Ankara Travel Guide

This content was last updated on 07.01.2022 10:28

Ankara, which has been the capital of Turkey since 1923, is the second most populous city in Turkey with a population of 5.7 million. The city, which has a great and ancient history, also has many places to visit and see.

Let's start our Ankara Travel Guide article.

How Did The City of Ankara Get Its Name?

Although there are many rumors about where Ankara's name comes from, there is no definitively proven information.

According to some sources, Ankara is the place where the Phrygian King Midas found an anchor. (In Phrygian and Greek, “Ankura” means ship anchor) The presence of a ship anchor figure found in some coins belonging to the 2nd century, exhibited in the Museum of Anatolian Civilizations in Ankara, confirms this rumor.

According to some sources, the name Ankara is derived from the word "Ankas", which means "mixed" in the Phrygian language.

According to Turkish-Islamic sources, the name of the city is based on the Persian word "engü" (grape). During the Seljuk period, the city was named as Engürü, Enguriye, Engure and Ankara. Angora is referred to as Angurie in Western sources of the same period. In Ottoman sources, the names Engürü and Ankara were used.

History of Ankara

The oldest prehistoric remains discovered in Ankara date back to the Old Stone Age.

We can say that Ankara has a very long history dating back to 5000 years ago, where human settlements dating back to 3000 BC were found.

Ankara, an ancient Anatolian city, has hosted dozens of different civilizations throughout history, such as the Hittites, Persians, Lydians, Byzantines, Seljuks and Ottomans. Ankara is a city with many heritages from this historical and cultural richness. In this respect, there are dozens of places that must be visited and seen in Ankara.

Where is Ankara

Ankara, located in the Central Anatolian Region of Turkey, is located right in the middle of the country.

It is surrounded by Kırıkkale and Çankırı in the north, Eskişehir and Bolu in the west, Konya in the south and Aksaray and Kırşehir in the east.

How to go to Ankara

As we mentioned, Ankara is located in the middle of Turkey and with this feature, it is very easy to reach from many cities of the country and it is not far from any city.

How to go to Ankara by plane?

If there is an airport in your city, it is not difficult to reach Ankara by plane. Transportation to Ankara by plane should perhaps be your first choice.

There are direct flights to Ankara from dozens of big cities such as Istanbul, Izmir, Antalya, Trabzon, Adana and Diyarbakir. With these flights, you can reach Ankara in an average of 1.5 - 2 hours, depending on the city you are in.

How to go to Ankara by High Speed ​​Train?

Trains are one of the most enjoyable means of transportation and if you are one of those who prefer transportation by train, you are very lucky. Especially for the train journey from Istanbul to Ankara, you can choose YHT Istanbul - Ankara flights. You can easily reach Ankara from Istanbul Söğütlüçeşme Train Station in approximately 4 hours. You can reach Ankara from Konya in 2 hours by using these trains.

How to Go to Ankara by Bus?

The bus is the most common and most advanced transportation option for intercity transportation in Turkey. Especially as a city to travel to, Ankara is perhaps the easiest because of its location. It is possible to travel to Ankara by bus on any day you want by using the bus companies in your city. Transportation times from some big cities to Ankara are as follows;

  • How many hours is the bus journey from Istanbul to Ankara: 5 - 7 hours
  • How many hours is the bus journey from Izmir to Ankara: 8 hours
  • How many hours is the bus journey from Antalya to Ankara: 6 hours 30 minutes

Places to Visit in Ankara

There are some famous sayings about Ankara in Turkey. “Actually, if it has a sea, Ankara is a beautiful city”, “The only shortcoming of Ankara is that it does not have a sea”…

True, Ankara may not have a sea, but Ankara does not have any shortcomings in terms of places to visit. Some cities have a soul and the city is loved for this reason, Ankara is one of these cities. The sea is not at all a necessary element to understand the spirit of Ankara.

In this part of our article, we have compiled the places to visit in Ankara for you.

