Antalya Travel Guide: Top 20 Things to Do in Antalya, Turkey

TtriNestled on the sun-kissed coastline of the Turkish Riviera, Antalya boasts a unique blend of ancient history, natural beauty, and modern sophistication. With its rugged mountains, golden beaches, and turquoise waters, it’s no wonder why this charming Mediterranean city has captured the hearts of travelers from around the globe.

From strolling through the cobblestone streets of the old town, to indulging in delicious Turkish cuisine, to exploring the ancient ruins of nearby sites, Antalya offers an unforgettable experience that truly has something for everyone. Whether you’re an adventure seeker looking for thrilling outdoor activities, a history buff wanting to uncover the secrets of the past, or simply seeking to unwind in a paradise-like setting, Antalya has got you covered.

Antalya sunset views along the beach in Turkey

Why Visit Antalya?

Of all the beach resorts in Turkey, Antalya is one of its most popular. Lying on its Mediterranean coast, it is part of the Turkish Riviera. However, despite its association with all-inclusive holidays, Antalya is a great place for cultural travellers.

With a pair of ancient city ruins nearby and a well-preserved Old Town, Antalya will surprise you.

So why not come and discover for yourself what makes Antalya one of the most beloved destinations in Turkey? The warm hospitality of the locals, the stunning natural scenery, and the rich cultural heritage are all waiting for you to experience and cherish.

Come check out our Antalya travel guide as we cover the best things to do in Antalya, Turkey.

Antalya Travel Guide: Things to do in Antalya, Turkey with aerial beach views and mountain backdrops

Antalya City Guide: A Brief History Of Antalya, Turkey

From its roots in antiquity to its bustling present, let’s embark on a journey through time, exploring the history of this captivating city.

Antiquity Calls: The Birth of Antalya

Founded in the 2nd century BC by King Attalos II of Pergamon, Antalya, originally known as Attaleia, was poised to become a major naval base, securing its place as a crucial player in the Mediterranean trade routes. The Romans, Byzantines, and Seljuks, each left their mark on the city, contributing to a cultural and architectural heritage that spans millennia. The remnants of Roman rule, including Hadrian’s Gate and the ancient city of Aspendos, offer a glimpse into the past where gladiators once entertained and civilizations thrived.

Byzantine and Seljuk Era: A Blend of Cultures

As the Byzantine Empire took control, Antalya became a melting pot of cultures, religions, and architectural styles. The city’s strategic importance continued under the Seljuks, who adorned it with Islamic art and architecture, enriching its landscape with mosques and madrasas. The Yivli Minare Mosque, with its fluted minaret soaring into the sky, stands as a testament to the city’s diverse historical influences.

Ottoman Empire to Modernity: The Evolution Continues

With the arrival of the Ottomans, Antalya entered a new chapter, integrating further into the vast empire that stretched across three continents. The Ottomans fortified the city, leaving behind a legacy that includes the historic Kaleiçi district, with its narrow cobbled streets, Ottoman houses, and the ancient city walls. Today, Kaleiçi is the heart of Antalya, a place where the past and present coexist, offering a maze of shops, cafes, and boutique hotels, all telling stories of yesteryears.

A Glimpse into Antalya Today

In the 20th century, Antalya transformed from a picturesque port city into one of Turkey’s premier tourist destinations. The city’s natural beauty, combined with its historical richness, draws millions of visitors each year. Modern developments and resorts dot the coastline, yet Antalya retains its historical charm, with archaeological sites and museums offering a window into its ancient soul. The Düden Waterfalls and the pristine beaches of Lara and Konyaaltı invite nature lovers, while the Antalya Museum showcases the region’s archaeological treasures.

Antalya boats docked

Antalya Top Attractions and Best Places to Visit in Turkey

Antalya is a fantastic destination in Turkey. However, before heading to the beach, take a day trip out to the Ancient City of Perga. While the ruins date back to Greek times, people have been living in the area since the Bronze Age.

Perga garnered a mention in the Bible. In the Acts of the Apostles, St. Paul and St. Barnabas preached the gospel in Perga in 46 AD. Its citizens abandoned the city in 1000 AD, shortly after the founding of the Seljuk Empire.

Throughout this site, you’ll find many pillars, as well as reliefs featuring depictions of everyday life. Note that there is a lack of shade at this site. As such, be sure to bring a broad-rimmed hat, or a parasol to keep the sun off you.

Distinct History

Still in the mood to explore ancient ruins? Head next to the remains of Termessos. Perched high atop a mountain 30 kilometres outside of Antalya, this city infuriated Alexander the Great. Back in the 4th century BC, the legendary leader was conquering everything in sight.

In modern-day Turkey, only one city eluded his grasp: Termessos. A Pisidian city that sat atop a high mountain plateau, its superior positioning made a surprise attack impossible. He contemplated an assault, but thought better of it – it would have been a colossal waste of human lives.

Even the Romans didn’t dare to take Termessos by force. In the 1st century BC, they reached a deal with the city-state. In it, they guaranteed their autonomy. At an unknown date in the future, nature did what no army could: An earthquake wrecked their aqueduct. With their water supply destroyed, Termesso’s citizenry opted to abandon their home.

