303 00 00||cpankara.com.tr/|
|Hotel İçkale Ankara||📍 Maltepe, Gazi Mustafa Kemal Blv. No:89, 06570 Çankaya/Ankara, Turkey||Çankaya||📞 +90 312 231 77 10||hotelickale.com/|
|Holiday Inn Ankara - Cukurambar, an IHG Hotel||📍 İşçi Blokları, Mah. 1484 Sk No:3, 06330 Çankaya/Ankara, Turkey||Çankaya||📞 +90 312 342 55 55||ihg.com/holidayinn/hotels/gb/en/ankara/ankhi/hoteldetail|
|Anadolu Hotels DownTown Ankara||📍 Beştepeler Mah. Yaşam Cd, 1. Sk. No:7/B, 06520 Yenimahalle/Ankara, Turkey||Ankara||📞 +90 312 999 00 06||all.accor.com/hotel/B9M4/index.tr.shtml|
|Golaz Suit Otel||📍 Eti, Toros Sk. NO:9, 06430 Çankaya/Ankara, Turkey||Çankaya||📞 +90 541 775 48 15||golazsuit.wixsite.com/website|
|New Park Hotel||📍 Ön Cebeci, Mh, Ziya Gökalp Cd. No:58, 06600 Çankaya/Ankara, Turkey||Çankaya||📞 +90 312 458 00 00||npankara.com/|
🎉 Tourist attractions Near Ankara
|Kocatepe Mosque||📍 Kültür, Dr. Mediha Eldem Sk. No:67, 06420 Çankaya/Ankara, Turkey||Çankaya||Mosque|
|MTA Sehit Cuma Dag Natural History Museum||📍 Çukurambar, Dumlupınar Blv. No:11, 06530 Çankaya/Ankara, Turkey||Çankaya||Natural history museum|
|Botanical Park||📍 Çankaya, No:10/B, 06680 Çankaya/Ankara, Turkey||Çankaya||Park|
|Ulucanlar Prison Museum||📍 Hacettepe, Ulucanlar Cd. No:63, 06030 Altındağ/Ankara, Turkey||Altındağ||Museum|
|Museum of the War of Independence||📍 Anafartalar, Doğanbey Mah. Cumhuriyet Cad, Ulus No:14, 06050 Altındağ/Ankara, Turkey||Altındağ||History museum|
|Museum of Anatolian Civilizations||📍 Kale, Gözcü Sk. No:2, 06240 Ulus/Altındağ/Ankara, Turkey||Ulus/Altındağ||Museum|
|Hamamönü Tarihi Ankara Evleri||📍 Hacettepe, Sarıkadın Sk. No:31, 06230 Altındağ/Ankara, Turkey||Altındağ||Tourist attraction|
|Keçiören Falls||📍 Kalaba, Fatih Cd., 06120 Keçiören/Ankara, Turkey||Keçiören||Tourist attraction|
|Ankara Castle||📍 Kale, 06240 Altındağ/Ankara, Turkey||Altındağ||Castle|
|Anıtkabir||📍 Yücetepe, Akdeniz Cd. No:31, 06570 Çankaya/Ankara, Turkey||Çankaya||Monument|