Ankara, as the capital and administrative center of Turkey, symbolizes the independence and modernity of the Turkish people. Ankara has a mix of modern and historic elements in different districts. Therefore, going to Ankara is a unique opportunity to discover Turkish cultures and architectures. Find out below what to do and see in Ankara!
1. Ankara Castle (Kalesi)
If spending time in museums and mosques allows you to see some of the history and cultures of Ankara, then going to Ankara Castle allows you to see the 360 degrees of Ankara. Located in the Ulus district, Ankara Castle was originally built as a military defense and is today one of the most popular tourist destinations in Ankara. Unlike the castles in your old story books, Ankara Castle is a large, dense military bastion: it is made up of 4 huge walls, building the circular area in the middle of the city, with 42 pentagonal towers along the top. Although going up the hill to the castle is not an easy task, the magnificent view that awaits at the top certainly is, as is the bustling bazaar with dozens of small stalls selling all kinds of trinkets.
Anıtkabir, as the mausoleum of the first and second president of the Republic of Turkey, is a beautifully designed museum which attracts not only tourists but also historians and architects every year. Anıtkabir, where the Atatürk and War of Independence Museum is located, has an extensive collection of paintings and exhibits. It is divided into four parts, one part being the Route of the Lions, a long footbridge where you can watch Turkish soldiers parade. Another part is Peace Park, a large green space teeming with plants. There is even a Turkish flag made entirely of flowers! Other parts include the ceremonial square and the hall of honor where the tomb of Ataturk, the first president, is located. There is a lot to remember and a lot to see, so audio guides (which are available in many languages from the visitor center) are a good idea.
3. Museum of Anatolian Civilizations
The Museum of Anatolian Civilizations, named Museum of the Year in Switzerland in 1997, has a large collection of Anatolian archaeological exhibitions classified chronologically from the Paleolithic to the present day. It serves as an introduction to the ancient history of Turkey and Ankara. You will see many housing artifacts and Hittite figures, whose origins date back to the first millennium BC.
Atakule, opened in 1989, is a 410-foot communication and observation tower. “Ata” means ancestor and “kule” means tower, and “Ataturk” was the founder and first president of the Republic of Turkey. This historic monument, located in Çankaya, has an open terrace allowing tourists to contemplate the whole city. If you want to eat with a view, visit Seville, their restaurant that rotates 360 degrees in an hour, offering you a panoramic view of the city without having to leave your seat.
5. Çengelhan Rahmi M. Koç Museum
The Çengelhan Rahmi M. Koç museum, located next to Ankara Castle, is a museum that brings together a wide range of exhibitions on transport, industry and communications. Most of them were generously donated by the Koç family. You’ll find collectibles and collectibles, including children’s toys and old technology, and transportation collectibles, including large ships and planes! With many exhibits and interactive activities, including a free train ride, this museum is perfect for kids.
6. Gençlik Park
If you take the train to Ankara, one of the first things you will see when entering the station is the Ferris wheel in Gençlik Park! Parc Gençlik is a public park with a difference: in addition to 69 acres of greenery and bodies of water, it houses a swimming pool, an amusement park, an outdoor theater and two model trains! There are also over 40 kiosks in the park selling all kinds of merchandise (be sure to try the authentic Turkish ice cream and fresh corn on the cob) and each evening the main pool hosts a spectacular light show. A whole day and a night of fun can be enjoyed at Gençlik Park!
7. Kuyumcular Çarşısı in Beypazarı
Beypazarı is a district of Ankaran with a rich history and a proud heritage. Although it is famous for silverware, many visitors go to the jewelry market to buy Turkish souvenirs. There are many jewelry suppliers, so there are many products and products to choose from. In addition to jewelry, discover handicrafts full of local characteristics! It is also a good opportunity to see the design of local Turkish houses in the area.
8. Haci Bayram Mosque
The Haci Bayram mosque was built in the 15th century, dedicated to the founder of the Sufi order Baryam. Considered one of the most historically important mosques in Turkey, the Haci Bayram Mosque is also one of the most visited. Make sure to see the Arabic calligraphy on the walls, the painted woodcuts and various unique features of the mosque. Some come for a religious experience, but many visit to appreciate the architecture and history of this great monument.
9. Roman Bath
Visiting the Roman baths of Ankara is a good way to learn Roman history through small stories, statues and inscriptions. Built in the 3rd century by the Roman emperor Caracalla, the baths were built around three main rooms: the caldarium (hot bath), the tepidarium (hot bath) and the frigidarium (cold bath). The baths were in use until the 8th century, when they were destroyed by fire, leaving only the ruins of the basement and the first floor. Although they are only ruins, these baths are vestiges of ancient history and therefore the aura of wonder and mystery that surrounds them is palpable.
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