More Attractions

Today, the lack of past warfare has preserved Termesso remarkably. Its walls, gymnasium, theatre, temples, and other structures are in excellent condition. Even so, do respect your surroundings as you explore.

Back in Antalya, be sure to spend a half-day exploring Kaleiçi. This is the old city centre of Antalya – as such, it contains buildings dating back to Roman times. In addition, you’ll find buildings from Byzantine, Seljuk, and the Ottoman era.

As you walk its streets, you’ll find many museums, mosques, and old residences that ooze character. Some locals still live here, but entrepreneurs have converted most buildings into shops, restaurants, and hotels. Even so, keep this in mind when leaving a bar for your accommodation at night. By being quiet, you’ll help improve the sustainability of tourism in Antalya.

If you’re looking for a marquee attraction in Kaleici, make time for the Antalya Museum. It protects artifacts recovered from archaeological digs, as well as works of art from different Turkish periods. 5,000 items are on the floor at any given time, but it also has more than 25,000 items in storage.

As you wander its galleries, keep your eyes open for many amazing sights. These include things like the ancient bone relics of Saint Nicholas, traditional musical instruments, and marvellous sculptures.

Antalya waterfalls boat views

Other Cultural Attractions: Trip to Antalya, Turkey

As you walk through the streets of Kaleici, be sure to stroll under Hadrian’s Gate. This Roman-era construction once served as a gate into the city in Roman times. However, it had been obscured by the city wall in later times.

It was uncovered as the old city wall was deconstructed in the 1950s. After a restoration effort immediately thereafter, it regained its former prominence. Thanks to its remarkable preservation, it makes for an excellent photo op.

Want to get away from the beaches for a day? Spend an afternoon at the Lower Düden Waterfalls. While gorgeous, it is not possible to swim in the gorge. This downside is the only one, though. Its beauty, plus the fact you can go behind the falls, makes them worth a visit.

Let’s face it, though – you’re probably visiting Antalya for its beaches. Start by grabbing a sun lounger on Konyaaltı Beach. It starts at Antalya’s west end and stretches six kilometres, ending at the base of high cliffs. This beach is a sociable place, and is a smart choice for families, as it is patrolled by lifeguards.

If you’re looking for a place that is drop-dead gorgeous, make Kaputas Beach your destination. Reaching it requires a degree of physical fitness, as it is 200 steps straight down. Once you’re at the base, though, you’ll be on a beach with golden sand and cliffs all around.

source: Ultimate Bucket List on YouTube

Top 20 Things To Do in Antalya, Turkey For Visitors

For those planning a visit, here’s a curated list of the top 20 things to do in Antalya, ensuring a trip filled with memorable experiences.

I love you Antalya city welcome city sign

1. Explore the Old Town (Kaleiçi)

Wander through the winding streets of Kaleiçi, Antalya’s historic district, where ancient architecture meets vibrant bazaars. This area is full of beautifully restored Ottoman houses, now serving as boutique hotels, shops, and cafes. Don’t miss the iconic Hadrian’s Gate, a triumphal arch that dates back to 130 AD. Kaleiçi offers a picturesque escape into the city’s rich past, with stunning views of the marina.

2. Visit Antalya Museum

The Antalya Museum is one of Turkey’s most important archaeology museums, showcasing artifacts from the region’s many ancient cities. Its halls are filled with statues, mosaics, and other treasures from Greek, Roman, and Byzantine periods. The museum’s beautifully curated exhibits provide a deeper understanding of the Mediterranean’s historical significance. It’s a must-visit for history buffs and anyone interested in the ancient world.

3. Take a Dip in Düden Waterfalls

The Düden Waterfalls, split into upper and lower sections, offer a refreshing retreat from the city’s hustle and bustle. The Lower Düden Waterfalls plunge directly into the Mediterranean Sea, creating a breathtaking spectacle best viewed from a boat. The Upper Düden Waterfalls, surrounded by a lush park, provide a serene picnic spot. The soothing sound of cascading water and the cool mist create an invigorating atmosphere.

4. Relax on Konyaaltı Beach

Stretching beneath the stunning Taurus Mountains, Konyaaltı Beach is one of Antalya’s premier spots for sunbathing, swimming, and water sports. This pebble beach offers crystal-clear waters and ample amenities, including loungers, umbrellas, and beachside cafes. The beach park behind Konyaaltı is perfect for families, with its playgrounds, gardens, and walking paths. Watching the sunset over the mountains from this beach is an unforgettable experience.

5. Discover Aspendos Theatre

Visit the ancient city of Aspendos to see one of the best-preserved Roman theatres in the world. Built in the 2nd century AD, this magnificent structure could seat up to 15,000 spectators. Today, it hosts performances and festivals, bringing ancient drama to life. A visit to Aspendos offers a glimpse into the grandeur of Roman engineering and entertainment.

6. Wander Through the Ruins of Perge

The ancient city of Perge, just a short drive from Antalya, was once one of the most prosperous cities of the ancient world. Explore the well-preserved streets, baths, and an impressive agora where once Alexander the Great marched. Perge’s stadium is remarkably intact, evoking the city’s past athletic glories. It’s a fascinating day trip for those eager to walk through history.

