A Couchsurfer’s guide to… Ankara

By: Reshed
Ankara Castle (muratart/shutterstock)

Cute cafe!

Ankara has many cafes where you can enjoy playing traditional games as well. I recommend you to try “Farabi Sahnesi“. It is a cozy cafe where you can enjoy some theater as well.

Best breakfast in town!

The Turkish breakfast is very famous, it consists of many plates and dishes. I recommend you to try restaurant called “Liva”. In this place will find many various Turkish breakfast options, it will take you many minutes just to choose. In addition, you will enjoy the service where most of the staff can speak English.    

Traditional Turkish breakfast (Gulsen Ozcan/shutterstock)

Best place to grab a drink!

There are many cool places to have a drink in Ankara. I can recommend you one where is really cheap before 19:00. The bartender can speak English fluently and you will get the chance to taste some really good cocktails too. The bar name is “No 1 Pub“.

1 museum not to miss!

The Museum of Anatolian Civilizations won the prize of the best museum in Europe in 2009. It is totally a must-visit museum. You will enjoy seeing how the Anatolian civilizations evolved during more than 3000 years.     

(bumihills/shutterstock)

Where to dance!

Dancing in Ankara can be a good choice to have fun and enjoy your night. I will recommend you two clubs where you can dance with a great DJ performances. The first one is a pub actually but it has dancing space; it is called “Riff Pub“, the other one is called “Kite” and it is a club where you can enjoy different types of music.

The perfect picture!

If you love nature and taking pictures, you should visit on of Ankara lakes; “Mogan and Emir Lakes”. The nature and the forest there are amazing for relaxing and taking some pictures.

(Bilal Kocabas/shutterstock)

A treat-yourself meal!

The Turkish cuisine is very famous with grilled dishes, and in this aspect I recommend you to try “ASPAVA” the one in “Anıt Cad”. ASPAVA is a chain of restaurants but the one I suggested is the best. However, if you are vegan or you want to try a very nice and charming restaurant, I can suggest you two; the first one is called “L’avare” and it serves amazing dishes from all around the world. The other one is “Big Chefs in Atakule Tower“. The last restaurant has amazing view to all Ankara city, also the dishes are amazing.   

Best view in the city!

You can see all the city of Ankara from 3 different places. My first and favorite place is “Ataküle Tower“. It is easy to access and free to get to the top of the building to see around. The second option is “Ankara Castle“. From there you can see all the city from the old town also you can enjoy the visit to the historical castle. The last option is to get to the “Telefric” and enjoy the ride while watching the city under you. You will pay money for it, but it’s cheaper than a bottle of water.

Ankara Skyline with Atakule tower illuminated (Orhan Cam/shutterstock)

Where to sweat!

MacFit” gyms are a very famous chain in Ankara. You go to the one in Tunalı if you want to do some sport. It has many coaches who can speak English fluently. You can also try “Yoga La Yoga” to practice some yoga of course. The coaches there can speak English as well.

Historic moment!

Ankara Castle and the area of “Hamamönü” are the oldest places in the city. It is definitely worthy to visit them as they show the old culture of the city.

Charming old part of Ankara (yilmazsavaskandag/shutterstock)

Best street food!

The best place to try street food is to go to the city center especially at night. In “Karanfil” street in the city center has numerous options to try.

Best day-trip out of town!

The suburbs of Ankara are more famous than the city itself. I recommend you to visit the areas around the city of you have plenty of time. You should see the areas of Beypazarı, Kızılcahamam and Salt lake.

Lake Tuz (Naeblys/shutterstock)

A tourist trap to avoid!

Try to avoid the bars in the city center. Although they may sound cheap, the quality of the drinks are very disappointing.

Family fun!

Ankara has the largest amusement park in all Europe. It is called “Eurasia Park” or Wonderland. It is a huge area with many themes, games and fun. You can also visit “Gençlik Park” to enjoy a green land and some fun games.

Wonderland Park Eurasia (Bilal Kocabas/shutterstock)

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