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World Travel Guide > Guides > Europe > Turkey > Ankara

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Local time Ankara

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Travel to Ankara

Flying to Ankara

Airlines operating flights to Ankara from the UK include Turkish Airlines and Pegasus Airlines (both via Istanbul). You can also fly via Germany with germanwings or Lufthansa. Turkish Airlines flies from the USA to Istanbul with onward connections to Ankara.

Flight times

From London - 6 hours (including stopover); New York - 12 hours (including stopover); Los Angeles - 16 hours (including stopover); Toronto - 12 hours (including stopover); Sydney (including stopovers) - 23 hours.

Travel by road

Traffic drives on the right and the legal driving age is 18 years and. Speed limits are 120kph (75mph) on motorways, 90kph (56mph) on main roads and 50kph (31mph) in towns. Children under the age of seven must use a car seat. Visiting drivers should also note that traffic lights are often poorly positioned and can be ignored by other vehicles as a result. Drivers bringing cars into Turkey must show their registration documents, passport and driving licence at the place of entry; you should carry these at all times. If arriving from Europe, visitors must have a Green Card and insurance. The Touring and Automobile Association of Turkey (tel: +90 212 282 8140; www.turing.org.tr) provides insurance and advice for foreign drivers.

Emergency breakdown services

To report an accident, call the Traffic Police (tel: 154). SOS phones are available on the roadsides on motorways.

Routes

The O1 and O4 (part of European route 80) connect Istanbul with Ankara.

Coaches

Many private companies provide frequent services between Turkish cities. Services are generally faster than trains. The best coach operators are Varan (tel: 444 8999, in Turkey only; www.varan.com.tr) and Ulusoy (tel: 444 1888, in Turkey only; www.ulusoy.com.tr).

Time to city

From Istanbul - 5 hours; Izmir - 7 hours; Antalya - 8 hours; Erzurum - 11 hours.

Travel by Rail

Services

Ankara Gar is the capital’s main railway station. Services arrive and depart on suburban commuter routes, overnight expresses (from Istanbul and Izmir) and regional routes. Ankara Gar also connects to the Maltepe Ankaray (subway system) – just follow the signs. Suburban trains (Banliyö Treni), run by Turkish State Railways (TCDD) (tel: 444 8283, in Turkey; www.tcdd.gov.tr), depart from the Sincan district in west Ankara to Kayaş in the city’s eastern tip. This slow service is cheap and therefore extremely crowded with carriages piled high with luggage, people and food wrappers.

Operators

TCDD is the main rail operator in Turkey. Express trains link most major towns and cities, including Istanbul and Ankara. Some incorporate sleeper services. A 533km (331-mile) high-speed train line connects Istanbul (Haydarpasa Station) with the capital.

Journey times

From Istanbul - 4 hours; Izmir - 15 hours; Erzurum - 19 hours.

Featured Hotels

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Murat Bey Konağı

Nestled amongst the alleyways of the citadel district, this charming small hotel delivers oodles of cosy appeal, wrapped up in a restored, wooden Ottoman mansion. The outdoor courtyard is a tranquil escape from the city, while the smallish rooms have original Ottoman features but are decorated in a modern style.

Grand Sera Hotel

This is a solid budget choice in downtown Ulus which punches above its weight, offering decent-sized rooms freshly decorated in light colours, comfortable beds and modern amenities. Staff don't speak much English but are very friendly and helpful.

Hotel Abro

For a mid-range, comfortable option, this place takes some beating. Highly popular with both business and leisure travellers, Abro's minimalist-style, spacious rooms are fitted out with modern amenities and are in a prime Kızılay location, close to Ankara's vibrant cafe and restaurant scene.

Divan Çukurhan

One of Ankara's most atmospheric hotels, this luxury property is set inside the restored Çukurhan caravanserai building which dates back to the 16th century. Rooms boldly fuse Turkish and Asian decoration with contemporary, colourful design, while the central courtyard holds onto its historic features but has a glass roof.

Sheraton Ankara Towers

This prominent landmark hotel soars high above the central city and offers unrivalled views of Ankara's bustling Kavaklıdere district. Rooms are classically styled in earthy tones and come with full modern amenities, while the hotel has bars and restaurants, a pool and fitness centre.

Otel Mithat

Neat and tidy (though small) rooms, friendly staff who speak some English and a central location are the major bonuses at this downtown Ulus hotel, just off the main road. The included breakfast is very good and unlike a lot of hotels in the Ulus district, rooms aren't too noisy.