Ankara travel guide

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Introduction to Ankara

Ankara is known for attractions like Anıtkabir, Haci Bayram Mosque, and Ankara Castle. Travelers who visit this capital of Turkey are often fascinated by the rich history and interesting culture it offers. We recommend taking the time to explore this city in Turkey on foot and walk alongside the 5.5 million locals who live in Ankara. Notably, Ankara was recognized as the The Europe Prize in 2009.

Traveling to Ankara is especially rewarding for anyone eager to connect with locals and learn more about their unique culture and traditions. Turkish is the official language in Ankara.

Easily accessible from Esenboğa International, Ankara is the perfect base for a memorable and unique vacation in Turkey any time of the year.

History of Ankara

Ankara, the capital of Turkey, is steeped in history dating back to the Bronze Age Hatti civilization. It came into prominence as an important trade center during the Roman era, known as Ancyra then.

Under the Byzantine Empire, the city saw significant growth and architectural development, including the construction of the Temple of Augustus. However, during the Ottoman period, Ankara took a backseat to Istanbul.

The city's fortunes changed dramatically when it was declared the capital of the Turkish Republic in 1923. The founder of modern Turkey, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, chose Ankara for its strategic location in the heart of the country. Since then, Ankara has grown into a bustling metropolis, combining its rich history with modern amenities.

Today, Ankara's history can be explored through its numerous museums, ancient Roman temples, and Ottoman-era architecture. The city is a perfect blend of old and new, offering a fascinating glimpse into its storied past.

Local culture and customs in Ankara

Ankara, the capital of Turkey, offers a rich tapestry of culture and customs. The city is a blend of modernity and tradition, with a strong influence from Ottoman, Roman, and Byzantine eras. Turkish is the primary language, with many locals also speaking English. The city is predominantly Muslim, so observing Islamic customs like dressing modestly, especially in religious sites, is appreciated.

Hospitality is a cornerstone of Ankara's culture. A warm welcome is often accompanied by a cup of tea, a symbol of Turkish hospitality. Food plays a pivotal role in local customs, so don't be surprised if you're invited for a meal. Try to accept such invitations as it's considered polite. Traditional markets or 'bazaars' are also integral to Ankara's cultural scene. Here, haggling is a common practice, so don't be afraid to negotiate prices.

Ankara's cultural calendar is bustling with festivals, the most significant being the Ankara International Film Festival and the International Music Festival. However, do bear in mind that during the holy month of Ramadan, the pace of life can slow down as people fast from dawn to dusk.

Language tips for travelers in Ankara

While Ankara is a cosmopolitan city, Turkish is the predominantly spoken language. For a more enjoyable stay, it’s advisable to learn a few basic Turkish phrases. Start with greetings like 'Merhaba' (Hello), 'Teşekkür ederim' (Thank you), and 'Lütfen' (Please). Remember that Turks appreciate it when foreigners make an effort to speak their language. English is taught in schools and therefore understood by many, particularly in tourist areas and hotels. However, proficiency varies, and older generations may not speak English as fluently. Consider downloading a translation app or carrying a pocket dictionary for difficult situations. While gestures and body language are universal, be cautious as some might have different meanings in Turkish culture.

Best time to visit Ankara

The best time to explore Ankara, Turkey, largely depends on your preferences for weather and crowd levels. The city experiences a temperate climate, with warm, dry summers and cold, snowy winters. For those who enjoy mild weather, spring (April to June) and autumn (September to November) are ideal. These periods offer pleasant temperatures, fewer tourists, and the city is in full bloom or showcasing beautiful fall colors. If you don't mind the heat and want to experience Ankara's lively summer festivals, consider visiting between June and August. However, this is also the peak tourist season, so expect larger crowds at popular attractions. For winter enthusiasts, December to February offers a unique view of the city blanketed in snow, with fewer tourists around. Whenever you choose to visit, make sure to check the dates of local events and festivals, as they can significantly enhance your Ankara experience.