1. Anıtkabir

Anıtkabir is undoubtedly one of the places to visit in Ankara.

Anıtkabir, the eternal resting place of Gazi Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, is one of the most visited landmarks not only in Ankara, but also in all of Turkey.

This fascinating complex, which has an area of ​​750,000 square meters, is divided into two parts as the Peace Park and the Monument Block.

Anıtkabir, which is located in the Tandoğan region of Ankara's Çankaya district, is located in the very center of the city, so it is very easy to reach, but it is possible to reach by many vehicles. (You can reach Anıtkabir by using Ankaray and city buses)

Anıtkabir, whose construction started in 1944 and was completed in 1953, was built by world-renowned architects Prof. Emin Onat and Assoc. It was designed by Orhan Arda.

Entrance to Anıtkabir, one of Turkey's most magnificent structures, is free of charge.

The hours when Anıtkabir is open to visitors are as follows;

  • From 1 February to 14 May: 09:00 - 16:30
  • From May 15 to October 31: 09:00 - 17:00
  • From 1 November to 31 January: 09:00 - 16:00

2. Ankara Castle

Ankara Castle, located in Altındağ district of Ankara, is one of the most important historical symbols of the city. Located on a hill overlooking the city, the castle offers an impressive view to its visitors.

The Ankara Castle, which is estimated to have been built by the Galatians at the beginning of the 2nd century BC (it is not known exactly when), was used by the Romans and Byzantines before, and after the Battle of Manzikert, the Seljuks dominated the region. The castle, which was repaired and expanded by the Seljuks in this period, was later used by the Ottoman Empire.

Ankara Castle, which has 42 towers with 5 corners at 110 meters high, is free to visit.

You can visit Ankara Castle, where various festivals and events are held every year, between 10:00 and 19:00 every day.

3. Kızılay Square

Kızılay Square is one of the most well-known squares not only in Ankara but also in Turkey.

Taking its name from the "Red Crescent Headquarters" building, this square is one of the most lively places in Ankara.

Kızılay Square, which is a colorful and lively place with its shopping centers, streets and shops, is the central point of buses, metro and Ankaray main stops.

4. Güvenpark

Located in Ankara's central Kızılay Square, this large park is the second most visited place by the guests coming to Ankara.

Located on an area of 19,000 m2, this park also includes a monument called Güvenpark Monument. This monument, made using Ankara's famous Ankara stone, was made by two Austrian sculptors. This Güvenpark Monument, which is the symbol of the park, commemorates Atatürk and his friends and Anatolian farmers, with whom he was with in the War of Independence and revolution movements. The monument is 37 meters long, the central block is 8 meters, the side wings are 2 meters, and the bronze figures are 6 meters tall. At the base of the monument, Atatürk's Turkish, Öğün, Çalış, Güven maxim is written. Entrance to Güvenpark, which offers a beautiful sightseeing experience away from the noise in the heart of Ankara with its historical trees, playgrounds and sightseeing areas, is free of charge.

5. Kocatepe Camii

Located in the Kocatepe district of Çankaya, Kocatepe Mosque is approximately 3 km from Kızılay Square and is one of Turkey's iconic mosques. The construction of Kocatepe Mosque, which started in 1967, took 20 years to complete and was completed in 1987. Kocatepe Mosque, which has 4 minarets with a length of 88 meters, also has a conference hall and a library. You can see traditional Ottoman and Turkish architectural examples together in this mosque, which was built on a large area of 4500 m2.

6. Hamamönü

Hamamönü is a district of Ankara's Altındağ district.

Hamamönü, one of the must-see places in Ankara, is famous for its houses from the late Ottoman period. These houses are completely adorned with Turkish motifs and you feel like 150 years ago while walking on the streets of Hamamönü. Historical Karacabey Bath, Mehmet Akif Ersoy Park where the Turkish National Anthem was written, and Mehmet Akif Ersoy Museum House are located in the park.

