If there's one thing that Ankara can be counted on, other than a slew of government buildings and a whole lot of universities, it is its nightlife. Because of said institutions, the student population and the large working class clamor for hip, exciting outlets for weekend imbibement, meaning that you, dear traveler, can also be a beneficiary.
Kizilay has arguably the biggest selection of nightlife in Ankara. Located at the heart of downtown, head east from the Kizilay subway stop along Ziya Gökalp Caddesi and break off into the maze of side streets both to the north and south. Cram yourself into Telwe, catch a band at Biber, and rock the second-floor seating of Tiyatro after navigating packed pedestrian avenues; and that's only to the north.
Follow Atatürk Boulevard a few minutes south and you'll be in another nightlife-centric neighborhood, Kavaklıdere. Based around uber-shopping street, Tunalı Hilmi Caddesi, we suggest a stroll along parallel-running Tunus Caddesi and Bestekar Sokak for the late night excitement. The atmosphere here is a touch more sophisticated than in Kizilay, but that still doesn't mean you have to buy brand new Armani or Prada to spill drinks on all night. Joints like Flat, Puhu, and Hayyami Şarap Evi give a good sense of what you can expect.
If these weren't enough, there's also the Bahçelievler neighborhood on the north-southbound Aşkabat Caddesi, just west of Anıtkabir. The vibe along this and adjacent streets is classic dive bar/pub drinking (Tatanka, Havelka, Bla Bla Fun Pub) with a touch of sophistication here and there (Noise, Route NY) and a number of nargile (hookah) bars. Club-lovers can head further south of Cankaya to Reşit Galip Caddesi in Gaziosmanpasa, which has a handful of very popular dance clubs that include Zeki Bar and Retro, while there are also a number of bars on Çevre Sokak on the opposite side of Seğmenler Park.
For even more on the vast number of nightlife establishments that call Ankara home, check out our individual activity pages.