Top Things to do in Antalya
Nestled along the breathtaking Turkish Riviera, Antalya is a coastal gem known for its captivating blend of ancient history and modern attractions. With its pristine beaches, ancient ruins, and vibrant bazaars, this Mediterranean paradise offers a myriad of unforgettable experiences for travelers of all ages.
Whether you're a history enthusiast, nature lover, or simply seeking a relaxing getaway, Antalya has something special in store for everyone. Let's explore the top things to do in this enchanting city.
Here are Some of the Top Things to do in Antalya, Turkey:
Explore the Old Town (Kaleici):
Exploring the Old Town (Kaleici) is a must-do activity when visiting Antalya. Here's what you can expect when exploring this historic neighborhood:
- Rich History: Kaleici is the historical heart of Antalya, dating back to Roman times. It is a well-preserved area with narrow, winding streets and traditional Ottoman-style houses, showcasing the city's rich history and architectural heritage.
- Charming Atmosphere: As you wander through the narrow streets of Kaleici, you'll be enchanted by its charming ambiance. The neighborhood is filled with boutique hotels, restaurants, cafes, and shops, creating a lively and inviting atmosphere.
- Hadrian's Gate: One of the main attractions in Kaleici is Hadrian's Gate (Hadrianus Kapısı), a beautifully preserved Roman triumphal arch that was built in the 2nd century AD. It is an iconic symbol of Antalya and serves as an entrance to the old town.
- Historical Sites: Kaleici is home to several historical sites that are worth exploring. Visit the Antalya Museum, located in the heart of the neighborhood, to learn about the region's ancient past. You can also explore the Hıdırlık Tower, an ancient Roman tower offering panoramic views of the city and the Mediterranean Sea.
- Kaleici Marina: Located along the coastline, Kaleici Marina is a charming spot to relax and enjoy the scenic views. It is lined with restaurants and cafes, offering a perfect setting to savor a meal or a cup of Turkish tea while overlooking the boats in the harbor.
- Shopping and Souvenirs: Kaleici is a shopper's paradise, with numerous shops selling traditional handicrafts, carpets, jewelry, and souvenirs. Explore the small boutiques and art galleries to find unique items that reflect the local culture and craftsmanship.
- Kaleici Park: Take a break from the bustling streets and visit Kaleici Park, a tranquil green space within the neighborhood. It offers a peaceful atmosphere to sit, relax, and enjoy the natural surroundings.
- Kaleici Street Performers: As you stroll through the streets of Kaleici, you may encounter street performers entertaining visitors with their music, dance, or artistic skills. It adds an element of liveliness and cultural immersion to your exploration.
- Dining and Nightlife: Kaleici is known for its vibrant dining and nightlife scene. There are plenty of restaurants and cafes offering a variety of cuisines, including traditional Turkish dishes, seafood, and international fare. At night, the neighborhood comes alive with bars and clubs, providing entertainment for those seeking a vibrant nightlife experience.
- Panoramic Views: Climb up to the top of the city walls or find a rooftop terrace in Kaleici for panoramic views of the old town, the harbor, and the surrounding Mediterranean coastline. It's a great opportunity to capture memorable photos and appreciate the beauty of Antalya.
- Exploring the Old Town (Kaleici) in Antalya is a journey through history, culture, and charm. Whether you're interested in historical sites, shopping, dining, or simply soaking up the unique atmosphere, Kaleici offers an unforgettable experience that showcases the essence of Antalya's heritage.
Visit Antalya's Beaches:
Relax and soak up the sun on the beautiful beaches of Antalya, such as Lara Beach and Konyaalti Beach, which offer clear waters and scenic views.When visiting Antalya, you'll have the opportunity to enjoy its stunning beaches. Here's what you can expect when you visit Antalya's beaches:
- Lara Beach: Located just east of the city center, Lara Beach is known for its long stretch of golden sand and crystal-clear waters. It offers a vibrant beach atmosphere with numerous beach clubs, water sports activities, and amenities.
