After one night in Ankara, we headed to Boğazkale. There is no direct transport to Boğazkale so we decided to take a bus and then hitchhike.
Getting from Ankara to Boğazkale
There is no direct transport from Ankara to Boğazkale. You can either go to Sungurlu, a small town before Boğazkale to change buses, or go to Çorum, a larger town beyond to go back to Boğazkale.
The buses going to Çorum pass through an intersection to Boğazkale, so it is ideal to get off the bus at that intersection and hitchhike or take one of the very infrequent dolmuşes from there to Boğazkale.
Alternatively, if you get off the bus in Sungurlu before this, the bus terminal in Sungurlu is at the western end of the city and you will have to find transport to the intersection. There is some suggestion that dolmuşes run from Sungurlu to Boğazkale, but they say only two services a day.
Anyway, it seems that you have to go to the bus terminal and ask the bus driver if he will let you get off at the crossing for Boğazkale.
Getting to the bus station
Ankara’s bus station is located south-west of the old town and can be reached by bus or by metro. We decided to avoid the buses and take the metro, as we were leaving after breakfast and it was just around rush hour.
By the way, Google Maps works well in Ankara. We found the bus transfer guide especially useful and easy to use for travellers who don’t know the area well.
The bus terminal is just a short underground ride on the green line to Asti station. As we were staying in the Ulus area, we walked to the Ulus metro station (5-minute walk) and took the metro from there. Ulus station is on the red line, so we changed to the green line at Kizilay station on the way.
Metro tickets are purchased at the ticket office counter. The ticket office window at Ulus station was not staffed and there were several people waiting in line. One of them knocked on the window to hurry the staff up, and they finally arrived and started working. A metro ticket cost 17 TL per person.
The transfer station, Kizilay, is the last stop on the green line; follow the green signs when you get to Kizilay station.
The platform is marked with a large ‘Aşti’ sign, so you can’t go wrong. Including transfer time, the metro journey from Ulus to Asti station took about 25 minutes.
Buying tickets to Sungurlu at the bus terminal
The metro station is directly connected to the bus terminal, while the bus ticket office is located on the second floor of the terminal. A number of companies have counters and we used the KamilKoc bus company. We had checked online in advance that there was a bus leaving at 10am, so we went straight to the counter and bought the tickets.
The question was whether to go to Sungurlu before Boğazkale or to Çorum beyond. The distance from Sungurlu to Corum is 72 km, and bus fares vary considerably. When we told the lady at the counter that we wanted to go to Boğazkale, she told us to go to Sungurlu and change buses. Therefore, we finally bought a ticket just to Sungurlu.
We chose our seats on the bus, showed her our passport to buy tickets. The fare was 498 TL for two people and we paid by credit card.
The name, seat number and QR code were printed on the ticket and the lady at the counter further handwrote the platform number of the boarding platform.
Boarding the bus
The departure hall of Ankara Bus Terminal is on the same floor as the ticket office. We walked towards platforms 5, 6 and 7, as indicated on our tickets, and our bus was already parked. This bus departs from Ankara. We sat down according to the seat numbers printed on our tickets.
It was a deluxe bus with three seats across. The seats were also VIP-style seats with a monitor and table in each seat.
Journey from Ankara to Sungurlu
The bus left Ankara Bus Terminal on time at 10am. As soon as the bus departed, the traditional lemon flavoured disinfectant was poured on our hands by the conductor who also came around to check the destination of the passengers.
On the way, the bus made one stop in Ankara and one in the suburbs to pick up passengers. At the suburban stop, vendors of ayran (salted yoghurt drink) and other products came on to the bus.
Once en route, a police officer came up to the bus and checked the identity documents of all passengers. We foreigners presented our passports. Apart from that, the bus travelled non-stop to Sungurlu which is 173 km from Ankara…
No way, lunch break
To our surprise, the bus stopped for a lunch break just before the bus station in Sungurlu. We were informed that the bus would stop for 30 minutes and we would all have to get off the bus.
We were not in the mood for having a relaxing meal as we were only a few minutes away from the town of Sungurlu.
Should we wait for the lunch break and go to the Sungurlu bus station? Or could they let us get off the bus at the junction a little further after Sungurlu? If we couldn’t get off at the motorway junction,we didn’t have a reason to wait for the lunch break to finish. We’d rather try hitchhiking from here.
So we first asked the driver and conductor if we could get off at the junction at the end of Sunglulu. The conductor replied: ‘No, no. We can only let you get off at the Otogar (bus terminal)”. So at that point we decided to hitchhike.
Hitchhiking to the intersection
The restaurant where we had our lunch break was on the side of the motorway and cars were driving quite fast. Not a very suitable place to hitchhike, but we had no choice.
The good news was that there was a lot of traffic and a van stopped after about ten minutes. The driver offered us a lift to the junction to Boğazkale.
Hitchhiking from the intersection to Boğazkale
The van driver said he was going to Corum and dropped us off at the junction with the road to Boğazkale. And as soon as we got out of that van, a car turned right onto the road to Boğazkale, saw us, stopped and reversed to pick us up.
We were so lucky. We told him we wanted to go to Boğazkale and he was happy to let us into their car. It is about 20 km from the junction to the village of Boğazkale. The car was quite old and didn’t go very fast, but we thought it would take us about half an hour to get there…
There was a spring by the side of the road and the driver stopped the car. He took a melon out of the boot and borrowed a knife from the driver of another car parked nearby to cut the melon. He shared it with us. What a kind man, thank you!
He also gave some melon to the people in the car who lent us the knife, and then we drove to Hattusa in Boğazkale in one go. We were dropped off in front of the ticket office in Hattusa and said goodbye to the driver. We left Ankara bus terminal at 10am and arrived at Hattusa at 1:40pm. Pretty good going!