You can spend your first day in Kars in the city centre – there are so many places to visit and see!
Begin the day by visiting the Old Ottoman settlement in the Kaleiçi District. Then, head to the Ortakapı, Cumhuriyet and Yusufpaşa districts, which feature grid plans from the time when Kars was under the rule of Tsarist Russia.
After eating a fine lunch of Kars goose, continue to explore. Go to the Archaeological Museum, in the western part of the city. In the museum, wander through exhibits featuring artifacts from the Palaeolithic and Early Bronze Periods, and the Urartu, Roman, Byzantine, Seljuk and Ottoman eras.
Now, it’s time for a break. Enjoy a magnificent view of Kars with a hot tea at Kars Castle? The next stop is the Kümbet Mosque, south of Kars Castle. This mosque was built as an Armenian church in the 10th century and turned into a mosque in the 11th century. The last stop of the first day is the Baltic-style Katerina Hunting Lodge, erected at the end of the 19th century by the Russian tsar, Nicholas II!
At least some of your second day in Kars should be spent at the Ani Ruins, as this is a destination not to be missed. Ani is an hour’s drive from the Kars city centre, very close to the border with Armenia.
It will probably take you a few hours to explore the Ani Ruins and see the incredible artefacts there. For lunch, Lake Çıldır looks like the best option!
Lake Çıldır is the best option because this lake – which freezes over in the winters and can be walked on – is also the habitat for the delicious yellow fish. Yellow fish, like Kars cheddar and the Kars goose, have a distinctive flavour.
As sunset approaches, it is time to return to the city. Spend your evening in a unique Kars activity – a minstrelsy performance!