Ankara has been the capital of Turkey since 1920 and is a thriving city with a lively cultural scene. Visitors will find that despite its modern cityscape, Ankara offers an amazing glimpse of history. Just some of the ancient buildings still standing in the city include the Roman Theatre and Baths, and the Temple of Augustus and Rome. The city's name is derived from its Angora rabbits and goats as Ankara was an important source of wool and mohair in ancient times. Ankara Esenboğa Airport is the only city airport, and it is the fourth largest air hub in Turkey with good connections to the city.
Ankara Esenboğa Airport is the only city airport and handles around 15 million passengers each year, the majority of these being domestic travellers. The airport is located approximately 17 miles from the city centre, with frequent bus services available until late evening. Visitors arriving at Ankara Esenboğa Airport can transfer into the city quickly using the Havas Shuttle, and a mobile app is available for download.
About 18 airlines offer flights into Ankara Airport, including Eurowings, Iraqi Airways, Kam Air and Turkish Airlines. Direct flights from the UK are fairly limited, and Turkish Airlines is the only provider with flights from London Gatwick. These flights take around four hours, with around two scheduled each week. Travellers in a hurry to reach Ankara can source indirect flights from airlines such as Lufthansa, Pegasus Airways and British Airways, but journey times do vary considerably.
Ankara may not be traditionally linked to tourism; however, it's a cosmopolitan city with a lot to offer visitors of all kinds. Frequent, affordable domestic flights and direct international ones make this a viable travel solution for many visitors. International business travel is a major reason many people visit the city, and the airport was the first Turkish airport to receive the award "Best Airport in Europe" from Air Council International Europe in 2009. Direct flight journey times from the UK are manageable, and it is possible to find low-cost flights from hubs such as Edinburgh, Birmingham and Manchester although the most affordable flights tend to be from London.
No visit to Ankara is complete without an off-road trip to the Taurus Mountains, which provide plenty of opportunities for hiking and trekking with impressive views. More central, the hilltop Ankara castle offers 360-degree elevated views of the city, and for those wanting to learn a little more about Turkey and it's complex history, the Museum of Anatolian Civilisations offers and impressive selection of curates exhibits and artefacts from many important archaeological sites in Anatolia.