Ankara Turkey is the second-largest city in the country after Istanbul. It is also the capital of Turkey and located almost in the center of the country’s interior. There are numerous things to do and attractions to see here, even though it is not always on the itineraries of many tourists' vacation packages. There are regularly scheduled flights to Ankara from several of the major Turkish cities. Some international airlines to Turkey offer Ankara travel and the city’s airport is a large and modern facility, but it primarily services domestic flights.
Travel to Ankara by car rentals is relatively simple, as the city is well connected by a highway system that runs from Istanbul. There is also good train service between these two cities, but you should be sure to reserve a first-class ticket unless you are a very experienced traveler looking for a little adventure. It is also recommended that you purchase tickets in advance from a licensed agent. At an altitude of nearly 3,000 feet, Ankara Turkey has a continental climate with hot, dry summers, and cold, snowy winter weather. If skiing is your interest, you will find ski resorts on the Istanbul highway about halfway between the two cities.
The attractions in Ankara include some notable museums and a number of ancient Roman archaeological sites. The history of the capital city dates to the Bronze Age; it has been conquered and ruled variously by the Roman Empire, the Byzantine Empire, the Seljuks, and finally the Ottomans. For quite some time, it was an important hub of trade on the fabled Silk Road, linking Ankara travel to Persia (today’s Iran), China and on to Europe.
Some of the attractions in Ankara include the bazaars that were so important during this time. The Mahmut Pasa Bazaar dates to the mid-fifteenth century, and part of its domed structure is the exhibition hall of the Museum of the Anatolian Civilizations. Other bazaars in the city are strictly for shopping, including modern malls and historic bazaars. Of particular interest to visitors is the old Weavers Bazaar. This region has long been noted for its long-haired Angora goats that produce prized mohair wool, as well as the wool produced in farming the native breeds of Angora cats and rabbits. The area is also noted for its coppersmithing, and you will find wonderful brass and copper handcrafts (as well as antiques) in the old Coppersmith Bazaar.
The Mahmut Pasa Bazaar is located on the way to another of the attractions in Ankara—the massive walled citadel that sits on a hill dominating the city. Numerous excellently restored ancient buildings can be explored here. Ankara Turkey also boasts a number of notable ancient ruins and monuments in and around the city, including the Column of Julian dating to 362, traditional Roman and Turkish baths, and a Roman temple and theater.
Ankara travel also reveals modern structures and monuments. As Ankara is the capital of Turkey, impressive government buildings include the Parliament and President’s residence, the modern Ataturk Museum, and the War of Independence Museum. Finally, there are many beautiful mosques. Look especially for the Haci Bayram Mosque next to the Temple of Augustus and the Yeni Mosque, largest mosque in the city and built by the famous Ottoman architect Sinan, who also designed the magnificent Suleymaniye Mosque to rival the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul.