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Antalya: Turquoise Coast Treasure Trove

Jan 2

Antalya is a popular tourist destination located on the Mediterranean coast of Turkey. It is known for its beautiful beaches, stunning natural scenery, and rich history. If you plan a trip to Antalya, here is what you can expect.

What to expect in Antalya

  • A wide range of accommodation options, from luxury resorts to cosy guesthouses
  • Delicious Turkish cuisine with a focus on fresh seafood and grilled meats
  • An array of outdoor activities, including swimming, snorkelling, hiking, and sightseeing
  • Vibrant nightlife scene with bars, clubs, and cafes
  • Bustling bazaars filled with handmade crafts and souvenirs
  • Warm and sunny weather for most of the year

Historical background of Antalya

Antalya has a rich and diverse history dating back to ancient times. The Attalid dynasty founded the city in the 2nd century BCE, and has since been ruled by the Romans, Byzantines, Seljuks, and Ottomans. As a result, Antalya boasts an impressive collection of historical sites and monuments, including:

  • Hadrian's Gate, a beautifully preserved Roman triumphal arch
  • Antalya Museum, which showcases artefacts from the city's various periods of history
  • Old Town, with its narrow streets, traditional architecture, and stunning views of the sea
  • Hidirlik Tower, an ancient Roman structure that now serves as a popular lookout point
  • Yivli Minaret Mosque, a striking example of Seljuk architecture

Overall, Antalya is a must-visit destination for anyone interested in history, culture, and natural beauty. With so much to see and do, it's easy to see why this city has become one of Turkey's top tourist destinations.


Antalya Old Town

If you are visiting Antalya, one spot you should check out is the Old Town. Here's what you need to know about exploring this stunning part of the city.

Exploring the stunning Old Town

The Old Town, or Kaleici, is a charming and picturesque part of Antalya known for its narrow streets, traditional Ottoman houses, and breathtaking views of the Mediterranean Sea. It's a great place to stroll around and soak up the atmosphere, especially in the evening when the streets come alive with food vendors and street performers.

Kaleici and Hadrian’s Gate

One of the highlights of Old Town is Hadrian's Gate, a beautifully preserved Roman triumphal arch built in 130 CE to honour Emperor Hadrian's visit to Antalya. The gate stands tall and proud at the entrance to Kaleici, welcoming visitors to the charming Old Town. Walking through the gate, you'll enter a labyrinth of narrow streets and alleys lined with Ottoman-era houses, museums, and souvenir shops.

If you're lucky, you might also glimpse some traditional street performers who often entertain visitors in the Old Town. These performers range from musicians and dancers to acrobats and fire-eaters, adding to the lively atmosphere of the area.

Overall, Antalya's Old Town is a must-visit destination to experience the city's history and culture firsthand. With its beautiful architecture, stunning views, and lively atmosphere, it's no wonder that the Old Town is one of Antalya's most popular tourist spots.


Antalya Beaches

When you visit Antalya, you should not miss out on exploring the stunning beaches. Let’s explore the beautiful coastline of Antalya and its top beaches.

Famous beaches in Antalya

Antalya is home to many beaches that have gained worldwide fame for their stunning natural beauty, crystal-clear waters, and pristine sand. Some of the most popular beaches in Antalya include Konyaalti, Lara, and Olympos.

Konyaalti and Lara Beach

Of all the beaches, Konyaalti and Lara are the most beautiful and popular among tourists. Konyaalti's pebbled beach stretches for miles and is surrounded by cliffs, making it a picturesque spot to stroll along the shore. The beach has all the amenities, including showers, changing rooms, and sun loungers.

Lara Beach is a long stretch of golden sand that stretches for several kilometres and is considered one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. The beach is surrounded by upscale hotels and restaurants, making it a popular spot for tourists who want to relax and enjoy the crystal-clear water of the Mediterranean Sea.

Overall, Antalya is a beautiful city with many stunning beaches waiting to be explored. Whether you're looking for a relaxing day soaking up the sun or an adventurous day of water sports, Antalya's beaches have something for everyone. Don't forget to bring your sunscreen and camera, and get ready to experience the beauty of Antalya's coastline.