7. Experience the Antalya Aquarium

The Antalya Aquarium is one of the largest aquarium complexes in the world, featuring a 131-meter long underwater tunnel. It’s home to thousands of species of sea creatures, offering an immersive glimpse into underwater life. The aquarium also includes the world’s biggest tropical reptile house. It’s an educational and entertaining destination for visitors of all ages.

8. Soak Up the Sun at Lara Beach

Lara Beach, known for its soft sands and luxury resorts, is a slice of paradise in Antalya. This beach is ideal for those looking to indulge in seaside luxury, with many hotels offering private stretches of sand. Watersports, beach bars, and live entertainment are abundant here. Lara Beach is also famous for its themed hotels, including a replica of the Titanic.

9. Take a Cable Car Ride to Tahtalı Mountain

The Olympos Teleferik takes you on a breathtaking journey from the beach to the summit of Tahtalı Mountain. The cable car ride offers panoramic views of the coastline, mountains, and forest. At the top, you can enjoy hiking trails or simply marvel at the vista. It’s a unique experience that combines sea, sky, and mountain.

10. Stroll Along the Antalya Promenade

The Antalya Promenade, stretching along the cliffs overlooking the sea, is perfect for leisurely walks, jogs, or bike rides. This scenic path offers unobstructed views of the Mediterranean and access to various beaches and parks. Along the way, you’ll find cafes and restaurants where you can relax and enjoy the view. The promenade is especially lively in the evenings, as locals and tourists alike come to enjoy the sunset.

11. Explore the Ancient City of Olympos

Hidden in a valley near the coast, the ruins of Olympos are part of a national park known for its natural beauty and historical significance. This ancient Lycian city, dating back to the 2nd century BC, is enveloped by a dense forest and flanked by a beautiful beach. Explore the ruins, including a Roman theatre and Byzantine basilica, before relaxing on the beach. Olympos is also near the Chimaera, eternal flames that have been burning on a mountainside for thousands of years.

12. Enjoy the Nightlife in Antalya

Antalya’s nightlife is vibrant and diverse, with something for everyone. From beach clubs and rooftop bars to traditional Turkish taverns and live music venues, the city comes alive at night. The Old Town (Kaleiçi) is particularly popular, offering a mix of historical ambiance and modern entertainment. Whether you’re looking to dance the night away or enjoy a quiet drink with stunning views, Antalya’s nightlife won’t disappoint.

13. Visit the Suna & İnan Kıraç Kaleiçi Museum

This museum, set in a beautifully restored traditional house in Kaleiçi, offers insights into Antalya’s history and culture. The Suna & İnan Kıraç Kaleiçi Museum displays an extensive collection of artifacts, photographs, and folkloric items. The museum’s courtyard is a peaceful retreat from the bustling streets of the Old Town. It’s a great place to learn about the city’s past and the lifestyles of its inhabitants.

14. Go Rafting in Köprülü Canyon

For adventure seekers, a day trip to Köprülü Canyon National Park offers thrilling white-water rafting experiences. The Köprüçay River, flowing through the canyon, provides rapids suitable for both beginners and experienced rafters. Surrounded by a beautiful national park, it’s also a fantastic spot for hiking and picnicking. Rafting down this river is a refreshing escape into nature, offering both excitement and stunning scenery.

15. Take a Jeep Safari to Taurus Mountains

Explore the rugged landscapes of the Taurus Mountains on a thrilling jeep safari. This adventure takes you through pine forests, mountain rivers, and traditional villages. Along the way, you’ll have the chance to learn about local customs and taste traditional Turkish cuisine. It’s an exhilarating way to discover the natural beauty surrounding Antalya.

16. Relax at the Karaalioğlu Park

Karaalioğlu Park is one of Antalya’s largest and most beautiful parks, offering spectacular views of the Mediterranean Sea and the Taurus Mountains. The park is filled with colorful flower beds, towering palm trees, and shaded walking paths. It’s home to the historic Hıdırlık Tower, a Roman-era structure that adds to the park’s charm. Karaalioğlu Park is a perfect spot for a leisurely stroll, a picnic, or simply enjoying a moment of tranquility.

17. Discover the Land of Legends Theme Park

The Land of Legends Theme Park is a world-class entertainment complex that combines a water park, aquarium, and amusement park. It offers thrilling rides, water slides, and shows for visitors of all ages. The theme park is designed to immerse guests in a fantasy world with its elaborate decorations and innovative attractions. It’s an ideal destination for families looking for a day of fun and excitement.

18. Explore the Yivli Minare

The Yivli Minare, or Fluted Minaret, is an iconic symbol of Antalya and a masterpiece of Seljuk architecture. Standing at 38 meters tall, this 13th-century minaret is part of a mosque complex that includes a madrasah and a tomb. Visitors can admire its intricate tile work and striking design, which reflects the city’s historical Islamic influence. The Yivli Minare is situated in Kaleiçi, making it easily accessible while exploring the Old Town.

