Two weeks ago, we headed to Altınköy Açık Hava Müzesi/Altınköy Open Air Museum on the northern side of Ankara. We went on a weekday morning, which is definitely the key time to go if you want to avoid potentially massive crowds.
Altınköy Open Air Museum is a large outdoor area with walking paths, farm animals, and traditional Anatolian buildings, crafts, and agriculture exhibits. There are a number of small cafes serving drinks and Gözleme, farm animals just roaming the park (cows, sheep, horses), a barn with horses, a narrow bridge, craft stalls, and lots of hills! None of the Anatolian-style buildings seemed to be open when we were there. Not sure if it was due to the time, being a weekday, or because of Covid.
Definitely be prepared to walk up and down and up and down. Some are very steep hills. Altınköy is essentially set on two sides of big hills with the valley in the middle and so you’re going up and down a lot! It wasn’t super hot the day we went, but it was warm and the kids complained a bit because of it. I’d avoid trips there in the summer and wait for a cooler fall, winter, or spring day.
We arrived at 10 am sharp. However, despite the internet saying it opened at 10, it clearly had opened earlier as there were already cars and people. It seems like the cafes and shops and buildings open at 10 (or a bit after), but the grounds are open earlier. There was no charge for parking or admission.
There are several maps around the grounds and I took a picture of one to help with navigation as there are many paths everywhere and signs were in Turkish. What the map doesn’t show though is the steep valley in the middle of everything! We decided we wanted to go to the horse barn, which was at the far end. On the way we passed a windmill and sheep and cows just hanging out in the grass!
There was also a playground near the shops that were opening up. We stopped for a quick play before continuing on our way.
I saw a hanging bridge going across the valley and DS4 and I really wanted to go on it. DD7 was scared and at first said no, and then said she would since we wanted to. It was very cheap. I don’t remember the exact cost, but I think 10 tl or so for adults, and half for kids. It was high and swung a bit, which freaked out DD7 a lot. Don’t go on it if you’re scared of heights!
Going across was a bit of a planning error as we were now on the wrong side of the valley and had a longer route to get to the horses! Oops! The park does a large curve and forms a U type shape. At the base of the U is a building with a small museum with stuffed animals that represent Turkish animals.
I really enjoyed the scenery on our walk. At the horse barn, we watched some horses and got to pet one that came near the fence. The kids really liked that. Then we walked back to our car, stopping just before we got there for some dondurma (Turkish ice cream) and Gözleme at a cafe. The Gözleme was sooooooo good! It was 8-15 tl per Gözleme depending on fillings. That’s just $1-2! We shared 2 cheese Gözleme between the three of us. Two Gözleme, 3 small ice cream cones, 1 small bottle of water, and 1 tea was only 42 tl! That’s just under $5.50! Lunch for 3 people 🙂 We ate at this one in the circle of shops.
The circle of shops had a stone oven for baking bread (it was soooo good-and cheap!), a few stalls selling craft goods, and a couple eating places. They were also selling produce and honey and olives.
Overall a fun outing. I definitely suggest going on a cooler day because of the hills and to go on a weekday or very early on a weekend. It is very popular with Turks.
There were bathrooms, though the first we tried were locked. At the one we used (near the base of the U), the toilets in the regular bathroom were all squat. But the one in the Engelli WC was a Western style toilet.
For parking, GoogleMaps will default you to the bigger entrance. That one is here. However, there is a second entrance at the other end of the U near the horse barn. That entrance with a parking lot is here. Both require up and downhill walking. I guess if you were going multiple times, you could park at one end one time and stick to that end, and then do the other side another time.