Cheap flights to Ankara
Turkey's capital is more than just an administrative centre. It's the heart of one of Asia's most dynamic nations, offering a feast of museums, entertainment and shopping opportunities, while it's also a great base to explore central Anatolia. Ankara has risen from the dusty countryside of central Turkey, becoming a cosmopolitan modern capital. Its museums match those of Istanbul, including the fabulous Museum of Anatolian Civilisations, and the city benefits from its links with Kemal Ataturk, the founder of today's Turkey, whose Mausoleum is one of the city's architectural highlights. Otherwise, visitors can head to the Kalesi, the historical centre of the city; although it wasn't a mighty Imperial capital, it was still a formidable Byzantine and Ottoman fortress. Tourists can follow the 9th-century walls, which enclose a tranquil neighbourhood which seems like a lost village and is bypassed by the modernity you'll find outside the ramparts. In that hustle and bustle, there's much to see, from cutting-edge galleries like CerModern to the ruins of the Roman Temple of Augustus and the boutiques and restaurants in swanky Kavaklidere.
Things to do
Tourists rarely lack for things to do in the Turkish capital of Ankara. With culture, shopping and history all around, an activity packed holiday is not hard to arrange in this fascinating city.
- Kavaklidere: Heaven for shoppers
If you want to spend an afternoon flitting from boutique window to boutique window, the upscale neighbourhood of Kavaklidere is definitely the place to do so. The favourite shopping district for Turkey's political elites, it's crammed with big European and American designers. Even if you aren't keen on stuffing your suitcase with purchases, it's a wonderful place to people-watch too.
- A historical banquet at the Museum of Anatolian Civilizations
Probably Turkey's premier museum, the Museum of Anatolian Civilizations demands a day of any visitor's time. Turkey has passed through numerous phases -- from being under Hittite, Greek, Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman rule -- and all of its stages have left unique artistic treasures. From 9,000-year-old fertility figures through to incredibly early written records, this museum contains artefacts that speak to all human beings from the very dawn of civilisation.
- A monument to a Turkish hero
Ataturk's Mausoleum is Ankara's other great attraction. Even if you aren't a fan of the man himself, modern Turks tend to see him as the founder of their nation. As you'd expect, the capital has provided him with a fitting memorial. Located on a plateau above the city and magnificently decorated, it's an awe-inspiring place.
Calendar of Events
The major events in Ankara provide some excellent opportunities to visit, and here are some of the calendar's highlights:
The Ankara Music Festival. Taking place every Spring, this music extravaganza blends classical, folk and blues genres. Inviting artists from all over the world, it includes performances all over the city.
The International Film Festival. Turkish cinema is a proud national tradition. Since 1988, the capital's premier film event has brought famous sons like Nuri Bilge Ceylan to town in late April.
Cappadox. Every May, the little town of Uchisar hosts a unique electronic and experimental music festival. Set amid ancient Cappadocian buildings, it's an offbeat, friendly music event like no other.