The Anatolian Civilizations Museum
An extensive and unique collection of stunning artefacts from Anatolia’s significant archaeological sites can be seen in the Anatolian Civilizations Museum which is located on the south side of Ankara Castle. It has a unique collection installed in chronological order starting with the Paleolithic era, and continuing through the Neolithic, Early Bronze, Assyrian trading colonies, Hittite, Phrygian, Urartian, Greek, Hellenistic, Roman, Byzantine, Seljuq and Ottoman periods. It is worth visiting the museum to see the 3000 years old writing table of King Midas, known with his ears of donkey, which was found in Ulus, the letter written by Egyptian Queen to Hittite King in 1235 BCE, the first map of the world, the drawing of Mountain Hasan and the world's oldest mirror made of Obsidian or Dragonglass, found on 6000 BCE.
The Column of Julian
The column, which is about 15 meters high, was built using masonry stone. It is in the form of a ring with a Corinthian cap and a fluted body. Although the north facing facade of the capital is completely damaged, it is generally in good condition. The base and body have a very simple design and the headboard is decorated with acanthus leaf reliefs. Since there is no inscription, there is no certain information about who and how it was made. However it is commonly accepted that the column was built in honor of Roman Emperor Julian the Apostate's (361-363 AD) visit to Ankara. Since it is in Byzantine style, it is believed to have been built in the 4th century. Julian's column is usually topped by a stork’s nest, which has been the subject of many photographs.
The Roman Baths
The Roman Baths were built in the 3rd century by the Roman Emperor Caracalla, son of Septimius Severus, on behalf of the God of Health Asklepios. Today, the ruins of the ancient bath complex form a mound, as the Roman Age being at the top, and the remains of the Phrygian Period settlement underneath. Since the remains under the mound are very well preserved, the plan of the building show that it was built to Imperial standards rather than a provincial city bath.
The Temple of Augustus
The Temple of Augustus, which was named after the Roman Emperor Augustus, was erected to celebrate the conquest of the province of Galatia by the King of Galatia. It was one of the most significant monuments of its time. The temple, which was later transformed into a church in the early Christian era, is adjacent to the Hacı Bayram-ı Veli Mosque.
Ahi Elvan Mosque
The mosque, located in the Koyunpazarı area of Ankara Castle, was built between 1331 and 1389. It was commissioned by Ahi Elvan Mehmet Bey, who is a leader of Ahis, a semi-religious fraternity of craftsmen. It is a plain mosque with a rectangular plan. The most important interior construction element of the mosque is wood, which represents the Seljuk style wood craftmanship.
Anıtkabir, the mausoleum built as the final resting place of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the founder of Turkish Republic is the expression of the great respect and appreciation of the Turkish Nation for Atatürk. Located on Rasattepe, Anıtkabir reflects the grandiosity of modern Turkish architecture. It is a giant building of symmetrical nature influenced by contemporary architecture and decorated with faceted stone and domestic materials. The Atatürk and Independence War Museum within the premises of Anıtkabir gives visitors the chance to witness how a nation was born. Atatürk’s personal books, samples of his hand written notes and some of his personal belongings are exhibited in this museum.
Ankara Citadel (called Ankara Kalesi in Turkish), originally built as a garrison, has hosted several civilizations throughout the history. It is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Ankara as it is home to several museums including Anatolian Civilizations Museum, old Ankara houses, mosques, and other historical sights. It is also possib1e to taste local delicacies and buy traditional Turkish handcrafts in the citadel as most of the old Ankara houses located in the inner castle walls have been averted to restaurants and gift stores.
Aslanhane (Ahi Şerafettin) Mosque
The mosque which is next to the Ankara Citadel is one of the oldest mosques in Türkiye still standing. It was built during the reign of Anatolian Seljuks in 1290. The tomb of Ahi Şerafettin after whom the mosque was named is located opposite the mosque itself. An ancient marble lion statue which is buried in the wall of his tomb gives the mosque its commonly known name as "Aslanhane", which means the house of the lion.
Hacı Bayram Veli Mosque
Hacı Bayram Veli (1352—1430) was a Turkish religious scholar, poet, a Sufi. He was born in a small village in Ankara and became a scholar of Islam. His life changed after he received instruction in Sufism. A dervish lodge was built where his tomb and mosque stand today. The Hacı Bayram Veli Mosque building leans on the walls of the Temple of Augustus, which is the symbol of tolerance and peaceful co-existence of diverse communities.
