Lugal, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Ankara
Noktali Sokak No. 1, Kavaklidere · Ankara06700 · Turkey 
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90 312 457 6050
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90 312 457 6150

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Ankara and its wonders

In addition to being Turkey’s capital and second largest city, Ankara is the country’s governmental, financial, and business epicenter. Located in the center of Anatolia on the eastern edge of the Anatolian Plateau, the city made its first recorded appearance in 1200 BC when it was conquered by the Hittites and named Akuwash.

In the proceeding years, it has been occupied by the Romans, Byzantines, Seljuks, and more, and its name has changed from Ancyra to Ánkyra to Angora, finally settling on Ankara in 1930.

Ankara is quite a large city, with different towns and neighborhoods of their own characters.  The city runs through the long Ataturk Boulevard, running and dividing the city north to south. Divided into the new city (Kavaklidere) and old city (Ulus), Ankara offers an engaging mix of historical and contemporary. 

Ulus - once was the most elegant center of the republic in the beginning of the 20th century - is the historic center of Ankara, with most museums, early republican buildings, and the ancient Ankara Castle. You may take in the entire cityscape at old castle ruins located on a hill overlooking Ankara. Near the castle gates, a myriad of shops stock exotic spices, dried fruit, nuts, and other goods indigenous to the region. Restaurants and cafés offer authentic Turkish cuisine and international options. The shops on Çıkrıkçılar Yokuşu, also called Weavers' Road, are particularly reflective of the city’s past, offering a range of native fabrics, hand-woven carpets, and leather products. The Bakırcılar Çarşısı, or Bazaar of Coppersmiths, goes beyond copper, selling customary jewelry, carpets, costumes, antiques, and embroidery.

If you are interested to get a feeling of how life was once in Ankara, find Hamamonu District, the newly restored neighborhood with old Ankara houses. A famous spot for the conservative Ankarans, walk through the narrow traditional streets, and sip your Turkish coffee in an historic wooden house, especially at the night. Do not expect to find alcohol at Hamamonu.

Next, Kızılay is the working class center of Ankara. The famous Kizilay Square, named after the now-demolished "Red Crescent" headquarters building, is Ankara's political center. The best way to discover Kizilay is by walking.

Sakarya Caddesi (Sakarya Road) is a crowded pedestrian area with fisheries, street sellers and restaurants. Pass over the southern side of Ziya Gokalp Caddesi, the parallel vehicle road, and you will reach the district around Yüksel Caddesi (Yuksel Road). This pedestrian neighborhood is a left oriented area, with several culture centers, cafes, pubs, restaurants and bookstores.

Continuing to south, the area after Kızılay and up to Kugulu Park (Swan Park) is Kavaklıdere. The area is more cosmopolitan and popular among the young. The back streets are full of cafes, restaurants, pubs to rock venues.

Walking up from Kugulu Park (Swan Park), pass to Arjantin Street and in the end, turn left to Filistin Street. These two are where the top end cafes and restaurants are found. Further south, you reach Atakule Tower at Çankaya, the diplomatic center of Ankara, with the Presidential Palace and most embassies. From Kugulu Park to up, Ankara's nicest parks are aligned, namely Segmenler Park and Botanical Garden, in addition to small but cute Kugulu Park.

Outside of the city, archeological and natural marvels beckon. Cappadocia's "Fairy Chimneys", Ataturk's Mausoleum, and Konya's dervish shrines take guests on a trip to the past. Meanwhile, Pamukkale, lush forests, and emerald vineyards reveal some of the region’s geographical wonders.