The historic TCDD Ankara Garı (train station), a kilometer (6/10 mile, 12-minute walk) southwest of Ulus Square (map), 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 İzmir, then the departure of the day trains to various parts of the country (map).
Services include ticket sales windows, snack stands, newsstands, bancomat/ATM machines, waiting room, toilets, and Left Luggage/Baggage lockers. (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 day.
Ankara YHT Gar
A new, modern station being built to serve the High-Speed Trains that zoom from Ankara to Eskişehir, Istanbul and Konya, the Ankara YHT Gar is scheduled to open during the first half of 2016.
Ankara Garı has a good, old-fashioned (some would say “historic”) restaurant open for lunch and dinner. The Gar Lokantası 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. The waiters take good care of everybody.
Taxi & Airport Bus
Taxis wait in front of the Gar, and the Havaş airport busstops here on its route between Esenboğa Airport and AŞTİ, Ankara’s main bus terminal.
The most important trains arrive and depart the Ankara Garı on Peron 1 (Track 1), the most convenient track. A subterranean passage down 30 steps leads to the other tracks.
A subterranean passage leads to the Maltepe Ankaray(subway/metro) 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).
At the end of the Tandoğan Çarşısı you must climb 50 steps (no ramp or lift), exit to the street, turn left and walk for several minutes to the Maltepe Ankaray stationand 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 AŞTİ, Ankara’s main intercity bus terminal, is right at the western end of the Ankaraysubway line.
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, keeping Gençlik Parkı on your right. At the next major street (İstiklal Caddesi), by the tall Radisson BLU Ankara Hotel, is the UlusMetro station.
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 Brosnaha
|AŞTİ (Main Bus Terminal)|