Ankara Painting and Sculpture Museum
It is a museum dedicated to fine arts and sculpture in Antara. Exhibitions of painting, sculpture, ceramic, printing arts and photography that are programmed to take place in Türkiye within the framework of international cultural agreements are exhibited in three galleries reserved for periodical exhibitions.
The Ethnography Museum of Ankara is the first museum of Turkish Rebuplic. Architecture of Ethnography Museum of Ankara reflects the characteristics of each period of Anatolia from the early ages to the Republic. The museum exhibits a rich collection of works which reflect ethnographic aspects of Anatolian people. At the museum, it is possible to see folk costumes, ornaments, Turkish-specific technical materials compiled from various regions of Anatolia as well as the finest examples of Ottoman calligraphic art, Turkish tile and glass art, metalworking art and wooden artifacts. Also exhibited at the Ethnography Museum is a collection of carpets and kilims from the famous carpet weaving centers of Uşak, Bergama, Kula, Milas, Ladik, Karaman, Niğde, and Kırşehir. The museum also has a specialized library on Anatolian ethnography and folklore, containing artifacts available related to the history of art.. A bronze statue of Atatürk on the horse made by an Italian sculptor Pietro Canonica in 1927 is placed in front of the museum. The museum temporarily hosted the sarcophagus of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk from November 21, 1938 until November 10, 1953, during the construction of Anıtkabir, his final resting place.
Ankara Opera House
The historical Ankara Opera Building hosts the successful performances by the Ankara State Opera and Ballet. It was originally built as an exhibition center in 1933 and later converted into an opera house. The Ankara State Opera and Ballet has a rich repertoire and counts among its members many artists of international fame.
Presidential Symphony Orchestra (CSO)
It is a music campus located in the center of Ankara, between Ankara Castle and Anıtkabir. The Presidential Symphony Orchestra, which was founded in 1826 and is one of the oldest orchestras in the world, hosts here. Standing out with its interesting architecture, the campus was opened in 2020. It has a 2023-seat concert hall, a 500-seat blue hall, a 600-seat historical hall, exhibition hall, gift shop and open concert hall.
Located in the center of the city, Atakule is one of the most important landmarks of Ankara. On the top of the tower there is an observation terrace where you can find a picturesque panorama of the whole city. Tower hosts a shopping mall at entrance level.
As a social education project, CerModern aims to provide an inclusive experience of art and with the continuous production of projects; it became a center for culture and education. Ankara's CerModern sits in a space that used to house train maintenance sheds and ateliers in the 1920’s. After the successful renovation of the structure by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, it provides an example of contemporary museum architecture. CerModern contributes with an important layer to the identity of Ankara. It will be a showcase to the capital and introduce a works of several disciplines to its visitors.
Çengelhan Rahmi M. Koç Museum
It is housed in a magnificent building before the entrance to the Ankara Castle. The collection contains hundreds of items from miniatures to full size boats and vehicles. Çengelhan Rahmi M. Koç Museum is the first and only industrial museum in Ankara. Like its namesake, it is dedicated to the history of Transport, lndustry and Communications.
Economic Independence Museum
Economic Independence Museum focuses on Turkish economy. The museum, which is in the historical building of the Türkiye’s first national bank built in 1924, reveals the incredible progress of Türkiye in terms of its economic independence since the foundation of the Republic.
Erimtan Archaeology and Arts Museum
The Museum houses a diverse collection of artifacts unearthed in Anatolia, and it is also a cultural center of ans. The visiting halls of the museum narrate stories behind each ancient object that pull the visitors into another time. The multipurpose exhibition hall offers space for temporary exhibitions and scientific, cultural, and artistic activities and musical concerts. The museum provides education programs for all ages but especially for children.
Hamamönü, located between Ulus and Sıhhiye districts and renovated after careful city planning, was awarded the European Tourist Destination of Excellence 2011. Its historic Ankara houses, authentic streets, cultural and artistic events all year around, hand-made products exhibited at the street corners, the street of art, open-air movie theatre, shopping stores promising novelties for all tastes and budgets are among the sightseeing spots of Hamamönü.