19. Shop at Antalya’s Bazaars

Antalya’s bazaars offer a colorful and lively shopping experience. The Old Town is home to several markets where you can find everything from traditional Turkish textiles and jewelry to spices and souvenirs. The most famous is the Kaleiçi Bazaar, a maze of shops and stalls selling handcrafted goods. Bargaining is expected, so be ready to haggle for the best price.

20. Visit the Sandland Sculpture Festival

Sandland is an impressive open-air sand sculpture festival held annually in Antalya. Artists from around the world create massive sculptures using only sand and water, based on a particular theme each year. The detail and creativity of these sculptures are astounding, making Sandland a unique artistic attraction. It’s an enchanting experience for visitors of all ages, especially at night when the sculptures are lit up.

Piyaz is must try Turkish cuisine while visiting in Turkey

What To Eat and Drink in Antalya, Turkey

Antalya, located on the Mediterranean coast of Turkey, is known for its delicious and diverse cuisine.

Here’s a guide to the must-try foods and drinks that encapsulate the essence of Antalya’s vibrant food scene.

Must-Try Foods in Antalya

1. Gözleme

Begin with gözleme, a traditional Turkish flatbread, rolled and filled with ingredients like spinach, cheese, or potatoes, then cooked on a griddle. It’s simple, savory, and utterly delicious.

2. Piyaz

Antalya’s version of the humble bean salad, piyaz, is unique, made with tahini (sesame paste), making it creamier and richer than its counterparts. It’s typically garnished with hard-boiled egg and served as a refreshing side dish.

3. Grilled Fish and Seafood

Given its coastal location, Antalya offers an abundance of fresh fish and seafood. From sea bream (çipura) to bluefish (lufer) and a variety of seafood meze, the grilled delights are a must-try, often enjoyed with a side of crisp vegetables and lemon.

4. Şiş Kebap and Döner

No visit to Turkey is complete without indulging in its kebabs. In Antalya, the skewered şiş kebap and the rotating delight of döner offer succulent tastes of marinated meat, served with lavash (flatbread), rice, or bulgur.

5. Künefe

For dessert, künefe is a heavenly treat. This warm pastry is made with kadayıf (thin, shredded dough), filled with cheese, soaked in sweet syrup, and typically served with a sprinkle of pistachios and a dollop of clotted cream.

6. Baklava

Another sweet indulgence is baklava, a decadent dessert of layered phyllo pastry, filled with nuts and drenched in syrup. Each bite is a perfect blend of crunch and sweetness.

Must-Try Drinks in Antalya

7. Turkish Coffee

Experience the rich, aromatic tradition of Turkish coffee, served in small cups with a thick, velvety texture and a robust flavor, often accompanied by a piece of Turkish delight.

8. Ayran

Ayran, a refreshing yogurt drink, is perfect for cooling down on a hot day. It’s a simple blend of yogurt, water, and a pinch of salt, and it complements the rich Turkish flavors wonderfully.

9. Raki

Often referred to as the national drink, raki is an anise-flavored spirit typically consumed with water and ice. It’s a social drink, usually enjoyed with meze and great company.

10. Turkish Tea

Served in a tulip-shaped glass, Turkish tea is a staple in Antalya. Whether you prefer it strong or light, enjoying a cup of tea is a ritual that offers a moment of relaxation and reflection.

Ayran must try drink

Top Restaurants In Antalya, Turkey

From traditional Turkish eateries to fine dining establishments offering international cuisine, here’s a comprehensive guide to some of the top restaurants in Antalya, where you can indulge in both local flavors and global dishes.

1. 7 Mehmet

A landmark in Antalya’s dining scene, 7 Mehmet offers a wide range of traditional Turkish dishes with a focus on meat and kebabs. The restaurant’s setting, with views overlooking the Mediterranean and the Taurus Mountains, complements its rich culinary offerings.

2. Vanilla Lounge

Located in the heart of Kaleiçi, Vanilla Lounge is known for its cozy atmosphere and a diverse menu that includes Turkish favorites, Mediterranean dishes, and international cuisine. It’s a great spot for those looking for a relaxed dining experience with a variety of options.

3. Seraser Fine Dining Restaurant

For those seeking a sophisticated dining experience, Seraser Fine Dining Restaurant in Kaleiçi offers exquisite dishes with an emphasis on Mediterranean and international flavors. The elegant setting and attentive service make it perfect for special occasions.

4. Rokka

Specializing in seafood, Rokka is a favorite among locals and visitors alike. Located near the marina, the restaurant serves fresh fish and seafood dishes with a Turkish twist, accompanied by stunning sea views.

5. Mermerli Restaurant

Situated next to the Mermerli Beach in the old town, this restaurant is beloved for its traditional Turkish cuisine and seafood specialties. The terrace offers a beautiful view of the Mediterranean, making it an ideal spot for a romantic dinner.

6. Sim Restaurant

Sim Restaurant, located in a historic building in Kaleiçi, offers a fusion of traditional Turkish cuisine with modern culinary techniques. The menu features seasonal ingredients and local flavors, presented in an artful manner.