Hamamönü is also famous for its Handicrafts Market and breakfast. During your visit to Hamamönü, you can have a good time with your loved ones at the full breakfast tables.

7. Beypazari

Beypazarı is a district of Ankara, famous for its famous Beypazarı houses, where you can see the most beautiful examples of Ottoman architecture. Beypazarı, which is almost an open-air museum, was included in the UNESCO temporary world heritage list in 2020. In Beypazarı, which has hosted many civilizations throughout history, there are many historical buildings from the Hittites, Phrygians, Galatians, Roman, Byzantine, Anatolian Seljuk and Ottoman periods. But it owes its real fame to Beypazarı mansions. Beypazarı houses with their cobblestone streets and wooden decorated windows and balconies with bay windows are among the most visited places in Ankara by those who love to take pictures. While visiting Beypazarı, do not forget to visit the famous handicraft workshops of the district.

8. Haci Bayram Veli Mosque

One of the most important mosques in Ankara, Hacı Bayram Veli Mosque was built by Architect Mehmet Bey in the early 1400s. Transportation is possible with all public transportation vehicles in Ankara. Located in the Ulus district of Ankara's Altındağ district, next to the mosque is the Hacı Bayram Veli mausoleum. Hacı Bayram Veli, one of the most famous scholars of his time, is the founder of the Bayramiye Sect.

There were many woodworkings on the outer walls of the mosque, but most of these engravings were removed with the last restoration work in 2011. As a result of these restorations, the exterior walls were simplified, while the interior decorations were largely preserved. It draws attention especially with its embroideries made by Nakkaş Mustafa Pasha in the interior.

9. Anatolian Civilizations Museum

You should definitely visit the Anatolian Civilizations Museum, located on the southeast side of the centuries-old city walls of Ankara Castle. The cultural facility owes its uniqueness to the collections that attract the most visitors in the Atpazarı district. . In the cultural facility, which started to host its guests in the Kurşunlu Han and Mahmut Paşa Bedesten in 1940, historical artifacts brought from important excavation areas such as Karain Cave near Antalya and Çatalhöyük, Alacahöyük, Burdur Hacılar are exhibited.

Visiting Hours: 08.30-19.00
Entry Fee: 45 TL

10. Rahmi Koc Museum

Another delightful attraction in Atpazarı district is the Rahmi M. Koç Museum. The cultural facility, which was opened in 2005, is the first and only industrial-themed museum of our capital.

The museum, which also includes the belongings of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, operates in Çengelhan and Safranhan, which are as interesting as their collections.

Çengelhan, dating from the time of Suleiman the Magnificent, regained its former glory thanks to the works carried out between 2003-2005. A similar project for Safranhan, which was built in 1511, continued from 2012 to 2016.

Vehbi Koç Shop is the most popular part of the museum. After the shop where the deceased industrialist worked during the summer months as a child, you can move on to Uncle İsmail Atelier, which is full of ship and train models.

If you are one of those who are curious about the operation of steam machines like me, I am sure that you will have pleasant moments in the Model Machinery Workshop.

Visiting Hours: 10.00 - 17.00
Entry Fee: 12 TL
Website: rmk-museum.org.tr/ankara/ana-page?city=ankara

11. Tunali Hilmi Street & Kuğulu Park

When it comes to socializing and shopping, one should never forget Tunali Hilmi Caddesi. Entertainment venues and stores of various brands are waiting for you along the street, which is named after Tunalı Hilmi Bey, who is known for his innovative ideas and served as a member of parliament for three terms. You can find attractive opportunities for eating and drinking in the side streets that open to the street.

Kuğulu Park, located at the upper part of Tunalı Hilmi Street, should not be forgotten. Because this cute and peaceful park is one of the most beautiful places to spend time in the heart of the city.

The name of the park, which especially attracts travelers who want to take pictures, comes from the swans given by the City of Vienna. The current residents of the green area, which hosts ideal options for those who enjoy street delicacies, came from Beijing.

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