Turkey’s capital city, Ankara, is a sprawling, modern city home to government buildings, commercial businesses, universities and foreign embassies. Located right in the center of the country and the Anatolia region, Ankara is an important transportation hub, linking nationals and tourists alike to other major destinations in Turkey. However, Ankara is not all business. This bustling city also offers a few historic sites, shopping, nightlife and arts and culture.
An old city once inhabited by various cultures including Hittite, Greek, Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman, Ankara is riddled with ancient structures and ruins reflecting its history. Some of the most notable of these are the Temple of Augustus, the Citadel, and a Roman Theatre. Numerous historic mosques can also be found throughout the city. An important 20th century landmark, Anitkabir, is a mausoleum housing the tomb of Turkey’s first President, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk.
Ankara boasts a lively arts and culture scene with a large concentration of cinemas, theaters, concert halls and museums, including the Museum of Anatolian Civilizations, which houses more than 200,000 objects. Traditional markets, boutiques and modern malls provide fantastic shopping choices where items such as fresh produce, spices, carpets, embroidery, fashion and electronics can all be purchased. Several scenic parks and green spaces throughout Ankara offer a break from the hustle and bustle of the city as well as recreational activities.