7. Ayar Meyhanesi

For a taste of local nightlife and traditional meyhane culture, Ayar Meyhanesi is the place to go. Enjoy mezes (appetizers), fresh seafood, and raki in a lively atmosphere filled with music and joy.

8. Fisilti Cafe Garden

A hidden gem in Kaleiçi, Fisilti Cafe Garden provides a tranquil garden setting where guests can enjoy breakfast, lunch, or dinner. The menu includes both Turkish and international options, with an emphasis on fresh, locally-sourced ingredients.

9. Arma Restaurant

Arma Restaurant offers a fine dining experience with a spectacular view of the Antalya marina. Specializing in Mediterranean cuisine, the restaurant serves beautifully plated dishes in an elegant waterfront setting.

10. Can Can

A favorite among locals for breakfast and brunch, Can Can in the Lara district offers a delightful spread of traditional Turkish breakfast items, from cheeses and olives to eggs and pastries. It’s a bustling spot known for its generous portions and homey feel.

Antalya Bay views in Turkey

Tours For Visitors To Antalya, Turkey

From historical explorations to adrenaline-pumping adventures, here’s a list of tours that will enrich your visit to this enchanting part of Turkey.

1. Old Town (Kaleiçi) Walking Tour

Immerse yourself in the heart of Antalya by strolling through the narrow lanes of Kaleiçi, the city’s historic old town. This guided tour offers insights into the area’s rich history, from Roman times through the Ottoman era, including stops at iconic landmarks like Hadrian’s Gate and the Yivli Minaret.

2. Perge, Aspendos, and Side Day Trip

Discover the ancient wonders surrounding Antalya with a day trip to Perge, Aspendos, and Side. Explore well-preserved Roman ruins, including the Perge ancient city, the Aspendos Theatre known for its incredible acoustics, and the picturesque ruins of Side, nestled by the sea.

3. Boat Tours Along the Turquoise Coast

Take to the sea with a boat tour that showcases the stunning coastline known as the Turkish Riviera. Spend the day swimming in crystal-clear waters, exploring hidden coves, and sunbathing on deck, with options ranging from leisurely cruises to exhilarating speedboat adventures.

4. Düden Waterfalls Visit

Experience the natural beauty of Antalya with a tour to the Düden Waterfalls, where you can witness the spectacular sight of water plunging into the Mediterranean Sea. Some tours offer the opportunity to explore the hidden cave behind the falls.

5. Taurus Mountains Jeep Safari

Embark on an off-road adventure into the Taurus Mountains, where you can explore rugged landscapes, traditional villages, and panoramic views that stretch to the coast. This tour often includes stops for swimming, a traditional Turkish lunch, and opportunities to learn about local life.

6. Köprülü Canyon Rafting Experience

For adrenaline seekers, a rafting trip on the Köprülü Canyon’s rapids offers a thrilling way to cool down and enjoy the area’s natural beauty. Suitable for all levels, including beginners, this tour combines adventure with breathtaking scenery.

7. Antalya City Tour with Cable Car Ride to Tunektepe

Get a bird’s eye view of Antalya with a city tour that includes a ride on the Tunektepe Cable Car. Ascend to the hilltop for panoramic views of the city and the Mediterranean, and explore other city highlights with the guidance of an expert.

8. Olympos Cable Car Ride to Tahtalı Mountain

For unparalleled views, take the Olympos Cable Car to the summit of Tahtalı Mountain. Standing over 2,365 meters above sea level, you’ll enjoy breathtaking vistas of the coast, the Taurus Mountains, and on clear days, the distant Olympos ruins.

9. Antalya Aquarium with Optional City Tour

A visit to one of the world’s largest aquarium complexes offers an educational and entertaining experience for all ages. See thousands of sea creatures, walk through the world’s biggest underwater tunnel, and optionally combine your visit with a tour of Antalya’s city highlights.

10. Traditional Turkish Night

Experience Turkish culture firsthand with an evening of folk dances, music, and a feast of local cuisine. This tour offers a glimpse into the diverse cultural traditions of Turkey, making for an unforgettable night.

Hadrian Gate In Antalya, Turkey

Antalya Accommodations Guide: Hotels, Guesthouses and Hostels

Here’s your comprehensive guide to where to stay in Antalya, ensuring you find the perfect spot to rest your head after a day of exploration.

Luxury Hotels

1. Rixos Downtown Antalya

Set against the backdrop of the Taurus Mountains and amidst lush gardens, Rixos Downtown offers a blend of city convenience and beachfront relaxation. With its private beach, multiple swimming pools, and a selection of fine dining options, it epitomizes luxury.

2. Akra Hotel

Perched on the cliffs of Antalya, Akra Hotel is a haven of wellness and sophistication. Guests can enjoy breathtaking Mediterranean views, an extensive spa and wellness center, four swimming pools, and dining experiences that feature organic and local produce.

Boutique Hotels

3. Tuvana Hotel

Tuvana Hotel, located in the heart of the historic Kaleiçi district, is a charming boutique hotel set in a restored Ottoman mansion. Its rooms are beautifully decorated with Turkish textiles and antiques, offering a plunge into history without sacrificing comfort.

