Getting around Ankara
Ankara's public transport options range from buses and taxis to the dolmuÅ (shared minibus) and the subway - all but taxis are operated by EGO (tel: +90 312 507 1000; www.ego.gov.tr). Services are frequent and reliable, with the subway in particular a highly preferable alternative to navigating the traffic of the city by car. There's also a free cable car connecting Şentepe with Yenimahalle.
Ankara's buses are cheap and frequent, yet crowded and sluggish at peak times. Red or blue Belediye Otobüsü buses are run by the municipality. Passengers board using a prepaid book of electronic tickets as this service is aimed squarely at the daily commuter. The privately run Halk Otobüsü service is cash-only (with a comparable price) and either green or blue in colour.
Ankara's underground network consists of four lines, Ankaray (light rail), M1, M2 and M3. A fifth is under construction.
DolmuÅ, Turkey's inexpensive shared minibus, follows specific routes in Ankara. Payment is fixed by the city municipality and calculated according to the distance travelled with a choice of standard or requested stops (call out 'inecek var' meaning 'someone is getting off here' and the van will screech to a halt). The word dolmuÅ means stuffed so expect conditions to be cramped.
In Ankara, you'll see the city's distinctive bright-yellow taxis (taksis) everywhere you look. All are signed and have the letter T in their licence plates. Fares are metered according to a set tariff and distance travelled (per km). Reliable companies include Elhamra Taksi (tel: +90 312 312 5343), Dikmen Taksi (tel: +90 312 483 1585) and Dikimevi Taksi (tel: +90 312 362 2248).
While driving to the city and hotels from the airport is relatively straightforward, braving central Ankara itself is not for anyone without nerves of steel. One-way streets, congestion, impatient commuters and sparse parking can make navigating the city a real chore. So if you were planning on driving in the city or hiring a car, consider using public transport instead.
Many major car hire companies are represented at Ankara Airport, including Proper Cars (tel: +90 252 316 9540; www.propercar.com), Rent-a-Car Turkey (tel: +90 242 311 8212; www.rentacarturkey.com) and Car Rental Turkey (tel: +90 544 227 2880; www.carrentalturkey.com). You can book online to save money.
Ankara enjoys a lengthy association with cycling and there are many popular routes in and around the city. However, traffic in central Ankara is fast and furious: a major turnoff for cyclists.