In addition to being Turkey’s capital and second largest city, Ankara is the country’s governmental, financial, and business epicenter. Located in the center of Anatolia on the eastern edge of the Anatolian Plateau, the city made its first recorded appearance in 1200 BC when it was conquered by the Hittites and named Akuwash.
In the proceeding years, it has been occupied by the Romans, Byzantines, Seljuks, and more, and its name has changed from Ancyra to Ánkyra to Angora, finally settling on Ankara in 1930.
Divided into the new city (Kavaklidere) and old city (Ulus), Ankara offers an engaging mix of historical and contemporary. The new city is distinguished by hotels, embassies, cinemas, and shopping malls, whereas Ulus is characterized by ancient architecture, traditional markets, and narrow winding streets.
The shops on Çıkrıkçılar Yokuşu, also called Weavers' Road, are particularly reflective of the city’s past, offering a range of native fabrics, hand-woven carpets, and leather products. The Bakırcılar Çarşısı, or Bazaar of Coppersmiths, goes beyond copper, selling customary jewelry, carpets, costumes, antiques, and embroidery.
Take in the entire cityscape at old castle ruins located on a hill overlooking Ankara. Near the castle gates, a myriad of shops stock exotic spices, dried fruit, nuts, and other goods indigenous to the region. Restaurants and cafes offer authentic Turkish cuisine and international options.
Outside of the city, archeological and natural marvels beckon. Cappadocia's "Fairy Chimneys", Ataturk's Mausoleum, and Konya's dervish shrines take guests on a trip to the past. Meanwhile, Pamukkale, lush forests, and emerald vineyards reveal some of the region’s geographical wonders.
Other notable sites are:
• Ankara Citadel: Demonstrating the city’s multilayered history, this building combines work by the Galatians, Romans, Byzantines, and Deljuks.
• Hacı Bayram Mosque: This early 15th Century mosque traces historical developments through the 18th Century.
• Gölbaşıp: Located 25 kilometers south of the city, this glittering lake boasts breathtaking landscapes and lakeside restaurants.
• Boğazköy: The Hittite capital is located just 180 kilometers or three hours away.
• Gordion: The Phrygian capital, 70 kilometers from the city, was founded in 3000 BC.
Shop hours are 9am-8pm and shopping malls are open from 10am-10pm.
English is spoken throughout Ankara.
The electric system is standard European 220v and the currency is YTL.
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