At the heart of the dramatic Anatolian landscape, Turkey’s capital city often feels like an ultra-modern metropolis, with its glistening towers and bustling business district. But it has ancient roots, from the Hittites through to the Ottomans, which infuse its neighborhoods, museums, and customs.
While the ruins of Ankara’s ancient castle are by no means the best preserved or most impressive in the region, it’s worth hiking up the hill and poking around the fortifications at least for the panoramic views over the sprawling city. Near the castle gates, a number of traditional shops stock exotic spices, dried fruit, nuts, and other local foodstuffs.
Tucked away in the heart of the old city, the Ulus district, the historic Bakrclar Çars, or Bazaar of Coppersmiths, is one of Ankara’s most famous bazaars. Naturally, it’s well-known for its copper products, but if you venture further into its covered passageways, you’ll find traditional jewelry, carpets, clothing, antiques, and embroidery.
When Ankara was chosen as the new Turkish capital in the 1920s, the ancient, walled Anatolian village at its heart was all but ignored. In recent years, though, the citadel district has seen a thoughtful revitalization, its historic buildings painstakingly restored and slowly filled with museums, boutiques, and restaurants and cafés both trendy and traditional.
Home to some of the world’s most ancient civilizations, Anatolia unsurprisingly boasts exceptional archaeological and cultural history museums. Delve into Turkey’s complex history in the exhibitions housed in this 15th-century covered market, spanning from the Paleolithic Era through the Assyrian and Hittite civilizations, and on to the Greek and Roman ages.
Indulge in one of Turkey’s most famous cultural traditions: the hammam. A traditional Turkish bath in the Ulus old town area, Şengül Hamamı offers the complete experience, from the heated marble to the restorative steam room, from the the cooling pools to the myriad kinds of massages, from the ornately carved ceilings to the convivial communal atmosphere.
Ankara has a reputation for being a modern, international city, but its historic center, in the Ulus area, offers a peek back in time to life in the Ottoman era. Stroll up Çıkrıkçılar Yokuşu, also known as Weavers’ Road, and explore the many shops selling traditional fabrics, hand-woven carpets, and leather goods.
Lugal's prime Kavaklidere location puts us within reaching distance of Ankara's best shopping, from the designer shops next-door at the Karum Shopping Mall to the traditional Anatolian handicrafts at the adjoining Sultan's Gift Shop.Learn More
Sample cuisines from across the country without leaving the capital at Aruni Restaurant and Bar, where a rotating menu features dishes from different regional and historical Turkish cultures.Learn More
A contemporary architectural work of art, the hotel was designed by renowned architect Frank Solano and showcases works and decor by local artists.Learn More