Exploring the Cosmopolitan Capital of Türkiye
Exploring Ankara, The Cosmopolitan Capital of Türkiye
Ankara, the capital of Türkiye, is the nation’s second largest city after İstanbul. This metropolis, a meeting point of many civilizations in the past, today, is adorned by skyscrapers, gigantic shopping centers, five-star hotels, and bank headquarters. Of course, this also means a lively social scene, great restaurants, and a vibrant nightlife. Apart from numerous entertainment venues, Ankara hosts many historical and cultural sites, museums, and parks. Ankara, at the heart of Türkiye, integrates experiences inspired by both tradition and modernity!
Ankara is a treasure trove of wonderful surprises waiting to be explored! This guide will give you some amazing ideas about exploring this fantastic city! Here is a list of must-do activities during your time in Türkiye’s capital!
What to See and Do in Ankara
Visit Anıtkabir (Atatürk Mausoleum)
Anıtkabir, the mausoleum of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the founder of the Turkish Republic, is the expression of the endless respect and appreciation of the Turkish nation for its founding father. This immense structure is surrounded by beautifully manicured grounds and is truly breathtaking! The Anıtkabir Atatürk Museum offers visitors the chance to become acquainted with Atatürk's personal belongings. Anıtkabir presents visitors the unmissable opportunity to get a real sense of the Turkish nation!
Explore Ankara Citadel and its Surroundings
Ankara Kalesi (Ankara Citadel) is one of the city’s most important tourist attractions, offering a historical and lively atmosphere! From the hilltop, you can admire a bird’s-eye view of Ankara! To reach the top, you’ll walk through the steep, cobblestone alleys surrounding the castle – the incredible Ankara skyline awaits you at the top!
Along the way to the citadel, you’ll pass quaint souvenir shops, studios with traditional handcrafts, cafés, and restaurants. They present a unique opportunity to buy local products such as copper goods, glass objects, antiques, textiles, carpets, and handmade jewelry. Don’t forget to taste the local delicacies that are specific to the region before leaving!
Stroll around the Vibrant Streets of Kızılay
Kızılay Square and its surroundings, where the hustle and bustle of the city never wanes is located at Ankara’s city center! It draws people from all over with its many attractions from stylish cafés to bars with music, design shops to outdoor markets. Ankara's youth frequent these venues all day!
After visiting souvenir shops and bookstores, you can take a break at Güvenpark or enjoy a cup of coffee at one of the many fashionable cafés. Later in the day, choose your favorite elegant restaurant for a delicious dinner, and then go dancing at a dazzling nightclub nearby!
Travel back in Time at the Museum of Anatolian Civilizations!
Anadolu Medeniyetleri Müzesi or the Museum of Anatolian Civilizations is one of the most important and fascinating museums in Central Anatolia! The museum houses priceless artifacts that inform visitors about the Anatolian peoples and cultures. A visit here is an essential stop to witness the cultural richness of these lands from past to present!
Witness the Grandiose Kocatepe Mosque!
Kocatepe Mosque is a stunning symbol of Ankara’s cityscape! It was built in the 20th century, but drew inspiration from 16th-century architectural styles. The mosque’s exterior is characterized by splendor and inside you will be greeted by a wide worship area. The stained glass, the intricate ornaments covering the roof, and the crystal chandeliers will mesmerize you!
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Admire Ankara’s Panoramic View from the Atakule Tower!
Would you like to admire the Ankara skyline from a luxury vantage point? We have the answer - Atakule Tower! The tower is located in the popular district of Çankaya, famous for its shopping options. The observation terrace located at the top of the tower offers visitors unmatched viewpoints of the city from a bird’s-eye perspective! Grab your camera or phone and head to Atakule Tower for a spectacular experience!
Feed the Swans at Kuğulu Park
Kuğulu Park (Swan Park) is a unique green location in the center of the city. Here, you will find an artificial pond with swans, geese, and ducks gliding in the water - watching them is truly a form of therapy! The park is one of the precious addresses where Ankara residents come for a short break from the fast-paced city life. Next to the park, you’ll come across the famous Tunalı Hilmi Street, one of Ankara’s trendiest destinations with shops of distinguished brands adorning both sides.
Wander the Streets of Hamamönü
Would you like to see what Ankara looked like before becoming a huge metropolis? Just head to Hamamönü neighborhood! The cobblestone alleys are full of authentic shops, boutiques, restaurants, and crafts shops which are housed in restored traditional wooden Ottoman mansions. You will be spoiled for choice when it comes to souvenirs for yourself and your loved ones. Don't forget to try the local delicacies specific to Ankara available in the many charming restaurants here.
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