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Ankara is the capital city of Turkey and the second largest city in the country afterIstanbul. It is located at the heart of both Turkey and Central Anatolia. The city is an important commercial and industrial city, and it also houses the Turkish government, and all foreign embassies. The population is around 4.5 million.

The locals are generally helpful to tourists, and many young people can communicate in English. Although most people will try to speak English with you, it’s a good idea to bring a Turkish phrasebook or dictionary. Ankara is the administrative center of Turkey and a huge university town such that most of its inhabitants consist of civil servants, students and academics.

Where to go?

Anatolian Civilisations Museum

Bird Watching



State Art and Sculpture Museum

Winter Sports

How can I get there?


Ankara Esenboğa International Airport (ESB) is located some 28 km on the northeast of the city. International flights are rather low in frequency and scope – apart from Turkish Airlines (THY), only Lufthansa, Austrian Airlines and British Airways offer direct flights to their respective European hubs.


  • From Istanbul to Ankara, about 450 kilometers (km) and takes about 40 minutes to about 5 hours by car.
  • From Izmir to Ankara, about 585 kilometers (km) and takes about 15 minutes by car in approximately 8 hours.
  • From Adana to Ankara, approximately 480 kilometers (km) and can take up to about 6 hours by car.
  • From Bursa to Ankara, about 385 kilometers (km) and can take up to about 5 hours by car.


Ankara is also the centre of the Turkish rail network and can be reached from many cities. The train trip from Istanbul to Ankara takes around 5 hours and 36 minutes and most (but not all) daytime services involve changing from one of the older express trains from Istanbul to Eskişehir onto the new high speed rail link to Ankara.


The buses terminate at the bus station (otogar) named AŞTİ (Ankara Şehirlerarası Terminal İşletmeleri). From Istanbul to Ankara, the bus trip takes around 5 hours and one way fare is about 35 TL.
AŞTİ is connected to the Kızılay Square and a number of other central locations by a metro line. There are also free of charge shuttle buses to Kızılay (and a number of other locations) run by the AŞTİ administration. They depart from behind the main building.