- Konyaalti Beach: Situated west of the city center, Konyaalti Beach is another popular choice for beachgoers. It features a pebble beach and a picturesque backdrop of the Taurus Mountains. The beach offers various facilities and is lined with cafes, restaurants, and bars.
- Cleopatra Beach: Located in Alanya, a town about two hours from Antalya, Cleopatra Beach is renowned for its fine golden sand and turquoise waters. It's named after the legendary Egyptian queen who is believed to have swum in these waters. The beach offers a relaxing atmosphere and stunning views.
- Phaselis Beach: Situated within the ancient city of Phaselis, this beach offers a unique experience. You can swim in the crystal-clear waters and explore the ruins of the ancient city in between sunbathing sessions. It's a great choice for history enthusiasts.
- Cirali Beach: Nestled between the mountains and the sea, Cirali Beach offers a tranquil and natural setting. The beach is known for its peaceful atmosphere, pristine waters, and scenic views. It's also home to the protected loggerhead sea turtles (caretta caretta).
- Patara Beach: Located near the ancient city of Patara, this beach is known for its vast stretch of sand and pristine beauty. It's one of the longest sandy beaches in Turkey and offers a serene environment, ideal for relaxing and enjoying the natural surroundings.
- Kaputas Beach: Although not directly in Antalya, Kaputas Beach is worth mentioning as it's a popular day trip destination. It's a small hidden cove with turquoise waters and a pebble beach, nestled between cliffs. The beach is accessed via a steep staircase, adding to its secluded charm.
- At these beaches, you can relax on the sandy shores, soak up the sun, swim in the refreshing waters, and engage in various water sports activities such as jet skiing, parasailing, and banana boat rides. Many of the beaches also have amenities like beach clubs, sunbeds, umbrellas, and beachfront restaurants where you can indulge in delicious seafood and refreshing beverages.
- Whether you're seeking a vibrant beach experience with a lively atmosphere or a secluded spot surrounded by nature, Antalya offers a range of beaches to cater to different preferences.
Discover Antalya's Archaeological Sites:
Explore the ancient ruins of Perge, Aspendos, and Termessos, which are located near Antalya and offer a glimpse into the region's rich history.
When exploring Antalya, you'll have the opportunity to discover its fascinating archaeological sites that showcase the region's rich history. Here are some notable archaeological sites to visit:
- Aspendos: Located about 50 kilometers east of Antalya, Aspendos is home to one of the best-preserved ancient theaters in the world. Built during the Roman period, the Aspendos Theater is renowned for its remarkable acoustics and is still used for performances today.
- Perge: Situated about 18 kilometers east of Antalya, Perge is an ancient city with extensive ruins that date back to Hellenistic, Roman, and Byzantine periods. Explore its well-preserved theater, Roman baths, colonnaded streets, and impressive city gate.
- Side: Located about 75 kilometers east of Antalya, Side was an ancient port city known for its well-preserved ruins. Visit the Temple of Apollo, the ancient theater, the Roman baths, and the impressive colonnaded streets that lead to the harbor.
- Phaselis: Situated about 15 kilometers southwest of Kemer, Phaselis was an ancient Lycian city with a beautiful natural harbor. Explore its ruins, including the theater, Roman baths, agora, and ancient streets. Enjoy the serene beach and swim in the crystal-clear waters.
- Termessos: Located about 34 kilometers northwest of Antalya, Termessos is a fascinating ancient city situated on a mountain. The site offers breathtaking views and well-preserved ruins, including the theater, necropolis, city walls, and ancient tombs.
- Olympos: Situated about 80 kilometers southwest of Antalya, Olympos is an ancient city known for its picturesque setting between the mountains and the sea. Explore the ruins, including the theater, Roman baths, and the famous Chimera, a natural eternal flame.
- Kaleici: While not strictly an archaeological site, the historic Kaleici neighborhood in Antalya's old town is worth exploring for its ancient Roman and Byzantine structures. Stroll through its narrow streets and discover remnants of the city's past, including the Hadrian's Gate and Hidirlik Tower.
- Visiting these archaeological sites will transport you back in time, allowing you to explore ancient ruins, marvel at the architectural wonders, and gain insights into the rich cultural heritage of the region. It's advisable to wear comfortable shoes, carry water, and consider hiring a guide to enhance your experience and learn more about the historical significance of each site.
