From Ankara Castle to Shopping Malls: Places to Visit in Ankara!

When I visited Turkey I assumed that Istanbul is the capital city of Turkey, whereas Ankara is the capital! In all of my trips to Turkey I never heard of city’s name until I applied to Bilkent University, located in Ankara. Most people are unaware that Ankara city is worthy to visit, because Istanbul gets all the fame and visitors. In this post I’ll share some great places in Ankara and I advise every Arab student or tourist to visit. 🙂

Places you must visit in Ankara!

Ankara Castle (Ankara Kalesi):

Ankara Castle is a symbol of Turkey’s long history and its one of the most attractions to visitors in Ankara nowadays. It can be found at the heart of the oldest part of the city as it is located at the highest point in Ulus, Ankara. Today’s visitors to the citadel can explore a range of attractions which includes the Museum of Anatolian Civilisations, situated at the entrance of Ankara Castle, and the ruins of a Roman theatre.
Most of the houses are historical and made of stones, but
few of them were renovated and look modern.

Hamamönü (Bath front):

Hamamönü is newly restored -historical- neighbourhood where most people visit to eat an ice cream, drink coffee, have a meal or Iftar in Ramadan. Its one of Ankara’s most popular locations as it is considered as a hub for both cultural and artistic activities.
Sanat (Art) Street is one of the most worth areas of Hamamönü. The street contains 22 houses where artists use the top floors as workshops and the bottom floors as a gallery to display their work for people to buy them. The street also includes a handicraft bazar where woman can sell their products on their stands. Another aspect of Sanat Street is weekend events, live music performances featuring melodies from different cultures.

Turkish soap
Sanat Street bazar and hamamönü restaurants

Tunali Hilmi Street (Tunalı Hilmi Caddesi):

Its one of the most important shopping centres and meeting points of Ankara where the heart of the town beats. Its a very bustling street and it satisfies the people needs from different ages.
Tunalı Hilmi Caddesi is one of the busiest shopping avenues in Ankara as it has arrays of restaurants, cafes, pubs, antique and silver shops, second hand book stores, old records stores, famous brands, the largest Beymen store in Ankara and Karum shopping centre. It also has the biggest book and CD store of Turkey (D&R) in 5 floors with an English section. There is also a small public park (Kuğulu Park) which is known for its swans, ducks and geese.

Karum shopping centre

Eymir Lake (Eymir Golü):

Eymir Golü is a small lake in Ankara where people mostly go there to escape from the city’s noise. Its an enjoyable place where people can have a walk around the lake (about 10km long), jogging or cycling. Some people go there for a picnic specially in spring as they bring their own food and eat it there, however others prefer to eat from the restaurants located next to the lake (mostly specialised in fish). Visitors can rent bikes from the entrance and drive around the lake, they can also rent raw boats and enjoy the lake.
Eymir lake view

Shopping centers:

“Ankara is the city of shopping malls” as most people call it. This city has a large number of shopping malls, each mall has its own style and most famous brands. The best shopping malls which are worth visiting are:

  • AnkaraMall where you can shop for well-known brands in Ankara such as Zara, Tommy Hilfiger, as well as Turkish stores. There are also cafes, restaurants and cinemas where people can relax and enjoy their time.
  • KentPark and Cepa shopping centres are another great indoor shopping experience in the city. They have both local and international stores, selling everything from gifts and jewellery to clothes and shoes. You’ll also find a cinema, restaurants, and bistros. They area located next to each other which is one of their greatest advantages.
  • Armda shopping centre is located on the highway. There are two buildings connected to each other and they form the Armda mall. They have both international and Turkish stores, and they have an open area between the two buildings which includes cafes and restaurants.
  • NextLevel Shopping Mall its has a unique location and a great architecture which have been introduced in Turkey for the first time. Sunlight that comes by breaking through the water creates a peaceful and shimmering environment. It has a huge cinema and an open area of Ankara’s famous restaurants and cafes.

One of the cafes in NextLevel
I hope you guys will enjoy visiting these places! 🙂

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