Ankara Tourist Attractions and Sightseeing

(Ankara, Turkey)

Ataturk Mausoleum picture (Anitkabir)The capital of Turkey is the country's second-largest city and in many ways Ankara is favoured over Istanbul for a visit, boasting an impressive choice of tourist attractions. Ankara boasts thousands of years of rich history within its Citadel walls and features a plethora of striking architectural styles. The Old Town is called Ulus and is the main attraction for tourists, with its narrow lanes, restored ancient buildings and fabulous restaurants.

Ankara also has a newer part, which is loaded with hotels and shops and features trendy eating streets. Must-see tourist attractions to look out for include the fine Ataturk Mausoleum, the ancient Roman Baths, and the Temple of Augustus and Rome. Meanwhile, Genclik Parki is perfect for those with kids, with its artificial lake and children's funfair.

Close-up image of the Ataturk Mausoleum (Anitkabir)

Ataturk Mausoleum (Anitkabir)

Address: Anittepe, Ankara, Turkey, TR
Tel: +90 0312 231 7975
This fine memorial complex built in 1944 commemorates the Turkish founder, Ataturk. Known locally as the Anitkabir, the Ataturk Mausoleum is a stark yet grand and imposing attraction, located atop a series of steps and featuring a huge mosaic courtyard, together with an exceptionally beautiful gold leaf clad interior. The Changing of the Guard ceremony is well worth a look, as is the recent War of Independence Museum, which encircles the courtyard at its lower level. A gift shop is also onsite.
Open hours: Tuesday to Sunday - 09:00 to 17:00
Admission: free

Photo of the Roman Baths

Roman Baths

Address: Cankiri Avenue, Ulus, Ankara, Turkey, TR
Situated on Cankiri Caddesi, just north of Ulus Meydani, the Roman Baths date back to the 3rd century AD and are well maintained. You can clearly see the heating system for the baths, as well as the dressing room (apoditerium), the hot room (caldarium), the warm room (tepidarium), and the cold room (frigidarium). Beneath the baths are 7th century BC remains from the Phrygian period.
Open hours: daily - 08:30 to 12:00 and 13:00 to 15:30
Admission: charge

Temple of Augustus photograph

Temple of Augustus and Rome

Address: Ulus, Ankara, Turkey, TR
Although closed to the public due to its state of disrepair, the Temple of Augustus and Rome, built in 10 AD by the Galatians, retains the best-preserved copy of the Deeds of Deified Augustus (Res Gestae Divi Augusti), which detail the Roman Empire. The Romans revamped the temple in the 2nd century although nearly 2,000 years of weather and seismic activity have taken their toll on this rather ancient attraction. Plans to restore the temple are underway.
Open hours: daily
Admission: view from exterior only

Citadel (Hisar) view

Ankara Citadel (Hisar)

Address: Ulus, Ankara, Turkey, TR
The Romans finished what the Galatians started in what is one of the oldest areas in Ankara today. The Byzantines and Seljuks also laid their mark on Hisar, and the whole area is perfect for wandering with its winding allies and old buildings that have been restored and converted into restaurants and cafés. The And Café is one of the most popular near the entrance and Angora House.
Open hours: daily - 24 hours
Admission: free

Aquapark Club Watercity

Address: Haymana Yolu 6, Gölbasi, Ankara, Turkey, TR
Tel: +90 0312 498 2100
Aquapark Club Watercity is ideal for families with its collection of water slides and indoor and outdoor children's pools. The park also comes with a good range of sports facilities and related attractions, and has a good restaurant and a café. The Aquapark is just outside Ankara in Gölbasi, accessible by dolmus (shared taxi), and is perfect for cooling yourself down on hot days.
Open hours: daily - 10:00 to 19:00
Admission: charge, discount for children

Ataturk Forest Farm and Zoo picture

Ataturk Forest Farm and Zoo (Ataturk Orman Çiftligi / Hayvanat Bahcesi)

Address: Ankara, Turkey, TR
This large recreational area features a zoo, farms, a brewery and good restaurants. The picnicking at the Ataturk Forest Farm and Zoo is particularly pleasant, as is the hiking and cycling along miles of established paths. Culture-vultures will want to take a look at the mock-up of Ataturk's house, where he was born in 1881. Be sure to try ice cream and beer (home brew), while other attractions here include char-grilled kebabs at the traditional Turkish restaurant onsite.
Open hours: daily
Admission: charge

Genclik Parki (Youth Park)

Address: Ataturk Bulvari, Ulus, Ankara, Turkey, TR
Genclik Parki is another great place to take kids in Ankara, as it has a pleasant lake and a funfair park. It is just south of the Old Town (Ulus), along the Ataturk Bulvari, and is a far cry from its swampy days. Ataturk, in his infinite wisdom, had it beautified and today the Luna Park funfair has many fun attractions and rides for kids, while tea gardens (çay bahçesi) are also here, together with pedalos on the lake. Newlywed couples can often be observed within the 'Wedding House' at Genclik Parki.
Open hours: daily
Admission: charge for entrance to the Luna Park funfair