Things to Do in Ankara

Activities to do in Ankara 

Enjoy the panoramic views from Ankara castle, Wander on to the cobblestone streets of the Old Quarter, Enjoy the liveliness of Ankara at trendy Kizilay, Experience divine bliss at Ahmet Hamdi Akseki Mosque,  Hop on a train at Çengelhan Rahmi M. Koç Museum, Attend the Children’s Workshop at CerModern, Relish the local cuisines at the best restaurants and many more.

There are myriads of things to do in Ankara to satiate the wanderlust of the travellers who flock in this city from all around the world. Whether you’re a history buff, nature lover or an adventurous soul, Ankara will never fail to astound you with the tons of activities on offer for all kinds of discerning travellers. From exploring the food scene of Ankara to wandering in its oldest lane to encountering tons of surprises, you can try all sorts of fun-filled activities over here.

You can also collect souvenirs from the bustling street shops or high-end stores to retain the memoirs of the trip. Attending an exhibition and enjoying the 360-degree view of the city from the tallest buildings is some of the best activities to do in Ankara. All the religious souls can drench into spiritual bliss at the beautiful mosques over here. If you’re pressed on a budget during the tour, then you can also try some of the free things to do in Ankara for an enliving experience.

All the party mongers can socialise and chill out at some of the best bars and pubs over here. So, rejoice and spend the best time in Ankara by trying the endless activities on offer in this city for all kinds of travellers.

Here are some of the best things to do in Ankara:

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Discover Ankara's skyline from Atakule, a striking 125-metre tower in Çankaya. Opened in 1989, it is one of the tallest towers in the city. Atakule also offers breathtaking city views from its revolving restaurant. Dive into history and panoramic sights at this iconic landmark, a tribute to Turkey's heritage and a must-visit for an unforgettable view.

Ankara Castle

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.

Rahmi M. Koc Museum

Located at a distance of a few meters from the world-famous Ankara Castle, the Rahmi M. Koc Museum is home to a broad collection of interesting exhibits related to the transport and communication sector. A major part of this huge collection is believed to have been donated generously by the reputed Koc family.

Genclik Park

Spread across a vast area of 69 acres, the spectacular Genclik Park makes for one of the best places to visit in Ankara. Known popularly for its amazing water features and lush greenery, this beautiful park is home to a thrilling amusement park, a pristine swimming pool, two small trains, and a unique open-air theatre.

Anatolian Civilizations Museum

Bestowed with the title of 'Museum of the Year' in 1997 in Switzerland, the Anatolian Civilizations Museum shelters a broad collection of interesting Anatolian archaeology items. Arranged chronologically from the old Paleolithic age to the modern-day, these exhibits form the major attraction of this museum.

Old Quarter

Known popularly as a paradise for the shopaholics, Old Quarter happens to be the best destination for buying amazing souvenirs. The place is home to a plethora of bustling and colourful shops, selling out enchanting décor items and utility products at a very cheap and bargainable price.


Discover Kızılay, the heart of Ankara, where energy and culture pulse through its streets. This bustling district offers everything from trendy shops to vibrant nightlife. Explore the historic Kızılay Square, dine at eclectic eateries, or ride the extensive metro system. It is a perfect mix for both adventurers and casual visitors alike.

Hamamonu Restored Area

As its name suggests, the Hamamonu Restored Area is a well-restored, properly maintained, and calm area of Ankara. Known as one of the most historical places of the city, this area is famous as a hang-out destination in the present day.

Eymir Lake

Located at an approximate distance of around 20 kilometres from the Ankara city centre, Eymir Lake is a paradise for nature lovers. Offering a quiet and calm natural environment, this beautiful place attracts people who want an escape from the traffic, noise, tension, and chaos of everyday city life.


One of the most notable modern architecture examples sitting high on Ankara’s hilltop has to be the Atatürk Mausoleum, Anıtkabir. It was designed by Emil Onat, the renowned Turkish architect who constructed its complex between the years 1944 to 1953. This mausoleum is known to be the sepulture place of the Turkish Republic’s first president and founder Mustafa Kemal Atatürk.

