Over the next 10 weeks we will be taking a look at some of Turkey's best places to visit!!
This week we will be taking a look at Turkey's capital Ankara!!
The capital is located centrally in the Anatolia region with a population of around 5.5 million making Ankara Turkey's second largest city after Istanbul.
Ankara is set upon a steep hill located to the North East. Ankara has a dry climate with cool winters with snow and the summers are dry and hot. You can expect some rain during the Spring and Autumn months.
Ankara is a very cosmopolitan city resting on the border between East and West with European and Middle Eastern merging traditional and modern cultures together.
The city offers plenty of history with its old castles and ruins from the days of Ottaman, Byzantine, Roman and Hittite which are dotted all around the surrounding landscape.
The city is incredibly modern with plenty of shopping,vibrant nightlife, a superb variety of eateries, architecture and performing arts. The city is also home to both state and government houses, prestigious unversities, military bases, plus it also has one of the oldest parks in the city the Genclik Park.
A popular area amongst tourists is the Kizilay area which offers many streets lined with delightful eateries and coffee shops. It is a very charming part of the city and is known as the main cafe district, where the area of Kavaklidere is where you will find more upmarket dining.
Other hotspots for tourists include the Ataturk Boulevard running around 5,600 metres. It is the most important avenue in Ankara linking the Ataturk Bridge across the Golden Horn at Unkapani as the Faith district passes right through. This area of the city features a variety of historic monuments such as the Zeyrek Cami which has gone under major restoration and was originally the Byzantine Church of the Pantocrator.
There is the Ulus Meydani, a central square located close to a variety of musuems, hotels and great restaurants. Another great site are the Roman Baths, which considering they are around 1,700 years old they are still in a rather good state. The Ataturk Mausoleum is also a superb site to visit.
If you venture over into the Old Town Ulus you will find plenty of historic landmarks and mosques such as a the Lion's Den Mosque and the Yeni Mosque with the Anicent Column of Julian (the Queen of Sheeba Momunment). There is also the Kocatepe Mosque which was created in the 1980's so its much newer and has become the citys biggest and most popular mosque.
Climb up the Atakule Tower in the Cankaya area of the city. Here is where you be able to enjoy the most amazing panoramic views over Ankara.
Ankara has some great museums that are worth a visit such as the award winning museum of Anatolian Civilisations, as well as the Ankara Ethnography Museum. The museums will give you a great insight into the city's Ottoman history and information on Mustafa Kermal Ataturk, the Republic of Turkey.
Do not despair if you have younger members of the family, Ankara has some great attractions for the whole family such as Ataturk Forest Farm and Zoo and the Aquapark Club Watercity.
A day out the Aqua Vega Aquarium is great for the whole family. Enjoy walking through the third largest tunnel Aquariums in Europe. The Aquarium is one of the largest in Turkey and Europe featuring 11,500 types of fish and 120 species of reptiles. Enjoy the day exploring the wonderful sea creatures from oceans from all around the globe.
Ankara acts as great base if you wish you venture out of the city. There are plenty of excurions available. A great place to visit is the old historic town of Beypazari located 98 kilometres west of the city. This small town is very much a land stuck in time. The village is very picturesque with its traditional Ottoman houses lining the streets in the hilltops, plus over 500 of the bulidings have been restored. This wonderful village offers lovely cafes, markets, three terrific museums and simply makes a lovely day out.
You can also explore other attractions within the Anatolia region like the Cappadocia. This is one of Turkey's much loved tourists destinations. If you and your family are looking for a bit of outdoors fun and adventure then look no further. Cappadocia's primary attribute it its incredible lunar landscape. Enjoy exploring its fairy chinmeys, cave churches, deep valleys and rock cut-out monasteries. The highly recommended activity here is the hot-air balloon trip followed by exploring hundreds of underground cities.
Why not travel over into the city centre of Antalya