Things to do in Ankara

Make a splash at Lake Eymir

Ankara can overwhelm visitors with its heat, hustle and bustle - but it doesn't have to be so. The vast Lake Eymir is just 20km (12 miles) south of the city and is much more than just a paddling pool. Surrounded by lush vegetation on all sides, and with boat hire and food kiosks, this day trip destination is the area’s true blue jewel.

Seek out some modern art

Ankara is most famed for its antiquities, citadels and mausoleums, but if you want a break from all the history, try the Cer Modern (tel: +90 312 310 0000; Home to the city’s contemporary art, it offers three or four exhibitions at a time and has a charming onsite café too.

Eat the best seafood in town

Turkey is better known for its grilled meats than its fish, but a visit to Balıkçıköy Fahri Çukurambar (tel: +90 312 428 0047; could help sway your stomach. This classy seafood bar is one of the best (and most affordable) restaurants in town. This is alfresco dining to die for - or at least write gushy tweets about.

See how the other half once bathed

Most Turkish cities have a spa or hammam, but few have an open-air museum dedicated to the art of scrubbing up. Dating back to the 3rd century, the Roman Baths of Ankara were excavated between 1937 and 1944, and if you squint really hard, can give a good indication of how the other half bathed.

Relive your youth in Gençlik Parkı

Smack bang in the middle of the city, Gençlik Parkı (which translates to Youth Park) is the perfect place to soak up some of that good Turkish vitamin D. Visitors can cool off by the lakes and fountains or check out the cultural centre, but if you want to relive your youth, check out the amusement park and Ferris wheel.

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