4. Puding Marina Residence

Just a stone’s throw from the marina and Antalya’s old town, this boutique hotel is a peaceful retreat with a unique blend of modern and traditional Turkish design. It features an outdoor pool, a lush garden, and a tranquil atmosphere.

Mid-Range Hotels

5. Hotel SU & Aqualand

Offering stylish and colorful accommodation, Hotel SU provides guests with direct access to Aqualand water park and a private beach. It’s an ideal choice for families and couples looking for fun and relaxation.

6. Aspen Hotel

A cozy retreat in the historic Kaleiçi district, Aspen Hotel charms with its traditional architecture, an inviting pool, and a courtyard garden. It’s a short walk from Antalya’s key attractions and offers a peaceful environment.

Budget-Friendly Options

7. Role Street Hostel

For travelers on a tight budget, Role Street Hostel offers a vibrant, artsy atmosphere with both dormitory-style and private rooms. Located in the heart of the city, it’s a hub for backpackers looking to explore Antalya and meet fellow travelers.

8. Kaleiçi Hostel

Nestled within the old town, this hostel offers affordable accommodation with easy access to the beach, historical sites, and nightlife. It’s perfect for those wanting to immerse themselves in Antalya’s rich culture without breaking the bank.


9. Sabah Pansiyon

Located in Kaleiçi, Sabah Pansiyon is a family-run guesthouse known for its warm hospitality, beautiful garden, and comfortable rooms. It offers a quiet escape with easy access to local attractions.

10. White Garden Pansion

With its traditional white-washed walls and wooden accents, White Garden Pansion captures the essence of Mediterranean charm. Guests can enjoy a lovely courtyard, a rooftop terrace with old town views, and easy access to Antalya’s historic sites.

Specialty Lodging

11. The Marmara Antalya

For those looking for a unique stay, The Marmara Antalya offers a revolving loft building, providing changing sea and mountain views. Its modern design, private beach, and infinity pool make it a standout choice.

12. Crowne Plaza Antalya

With its rooms facing the Mediterranean, the Crowne Plaza combines comfort with breathtaking views. The hotel caters to both leisure and business travelers, featuring a spa, indoor and outdoor pools, and extensive meeting facilities.

Perge day trip option from Antalya, Turkey

Day Trips From Antalya, Turkey

Here are ten day trips from Antalya that promise adventure, history, and natural beauty.

1. Aspendos, Perge, and Side

Step back in time with a trip to these ancient cities, where Roman theatres, Hellenistic gates, and Temple ruins tell tales of old. Aspendos boasts one of the best-preserved Roman theatres in the world. Perge offers a glimpse into an ancient Hellenistic city with its impressive colonnaded streets. Side charms visitors with its scenic location by the sea, ancient ruins, and bustling marketplaces.

2. Demre, Myra, and Kekova

Explore the town of Demre, where the Church of St. Nicholas, the original Santa Claus, is located. In Myra, marvel at the well-preserved Lycian rock tombs and the grand Roman theatre. A boat trip to Kekova reveals submerged ruins of ancient towns, offering a unique blend of history and natural beauty.

3. Pamukkale and Hierapolis

Witness the surreal beauty of Pamukkale’s terraces, formed by mineral-rich thermal waters creating snow-white travertine pools. Adjacent to this natural wonder is the ancient city of Hierapolis, where you can explore Roman baths, a well-preserved theatre, and a vast necropolis. Don’t miss the chance to swim in the Antique Pool, scattered with ancient marble columns. This UNESCO World Heritage Site offers a perfect combination of natural and historical attractions.

4. Taurus Mountains and Tazi Canyon

Embark on an adventure into the Taurus Mountains, offering breathtaking landscapes, traditional villages, and a glimpse into rural Turkish life. Tazi Canyon, also known as the “Grand Canyon” of Turkey, presents dramatic vistas perfect for photography enthusiasts. Activities such as hiking, zip-lining, or simply enjoying a Turkish tea amidst the mountains are available. The region’s flora and fauna add an extra layer of wonder to this natural escape.

5. Koprulu Canyon National Park

For those seeking thrills, Koprulu Canyon National Park offers white-water rafting on the Kopru River, surrounded by a beautiful forested national park. The park also has hiking trails and historic ruins, including a Roman bridge that spans the canyon. The combination of adrenaline-pumping activities and serene natural beauty makes for an unforgettable day out. It’s a haven for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers alike.

6. Saklikent Gorge and Patara Beach

Saklikent Gorge, one of the deepest canyons in the world, provides a cool retreat on hot summer days with its rushing mountain streams. Explore the gorge on a guided tour that involves walking on boardwalks and wading through water. Afterwards, relax on the pristine sands of Patara Beach, known for its length and soft, golden sand. This day trip is an ideal blend of adventure and relaxation.

7. Kas and Kaputas Beach

The charming town of Kas, with its bohemian atmosphere, offers delightful shops, cafes, and ancient ruins. Take a boat tour to explore the sunken city of Kekova or dive into the crystal-clear waters of the Mediterranean. Kaputas Beach, nestled between dramatic cliffs, is a short drive from Kas and offers one of the most photographed spots on the Turquoise Coast. Kas provides a more laid-back alternative to Antalya’s bustling scene.

