Ankara Castle Overview

Discover Ankara Castle, a fortress perched atop Ulus Hill. Built by the Phrygians and renovated by Romans, Byzantines, and Ottomans, it offers panoramic views of Ankara. Wander through historic streets filled with Ottoman-era houses, quaint shops, and art galleries, immersing yourself in centuries of culture and craftsmanship.

Perched atop the Ulus district, Ankara Castle is a historic fortification that offers stunning views of Turkey's capital. Built around the 8th century BC by the Phrygians and later expanded by the Romans, Byzantines, Seljuks, and Ottomans, its walls tell the story of countless empires. The castle’s inner and outer walls, towers, and gates reflect Roman, Byzantine, Seljuk, and Ottoman architectural styles. The Finger Gate, built by the French in 1885, features a distinctive clock tower. The Akkala Tower, rising from the southeastern corner, provides an unrivalled vantage point over the city.

The historic Kaleiçi neighbourhood lies within the castle walls, with winding cobblestone streets and traditional Ankara houses. You will find quaint shops and restaurants alongside mosques, inns, and galleries. Stroll through centuries of history while enjoying panoramic views, exploring the narrow streets, and discovering the castle’s diverse architectural heritage. Visiting the nearby Museum of Anatolian Civilizations adds further insight into this iconic landmark's rich past. Discover this rich tapestry of history and culture on your Turkey trip packages, where the monument's intricate design serves as a testament to the diverse influences that have shaped the region over the centuries.


• Discover Ankara Castle, a historic fortification featuring Roman, Byzantine, Seljuk, and Ottoman architecture. 
• Climb the Akkala Tower, the castle's highest tower, to experience panoramic views of Ankara's cityscape.
• Stroll through the streets of Kaleiçi, lined with traditional Ottoman-style houses and shops.
• Visit Sultan Alaeddin Mosque, the oldest mosque in Ankara, boasting stunning Roman and Byzantine elements.
• Enter Ankara Castle through the Finger Gate, which features an 1885 French-built clock tower.

How To Reach

1 By Road: Ankara Castle, perched on a hill in the heart of Turkey's capital city, is a must-visit for history enthusiasts. It is 1.2 kilometres from the city centre of Ankara.

2 By Bus: The city’s bus network efficiently connects the castle area. From Kızılay (city centre), take a bus directly to Ulus or nearby Samanpazarı. The journey is about 15 to 20 minutes, followed by a 10-15 minute walk uphill to reach the castle gates.

3 By Road (Car or Taxi): From the city centre (Kızılay), drive northwest via Atatürk Boulevard and Gençlik Caddesi to Ulus. Turn onto Hisar Street and wind your way up to the castle. The drive is about 10 minutes in light traffic.

4 By Metro: The Ankara Metro's Ulus station is the closest to the castle, 1.5 kilometres away. Once you get off at the station, it is a 20 to 25-minute uphill walk to the castle entrance.

Best Time To Visit

Ankara Castle is a beautiful attraction to visit all through the year. It provides panoramic city views and a rich blend of historic architecture that fascinates visitors of all interests.

1 Best Season:  Opt for a visit to the Ankara Castle from March to June. This season is perfect due to mild temperatures and blooming landscapes, making it ideal for exploring the castle's fortifications.

2 Best Day of the Week:  A midweek visit to the Ankara Castle is recommended. This ensures a peaceful stroll through the Kaleiçi neighbourhood and its charming historic lanes without weekend crowds.

3 Best Time of the day:  Arrive at the Ankara Castle early (around 09:00 a.m.). These hours offer quiet exploration, clear skies, and ideal lighting for photography around the ruins.

Other Essential Information

  • Wear comfortable shoes, as the castle's streets are steep and uneven.
  • Bring sunscreen, sunglasses, and a hat to protect yourself from the sun.
  • Use caution on the ramparts since they are mostly unguarded and not child-friendly.
  • Carry cash, as many local shops and eateries may not accept credit cards.
  • Allocate at least two hours to explore the historic Kaleiçi neighbourhood thoroughly.
  • Be aware that most shops and cafes close before sunset, limiting evening activities.
  • Carry a water bottle to stay hydrated while exploring the extensive castle grounds.
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Point of Interest for Ankara Castle
Explore the Castle Fortifications

Explore the Castle Fortifications

Walk along the ancient fortifications of Ankara Castle and imagine life centuries ago as you navigate the stone pathways and crumbling towers. The walls feature intricate masonry dating back to the Byzantine, Roman, Seljuk, and Ottoman periods. You can observe the passage of time through varying architectural styles in the inner and outer walls. Look out for the towers, gates, and ramparts that hint at past battles, and marvel at the structure's resilience. With every step, you will gain a deeper appreciation for the castle's strategic importance as it offers fantastic views of Ankara from its elevated position.

Visit Akkale and the Finger Gate

Visit Akkale and the Finger Gate

Make your way to Akkale, the highest point in the castle, for a striking panoramic view of Ankara's skyline. The nearby Finger Gate, also known as the Clock Gate, reveals a charming clock tower built by the French in 1885. These structures, with their historical significance and picturesque beauty, provide a window into the past. Wander through the arches and alleys, noting the intricate masonry that incorporates stones from Roman ruins. Discover old inscriptions etched into the ancient bricks and pause to reflect on the many centuries of history held within these walls.

Discover the Kaleiçi Neighbourhood

Discover the Kaleiçi Neighbourhood

Within the castle walls lies Kaleiçi, a neighbourhood rich in traditional Ankara houses built from wood, adobe, and brick. Wander the narrow streets, lined with two- and three-story homes that cleverly adapt to the castle's uneven terrain. Downstairs, the thick walls and small windows provide insulation, while the airy upper floors catch the breeze. Browse the quaint shops and boutiques or relax at a café to soak in the neighbourhood's distinct charm. This experience offers a unique glimpse into daily life within the citadel as you pass friendly locals, children playing, and merchants peddling their wares.

Visit the Sultan Alaeddin Mosque

Visit the Sultan Alaeddin Mosque

Step into the historic Sultan Alaeddin Mosque, the oldest mosque in Ankara, dating back to 1197. The structure reflects Roman, Byzantine, and Seljuk architectural styles, featuring salvaged materials from ancient ruins. Notice the fine stonework in the minbar (pulpit) and the intricate design on the walls. The mosque's peaceful interior provides a quiet space for reflection and prayer. Take a moment to appreciate its historical significance and craftsmanship as you admire this spiritual monument.

Experience the Museum of Anatolian Civilizations

Experience the Museum of Anatolian Civilizations

Located near the Finger Gate, this museum displays artefacts from Turkey's rich history, from the Palaeolithic period to classical times. Walk through its comprehensive exhibitions to learn how different civilizations shaped the region. Among the standout displays are rare Hittite sculptures, ancient pottery, and Roman artefacts. The museum also includes a beautifully curated outdoor garden and two charming cafés. A visit here enhances your understanding of Ankara Castle's historical significance within the broader context of Anatolian history.

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