Weather in Ankara

Ankara, the capital of Turkey, experiences a cold semi-arid climate. Summers in the city, running from June to September, have temperatures ranging from 20°C to 30°C. They are warm and fairly dry, with very little rainfall. The city's winters, from December to March, can be extremely cold, with temperatures often falling below freezing. Snowfall is common during these months and can occasionally cause disruptions in the city's services.

Spring and autumn are transitional seasons, with temperatures ranging between 10°C to 20°C. These seasons see more rainfall compared to summer, providing a lush green landscape for sightseeing. Ankara's high elevation can result in rapid weather changes, so layers are recommended for travellers. The city is also subject to occasional high winds, which can make the perceived temperature feel colder. Therefore, visitors should come prepared with appropriate clothing for the season of their visit.

Local tip for visiting Ankara

An insider tip for enhancing your Ankara experience is to explore its vibrant local markets. These markets, often overlooked by tourists, are a true reflection of Ankara's cultural and social diversity. The most notable among them is the Ulus Old Town Market. It's not just a place to buy traditional Turkish goods, but also a unique opportunity to immerse yourself in the local culture. From aromatic spices, traditional textiles, to antique furniture, you will find a wide variety of items representing Turkey's rich heritage. The market is also home to several food stalls serving authentic Turkish delicacies. Don't forget to bargain as it's a common practice here and seen as a part of the market culture. This insider tip will allow you to explore Ankara in a way that most tourists don't, providing a deeper understanding and appreciation of the city's vibrant culture and traditions.

Top services in Ankara

On this page, you'll find all the top travel services in Ankara, Turkey. Enjoy the convenience of planning and booking every detail of your trip to Ankara, including flights, accommodations, activities, and more, in one place.

Discover the cheapest and most popular flights offered by a variety of airlines that fly to Turkey. Check out the best things to do in Ankara by browsing over 38 top-rated tours available to you in the city. Compare the rates and services of the stays and 4 car rental companies offering CDW insurance coverage.

Experience the best of Ankara with an expertly curated and fully customizable itinerary. Get answers to questions about the routes and services offered in Ankara from our free 24/7 customer support. We make it easy for you to find and book every detail of your trip to Ankara with this travel guide.

Continue reading this Ankara travel guide to learn how you can enjoy a stress-free and memorable vacation in the city of Ankara!

Learn more about Turkey

With destinations such as Ankara, a trip to Turkey needs no further explanation. Spanning over 783,562 square kilometers, Turkey is an expansive playground of discovery, offering a wealth of diverse landscapes, rich cultural heritage, and captivating experiences awaiting exploration. From bustling metropolises to historic towns and modern urban hubs, Turkey has something to enchant every traveler.

In Ankara alone, travelers are spoiled for choice with an array of experiences and world-famous attractions such as Anıtkabir, Haci Bayram Mosque, and Ankara Castle. Thus, a trip to Turkey becomes essential. Whether you're drawn to historical sites, natural wonders, or vibrant cultural experiences, Turkey offers an abundance of treasures waiting to be discovered.

There's so much to explore and uncover in Turkey. Click or tap the link below to discover more about Turkey and its offers.

What to see in Ankara

Photo of botanical Garden and Atakule in background in the spring, Ankara.

Expect an exhilarating journey through Ankara, a haven brimming with attractions to suit every traveler’s taste. From historical landmarks to natural wonders, and delectable cuisine, Ankara offers an abundance of experiences waiting to be discovered. Dive into this ultimate Ankara travel guide to uncover must-visit spots and get the scoop on what makes the city so special.

Top attractions in Ankara

With its blend of traditional and modern culture, Ankara is more than just a wonderful city in Turkey. It's a hub for diverse experiences, boasting top attractions that range from historical landmarks to modern marvels, offering a glimpse into Turkey's rich heritage and innovative spirit.

