Turkey is an immensely popular tourist destination, with tourists flocking to explore the markets and mosques of Istanbul, relax on the beaches along the Turquoise Coast, and take in historic sites like Ephesus. However, Turkey’s vibrant capital city of Ankara is often overlooked by tourists. Many see it as just an administrative city without much for visitors to enjoy.

This is a mistake – Ankara has plenty of cultural sights, entertainment options, and authentic Turkish experiences that make it worthy of a spot on your Turkish itinerary.

A Center of Turkish History & Culture

As Turkey’s capital for nearly 100 years, Ankara holds an intriguing mix of history and culture that chronicles Turkey’s path from the Ottoman era to today. Must-see historical sights include the Anıtkabir, an impressive mausoleum and museum dedicated to modern Turkey’s revered first president Ataturk, as well as Ankara Castle, an ancient fortification set on a hilltop with sweeping city views. The Republic Museum offers an extensive collection covering Turkey’s last century. And symbols of old meet new at sites like the Roman Baths of Ankara, an ancient bathhouse complex nestled among modern buildings. 

Beyond history, Ankara has an ever-growing arts and culture scene. Browse contemporary galleries and museums near the city center. Check out the performing arts venues offering opera, ballet, theatre, and concerts. And don’t miss the colorful open-air market Kızılay, where stalls are piled high with handmade Turkish crafts, antiques, spices, and more.

Layers of Authentic Turkish Culture

What makes Ankara such an intriguing capital is the fusion of old and new – traditional Turkish culture in a buzzing modern city. Old-world teahouses and kebab shops mingle with stylish cafes and restaurants. Historic mosques stand beside Art Deco buildings constructed in the early 20th century. And winding market streets open onto vibrant public squares with striking monuments and fountains. 

This fusion continues in the dining scene, where mouthwatering Turkish delicacies are served with intriguing modern twists. Indulge in Ottoman and Anatolian inspired feasts, share hearty Ankara tava (a hot plate of lamb, vegetables, and spices), join locals for rich Turkish coffee, and more.

Few cities offer the chance to dive so deeply into the complex layers of Turkish culture, history, and daily life. Ankara rewards visitors who take the time to peel back its many layers with warm Turkish hospitality and endless intrigue waiting to be uncovered around every corner.

Easy Accessibility from Major Turkish Sites

Many visit Ankara as an easy side trip while exploring other parts of Turkey. Arriving at Ankara Esenboğa Airport is a seamless experience, while Ankara’s train station also offers quick connections to Istanbul and other major Turkish cities and historic sites. This makes it very convenient to add a few days of exploring Ankara into your larger Turkey itinerary.

Visiting this underrated capital gives further context to sights across Turkey. Museums shed light on artifacts viewed at archaeological sites like Ephesus and Troy. Historical narratives continue from Istanbul’s Ottoman palaces to Ankara’s young republic monuments. And understanding modern Turkish culture happens best in Ankara, where old and new combine at such close quarters.

So, don’t overlook Ankara – this intriguing capital deserves a spot on any well-rounded Turkey trip. Wandering its vibrant neighborhoods offers an authentic Turkish experience unique from other destinations in the country. Ankara completes the cultural mosaic that makes Turkey such an unforgettable place to visit.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *