Where to stay in Ankara


Ankara, the capital city of Turkey, is a destination with a rich history, vibrant culture, and a lively urban atmosphere. It is a city where the old meets the new, where bustling markets and modern shopping malls coexist. As the administrative heart of the country, it boasts diverse neighborhoods, each offering a unique aspect of Ankara's identity. From the historic to the metropolitan, Ankara's districts cater to various preferences, whether you seek the hustle and bustle of city life or a quieter, more residential setting. This guide aims to provide an honest look into some key areas of Ankara to help you decide where to stay during your visit, painting a genuine picture of what to expect from each neighborhood.

  • Kocatepe

    • 🏙️ central
    • landmark
    • moderate

    Kocatepe is central and features the prominent Kocatepe Mosque, a must-visit landmark. The area is reasonably lively, with access to cafes, restaurants, and shopping. However, it doesn't have the same intensity of nightlife as Kizilay. It balances between being close to the city center and providing a slightly more subdued atmosphere. Travelers looking for a central location with a bit more space and less hustle might find Kocatepe appealing.

  • Maltepe

    • 🏙️ central
    • local
    • budget-friendly
    • noisy
    • 👫 busy

    Maltepe is a central district of Ankara that offers a vibrant urban experience. It's well-known for its transport connections, making it a practical spot for travelers. However, it can be noisy and crowded, as it's one of the main commercial areas. The neighborhood's proximity to Kızılay, Ankara's beating heart, ensures many dining and shopping options. While convenient, it's not the most picturesque or quiet area to stay in Ankara.

  • Kültür

    • 🎭 cultural
    • arts
    • 🏺 museums
    • refined
    • 🧘 quiet

    Kültür is a quieter residential neighborhood known for its green spaces and cultural institutions. It offers a calm environment, which is great for those looking for a more relaxed stay. Depending on your preferences, the area can feel a bit removed from the hustle and bustle, which could be seen as a positive or a negative. Access to public transport is acceptable, though not as comprehensive as in some other central districts. Stay here for a peaceful retreat within the city.

  • Meşrutiyet

    • dynamic
    • mixed-use
    • entertainment
    • local-businesses

    Meşrutiyet is a dynamic area known for its artsy vibe and the presence of Ankara's independent theaters and galleries. It is becoming increasingly popular due to its cultural offerings and unique charm. However, with popularity can come a higher cost of stay and occasional noise from the lively streets below. This neighborhood is fantastic for those who appreciate the arts and want to be in the thick of Ankara's creative scene.

  • Hacı Bayram

    • 🎭 cultural
    • 🏛️ historic
    • 📸 touristy
    • 🤼 crowded

    Haci Bayram is a historic neighborhood famous for the Haci Bayram Mosque and the surrounding area, which have significant cultural and spiritual value. The location is vibrant with tourists and has a traditional aura juxtaposed with souvenir shops and quaint cafes. While it offers a rich cultural experience, travelers looking for modern amenities or a more tranquil setting might find it somewhat overwhelming. Remember that it can be noisy, and expect the streets to be crowded, especially during religious holidays.

  • Kavaklıdere

    • 🥂 upscale
    • 💎 luxury
    • embassies
    • cosmopolitan

    Kavaklidere is known as an upscale area, with many embassies, high-end restaurants, and boutiques. It is great for travelers who appreciate luxury and convenience, and are willing to pay for it. The neighborhood has a cosmopolitan feel, but it might not exhibit the traditional Turkish culture as much as other parts of the city. Some might find it lacks the unique charm that can be found in more historical or vibrant neighborhoods.

  • Hacettepe

    • youthful
    • academic
    • affordable
    • 🕺 lively
    • student-populated

    The Hacettepe neighborhood is dominated by the presence of Hacettepe University, infusing a youthful and scholarly atmosphere into the area. It has a variety of affordable eateries and housing, catering primarily to students and academic staff. The upside is a vibrant intellectual scene with plenty of cafes and cultural activities. The downside might be the occasional rowdiness and less polished environment compared to more upscale areas. Hacettepe is excellent for those seeking an energetic and budget-friendly area.

  • Cumhuriyet

    • 🏛️ historic
    • vintage
    • charming
    • less-convenient

    Cumhuriyet is an established neighborhood with a solid mix of residential and commercial areas. It can be a comfortable middle ground for travelers looking for a convenient and well-rounded stay. The area has its share of cafes and shops, although it's not a nightlife hotspot. It's a fair choice if you prefer a balance between accessibility to attractions and a neighborhood that's not too bustling after dark.

  • Korkutreis

    • 🏘️ residential
    • non-touristy
    • 🧘 quiet
    • local-life

    Korkutreis is a mostly residential area with a local, non-touristy atmosphere. The neighborhood offers few attractions or noteworthy dining options, and it might not leave a strong impression on visitors looking for excitement. However, for those in search of an authentic residential experience, it provides a quiet backdrop to Ankara life with the bonus of generally lower accommodation prices. It's a good pick for budget-conscious travelers who don't mind the absence of a vibrant scene.

  • Eti

    • 🏘️ residential
    • offbeat
    • budget-friendly

    Eti is another typically residential district offering a glimpse into the everyday lives of Ankara's residents. It's a quiet sector that lacks major tourist attractions, making it a less popular choice for visitors. It can be a good pick if you want a break from the usual tourist trails and are looking for inexpensive accommodation options. However, if you're in Ankara to explore its historical and cultural sights, you might find Eti too remote.

  • Kale

    • 🏛️ historic
    • charming
    • 📸 touristy

    The Kale area of Ankara, known for its historic Ankara Castle, is a charming blend of the old and new. It's attractive to those interested in history and eager to explore winding streets that speak of the past. However, the amenities here are not as updated as in more modern parts of the city, and some travelers might find the infrastructure lacking. The area can be quite touristy, which is a positive for some but might be off-putting for travelers seeking a more authentic local experience.

  • Sağlık

    • healthcare-centric
    • practical
    • limited entertainment

    Sağlık is a neighborhood closely associated with medical facilities, including several of Ankara's largest hospitals. This focus makes it an ideal spot if you're in town for medical reasons but less for casual tourists. Sağlık is generally quiet outside medical precincts, and while safe, it may lack the excitement and amenities of more tourist-oriented districts.

  • Kızılay

    • 🍷 nightlife
    • 🏙️ central
    • 🛍️ shopping
    • 💃 vibrant

    Kizilay is the beating heart of Ankara, known for its vibrant streets lined with shops, restaurants, and entertainment options. It's the hub for nightlife, culture, and shopping, making it ideal for travelers who want to be at the center of it all. However, the area can be quite busy and noisy, which might not suit those looking for a peaceful environment. The convenience of being in Kizilay comes with a buzzy, sometimes chaotic, urban experience.

  • Fidanlık

    • 🏡 suburban
    • 🧘 quiet
    • 🏘️ residential
    • less-developed

    Fidanlık is a small, tranquil neighborhood nestled within Ankara. Its name, meaning 'nursery' or 'plantation', reflects its greener, more peaceful environment. Although it offers less in terms of nightlife and dining, it could be a good fit for those looking to stay in a less hectic part of the city. The area might not be the most convenient for sightseeing or shopping but would suit visitors looking for relaxation away from the city's commotion.