One popular place to visit in Ankara is the unforgettable Anıtkabir. Considered one of the most well-known attractions in the city, a visit to this spectacular travel destination is something you shouldn't miss on your trip to Ankara. This remarkable attraction is located at Yücetepe, Akdeniz Cd. No:31, 06570 Çankaya/Ankara, Türkiye, and is open for visitors Monday - Sunday, between 09:00-17:00.

For more information about what you can expect during a vacation in Ankara, check out our list of top attractions below. Discover the best places to visit in Ankara, including the fascinating Anıtkabir, Haci Bayram Mosque, Ankara Castle, Ulucanlar Prison Museum, and Independence Park.

Map of attractions

Take a closer look at the city map below for the exact locations of all the top attractions in Ankara.

Things to do in Ankara

Photo of Ankara Turkey, by Konevi-cami

You've explored Ankara's top attractions and marked them on your map. So now, it's time to delve deeper and discover the top things to do in Ankara. These activities not only offer excitement and adventure but also provide unique insights into the city's culture and heritage. Take your experience to the next level by checking out the best sights with a knowledgeable guide, embarking on fun adventures unique to Ankara, or learning more about the city's rich history and traditions.

Discover the most popular tours and experiences in the city below.

Most popular experiences in Ankara

A visit to Ankara gets more exciting with memorable experiences. And the city is just perfect for that, with plenty of fun activities. Bus Tours, Historical Tours, Walking Tours, and more are just some of the options you could explore to fully immerse yourself and make the most of your time.

In this travel guide, we've included some of the best things to do in Ankara, adding a special touch to your journey in this vibrant city. Explore bustling markets, embark on scenic hikes, sample local delicacies, or immerse yourself in the rich history and heritage of Ankara. Browse this diverse array of unforgettable experiences Ankara offers and let your adventures begin!

Top tours & tickets starting in Ankara

In Ankara, travelers are spoiled for choice with a dazzling array of 10 categories of top-rated tours and tickets.

Ankara also offers plenty of budget-friendly tours and activities that promise travelers a unique experience. This experience costs around 3 EUR.

Elevate your upcoming Ankara adventure with unforgettable experiences by booking top-rated tours in the city. Uncover the finest tours, activities, and tickets awaiting you in Ankara right below.

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All Experiences in Ankara

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Search for things to do in Ankara

Discover the best things to do in Ankara. Choose from 38 fantastic tours and activities available in the city.

Select your dates and number of travelers in the search bar below to receive the best recommendations for your vacation in Ankara. Click the green button to view your options and discover a variety of exciting things to do in Ankara.

What to eat in Ankara

Ankara, Turkey's capital, offers a variety of culinary delights that you should not miss. The city's traditional dishes like the hearty İskender Kebap, İçli Köfte, and the local specialty Ankara Tava are a must-try. Kızılay and Ulus are renowned dining districts offering everything from street food to high-end restaurants. For a taste of the city's street food, explore the stalls in Ulus where you can savor Simit, a circular bread covered with sesame seeds, and Ayran, a popular yogurt drink. Meanwhile, Kızılay's vibrant food scene offers a variety of upscale dining options, including the famous Trilye Restaurant, known for its seafood. Tunali Hilmi Street is another hotspot where you can find some of the best places to eat in Ankara, presenting a mix of traditional Turkish and international cuisines. Remember, dining in Ankara is not just about food, it's an experience. Embrace the local culture, try the traditional Turkish tea, and end your meal with a mouth-watering Baklava. Bon appétit!

Best shopping in Ankara

The capital city of Turkey, Ankara, offers a vibrant shopping scene that combines tradition with modernity. One of the best places to go shopping in Ankara is the historic district of Hamamönü. Here, you'll find a range of shops selling everything from handcrafted ceramics and textiles to antique jewelry, a testament to Ankara's rich cultural heritage. For a more upscale experience, visit the Armada Shopping Mall, home to international fashion brands, and the chic Tunali Hilmi Street, known for its trendy boutiques. Don't miss the opportunity to explore the bustling local markets, such as the Sunday Market in Ulus, where you can buy fresh produce, spices, and traditional Turkish sweets. For distinctive Ankara fashion, purchase a traditional 'kaftan' or 'yemeni' slippers. Be sure to also buy a bottle of 'Ankara honey', a local delicacy known for its unique flavor. Before you embark on your shopping spree, remember to brush up on your bargaining skills, as haggling is a common practice in Turkish markets. No matter your shopping preference, Ankara offers a diverse array of options that cater to all tastes and budgets.