Ulucanlar Prison Museum

Considered to be the very first concept of its type in Turkey, the famous Ulucanlar Prison Museum is a real former prison of Ankara. Known to have sheltered a number of renowned political activists and journalists of the country for more than 81 years.

Mta Sehit Cuma Dag Natural History Museum

The MTA Sehit Cuma Dag Natural History Museum is one of the most remarkable in Ankara. The Museum exhibits a wide range of antique collectables starting from fossils, minerals, and rocks from various parts of the world.

Alt Inkoy Acik Hava Muzesi

AltInkoy AcikHava Muzesi is one of its kind museums that is known for its rural exhibits and culture. The special attractions of this place are Anatolian houses, craft & agriculture exhibits & farm animals.

Haci Bayram Mosque

Constructed back in the fifteenth century, the Haci Bayram Mosque is a token of dedication to Haji Bayram Wali, the preacher and founder of the Baryam Sufi order.

Ankara Air Force Museum

Built with the aim of showcasing the Turkish aviation's rich and glorious history to the world, the Ankara Air Force Museum is home to more than 700 photographs, artefacts, and documents related to the Turkish Air Agency and Turkish Civil Aviation Authority. Important exhibits displayed in the halls of this popular museum include medals, certificates, and uniforms of the Turkish Air Force.


Visit Ankara's CerModern, an art gallery housed in a revamped railway workshop. This vibrant art centre showcases a dynamic range of modern art exhibitions, including famed works by Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo. Enjoy concerts, movie nights, and workshops that change with every visit, ensuring a unique experience each time.

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Ankara Things To Do FAQs

Which are the best things to do in Ankara?

1. Enjoy the panoramic views from Ankara castle
Ankara Castle is a fortification site that offers you a panoramic view of the entire city. It is dotted with many interesting archaeological sites which further lures the tourists to visit this place. The western and southern walls of the castle are shaped at a right angle, and the houses here have small windows made of brick.

The Ankara castle has been the home to many civilizations, including Persian, Phrygia and Hittite. All of whom have left a trace on the construction of the castle. Moreover, for your enjoyment, a number of events, concerts and music festivals are also organized here in the summer.

Location: Altindag, Ankara, Turkey
Timings: 10:00 am - 06:00 pm

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2. Wander on to the cobblestone streets of the Old Quarter
The Old Quarter is a touristy area in Ankara that is dotted with street touts selling trinkets and souvenirs, and the best restaurants. You can also spot the old Ottoman houses and cluttered merchant shops selling water-pipes, jewellery and textiles. The single laned cobblestone streets of Old Quarter are full of surprises at every twist and turn.

3. Enjoy the liveliness of Ankara at trendy Kizilay
One of the best activities to do in Ankara is getting social at Kizilay, which is considered to be the epicenter of the business circuit of the city. It has endless department stores, designer retail shops, outdoor markets and dizzying bars and nightclubs where you can party the whole night.
This area is considered to be the magnet for the youth, and all the mainstream entertainment activities are carried out over here to keep the visitors enthralled. From concerts to musical performances and live events, you can catch everything great over here.

Location: 06420 Çankaya/Ankara, Turkey

4. Experience divine bliss at Ahmet Hamdi Akseki Mosque
If you’re a spiritual soul, then one of the best activities to do in Ankara is visiting the Ahmet Hamdi Akseki Mosque which is considered to be the divine abode for the visitors. It has been designed exquisitely in neoclassic style and has four minarets of around 66m height.
The mosque also has a kid’s corner to accommodate the parents who come with their kids to attend the prayers during Ramdan. At night the mosque turns into a glittering gem as the artificial lights lit up the mosque.

Location: Üniversiteler, 06800 Çankaya/Ankara, Turkey
Timings: Open 24 hours
Price: Free

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5. Hop on a train at Çengelhan Rahmi M. Koç Museum
One of the most interesting activities to do in Ankara is visiting the Çengelhan Rahmi M. Koç Museum to know about the transportation system of Ankara. It is a historic centre that exhibits an extensive array of insights about industry, transport and correspondences.

You’ll discover over here transportation collectables including a toy train, airships and full-size airboats. Here, you’ll also find the trinkets and other transport items that were given liberally by the Koç family. Additionally, you can take a boat or submarine tour to relive the moments of the ancient era, while the kids can have an enthralling toy train ride experience.