Intangible Cultural Heritage Museum
The museum, which was opened in Hamamönü area in 2013, exhibits the traditions and cultural values from Anatolia. The museum was designed in a way to let visitors instantly experience the Turkish culture and traditions including traditional Turkish shadow theatre Karagöz and Hacıvat, folk songs, fairy tales, lullabies, henna nights, traditional painting methods and much more
Gökyay Chess Museum
The museum is one of the biggest chess museums of the World which as accredited by Guinness World Records in 2012. The most important feature of chess sets in collection is their cultural associations of the countries from which they are taken. In the chess sets obtained from 110 countries, one can see the historical events and cultural features specific to each geography.
Historical Karacabey Hammam
Karacabey Hammam was built as a twin bath complex in 1440-1441. It is one of the oldest buildings in Ankara, which is still in use as a hammam with separate sections for male and female customers.
Historical Şengül Hammam
Şengül Hammam is one of the few historic Turkish Baths which are still in use in Ankara. It was built in the second half of the 15th century and has been restored several times until 2009. It is a twin hammam, which means that it has separate sections for its female and male customers with their own separate entrances and changing rooms.
Independence War Museum
The building functioned as the First Turkish Grand National Assembly, between 23 April 1920 and 15 October 1924. It was opened to public as the Turkish Grand National Assembly Museum in 23 April 1961. The two-storey building is in Turkish architectural style and its most prominent characteristic is the use of Ankara stone (andesite) in its masonry walls. The museum hosts important photographs, oil paintings, documents, memorials and various items from the Turkish War of Independence.
Inspired by the architectural styles of Selimiye Mosque in Edirne and Sultan Ahmet (Blue) Mosque in İstanbul, Kocatepe was built during the 20th century with a specific 16th century touch. It is one of the biggest mosques in Türkiye which can welcome about 25000 worshippers at a time.
Korean Memorial was built in 1953 in the memory of the Turkish soldiers who passed away in Korean War during 1950-53. The monument is recognized as a modern architecture example in Ankara and renovated in 2010.
MTA Şehit Cuma Dağ Natural History Museum
The museum was opened to public in 1968 to exhibit and store the samples collected in the field studies of the Mineral Research and Exploration Institution of Türkiye. The museum houses many fossils, rocks and minerals collected from various parts of Türkiye and the world while it also involves the simulation of a space journey, showcases of animals and plants of Türkiye as well as the tools and materials used by prehistoric people.
Museum of The Republic - Second Parliament House
Second Parliament House is the building where the activities of the Parliament had been carried out between 1924-1960 years. The museum is in Ulus neighborhood which is in Altındağ district of Ankara.
It is one of the most important open spaces in Ankara where you can have a good taste of nature in the center of the city. There is also a small amphitheater in the park to host small concerts. It is a lively place especially in the summer evenings where many people gather to chill.
Suluhan is a historical caravanserai (historical roadside inn) which was constructed in the beginning of the 16th century according to its vakfiye (inscription) of endowment. Suluhan, where coffee and yarn trade were carried out in the Ottoman period, is also known as Hasan Paşa Han. Nowadays it is mainly used for tourism and leisure with cafes and souvenir shops inside the building.
Shopping Malls in Ankara
Ankara is a shopaholic’s heaven. Thousands of domestic and international brands hosted by grandiose shopping malls where typically highest floor is reserved for restaurants, cafes and movie theaters. They are open between 10 am and 10 pm.
Going Out in Ankara
Thanks to the young population and the number of universities in the city, Ankara has a vibrant social life. The 7th Street in Bahçelievler, Tunalı Hilmi, Bestekar, Filistin Tunus, Sakarya and Park Streets have numerous cafes, restaurants, clubs to hang out with friends. Gaziosmanpaşa is one of the liveliest districts in Ankara where most of the premium restaurants and clubs are located. Its proximity to the foreign embassies and international organizations makes the district a vibrant, 24-hour living place.
Tunalı Hilmi and Bestekar Streets are the main attraction points of the young population of Ankara. Most of the university students and youngsters choose the area to enjoy a wide variety of food and shopping options.
Kızılay is the heart of the city with many attraction points. The transportation to Kızılay is very easy due to its central location and it draws people from all over by offering plenty of shops, cafes and restaurants to enjoy.
Traditional Ankara Houses in Kaleiçi neighborhood were planned in a way to use the maximum space of narrow streets due to the position of the neighborhood. They were mostly made of wood, adobe, brick ass two or three storey-houses. The houses have special rooms called “Cihannuma” (gazebo) for summer use. These rooms are characteristic of old Ankara houses. In the making of wooden ceilings, geometrical decorations were impressively used.