Best Free Things to Do in Ankara

Ankara, Turkey's vibrant capital, is an exciting destination for budget-conscious travelers. One of the best free things to do in Ankara is visiting the Ataturk Mausoleum. This monumental tomb of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, Turkey's founding father, offers an insightful journey into the country's history. For a peaceful retreat, head to Genclik Park. With its beautiful fountains and well-kept gardens, it is a perfect spot for a picnic or leisurely walk. For art enthusiasts, the State Art and Sculpture Museum is a must-visit. It showcases a wide range of Turkish art from different periods, all for free. Take a stroll through the Hamamonu Restored Area, a delightful neighborhood with restored Ottoman-era houses, now home to numerous cafes and shops. Although the shopping isn't free, the window-shopping and ambiance certainly is. Lastly, don't forget to explore the ancient Roman Temple of Augustus, situated in the old quarter of Ulus. Its remarkable inscriptions give a glimpse into the Roman Empire's relations with the region. These experiences prove that you can enjoy Ankara's rich history and vibrant culture without spending.

How to get to Ankara

International travelers can fly to Ankara by booking flights with AJet, Turkish Airlines, Pegasus, Azerbaijan Airlines, and Transavia France, offering flights to Esenboğa International. From the arrival airport, travelers can choose from various public and private transfer options to Ankara.

For those seeking the best flight ticket deals to Ankara, knowing the cheapest travel times and which airlines offer the most affordable flights is helpful. Luckily, we provide this information to help you discover the cheapest and most popular flights to Ankara. Go to this page to compare all flights to Ankara.

Find cheap flights to Ankara

Photo of Ankara castle and general view of old town.

Booking budget-friendly flights to Ankara is a crucial part of planning your trip to the city. This section will guide you through the process, helping you find the best deals for your journey.

Booking in advance is a smart move when traveling to Ankara. Airlines release their best deals months ahead of departure, so early birds catch the lower fares. Consider flexible travel dates while planning your visit to the city. Mid-week and off-peak seasons often offer more wallet-friendly options.

To help you find cheap flights to Ankara, you can use the powerful booking widget below. Enter your departure city, choose between round trip or one-way, pick your fare class, select travel dates, and specify the number of travelers. Click "Search" and the widget will do the rest. You'll see a list of flights matching your criteria, making your trip to Ankara even more convenient.

Fine-tune your search with filters to sort by price, airline, layovers, and more. Once you've found your ideal flight, click "Book" and you'll be redirected to the booking page to complete your reservation. Enter your payment details and receive a confirmation – it's that simple!

Remember to book ahead, stay flexible, and utilize the widget's features to make your journey to Ankara both affordable and unforgettable.

Popular flights to Ankara

Travelers visiting Ankara can easily access the city via Esenboğa International, offering direct connection to 428 destinations worldwide. To streamline your travel planning process, explore the most popular flights to Ankara below. Discover direct routes from major international hubs and convenient connections tailored to suit your travel preferences. Click to delve into the diverse array of flights available to Ankara and embark on an unforgettable journey.

Car rentals in Ankara

Photo of Dikmen Valley and Park - Ankara ,Turkey.

To navigate Ankara effortlessly, renting a car is an excellent choice. With your own wheels, you can explore every nook and cranny of the destination without relying on public transportation and even venture off the beaten path. On our website, you'll discover a selection of over 4 car rental companies in Ankara, ready to provide you with the perfect vehicle for your travels.