Location: Kale, Depo Sokak No:1, 06230 Altindag/Ankara, Turkey
Timings: 10 am–5 pm
Price: 18 Turkish Liras per adult, 7 Turkish Liras

6. Relish the local cuisines at the best restaurants
If you wish to taste the authentic Turkish dishes, then you must visit the famous restaurants interspersed over here. You can have juicy and succulent meat at La Gioia and Trilye restaurant and can relish milk desserts, baklava, grilled fish and Doner kebab at Gulluoglu.
However, If you're looking for some budget options to have the most delicious binge in Ankara, then you can head to the many street food shops here.

7. Know about the past of Ankara at Anatolian Civilizations Museum
If you’re a history buff, then one of the best activities to do in Ankara is visiting Anatolian Civilizations Museum that gives you the reflection of the rich past of this city. It has an expansive collection of Anatolian prehistoric exhibits that give a glimpse into the ancient human civilization.
You will also find here many Hittite figures and antiques that are known to be as old as around the emergence of Turkey.

Location: Kale, Gözcü Sk. No:2, 06240 Ulus/Altindag/Ankara, Turkey
Timings: 8:30 AM- 6 PM
Price: 36 Turkish Liras per adult & free for kids below the age of eight years

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What are the things to do in Ankara at night?

Here is the list of some of the best activities to do in Ankara at Night.

1. Attend the night pool show at Gençlik Park
One of the best things to do in Ankara at night is attending the awesome night pool show at Gençlik Park. It is a spectacular light performance organised in the main pool to entertain the visitors, which makes it an incredibly immersive experience.
Furthermore, this park has several other enthralling water highlights, more than sixty-nine sections of land of greenery, luna parks, tracks, an open-air theatre and coffee houses within.

Location: Doganbey, Talatpasa Blv No:38, 06050 Altindag/Ankara, Turkey
Timing: 24 hours

2. Watch a show at Cuneyt Gokcer Sahnesi
If you’re looking for an extremely fun thing to do at night in Ankara, then you should definitely watch a night show at Cuneyt Gokcer Sahnesi. This is a theatre that is known to organise various interesting performances and concerts and is an integral part of the nightlife of Ankara.
During festivals and events, many acclaimed international celebrities rock the stage with their smashing performing during the nightly hours.

Location:Koru Mah., Ahmet Taner Kislali Cad. No:1, 06810 Ankara, Turkey

3. Party with your squad at the nightclubs
Ankara is known for its glittering nightlife that gives tons of opportunities to the visitors to drink, dance and have endless fun. There are various nightclubs and bars in Ankara that organize the finest musical performances and live gigs to keep the visitors fully entertained.
The Soul Pub and The Ambassador Bar are a few places where you can party non stop with your squad.

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What are the things to do in Ankara with kids?

Here is the list of the best things to do in Ankara with kids for a fun-filled experience:

1. Attend the Children’s Workshop at CerModern
Expand the thinking horizon of your kids by attending the children’s Workshop at CerModern, where your kids get a chance to indulge in a wide range of activities such as fish painting, building toy sculptures, etc.
CerModern is a large gallery that hosts varied workshops for kids between the age of 5-11 every Saturday and Sunday to promote their imagination while offering them a fun-filled experience.

Location: Anafartalar, Altinsoy Cd. No:3, 06101 Ankara, Turkey
Timing: 10:AAM-8PM

2. Have a day out at Harikalar Diyari
Harikalar Diyari  is a magnanimous park in Ankara composed of many beautiful man made lakes. The park also has skateboarding ramps, go-karts, and a model boat lake to keep the kids entertained. You can head on to this park with your kids to play ping pong, golf, or basketball, and the kids can even have a toy train ride here.

It also has an amphitheatre where you can watch an amazing show with your little ones. Furthermore, the park has giant sculptures and marvellous carvings of the famous cartoon characters that give a larger than life experience to the kids.

