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Experiencing Ankara in a Day

Turkey's capital Ankara is also its second biggest city and offers a lot to see and do. Ankara has a rich history and there are dozens of museums and archaeological sites for history lovers. If you have a day in Ankara and if you like old architecture, visit at least the citadel, the Roman Baths and one of the excellent museums. For more information about Ankara, click here.

The Ankara Citadel

The Ankara Citadel is worth a visit and you will probably end up spending a few hours here. The views over the city are beautiful and there is a lot to experience inside the castle walls. The citadel has been kept in good condition and represents a variety of buildings styles from different centuries, as it has been expanded by several cultures including the Romans and the Byzantines.

The castle was for long a trading centre, and there are still shops and stalls that sell leather and carpets including traditional Turkish kilims. The covered market on the way down from the citadel is a great place to buy affordable souvenirs. The citadel is free to enter and there are also great restaurants for lunch inside.

The Old City

The area around the citadel, Ulus (Old City), is Ankara's oldest part. The Old City is a fascinating area to walk around and has several historical attractions including beautiful mosques: the Aslanhane Camji and the Cenab Ahmet Pasa Camji are both impressive. If you like walking around in a historical setting, Ulus is a great place to spend a few hours.

There are several very good museums in Ankara. If you had to choose just one, the Museum of Anatolian Civilisations is the oldest museum in Turkey and definitely worth visiting. It is located conveniently in the old town, so you can combine a trip to the citadel with a visit to the museum. The Ethnography Museum is also popular. Click here for more information about Ankara's museums and other attractions.

Tips for Visitors

Ankara has a metro with two metro lines and many public and private buses, but most bus maps are in Turkish. Unless you speak Turkish, the best way to get around is a taxi. Both the bus and the metro are also crowded during the daily rush hour. Taxis are affordable and easy to use for short trips from one attraction to another. A Turkish phrasebook is useful, but many people speak English and the residents are helpful and friendly.

Finally, don't leave Ankara without enjoying its most ubiquitous food, the Doner kebap. These are available everywhere and make an easy lunch or a snack.

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