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Ankara Castle (Ankara Kalesi)
Ankara Castle (Ankara Kalesi)

Ankara Castle (Ankara Kalesi)

Free admission
Kale, Ankara, 06240

The Basics

Ankara Castle is open to visitors, and no tickets are required to enter. Head inside via the Finger Gate—also called the Clock Gate for its clock tower—and explore the lanes to see the traditional houses, many of which have been converted into restaurants and handicraft shops. Some families still live here, lending the quarter a village-like feel. Other highlights include a 12th-century mosque and the citadel’s inner and outer walls, towers, and ramparts, which command 360-degree panoramas over Ankara.

Those more interested in the citadel’s history can opt to explore it on a tour. Most city tours include a walk around the passageways and fortifications with a guide on hand to supply historical insight and point out details that would be easy to miss if exploring alone.

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Things to Know Before You Go

  • Ankara's citadel is a must-do for history enthusiasts and first-time visitors to Ankara.

  • Wear comfortable shoes suitable for the uneven streets.

  • Bring sunscreen, shades, and a hat: Many areas are unshaded.

  • The citadel’s steep streets and steps make it unsuitable for wheelchair users and strollers.

  • Take care on the ramparts: They’re largely unprotected by guard rails and unsuitable for children or those nervous of heights.

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How to Get There

Ankara Castle is situated in the Ulus Bentderesi district of Old Ankara. The best way to reach it is on foot from the nearest metro station at Ulus—a 20-minute walk away. If you’re considering going by car, bear in mind that signposting and nearby parking is limited.

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When to Get There

Ankara fortress is open to visitors daily from morning to evening and can get busy at peak times. It may be possible to wander around its lanes later into the evening, but be aware that most shops and restaurants close before dark.

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What to See in and Around Ankara Castle

Take time to browse the food and craft stalls in the square outside the main Finger Gate, and once inside, be sure to check out the marble Roman sarcophagi and inscribed stonework that the castle’s builders salvaged and reused in the walls. If you fancy another dose of history after looking around the fortifications, head for the nearby Museum of Anatolian Civilizations to chart Ankara’s history in more detail.

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