Visit the Antalya Museum:
Discover the fascinating artifacts and exhibits at the Antalya Museum, which showcases the archaeological treasures from the surrounding areaThe Antalya Museum, also known as the Antalya Archaeological Museum, is one of the largest and most important museums in Turkey. It is located in the Konyaalti district of Antalya and showcases a vast collection of artifacts from various periods, including prehistoric, Hellenistic, Roman, Byzantine, and Ottoman.
Highlights of the Antalya Museum include:
- Prehistoric Hall: This section exhibits artifacts from the Paleolithic, Neolithic, and Chalcolithic periods, including tools, pottery, and sculptures.
- Hall of Regional Excavations: Here, you can explore archaeological finds from the ancient cities of Perge, Aspendos, Side, and other sites in the Antalya region. Marvel at the intricate sculptures, mosaics, and sarcophagi on display.
- Hall of Gods and Emperors: Discover ancient statues of gods, goddesses, and emperors from the Roman period. The statues are remarkably preserved and offer insights into the religious and political aspects of the time.
- Hall of Sarcophagi: This hall features an impressive collection of intricately carved sarcophagi from the Roman and Byzantine periods. Admire the detailed reliefs depicting mythological scenes and everyday life.
- Coin Hall: Explore a vast collection of coins from different periods, providing a glimpse into the economic history of the region.
- The museum provides informative signage and descriptions in multiple languages, making it accessible and educational for visitors of all backgrounds. It is recommended to allocate several hours to fully explore the museum and appreciate its extensive collection.
- Visiting the Antalya Museum is an excellent way to deepen your understanding of the historical significance of the region and appreciate the craftsmanship of ancient civilizations. It offers a comprehensive overview of the archaeological discoveries made in and around Antalya, making it a must-visit attraction for history enthusiasts and anyone interested in the cultural heritage of Turkey.
Explore the Duden Waterfalls:
The Duden Waterfalls are a series of cascades located about 15 kilometers northeast of Antalya. The waterfalls are formed by the Duden River, which flows from the Taurus Mountains and eventually reaches the Mediterranean Sea. There are two main sections of the Duden Waterfalls: the Upper Duden Waterfall (Yukari Duden Selalesi) and the Lower Duden Waterfall (Asagi Duden Selalesi).
- Upper Duden Waterfall (Yukari Duden Selalesi): The Upper Duden Waterfall is located in a picturesque park and offers a breathtaking sight as the water drops from a height of approximately 20 meters into a pool below. Visitors can walk along the paths and bridges to enjoy different angles and viewpoints of the waterfall. The surrounding park is also a great place for picnics and relaxing in nature.
- Lower Duden Waterfall (Asagi Duden Selalesi): The Lower Duden Waterfall is situated at the point where the Duden River flows into the Mediterranean Sea. The waterfall is formed as the river plunges from a cliff into the sea, creating a magnificent spectacle. Boat tours are available to get closer to the waterfall and experience its power from a different perspective.
- Both sections of the Duden Waterfalls offer unique experiences and stunning natural beauty. The lush greenery, refreshing atmosphere, and the sound of rushing water create a peaceful and serene environment. Visitors can take leisurely walks, capture memorable photographs, and enjoy the soothing ambiance of the waterfalls.
- It's important to note that the waterfalls can be quite crowded, especially during peak tourist seasons. It is advisable to visit early in the day to avoid large crowds and fully appreciate the tranquility of the surroundings.
- Overall, exploring the Duden Waterfalls is a delightful experience that allows visitors to connect with nature and witness the captivating beauty of Antalya's natural landscapes.
Visit the Antalya Aquarium:
Explore the fascinating underwater world at the Antalya Aquarium, which houses a wide variety of marine species and offers interactive exhibits.
The Antalya Aquarium is one of the largest aquarium complexes in the world and is located in the Konyaalti Beach area of Antalya. It offers a unique opportunity to explore the fascinating marine life from different regions of the world.
