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Top 10 Things to Do in Ankara, Turkey

Sunday, April 19th, 2009

Ankara Mosque, Turkey

As you rise above the banks of the Enguri Su climbing the rather steep incline, you finally arrive in the city of Ankara the capital and the second largest population in Turkey. Despite the modernization that has occurred over the past few decades, it is still dotted with reminders of its past history. Today, Ankara is filled with a bustling nightlife, consulates, government and state houses, military bases, and universities just like any major metropolitan area.Conversely, there are so many structures that remind you where Ankara had its place in ancient and past history. Byzantine, Hellenistic, Hittite, Ottoman, Phrygian, and Roman castles as well as other ruins and structures from these civilizations still adorn the surrounding landscape. So you can be sure that Ankara has held a very prominent place in past history. Here is a listing of some of the more popular visitor’s delights in Ankara.

Top 3 Ankara Museums

If museums are what you crave there are three that are a must-see in Ankara:

The Enthography Museum – located near Ankara Castle
The Museum of Anatolian Civilizations – a display of artifacts from the Ottoman Empire is the main attraction
The State Art and Sculpture Museum – features Turkish artwork from the 1800’s to modern day

The Ankara Citadel

Despite the surrounding landscape the most touted of all attraction is the Ankara Citadel (Hisar) – originally having the foundation laid by the Gallatians, it was not until the time of the Romans that this structure was completed. There are numerous displays of the traditional Turkish architecture within this hilltop locale.

Top 3 Entertainment and Night Spots in Ankara

For those of you who crave some excitement, Ankara has more than what initially meets the eye, with the following being the top three spots to party and just have a great evening:

Kinacilar Bar – on of the best bar/club combinations in the city with great drinks and music, but the dance floor is small and gets very crowded
Sherlock Holmes – this is the dance club/disco venue that you will hear the locals rave about so exploring its amenities is worthwhile
The Lord Kinross – this is the top bar/club/restaurant combo. The food is excellent, the music is a good mix of live and DJ-piped-in, and dancing the night away is the norm.

Top 3 Restaurants in Ankara

Different yet delicious is about the easiest way to describe the Turkish cuisine, and the following are the three best restaurants in Ankara:

Kalbur – the finest seafood in all of Ankara awaits you at this establishment
Trilye Restaurant – the best of Turkish cuisine anywhere in the city. Key features of this establishment are the ability to provide you with all the amenities, whether it is business, outdoor seating, or a romantic interlude.
Mezzaluna – Ankara’s best offering of Italian cuisine and there a lot of choices for that venue, but this one stands heads above all the others.

Photo of mosque in Ankar, Turkey by Alaskan Dude

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About the author

Venere Travel Blog writer anita choudhary

Anita Choudhary is a freelance writer and travel blogger based in New Delhi, India. She loves to travel and has traveled extensively in India. Exploring new places, reading and writing are her hobbies.

5 responses to “Top 10 Things to Do in Ankara, Turkey”

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  1. Imad says:
    October 13th, 2010 at 02:34

    I’d like to visit the city of Ankara a day. This city full of history. With these splendid historical monument.The mixture of history and modernity and how people live in this historic capital

  2. Turkey Travel Center says:
    July 20th, 2011 at 08:01

    I loved walking inside the castle of Ankara. The old town inside was a big surprise for me, I noticed many buildings that looked like some building I saw in North Greece (the old town of Ioannina for exable) and elsewhere in the Balkans. So picturesque…

    The castle has two walls with a great gap of 200 between them! The inner wall was built in 7th century but the exterior wall was build on 9th century by the emperor Michail the Second. You will easily find the central gate because of the tower with the clock. Because of the clock is called Saatli Kapi (gate with clock). I noticed a small but not impressive mosque inside the castle that was built back in the 12th century.

    I didn’t have time to visit any of the Turkish restaurants that now are in renovating beautiful old buildings but I enjoyed the view from several parts of the castle (pics 2&4). You can see the modern city but also some really old houses near the castle. The best views are from the eastern tower of the castle.

    The locals inside the castle seemed really relaxed, the little children played around, the old women were selling cheap souvenirs, lovely place to spend an hour.

  3. Sarah Nelson says:
    August 4th, 2012 at 16:22

    I have visited Turkey many times over the past 20 or so years.
    I had decided this year to travel to Istanbul for four nights with Thelma & Louise then have another 10 nights in a beach location.
    Having looked at the attractions in Istanbul then the attractions in Ankara. I am now undecided as to which venue to go to?
    Can you please advise which would be the best to visit either Istanbul or Ankara?

  4. Dr. Iftikhar says:
    June 19th, 2013 at 17:55

    Horrifying, I by mistake passed three days in this boring city. Resturant Rajeb Osta, Anitkabir, Castle of Ankara, zoo only these are the places we visited. The Museum of Anatolian civilisation was closed due to maintenance. The castle was smelling like a toilet of third world country. Only the restaurant was good. Anitkabir was better but we in our country has better monuments than this. As for the castle is concern one must see Lal Qila, Fatehpur Sekiri and above all The Taj………. Ankara in my opinion is only for a day or two days to spend.

  5. Anna says:
    July 15th, 2014 at 19:47

    I’m moving there in March and I’m so excited. This helped me make a list of brilliant attractions. Thank you.

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