Location: Yunus Emre, 06933 Sincan/Ankara, Turkey

3. Explore the marine life at Aqua Vega Aquarium
If your kid fancies the underwater world, then exploring the marine life of Aqua Vega Aquarium should be your best bet. This aquarium features a huge underwater tunnel that displays around twelve thousand different kinds of marine species.
The kids can have an up-close and personal interaction with the fishes, turtles, and sharks here, and they can even enjoy shark feeding at a special pool in this park.

Location: Aksemsettin Dogukent Bulvari Nata Vega Outlet, 06480 Mamak/Ankara, Turkey
Timing:10 AM-8 PM

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Which are the best places to enjoy shopping in Ankara?

Ankara is the best destination for the shopping enthusiasts as you can find here a wide range of high end as well as budget shops. Here is the list of some of the best shopping halts in Ankara, where you can buy everything you want.

1. Modern Malls
Modern Malls is a great spot for contemporary shopping, relaxation, and a fulfilling eating spree. It has a whopping six floors of interesting stores, where you can find some of the branded outlets like Zara, Tommy Higifer, and Mango. The ground floor of the mall houses some of the most popular restaurants where you can have an upscale dining experience.

2. Cikrikcilar Yokusu
If you’re looking to buy some of the best authentic Turkish items, then Cikrikcilar Yokusu should be your best bet. The main attraction of this shop is Bakircilar Carsisi which is considered to be a street of copper workers, and you can find here handcrafted carpets and copper items. 

3. Kentpark shopping Center
Kentpark shopping Center is a magnanimous shopping mall in Ankara that houses both local as well as international brands. You can buy everything here, ranging from cosmetics to electronics to jewellery and clothes.

It also has a food court that is dotted with the best eating joints where you can relish the best cuisines. Among others is a kid’s play zone, a movie theatre, and a bowling alley where you can relax and unwind.

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What can you do in Ankara for free?

Here are a few interesting free things to do in Ankara for an enthralling experience:

1. Feed the ducks at Kuglu Park
Kuglu Park is a public park where the tourists, as well as the locals throng in to spend some tranquil time. It is a scenic park that is interspersed by lush greenery that truly allures the senses of the visitors.
The park also has a pond that is home to the ducks and small fishes. Feeding the ducks in this park is one of the free things to do in Ankara that the visitors truly enjoy.

Location: Cankaya, Kugulu Park, 06690 Çankaya/Ankara, Turkey
Timing:Open 24 hours

2. Have a divine tour of Kocatepe Mosque
If you’re a religious soul, then you should definitely visit Kocatepe Mosque to seek the divine bliss of Allah. The impressive architecture of this mosque makes it one of the most beautiful buildings in Ankara. Gasping into the beauty and architectural excellence of this mosque is one of the free things to do in Ankara.

At night when the mosque gets illuminated by artificial lighting, it looks like a glittering haven on Earth. The mosque is extremely magnanimous and can accommodate up to 24,000 worshippers at once. The gold plated domes and the gorgeous minarets further add to the alluring beauty of this mosque.

Location: Kültür, Dr Mediha Eldem Sk. No:67, 06420 Çankaya/Ankara, Turkey

3. Explore the lively neighbourhood of Kizilay
One of the free things to do in Ankara is having a tour of its liveliest neighbourhood Kizilay. This upscale town has many book-shops and cafes where you can spend some leisure time. It is also dotted with some open-air shops where you can buy everything under the sun at great prices. The rush of the crowd never wanes over here as it is considered to be the hub of entertainment and great culinary experience.

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Which are the famous museums in Ankara?

Set out on a journey to explore the history of Ankara by visiting these famous museums that recite the tale of the bygone era.

1. Anadolu Medeniyetleri Muzesi
Anadolu Medeniyetleri Muzesi is a museum that gives you a glimpse of Ankara’s rich history, starting from the Paleolithic Age to the modern era in which we are currently living. The museum houses around two lakh artefacts that are exhibited in chronological order.

You can see over here the deer-shaped statues from the Bronze Age, Neolithic paintings, Paleolithic bone and stone tools, iznik pottery, and an extensive collection of Hittite artefacts.