The aquarium is divided into different themed sections, each representing different ecosystems and habitats. Some of the notable features of the Antalya Aquarium include:
- The Main Tank: The main tank is the centerpiece of the aquarium, offering a mesmerizing underwater experience. It houses a wide variety of fish species, including sharks, stingrays, and colorful tropical fish. You can walk through a tunnel and observe these marine creatures up close.
- The Rainforest: This section recreates the atmosphere and lush vegetation of a tropical rainforest. You can discover various exotic plant species and encounter different reptiles, insects, and amphibians.
- The Ocean Tunnel: The Ocean Tunnel is a highlight of the aquarium, allowing you to walk through a transparent tunnel while being surrounded by marine life. It provides a panoramic view of the diverse underwater world.
- The Mediterranean Fish Zone: This section focuses on the marine life found in the Mediterranean Sea. You can observe local fish species and learn about their habitat and characteristics.
- The Underwater Zoo: The Antalya Aquarium also features an underwater zoo, where you can see penguins, otters, and other aquatic animals. It provides an interactive experience for visitors of all ages.
- Apart from the exhibits, the Antalya Aquarium offers additional attractions and activities such as 5D cinema shows, a tropical reptile house, and a glass-bottom boat tour. There are also dining options and a gift shop where you can purchase souvenirs related to marine life.
- The Antalya Aquarium is a family-friendly destination that provides educational and entertaining experiences for visitors. Whether you're interested in marine life, ecosystems, or simply want to enjoy a unique and immersive environment, a visit to the Antalya Aquarium is a must-do in Antalya.
Shop at the Antalya Bazaar:
Experience the vibrant atmosphere of the Antalya Bazaar, where you can find a diverse range of goods, including textiles, spices, and souvenirs.
Shopping at the Antalya Bazaar is a delightful experience that allows you to immerse yourself in the local culture and find unique treasures. Here's some information about the Antalya Bazaar.The Antalya Bazaar, also known as the Antalya Kapali Carsi, is a vibrant and bustling market located in the heart of the city. It is one of the largest and oldest covered markets in the world, dating back to the Ottoman era. The bazaar is a maze of narrow streets and alleys lined with shops and stalls, offering a wide range of goods and products.
Here are some of the things you can expect to find and enjoy at the Antalya Bazaar:
- Traditional Turkish Goods: The bazaar is a treasure trove of traditional Turkish goods. You can find a variety of items such as handmade carpets, textiles, pottery, ceramics, jewelry, and leather goods. These products showcase the exquisite craftsmanship and artistry of the local artisans.
- Spices and Delicacies: The market is filled with the tantalizing aroma of spices and herbs. You can browse through stalls offering a vast array of aromatic spices, dried fruits, nuts, and local delicacies. It's a great place to purchase traditional Turkish ingredients to bring back home or to sample during your visit.
- Souvenirs and Handicrafts: The Antalya Bazaar is an excellent place to find unique souvenirs and gifts. From decorative items to traditional Turkish ornaments, there is something for everyone. You can also find handmade crafts, textiles, and mosaic lamps that reflect the local culture and heritage.
- Local Cuisine: The bazaar is not only a shopping destination but also a culinary adventure. You can indulge in local street food such as Turkish kebabs, pide (Turkish pizza), Turkish delight, baklava, and freshly squeezed fruit juices. There are also traditional Turkish tea houses where you can sit, relax, and enjoy a cup of Turkish tea.
- Bargaining: Bargaining is a common practice at the Antalya Bazaar. It's part of the shopping experience, and you can try your negotiating skills to get the best deals. Remember to approach it with a friendly and respectful attitude, and you may end up with some great bargains.
- The Antalya Bazaar offers a vibrant and lively atmosphere where you can immerse yourself in the local culture, interact with friendly shopkeepers, and find unique and authentic Turkish products. It's a must-visit destination for those looking to explore the rich traditions and flavors of Antalya.
Discover the Antalya Ataturk House Museum:
Visit the former residence of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the founder of modern Turkey, and learn about his life and contributions.
