Ankara Info

ankara Guide

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Galleria Ankara AVM

Shopping Centre

Kinacilar Bar

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Everything about Ankara

Everything about Ankara
Ankara is Turkey’s capital city and the second largest with a population of around 4.5 million, it lies in the heart of both Turkey and Central Anatolia, is the seat of the Turkish Government and where the majority of foreign embassies are based.

The city appears to live in two separate time zones and has gained this double identity due to the speed of which it was developed after being declared the capital of the Turkish Republic in 1923. 
This former small provincial town was known as Angora, named after the soft goat’s wool it produced and the older city still exists in and around the citadel, the site of the original settlement. Modern Ankara has been built around the old city, almost engulfing it, whilst trying to create a modern governmental seat emulating Westernised states.
Although not as attractive to visitors as  Istanbul , it has excellent museums along with other sights that would keep you busy for a few days.

History of Ankara

Originally founded by the Hittites in around 1200 BC they named it Ankuwash and the city flourished, helped by its position on the royal road that ran from Sardis to the Hittite capital of Hattusa. The Phrygians took over from the Hittites and renamed the city Ankyra, then came the Lydians and after them the Persians. Alexander the Great passed through whilst heading east and in the 3rd century BC the Gauls were there for a while and called the city Galatia. Conquered by Augustus in 25 BC the city came under the control of the Roman Empire and continued as a centre of commercial importance and by the 3rd century AD had grown to a population of 200,000. The city declined during the Byzantine era and underwent various attacks by Persians, Crusaders and Mongols who were en-route to other places and in 1071 the Seljuks took control eventually settling there.

Orientation

Ankara is divided north-south by the 5km Ataturk Boulevard and everything is in easy reach of this busy street. Ulus Meydani or Ulus Square , (usually referred to as just Ulus) is a large square at the main traffic intersection that has a huge statue of Ataturk. This is usually where visitors are drawn to first as most of the cheaper hotels are located here and it’s a good base for sight-seeing and to take transport around the city.
The Hisar, Ankara’s oldest fortress and citadel is 1km east from the square and close to the famous Museum of Anatolian Civilisations.
Heading south on Ataturk Boulevard from Ulus leads to the Sihhiye Square , and the junction here marks the beginning of the New City ( Yenisehir ), and 10 minutes further south brings you to the main transport hub and busy square of Kizilay , an area of many shops and restaurants. The Parliament building is further south again and brings you to the Kavaklidere district where the upmarket hotels and main foreign embassies are. At the end of Ataturk Boulevard is the suburb of Cankaya, Ankara’s most exclusive area and home of the Presidential Palace.

Transport & Information

Getting to Ankara Esenboga Airport

Ankara Esenboga International Airport (ESB) is around 30km north of the city. The Havas buses usually depart half an hour after flights have landed and run from the airport to the city centre dropping passengers by the train station.

Taxis

Taxis are always available but note they double their fares from midnight to 06:00. 

Buses

The Asti city bus station (Otogar), in the western suburbs, offer a free minibus service from the car park at the front, going into the city centre and through the Kavaklidere area for the grander hotels. For the cheaper hotels at Ulus they drop you on the corners of Cumhuriyet and Istiklal Road’s from where it’s a short walk or taxi ride to get to them.

Ankaray and Trains

Another alternative is to use the Ankaray (LRT light railway) from Asti station to Kizilay and take the metro connection to Ulus and buses to Kavaklidere. The central train station is at the bottom of Cumhuriyet Boulevard and has regular services to Ulus and Kızılay or walk through the tunnel under the railway line to Maltepe Ankaray (LRT) station.

City Transport

There are two types of public buses in Ankara; the blue and white buses are owned by the Ankara Municipality (EGO) and the blue buses by a private corporation, Ankara Özel Halk Otobüsleri (Ankara Private Buses) and both services use the same network and bus stops.
For the EGO buses you need to purchase a ticket in advance that are sold in kiosks next to main bus and metro stops and at some newsagent stands.
The private buses have a conductor seated to the left of the front entrance and you pay the fare in cash. The ticket prices for both bus services are the same and you can also purchase an EGO multi-use magnetic card which can also be used on the LRT and Metro.
There are two metro lines with regular trains running all day until 22:30. The Ankaray (LRT) from the bus station at Asti runs between there and the eastern suburb of Dikimevi and meets the second line called the “Metro” at Kizilay where the station is under Guven Park. The Metro runs north to Sihhiye, Ulus and further northwest to the suburbs of Batikent. Tickets are available at the station booths and there are usually ample taxis that can be flagged down from just about anywhere.

Tourist Offices

There are two tourist offices; Esenboga airport (opens daily 09:30-18:00) and at Maltepe, near the LRT station (summer Mon-Fri 09:00-18:30 – Sat-Sun 10:00-17:00; winter Mon-Fri 09:00-17:00 – Sat 10:00-17:00) both of which and can provide maps of the city.

Accommodation

As you would expect from a major city the accommodation in Ankara covers prices and standards to suit every taste and availability is rarely a problem. The majority of cheap hotels are in Ulus and tend to be rather plain with very basic facilities. Two and three star options are available around the street called Cankiri Road but note that the traffic here is so bad asking for a room at the back is recommended. Sihhiye and Kizilay have good standard rooms and prices will steadily increase the further south you go into the Kavaklidere area where the Sheraton, Hilton and other similar hotels are. There are also lots of other options around the surrounding streets of Maltepe. It will often pay to barter the room rate with the lesser quality hotels particularly out of season and often if you pay cash they will deduct the local VAT tax off the bill.

Ankara Photos

Ataturk

Grand National Assembly of Turkey - TBMM

Ankara

Goksu Park

Ankara Angora Cat

Cankaya

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