Location: Kale, Gözcü Sk. No:2, 06240 Ulus/Altindag/Ankara, Turkey
Timing: 8:30 AM-6 PM

2. Ulucanlar Prison Museum
The Ulucanlar Prison Museum functioned formerly as the state prison of Ankara, and it is a site of cruelty and torture. The dormitories, cells and the small rooms over here relate how life was for the prisoners. You can also spot here a dark corridor with distinct, solitary confinement cells while sound effects are played to give the visitors an impression of the agony and pain of the prisoners.

Location: Sükriye Mahallesi, Ulucanlar Cd. No:63, 06030 Altindag/Ankara, Turkey
Timing: 10AM-5PM, Sunday-closed

3. Anitkabir
Anitkabir is a military museum that was designed by famous architects Emin Onat and Ahmet Orhan Arda. It is the mausoleum of the great leader of the Turkish War of Independence, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk.

The museum is also considered to be the resting place of the second president of the Republic of Turkey, Ismet Inonu, who was intended here after his death in 1973.

Location: Yücetepe, Akdeniz Cd. No:31, 06570 Çankaya/Ankara, Turkey

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What is Ankara famous for?

Ankara is the Turkish capital and a renowned tourist destination known for its rich history, vibrant culture and magnanimous buildings. The history of Ankara is very old, which dates back to around the 2nd millennium BC.

Moreover, the entertainment parks and the museums of Ankara are renowned all over the world. It also has a vibrant nightlife, and you’ll find clubs and bars that stay open till late in night. Ataturk's Mausoleum, Ankara Castle, The Republic Museum and the Museum of Anatolian Civilisations are some of the most important tourist attractions in Ankara.

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How can I reach Ankara?

By Air:
Ankara has a good connectivity by flight to all the major countries in the world. Ankara Esenboga International Airport is the main airport and all the international as well as domestic flights land and take off from here. Many international carriers like British Airways, Turkish Airlines, Lufthansa and Austrian Airlines have flights to the city. The airport buses mainly connect you to the main area of the city and the city center.

By Train:
Trains are run at regular intervals by Turkish State Railways. From Istanbul you can reach Ankara in three hours by train. Ulus and Kizilay Square are the main stations that connect all the major cities across the country.

By Road:
Driving is also a great option to reach Ankara but it will be much more expensive than the other mediums of transportation. Buses frequently operate from Moscow as well as the other neighbouring countries. ASTI is the central bus terminal in Ankara and is connected to the metro lines through a shuttle service.

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When is the best time to Visit Ankara?

June to September is the best time to visit Ankara as the temperature remains extremely pleasant during this time. During the day the temperature might be a bit hot and humid but the nights are relatively cooler. The average temperature during summer ranges around 35 degrees Celsius in Ankara.

November to February (Winter):
Winters are extremely cold in Ankara, and the temperature drops down to around -14 degrees Celsius during January and December. You can also experience snowfall during this time in Ankara.

March to May (Monsoon):
Ankara experiences heavy rainfall during monsoon and the temperature drops down to around 11-17 degrees Celsius during this time of the year. The humidity level becomes the highest in monsoon, ranging around 73.1%.

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Does it snow in Ankara?

Yes, during winters (November-February) you can experience snowfall in Ankara.

Is Ankara beautiful?

Yes, Ankara is a very beautiful place that magnetises the senses of visitors with its splendid allure. From lush green parks to beautiful gardens and pristine lakes, you’ll find many splendid vistas of nature over here that will allure your heart. It is a city that offers a unique blend of both old worlds as well as new age charm.

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Is Ankara safe?

Yes, Ankara is extremely safe for the visitors, and you won’t find many notorious activities and scandals taking place. But whenever you go outside to explore this city, you should take care of your personal belongings to stay away from theft and burglary.

Is Ankara expensive?

Ankara is not as expensive as the other Turkish cities, and the accommodations and foods over here come at a budget-friendly price. The Turkish capital is 12 times cheaper than Istanbul, and it welcomes visitors with various budget ranges to have a fulfilling vacation.

The accommodation options as well as transportation is cheaper in Ankara making it possible to have an enthralling tour of this city even on a medium budget.

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How far is Ankara from Istanbul?

Ankara is around 352 kilometres from Istanbul. The road distance from Ankara to Istanbul is around 449 kilometre.

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