Automatic cars for rent in Ankara start at 38 EUR per day or 269 EUR per week. The cheapest automatic rental car is a Dacia Sandero. If you prefer driving a manual car, you'll find multiple options for rent in Ankara, starting at 36 EUR per day or 250 EUR per week. The cheapest manual rental car is a Fiat Panda 5 Doors.

Learn more about the different types of cars you can rent in Ankara, Turkey below.

Popular types of cars for rent in Ankara

Renting a car in Ankara is a popular choice among travelers who want to explore the city at their own pace. A wide variety of popular car rentals are available to choose from in Ankara, ensuring you find the best car for your travel plans.

Check out all the options available and book your car rental in Ankara for your upcoming adventures in Turkey below. All car rentals come with CDW insurance for added protection throughout your trip.

Search for car rentals in Ankara

Get ready to hit the road and explore the beautiful city of Ankara. Find the best deals on a variety of popular car rentals in Ankara, Turkey, or any other destination in Europe by using the search tool below.

Enter your pick-up and drop-off location, driver's age, and dates. Click the green button to view your options.

Popular destinations to visit after Ankara

Photo of Mausoleum of Ataturk at amazing sunset, Ankara.

The city of Ankara is just one of the many unique and scenic destinations you can visit in Turkey. So if you're itching for another cultural adventure, a relaxing road trip, an action-filled city break, or a memorable weekend getaway, know that Turkey has it all.

Each destination in Turkey offers something unique to experience! Take the opportunity to visit other captivating places in Turkey that are as magical as the city of Ankara. The most popular travel destinations in Turkey are listed below. Click on the name of the place you want to explore next to learn more about it.

All the best destinations in Turkey

When unsure about where to go next, use the map below. This map shows the locations of all the best destinations in Turkey. Use the map to plan your trip and find the best routes.

Transportation in Ankara

Ankara, the capital of Turkey, offers a variety of transportation options for both locals and visitors. The city boasts an extensive public transit system consisting of metros, buses, and dolmuş (shared taxis). The Ankara Metro consists of four lines, serving many areas of the city, while the city’s bus service is frequent and reliable, connecting various parts of the city and suburbs.

For more flexible travel, taxis are readily available and are an affordable option for short distances. Metered taxis can be hailed on the street, from taxi stands, or booked via phone or app. Rental cars are another viable option for those who prefer to navigate the city at their own pace. Many international and local car rental companies have offices at the airport and around the city.

For a unique local experience, try the dolmuş, a shared taxi operating on fixed routes. This is a popular and inexpensive way to travel, offering a glimpse into the everyday life of Ankara's residents. Regardless of your choice of transport, Ankara is a city that is easy to navigate and explore.

Domestic flights from Ankara

Photo of park located in Ankara.

Experience the authentic charm of Turkey by expanding your travels beyond the boundaries of Ankara. Explore other destinations around Turkey with a domestic flight. A domestic flight is typically a short-haul flight, with the longest duration not exceeding two hours. To find the best flights from Ankara to other amazing locations in Turkey, add the required details below and select 'Search' to view the best domestic flights in Turkey for your chosen dates. You can also jump to the last section of this travel guide to find the most popular domestic flights from Ankara.

Popular domestic flights from Ankara

Travelers in Turkey can catch flights to domestic airports in Istanbul, Bodrum, Kayseri, Trabzon, and Tekirdağ. Domestic flights in Turkey are operated by 4 airlines, including AJet, Turkish Airlines, Pegasus, and Azerbaijan Airlines. There are around 48 scheduled flight routes operating to Ankara on a weekly basis.

From Ankara, travelers can book scheduled flights to 39 domestic destinations. The most popular flights from Ankara depart to many top-rated destinations in Turkey and are offered by AJet, Turkish Airlines, and Pegasus.

Search domestic flights from Ankara

Traveling to another city or region in Turkey? Use the flight search tool below to quickly find the cheapest one-way or round-trip flights from Ankara to different local destinations.

Enter all the necessary information and click or tap on the Search button to see a list of the available domestic flights in Turkey on the selected dates.

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