The historic Ankara Gar (railway
station) is among the best examples
of the 1930s Bauhaus style
that once defined the look of Ankara along
with several graceful buildings from
its Ottoman past.
The Gar is an active place,
with suburban commuter trains starting
early in the morning, followed by the
arrival of the overnight
expresses from Istanbul and Izmir,
then the departure of the day trains
to various parts of the country (map).
ticket sales windows, snack stands,
(The alternative to the lockers is
to use the left luggage/baggage checkroom
at AŞTİ (Ankara's
main bus terminal) if you want to drop
your luggage, see Ankara,
then continue your journey the same
A new, modern station is being built to serve the High-Speed Trains that zoom from Ankara to Eskişehir, Istanbul and Konya.
Ankara Gar has a
good, old-fashioned (some would say "historic") restaurant open
for lunch and dinner. The Gar
Lokantasi offers decent traditional
Turkish cuisine and drinks at reasonable
rates. A three-course dinner with one
drink need cost no more than TL45.
A light meal can be had for TL30.
Clientele in the
Gar Lokantası is a coterie of local
regulars rather than travelers, 95%
male, chatting over meze and
glasses of rakı.
It's a mellow scene. Women are completely
welcome. There's a fair amount of cigarette
smoke. The waiters take good
care of everybody.
Taxi & Airport Bus
Taxis wait in front
of the Gar, and the Havaş airport
bus stops here
on its route between Esenboğa
Airport and AŞTİ,
Ankara's main bus terminal.
The most important trains arrive and
depart the Ankara Gar on Peron
1), the most convenient track. A subterranean
30 steps leads to the other tracks.
A subterranean passage leads to the Maltepe
station, but it's
not an easy walk. First you must
go down the 30 steps of the passage
(there is a ramp for wheelie bags),
then walk several hundred meters
along the passage, then pass through
the Tandoğan Çarşısı,
an underground shopping area with a
total of 17 steps up (few ramps).
the end of the Tandoğan Çarşısı
you must climb 50 steps (no
ramp or lift),
to the street, turn left and walk for
several minutes to the Maltepe
Ankaray station and
descend its several flights of steps
to the trains.
If your luggage
is heavy, this may seem like too
much of a bother. The reward is that
Ankara's main intercity bus terminal,
is right at the western end of the
The other way to reach Ankara's
subway/metro train system is
to walk out the front
of the Gar and straight
along Cumhuriyet Bulvarı,
Parkı on your right. At the
next major street (İstiklal
Caddesi), by the tall
Radisson BLU Ankara Hotel,
is the Ulus
Walking from the Gar to the
Ulus station is easier, more pleasant,
and about the same distance as to
the Maltepe station, but if
you board at
the Ulus station you must change
trains (from the Metro line
to the Ankaray
line) at Kızılay to reach AŞTİ.
—by Tom Brosnahan