Just east of Kars are the ruins of Ani, a once-bustling Armenian settlement from the 11th century. The territory was often disputed and taken over in the centuries that followed, but the once-prosperous city of 1,001 churches has long since been abandoned. What remains is a beautiful mess of rubble, mountains, sky, and one-of-a-kind architecture.
I couldn’t believe how stunning this place was and I couldn’t have asked for a more beautiful day to walk around an ancient city. Ani is honestly one of the most beautiful and unique places I have ever seen.
Better yet, it’s not nearly as difficult or as expensive to get to as I would have expected. Buses run daily at 11:00 from Kars (in front of Antik Cafe) and it only costs 7 TL each way. The bus returns to Kars from Ani at 14:00, which gives you a little over two hours to explore the site, which we felt was sufficient. If you’re planning a longer vacation in Turkey, definitely don’t skip it!