The Antalya Ataturk House Museum, also known as the Ataturk Evi Müzesi, is a significant historical site located in the heart of Antalya, Turkey. It is dedicated to Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the founder and first president of the Republic of Turkey. Here's some information about the museum
- Historical Significance: The Ataturk House Museum is housed in a preserved building that was once the residence of Ataturk during his visits to Antalya in the 1930s. It is of great historical importance as it provides insights into the life and legacy of Ataturk, who played a pivotal role in shaping modern Turkey.
- Ataturk's Residence: The museum showcases the living quarters and personal belongings of Ataturk during his stays in Antalya. It offers a glimpse into his lifestyle and preferences, including his study, bedroom, and dining room. The interior of the house has been maintained in its original style, providing visitors with an authentic experience.
- Exhibits and Displays: The museum features a collection of photographs, documents, and personal items that belonged to Ataturk. These exhibits highlight his achievements, contributions to the country, and his role in the establishment of the Republic of Turkey. Visitors can learn about his military career, political endeavors, and reforms that transformed Turkey into a modern secular state.
- Preservation of History: The Ataturk House Museum serves as a testament to the preservation of Ataturk's memory and the preservation of Turkey's history. It is a place of reverence where visitors can pay their respects to Ataturk and gain a deeper understanding of his visionary leadership and the values he instilled in the nation.
- Educational and Cultural Value: The museum offers educational programs and activities to promote awareness and appreciation of Ataturk's life and the principles he stood for. It serves as a cultural center, hosting exhibitions, seminars, and events that aim to promote the values of democracy, secularism, and modernization.
- Visiting the Antalya Ataturk House Museum provides an opportunity to delve into the life and accomplishments of Ataturk, an influential figure in Turkish history. It offers a unique perspective on his role in shaping the nation and preserving the values that continue to define modern Turkey.
Enjoy the Antalya Nightlife:
Experience the lively nightlife of Antalya, with its array of bars, clubs, and live music venues that offer entertainment late into the night.Antalya, known for its vibrant nightlife scene, offers a range of entertainment options for visitors to enjoy after the sun sets. Here are some highlights of the Antalya nightlife:
- Bars and Clubs: Antalya is home to numerous bars and clubs catering to different tastes and preferences. Whether you're looking for live music, DJs, or themed parties, you'll find a variety of venues scattered throughout the city. The popular areas for nightlife include Kaleici, Lara, and Konyaalti.
- Beach Clubs: Antalya's beach clubs offer a unique experience where you can dance, swim, and enjoy music right by the sea. These clubs often feature live performances, DJs, and vibrant atmospheres. Some of the popular beach clubs include Aura, Kuda, and Club Inferno.
- Live Music: Antalya has a thriving live music scene, with many venues hosting local and international bands and musicians. From jazz and blues to rock and pop, you can find a diverse range of music genres to suit your preferences. Check out places like Babylon or Route 66 for live music performances.
- Rooftop Bars: Enjoy breathtaking views of the city and the Mediterranean Sea while sipping your favorite drink at one of Antalya's rooftop bars. These venues provide a relaxed ambiance, making them ideal for unwinding and socializing with friends. Some popular rooftop bars include Sky Lounge Bar and 360 Istanbul.
- Cultural Shows: Immerse yourself in Turkish culture by attending traditional performances such as belly dancing, folk dancing, or whirling dervishes. These shows offer a unique glimpse into Turkish traditions and provide an entertaining evening for visitors.
- Casino Fun: If you're feeling lucky, Antalya's casinos offer a thrilling experience. Enjoy a variety of gaming options, including slot machines, card games, and roulette, and try your luck for a chance to win big.
- Dinner Cruise: Combine fine dining with entertainment by embarking on a dinner cruise along the Mediterranean coast. These cruises often feature live music, traditional dance performances, and delicious Turkish cuisine, providing a memorable night out on the water.
- Remember to check the local schedules and venues for the most up-to-date information on events and performances. Whether you prefer dancing the night away, enjoying live music, or experiencing Turkish culture, Antalya's nightlife has something to offer for everyone.
- Whether you're interested in history, nature, beach relaxation, or vibrant city life, Antalya has something to offer for everyone.