Top choice in Central Anatolia

In the Bronze Age, the Hittite kingdom encompassed an area that stretched west to the Aegean Sea and south into Syria with its command centre here in the Hittite capital of Hattuşa. This mountainous, isolated site had a population of 15,000. Today the remnants of its defensive walls, with their ceremonial gateways and concealed postern tunnel, which wrap around the scattered ruins, are the most impressive remaining feature.

If you're walking, a full circuit around the site with stops takes around three hours.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Central Anatolia attractions

1. Yenıce Kale

0.16 MILES

Upon the top of this rock outcrop are the remains of the Yenıce Kale, which may have been a royal residence or small temple. You can climb to the summit…

2. Sarı Kale

0.16 MILES

About 250m south of the lower city and temple ruins the road forks; take the right fork and follow the winding road up the hillside. On your left in the…

3. Nişantaş

0.17 MILES

At Nişantaş a rock with a faintly visible Hittite inscription cut into it narrates the deeds of Suppiluliuma II (1215–1200 BC), the final Hittite king.

4. Upper City Temple District

0.17 MILES

Best viewed from atop the mound of Yer Kapı, Hattuşa's upper city temple district was once a grand centre of 24 temples dedicated to the Hittites' many…

5. Güney Kale

0.29 MILES

Immediately opposite Nişantaş, a path leads up to the excavated Güney Kale with a fine (fenced-off) hieroglyphics chamber with human figure reliefs.

6. Yer Kapı


Hattuşa's star attraction is this postern gate complex with an artificial mound pierced by a 70m-long tunnel. The Hittites built the tunnel using a…

7. Aslanlı Kapı

0.32 MILES

At Aslanlı Kapı, two stone lions (one rather poorly reconstructed) protect the city from evil spirits. This is one of at least six gates in Hattuşa's 4000…

8. Büyük Kale

0.33 MILES

Although most of the Büyük Kale site has been excavated, many of the older layers of development have been re-covered to protect them, so what you see…