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ANKARA

Atatürk's new capital                                          Population: 5.1 million

ANK1Ankara Palas on Cumhuriyet CaddesiOld name: Ancyra

Time was when wags would joke that the best view of Ankara was the one from the back of a bus leaving the AŞTİ bus terminal.

These days far fewer people would be so negative about a fast-modernising city with a good choice of hotels, restaurants, cinemas and museums.

For a short-stay visitor Ankara remains demanding in the way that all big cities are, but once you've got to grips with the lay of the land and the public transport system you may find it growing on you pretty rapidly.

When the work currently underway to regenerate the entire Ulus/Hisar area is completed Old Ankara is likely to resemble a large history park, providing more than enough reason to stay here at least one night.

Must sees: Museum of Anatolian Civilisations, Anıtkabir, Carpet Museum (Vakıf Eşerleri Müzesi), Hisar

For the time being the main reason for a tourist to come to Ankara is to visit the Anatolian Civilisations Museum that houses some of the best finds from Turkey's most important archaeological sites including Çatal Höyük.

However, the city also retains some interesting Roman remains in the Ulus area, as well as a collection of Ottoman houses inside the old Hisar (castle).ANK2Commemorating the Angora goats after which Ankara was named

Since this was the site that Atatürk chose as the capital of the new Turkish Republic it's not surprising that it also retains many important early government buildings as well as the iconic Anıtkabir where Atatürk was laid to rest. 

Other museums worth visiting include the country's finest Carpet Museum, as well as a decent Ethnography Museum, and Painting and Sculpture Gallery.

Tip: If you’re planning a long weekend in Ankara make it Friday to Sunday rather than Saturday to Monday as all the museums close on Mondays.

The town's most conspicuous mosque is the vast modern Kocatepe Cami. More interesting are the two "forest mosques" containing wooden columns near the Hisar and the Alaadin Cami inside the Hisar with Roman masonry embedded in its walls. The 15th-century Karacabey Cami in the Hamamönü area is also surprisingly delightful.

Time on your hands: Ethnography Museum, Museum of Painting and Sculpture, Rahmi M Koç Industrial Museum, Hacı Bayram Cami  & Temple of Augustus, Roman Baths & Column of Julian, Atakule & Botanik Bahçesi (Botanic Gardens)

ANK4Even more than İstanbul Ankara is a town buiit on hillsAreas of Ankara

 
 

Hisar and Samanpazarı

Kavaklıdere

Kızılay

Opera

Ulus

Eating

There are plenty of reasonably priced restaurants and a lively, studenty nightlife around Kızılay. For better-heeled dining options head for Kavaklıdere, Çankaya and Gaziosmanpaşa where the diplomatic set hang out.

Sleeping

Most of the cheaper accommodation is gathered around the Ulus and Hisar areas, with the real cheapies around Opera Meydanı.

Ulus is by far the most convenient base for sightseeing but unfortunately it is also poorly lit and awash with gazinos (drinking dens) and seedy nightlife venues, making it unsuitable for lone single women in particular. The good news is that the urban regeneration taking place in the area means that better accommodation is likely to materialise soon.

Kavaklıdere is home to most of the better quality accommodation although it is not well served by public transport for sightseers. ANK5

Angora House Hotel

Ankara Hilton

Crowne Plaza Ankara

Divan Çukurhan 

Gordion Hotel

Hotel Dedeman Ankara

Hotel Spor

Otel Melodi, Kızılay. Tel: 0312-417 6414

Radisson Blu Hotel

Sevda-Cenap And Müzik Vakfı Konuk Evi, Kale. Tel: 0312-310 2304

Sheraton Hotel & Convention Centre

Swissotel

Travel info

Ankara is 350m east of İstanbul. Ankara's Esenboğa airport (ANK) is 33km north of the city centre and connected to it by Havaş shuttle buses and by public bus no. 442 but NOT by the Metro. 

A high-speed train service (hızlı tren) to Ankara from İstanbul went into service in July 2014. Currently it leaves from Pendik and Gebze.

There are also half-hourly buses from İstanbul's Esenler bus station plus more services from Harem on the Asian side of the city. 

Ankara has two bus stations: AŞTİ, the largest in the country, and Etlik, its very down-at-heel cousin, mainly useful for getting to Beypazarı.

The Ankara Metro/Ankaray light-rail system connects the vast AŞTİ bus station to Ulus, with one change in Kızılay.

To use the local bus services you need to buy tickets in advance at booths near the main stops. The same tickets can be used on the Metro/Ankaray. 

Day trip destinations

Beypazarı

Gordion

Read morehttp://www.todayszaman.com/news-198059-climbing-through-ankaras-history-from-ulus-to-the-kale.html 

"A citadel of Turkish nationalism"

Andrew Finkel, Turkey: Everything You Need to Know

ANK3"Who left these comfy seats out?" Hisar, Ankara 

 

 

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