8. Olympos and Chimera Flames

Discover the ancient ruins of Olympos, set in a picturesque valley leading to a beautiful beach. In the evening, venture to the Chimera Flames, natural gas fires that have been burning on a rocky hillside for thousands of years. The combination of historical exploration, beach relaxation, and the mystical sight of eternal flames offers a unique experience. Olympos appeals to history buffs, nature lovers, and adventure seekers.

9. Ulupinar and Phaselis

Enjoy a meal by the water in the village of Ulupinar, where restaurants are set above trout streams in a lush forest. Afterward, visit the ancient coastal city of Phaselis, where ruins lie amidst pine trees and three harbors. Phaselis offers a chance to explore ancient history and take a dip in the sea from one of its beautiful beaches. This day trip is perfect for those who appreciate tranquility, natural beauty, and archaeological sites.

10. Termessos and Duden Waterfalls

Perched high in the mountains, the ancient city of Termessos offers spectacular views and well-preserved ruins, including a stunning theatre. Unlike other ancient sites, Termessos provides a sense of discovery among its less frequented ruins. After exploring, cool off at the Duden Waterfalls, a peaceful natural oasis on the outskirts of Antalya. This day trip combines the awe of ancient civilizations with the refreshing beauty of nature.

Old Castle In Antalya, Turkey

Antalya Transportation Guide

Here’s a comprehensive guide to transportation options in Antalya, designed to help you explore the city and its surroundings with ease.

Getting to Antalya

By Air

  • Antalya Airport (AYT): Located approximately 13 km northeast of the city center, Antalya Airport is well-connected to major cities across Europe and the Middle East, with increasing direct flights from other regions. The airport serves as the main gateway for travelers to the city and the wider region.

Bus Trip

  • Intercity Buses: Antalya’s main bus terminal, Otogar, hosts numerous bus companies providing services to and from cities across Turkey. It’s an efficient and economical way to reach Antalya if you’re already exploring the country.

By Car

  • Driving: For those coming from other parts of Turkey, Antalya is accessible via well-maintained highways. Renting a car gives you the flexibility to stop along the scenic routes at your own pace.

Getting Around Antalya

Public Buses

  • Municipal Buses: Operated by Antalya Ulaşım, these buses cover extensive routes throughout the city and to nearby attractions, including beaches and archaeological sites. They’re an affordable way to get around, with payment accepted via the Antalyakart, a rechargeable travel card.


  • Antray and Nostalgic Tram: The Antray light rail system connects the airport and Expo center with the city center, while the Nostalgic Tram offers a scenic route along the coastline from the Museum to Zerdalilik. Both are convenient and enjoyable ways to explore major attractions.


  • Taxis: Available throughout the city, taxis in Antalya are a convenient option for direct routes to your destination. They’re metered, with fares relatively affordable, but it’s always good to have an idea of the distance to your destination.

Car and Scooter Rentals

  • Rentals: Renting a car or scooter gives you the freedom to explore Antalya and its surroundings at your leisure. Various rental agencies are located at the airport and within the city. Be sure to have an international driving permit if you’re from outside Turkey.


  • Bike Sharing: Antalya offers a public bike-sharing system, ANTBIS, with stations across the city. It’s a fun and healthy way to explore the parks and coastal paths, especially around Konyaaltı Beach.


  • On Foot: Many of Antalya’s attractions, particularly in the Old Town (Kaleiçi) area, are best explored on foot. Walking allows you to take in the sights, sounds, and smells of this historic city at your own pace.

Tips for Navigating Antalya

  • Antalyakart: Invest in an Antalyakart, available at kiosks and ticket machines, for convenient travel on buses and trams.
  • Navigation Apps: Use navigation apps like Google Maps for real-time public transport schedules and walking routes.
  • Taxi Apps: Consider using taxi apps for secure and hassle-free rides, especially late at night.
  • Ask for Help: Locals are generally friendly and helpful if you need directions or advice on the best transportation options.

Mardin is a place to visit next in Turkey

Where To Visit After Your Trip To Antalya?

After soaking up the sun and exploring the historical riches of Antalya, extend your adventure to discover more of what Turkey has to offer. From the lunar landscapes of Cappadocia to the bustling streets of Istanbul, Turkey is a land of contrasts, where ancient history and modern life blend seamlessly. Here’s a list of destinations that promise to enrich your travel experience with their unique beauty, history, and culture.

1. Cappadocia

Marvel at the otherworldly landscapes of Cappadocia, famous for its fairy chimneys, ancient cave churches, and hot air balloon rides at sunrise. Explore the Goreme Open Air Museum to see Byzantine frescoes, wander through the underground cities of Kaymakli or Derinkuyu, and enjoy the unique experience of staying in a cave hotel. Cappadocia’s moon-like terrain and rich history make it an unforgettable destination. Don’t miss the chance to see this magical landscape from above, making for the perfect photo opportunity.

