Ankara is the capital city of Turkey and well worth a visit, even if it’s just to marvel at the countless sights you’ll find within its borders. The city is also a great starting point for excursions further afield, whether you’re looking to embark on a road trip across Turkey, or trip across the Anatolian highlands. To the north of the city there are sprawling forested areas, while to the south there are various rivers and lakes to explore. Two of these lakes, Eymir and Golbasi, are suitable for wading and swimming, making them an essential destination in warmer weather. If you want to explore historical buildings, make sure you pay a visit to Soguksu National Park in Kizilcahamam. Here you’ll find plenty of wildlife, including bears, wolves, foxes and countless other indigenous species. The park is also well known for its thermal springs. Those looking to get back to nature are advised to spend a few days camping here, with plenty of places to pitch your tent, in addition to more conventional hotel accommodation. Although there is much to see in the city, Ankara is within close proximity to countless other attractions in Turkey, meaning you’ll want to get and explore as soon as you arrive.
The airport itself is well connected to the city with an excellent public transport system. There are also several car rental companies operating out of the airport terminal, an ideal choice for visitors who want to explore the region at their own pace. Looking to plan a trip to Ankara? Get great discounts on flights to the Turkish capital when you book online with SunExpress!
Ankara has a picturesque historical old town, where visitors can enjoy a stroll through the meandering streets, enjoy a Turkish mocha, or sample the sounds, smells and flavours of traditional Turkish cuisine. In the middle of this old town lies a rocky cone formation, crowned by an impressive citadel. This region is just a short walk from the historic Roman baths, dating back to the third century AD, and an equally ancient theatre. Another must-visit site is the famous Kocatepe Mosque with its 88-metre high minarets and large dome. This mosque is one of the largest in the world. The mosque serves not only as an important religious site and place of worship, but a crucial meeting point for the wider population. The interior is just as impressive as the outside, with marble floors and walls, red carpets and chandeliers combine to create a truly unique atmosphere. On the lower floor, there’s also a cozy cafe where you can pick up traditional refreshments, plus a department store so you can indulge in some retail therapy. If you’re after as first-rate view of the city, try the 125-metre high Atakule Tower.
By the time noon strikes, you’ll want to kick back and enjoy a spot of lunch. You’re spoiled for choice in this part of Turkey, with all manner of local delicacies and regional specialities on offer. There’s countless restaurants and eateries serving up traditional fare, along with more cosmopolitan dining establishments catering to international tastes and flavours. If you’re after souvenirs, there’s several bustling bazaars in the city. You’ll find the majority of this in the districts of Ulus and Altindag. Hilmi-Tunali Street is another dream destination for shoppers, with plenty of retail outlets and boutiques lining the borders of the street where you can stock up on all manner of wares. Other must-visit destinations include Harikalar Diyari park, with its own very own theatre, several cinemas and countless other points of interest. Genclik Park is another dream destination, with its own fairground and lake where holidaymakers can bask in the sunshine come the summer.
Ankara is located on the Anatolian plateau with an altitude of 1,000 metres above sea level. This elevation contributes to the climate of the city, making it a more moderate choice than elsewhere in the city. Temperatures can exceed 30 degrees in the summer, but in winter, temperatures can plummet below freezing. The best time to visit Ankara is from the spring to the autumn. The city is well served by Esenboğa International Airport (ESB), located a mere 30 kilometres from the city centre.