Ataturk Mausoleum (Anitkabir)
Entry to the mausoleum is free, and visitors can explore independently. A grand avenue lined with lion sculptures leads to a huge, arcaded courtyard, which is framed by the mausoleum and a museum. Enter the vast mausoleum to see the marble cenotaph under which Atatürk’s tomb lies, and then head for the museum, where you can view a multimedia show on his life and memorabilia such as his books and automobiles.
As one of Ankara’s most notable sights, the mausoleum is incorporated into all city tours—with guides showing you around the courtyard and Atatürk’s cenotaph as they explain the great man’s role in Turkey’s history. The complex also features on many multi-day tours that include a stop in Ankara alongside places such as Ephesus, Cappadocia, and Istanbul.
Things to Know Before You Go
Atatürk's Mausoleum is a must-visit for history and politics buffs.
Allow about an hour to look around the venue.
Be prepared for security checks on entry.
Some but not all areas of the complex are wheelchair-accessible.
How to Get There
The mausoleum overlooks a park just over a mile (2 kilometers) from Ankara’s Kizilay Square. To get there, take the metro’s Ankaray line to Tandogan station, and make the relatively long but pleasant uphill walk from there—factor in about 20 minutes. If you don’t fancy walking, hire a cab at Tandogan or use the free shuttles that run up and down the hill.
When to Get There
The Atatürk Mausoleum is open daily from morning to late afternoon in summer and fall, with slightly shorter hours the rest of the year. The museum keeps the same hours, but closes for lunch. The complex can get very busy, so plan to arrive early to miss the main crowds.
Changing of the Guard at the Ataturk Mausoleum
One highlight of visiting the mausoleum is catching its changing of the guard. The timings aren’t officially listed, but the ceremony generally happens every hour or so. There’s no fanfare: A line of new guards high-steps across the courtyard and up the stairway to the mausoleum—adopting different marching techniques en route—in a ritual that’s poignant for its simplicity and silence.
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