2. Istanbul

Straddling two continents, Istanbul is a city where East meets West, offering a rich tapestry of culture, history, and cuisine. Visit iconic landmarks such as the Hagia Sophia, the Blue Mosque, and the Topkapi Palace. Stroll through the bustling Grand Bazaar and Spice Market for unique souvenirs and flavors. Istanbul’s vibrant street life, historic architecture, and stunning Bosphorus views will captivate your senses.

3. Pamukkale

Witness the natural wonder of Pamukkale, known for its terraces of mineral-rich thermal waters cascading down white travertine slopes. Explore the ancient city of Hierapolis, take a dip in the Antique Pool amidst Roman ruins, and watch the sunset over the calcite cliffs. Pamukkale offers a blend of natural beauty and ancient history that is both relaxing and fascinating. It’s a place where you can walk through ancient ruins and swim in thermal pools in the same day.

4. Ephesus

Step back in time with a visit to Ephesus, one of the best-preserved ancient cities in the Mediterranean. Explore the Library of Celsus, the Great Theatre, and the Temple of Artemis, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Ephesus provides insight into Roman urban life and is a must-visit for history enthusiasts. The nearby town of Selçuk offers additional attractions, including the Ephesus Archaeological Museum and the Basilica of St. John.

5. Bodrum

Relax in the chic resort town of Bodrum, known for its beautiful beaches, vibrant nightlife, and the imposing Castle of St. Peter. Dive into the crystal-clear waters of the Aegean, explore the ancient ruins of Halicarnassus, and enjoy the lively atmosphere of the marina. Bodrum combines history, luxury, and a laid-back seaside vibe, making it a perfect coastal getaway. It’s also a great base for exploring nearby islands and underwater archaeological sites.

6. Fethiye

Discover the natural beauty and ancient ruins around Fethiye, from the serene blue waters of Ölüdeniz Beach to the ghost town of Kayaköy. Paraglide off Babadağ Mountain for breathtaking views, sail the turquoise coast on a gulet cruise, and hike the Lycian Way. Fethiye’s mix of adventure, history, and stunning scenery offers something for everyone. The area is also known for its fresh seafood, served in waterfront restaurants.

7. Konya

Immerse yourself in the spiritual atmosphere of Konya, the home of the whirling dervishes and the final resting place of the poet Rumi. Visit the Mevlana Museum to learn about the Sufi mystic’s teachings, explore the Seljuk architecture, and experience a Sema ceremony. Konya offers a deep dive into Turkey’s spiritual and cultural heritage, making it a profound and enlightening experience. It’s a city where history and faith are intricately woven into the fabric of everyday life.

8. Mardin

Wander through the narrow streets of Mardin, a city perched on a hill overlooking the Mesopotamian plains, known for its distinctive sandstone architecture. Visit the Syriac Monastery of Deyrulzafaran, explore ancient madrasahs, and enjoy the panoramic views. Mardin’s rich cultural tapestry, influenced by many civilizations, is evident in its art, architecture, and cuisine. The city provides a unique glimpse into the diverse cultures that have shaped this region.

9. Trabzon

Explore Trabzon, a historic city on the Black Sea coast, once a key trade hub on the Silk Road. Visit the Sumela Monastery, perched dramatically on a cliff face in the Altındere Valley National Park, and explore the Hagia Sophia of Trabzon with its stunning frescoes. Trabzon’s lush landscapes, rich history, and unique regional dishes offer a different side of Turkey. It serves as a gateway to the stunning landscapes of the Eastern Black Sea region.

10. Antakya (Hatay)

Dive into the multicultural heritage of Antakya (Hatay), an ancient city with a history that spans millennia. Explore the Hatay Archaeology Museum, home to one of the world’s largest collections of Roman mosaics, wander through the old bazaars, and visit the Church of St. Peter, said to be one of the earliest Christian houses of worship. Antakya’s cuisine reflects its diverse cultural influences, making it a gastronomic delight. The city, with its rich historical layers and warm hospitality, offers a warm welcome to explorers.

Antalya rooftop views overlooking the city in Turkey

Antalya Travel Guide: Final Thoughts

Antalya is a city that has it all: beautiful beaches, rich history, delicious food, and a vibrant nightlife. From exploring ancient ruins to lounging on the beach, there’s something for everyone in this Turkish paradise. The city’s picturesque old town, stunning waterfalls, and bustling bazaars are just a few of the many reasons to visit Antalya.

With a wealth of activities, sights, and experiences to discover, Antalya is a destination that’s sure to captivate and inspire. Whether you’re a history buff, a foodie, or a beach lover, Antalya is an unforgettable destination that’s not to be missed.

Ode To Antalya

Amidst the shores of turquoise blue, Lies a city with wonders anew, Antalya, the city of Sun, With a charm that can never be undone.

The old town and the harbor so grand, Leave memories that forever stand, Walking down the cobbled streets, The city’s history one can meet.

With mountains as the backdrop high, Nature here seems to touch the sky, From Düden Waterfalls to Kursunlu, The beauty of Antalya is all but few.

The beach stretches as far as the eye can see, The Mediterranean waves so calming and free, Lara Beach and Konyaalti, The perfect places to soak up the city’s beauty.

Antalya, the city of allure, The memories here forever secure, This charming city of sun and sea, Is where your heart will long to be.

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