Ankara, the capital of our country, can also be considered a capital for civilizations. The Hittites, Phrygians, Lydians, Persians, Galatians, Macedonians, Romans, Byzantines, Seljuks, and Ottomans prevailed in Ankara, which has a history of 5000 years. For this reason, Ankara, which has always been in the central location of Anatolia, has continued to be a center of attraction and today it is remarkable with its historical and touristic places, and it is the second largest city of our country. In the south of Ankara are Konya and Aksaray, in the North Bolu and Çankırı. The city is surrounded by Kırıkkale and Kırşehir in the east, and Eskişehir in the west.
Climate and Local Cuisine
Ankara is located in the middle of Central Anatolia and has a high altitude. For this reason, all the characteristic features of the continental climate can be felt there. The city, which is quite cold in winter, is famous for its nights under zero. During the summer period, the rainfall is relatively low, and the average temperature is above 30 degrees. Due to the terrestrial climate, Ankara is not very rich in vegetation, but it has a flat structure.
Ankara cuisine has mainly meat dishes and kebabs. Ankara tavası is the most famous one. In addition, Ankara’s döner (shawarma) is a dish that can be seen on almost every corner. Ayçöreği, arabaşı soup is always on the table. Beypazarı baklavası, kuşbaşılı güveç, bici aşı, çıkınağıl, çır kavurması, erişteli yeşil mercimek (green lentil with noodles), düğün soup, etli tirit, homaça, and Halep dolması are among the must-try-dishes.
Places to Visit
- Anıtkabir: It is the mausoleum of Atatürk, which was built in 1953. In addition, there are different thematic studies on the War of Independence and important moments of Atatürk’s life in Anıtkabir Museum.
- Museum of Anatolian Civilizations: The museum, which has been operating since 1921, contains historic monuments and structures from the Paleolithic Age to the present.
- War of Independence Museum: The parliament that pioneered the establishment of the Republic of Turkey was opened in 1920, and today the building serves as the War of Independence Museum.
- Atakule: Although it is not a historical building, Atakule, which was opened in 1989, hosts a restaurant where you can enjoy a panoramic view of the city via its modern viewing terrace. The tower is 111 meters high and is located in Çankaya.
- Ankara Castle: The castle, which was built in the 7th century BC, is an architectural feature of the Persians. The castle, which was also used in the Roman and Byzantine Periods, was restored in the 1800s and gained its present appearance. The castle, consisting of 42 towers, is one of the symbols of the city.
- Ethnography Museum: The Ethnography Museum at the top of Namazgah has remains from the Seljuk Period. Atatürk’s body was preserved for a period within the museum.
- Hacı Bayram Mosque: Located in Ulus Square of Ankara, the mosque was built in 1427 and was dedicated to Hacı Bayram, one of the famous Turkish scholars.
- The Temple of Augustus: It is located right next to the Hacı Bayram Mosque, and was erected in 25 BC. The temple, which was built in time of the Phrygians, has left its outer walls today, and together with the mosque, it has a very different appearance.
- Ankara Museum of Painting and Sculpture: The museum, on the hill of Namazgah, has been transformed into a cultural center where important works of art are exhibited.
- Rahmi Koç Museum: Dedicated to the famous businessman Rahmi Koç, the museum is also considered an industrial and business museum.
- Kocatepe Mosque
- Cer Modern
- Ulucanlar Prison Museum: Famous prison for political prisoners until 2000, it has been open as museum since 2011.
- Historical Ankara Houses: Houses located in the Kaleiçi district of Ankara and the houses built in different phases since the 17th century are open to visitors.
- Ankara Art Theater
- Ankara Youth Park
Because Ankara is a capital city, it hosts many important festivals. Ankara International Film Festival is a big event that has been held since 1988. The Grand Ankara Festival, held every year in July and August, comes up with concerts. Ankara Music Festival is held in April in Çankaya, and the Kite Festival is held in May. In the first week of June, Beypazarı Traditional Historical Houses Festival is organized.
How to Get There
You can access Ankara by road, railway, and airway. With city buses from every point in Turkey, the capital city is quite reachable. High-speed trains run from Istanbul, Eskişehir, and Konya. Ankara Esenboğa Airport is 28 kilometers away from the city center and has direct flights to some surrounding countries.