Experience Ankara’s bountiful bazaars to have a shopping trip like no other. Here you’ll find traditional and modern items in a true Turkish atmosphere.
A trip to the Turkish capital of Ankara isn’t complete until you’ve visited the different bazaars. Most of them are located in the Ulus district, the former heart of old Ankara. Ulus means “nation” in Turkish and is a great place for experiencing everyday Turkish life.
Names of former glory
There are several main shopping streets in Ulus and they all carry the names of the old industries found there in the earlier days of Ankara. Even though some of these industries are way past their prime, the streets are still named after them. You can wander down the streets of Koyunpazarı, where the sheep market once held court, or the Saraçlar Sokak, named after the saddle- and harness makers who once inhabited the street. Fortunately you won’t have to remember all the different names, as Ulus can be divided into three main parts: Çıkrıkçılar Yokuşu, Samanpazarı and Ulus Food Market. They are all connected, making it easy to navigate.
Çıkrıkçılar Yokuşu, a street rich in history
Named after the “Makers of Spinning Wheels”, Çıkrıkçılar Yokuşu is the best starting point for your shopping tour of Ulus. Here you can observe a seemingly never-ending row of booths and stores selling hand-woven textiles, gift items and clothes. You can even find decorations, leather accessories as well as home and kitchen equipment.
At the end of the street there are several stores specializing in spices and dried fruits, a great way to add a spicy flavor to your shopping endeavor. Saraçlar Street and Salman St. are just around the corner. Salman St. is called “Bakırcılar Street”, meaning the Makers of Copper, after the copper industry that’s been prevalent there for centuries. This is a street as rich in history as it is in handcrafted quality products.
Samanpazari, where old meets new
Thea area of Samanpazari is made up of the streets of Koyunpazarı, Atpazarı and Can, all connected to each other and found right outside Ankara Castle. Take a stroll through these historic streets, where you’ll find yourself engulfed and surrounded by a historical atmosphere. There are countless old wooden Ottoman houses that have been turned into restaurants that are well worth a visit.
Samanpazari is one of many spots in Ankara where new meets old and a great spot to get your piece of authentic Turkish handmade jewelry. If you’re feeling luxurious you can buy crafted silver, ceramics, carpets and antiques in this living museum of tradition and craftsmanship.
Ulus Hali, a feast of tastes
Be warned, after a trip to the food markets at Ulus Hali your local supermarket will pale in comparison. Ulus Hali is Ankara’s oldest food market and should definitely be on your bucket list for the Turkish capital. Wander among the fishmongers, butchers, charcuteries selling olives and be astonished at the colors and foods on display. Cooking dinner? Then this is the spot for you, if you fancy a taste of pigeon, chicken, duck, plants or need flowers to go with the meal.
The different bazaars of Ankara are truly an experience both in craftsmanship and history. It will be a trip through different tastes and sights you won’t forget anytime soon. When staying at the Radisson Blu Hotel, Ankara you’re only steps away from the world of traditional Turkish bazaars. Sleep comfortably close to the true heart of Ankara. Welcome to Turkey!