Ankara is the capital city of Turkey and the second largest city in the country after Istanbul. It is located at the heart of both Turkey and Central Anatolia. The population is around 4.5 million.
Ankara is the administrative center of Turkey and a huge university town, so it has a large population of government workers and university students. As the national capital, Ankara is home to a large population of foreign diplomats and embassy staff, so it offers goods and services that might be more difficult to find in other Turkish cities.
Ankara is a sprawling, modern city which can appear as little more than a dull, concrete jungle at first glance. As a result, many tourists tend to use it merely as a transit point for getting to places like Konya or Cappodocia. However, Ankara does have a lot to offer for those prepared to look a bit deeper.
Ankara has a symbolic significance for the secular Turks. It is the place where a new era for the Turkish people started. It is a symbol for independence, development and Western values.
Ataturk Mausoleum (Anit Kabir)
The Ataturk Maouselum, part of the Anıt Kabir (literally “memorial tomb”), is the mausoleum of Mustaga Kemal Ataturk, the leader of the Turkish War of Independence and the founder and first president of the Republic of Turkey. The Anit Kabir encapsulates both architectural impressiveness and historical significance, making it one of Anakara’s must sees.
Ankara Citadel (Hisar)
Located atop a hill in the heart of Ankara, the Ankara Citadel, or castle, serves as one of the most recognizable symbol’s of Turkey’s capital. Visiting the citadel is more than just seeing the impressive structure, with its 14-16 m (46-53 ft) high walls. A journey inside the citadel also provides you with a look at what ancient Turkey might have looked like.
Museum of Anatolian Civilizations
Considered to be one of Ankara’s premier attractions, the Museum of Anatolian Civilizations is a must-see for history buffs or anyone interested in learning about ancient Turkey. Housed in a restored 15th-century covered market, the museum is home to a wide array of artifacts discovered in excavations throughout Turkey.
A 410 foot (125m) communications and observation tower, Atakule stands in the Cankaya district of central Ankara, and serves as the city’s primary landmark. A glass elevator whisks visitors to the tower’s observation area for spectacular views of the city.
The capital of the Hittite Empire during the late Bronze Age, Hattusas is one of the best sites of ancient ruins in Turkey. During its heyday, it was an impressive city with spectacular structures, but now consists mostly of reconstructed foundations, walls, and rock carvings. Do not let the relatively modest sounding attractions deter you, however. Lovers of ancient history will be more impressed by the site’s almost eerily enchanting atmosphere, which conveys the historic antiquity of a place long forgotten by time.