When Atatürk moved the Turkish capital from Istanbul to Ankara in 1923 he turned his back on the Bosporus, but paved the way from Europe to Ankara. Nowadays Ankara is about as European as Turkey gets. There are touches of the mystical east if you know where to look, but the vast majority of the city is 20th century through and through, and eagerly welcoming would-be visitors.
Day 1: Welcome to Ankara
Upon your arrival and hotel transfer, you’ll be immersed in the world of Turkey, a country walking the line between the old and new worlds. Mosques and minarets meet skyscrapers and modern conveniences bought with tourism dollars. Get settled in at your hotel and take in the sites of old Turkey with a privately guided sightseeing tour before lounging about in a cafe and drinking sweet tea under Middle Eastern stars.
Day 2: Old and New Worlds
Wake up, stretch, and head off to see the Atatürk Museum, homage to the founder of modern Turkey, and redolent of the early history of mankind. Afterward, wonder through the dusty streets, soak up the local flavors and smells, eat a Kebab from a local vendor, or sample some of the fresh fish from the Mediterranean. Afterwards, head to Kocatepe, a true Turkish mosque and prime photo opportunity. Then turn your sites towards the Anatolian Civilisations Museum, touted by some as the perfect introduction to the complex weave of Turkey’s chequered and ancient past, and considered one of Ankara’s must-sees.
Day 3: Day Trips from Ankara
Turkey is a land of mystique, unlike any other on Earth. An overnight tour to Cappadocia will let you explore this moon-like terrain while experiencing some of the local culture and shop for various region-specific handiworks. Or, journey to Yazilikaya and see an impressive open air rock sanctuary created by the Hittites, the second oldest known civilization in Anatolia. Either way is a good compliment to a well rounded Turkish experience.