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backpacking in turkey

Ankara, the capital of Turkey, is usually overshadowed by its larger, more popular Turkish neighbor, Istanbul. However Ankara has much to offer backpackers and other travelers who are passing through, in a place where history and modernity collide. With a population of about 3.5 million people, and thousands of visitors every year, Ankara’s restaurants are keeping up with the growing number of hungry people looking for a good meal.

Despite being surrounded by mountains, Ankara is not too far from the sea and the capital boasts some of the freshest catch of seafood in the area. Kizilay, considered the main downtown area of Ankara, is a bustling area filled with tourists, students, and businessmen alike. Sakarya Street in this part of the city is infamous for its seafood restaurants that serve the best fish in the city year round. Fish dishes in a city that is not by the sea can get expensive, but the prices on Sakarya Street are not astronomical. Be sure to order a glass of raki, Turkey’s national drink, as it is traditionally consumed when eating seafood or appetizers. kizilay ankara

Kizilay also caters to those looking to eat something other than fish. You can watch as the Turkish version of ravioli or dumplings (manti) is being made in the window of some restaurants before you sit down to eat one of these traditional Turkish dishes. There are also plenty of American fast food chains here, from McDonald’s to Starbucks, as well as fast food Turkish style. While Burger King and McDonald’s are popular among the Turkish youth, you may be looking for something else. Luckily, something new or different is not hard to find here. If you are looking for a cheap, but filling meal, try one of the several kumpir joints scattered throughout Kizilay. Kumpir is similar to a loaded baked potato, but you get to pick from a variety of toppings as the potato comes fresh out of the oven in front of you. slicing doner kebab

7th Street in the Bahcelievler neighborhood of Ankara is a place akin to Georgetown in Washington, D.C. Shops, cafes, and restaurants line the long street that is popular among locals. In the winter you can find vendors selling roasted chestnuts, a favorite in Turkey, while ice cream is popular in the hot summer months. Be sure to explore the side streets that connect to 7th street, as there are many restaurants and even fortune tellers. If you are looking for a simple and healthy Turkish meal, try Roka Restaurant. At Roka you will be served some kofte (Turkish meatballs), green salad, bread, and a drink of your choice. We recommend drinking Ayran, the Turkish yogurt drink, to go with your meal.

Kebabs are a signature Turkish dish. From Kizilay to Cankaya and Ulus and back, kebab restaurants can be found on almost every street in Ankara. Order a durum, a doner kebab wrap, if you need a quick fix while on the go. Otherwise, sit down and enjoy an iskender kebab, or the classic doner kebab.

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Backpacking In Turkey

izmir turkey

Turkey is a backpackers delight, situated both in the Middle East and spanning two continents, there is more than plenty to offer travelers staying for trips both long and short. Most travelers come to Istanbul first and experience the Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia, and the famous Grand Bazaar (Kapali Carsi). Istanbul is quickly developing into […]

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