Antalya Waterfalls

During your visit to Antalya, you must take some time to explore the beautiful waterfalls that are hidden in the mountains. Let’s look at some of the most famous waterfalls in Antalya.

Discovering the hidden waterfalls

Around Antalya, many hidden waterfalls are simply breathtaking. These waterfalls are not well-known and off the beaten path, but they are worth exploring. Some hidden waterfalls you can visit during your trip include Manavgat waterfall, Karpuzkaldiran waterfall, and Sapadere Canyon.

Kursunlu and Duden waterfalls

If you want to visit the more popular and easily accessible waterfalls, Kursunlu and Duden are among the best choices. Kursunlu waterfall is located within a nature park and is surrounded by lush vegetation, while Duden waterfall is located right in the heart of the city and is easily accessible. Both waterfalls offer spectacular views and are a must-see in Antalya.

Antalya is a beautiful city with natural wonders, stunning beaches and waterfalls. Whether you're exploring the hidden waterfalls or the popular ones, Antalya has something for everyone, and you will surely be amazed by the beauty of these natural wonders.


Antalya Aquarium

During your visit to Antalya, you should check out the Antalya Aquarium, one of the largest aquarium complexes in the world. Let’s look at some of the highlights of this amazing attraction.

Exploring the underwater world

The Antalya Aquarium has several unique features that make it a must-visit destination for nature lovers. One of the most impressive aspects of the aquarium is the main tank, which is over 40 meters long and contains over 3 million litres of water. Here, you can get up close and personal with thousands of fish species, from colourful tropical fish to huge sharks. Walking through the aquarium, you'll be surrounded by other fascinating marine creatures, including octopuses, rays, and eels.

Sharks, Turtles, and Rainforest

In addition to the main tank, the Antalya Aquarium has several other exhibits that will leave you in awe. One of the most popular exhibits is the shark tank, which houses several shark species, including blacktip and whitetip reef sharks. Another highlight is the turtle rehabilitation centre, which is dedicated to conserving and protecting Mediterranean sea turtles.

Suppose you need a break from all the aquatic action. In that case, you can head over to the rainforest section of the aquarium, where you can immerse yourself in a lush tropical paradise filled with exotic plants and animals.

The Antalya Aquarium is an incredible attraction that should not be missed during your visit to Antalya. With its diverse and fascinating exhibits, you'll be able to experience the magic of the underwater world in a truly unforgettable way.


Antalya Cuisine

One of the best ways to experience the local culture when visiting Antalya is through its cuisine. Here are some highlights of Antalya's amazing food scene.

Tasting the local delights

Antalya is known for its fresh, flavorful Mediterranean cuisine. Many dishes incorporate local ingredients like fresh seafood, olive oil, and aromatic herbs like mint and oregano. Turkish cuisine also strongly influences the region and is reflected in dishes like kebabs and stuffed grape leaves.

Must-try dishes and drinks

If you want to sample some of Antalya's most delicious dishes, start with mezze, an assortment of small plates that typically include hummus, baba ghanoush, and stuffed grape leaves. Try Antalya's famous piyaz salad, made with white beans, tomatoes, onions, and a tangy dressing for a main course. Another must-try dish is the savoury lamb or chicken kebabs.

As for drinks, try Turkish tea and coffee, both of which are a staple in the region. You can also sample some local wines made from grapes grown in the nearby mountains.

Antalya's cuisine is a delightful mix of Mediterranean and Turkish flavours that will tantalize your taste buds. Whether you're a foodie or just looking for a good meal, Antalya has something to offer everyone.


Antalya Nightlife

When you're in Antalya, you can't skip the nightlife scene. 

Experience the vibrant nightlife

Like the city's cuisine, Antalya has a dynamic and exciting nightlife. It offers various experiences, from chilled-out bars to lively nightclubs. Antalya has something for you whether you prefer a relaxed evening or an all-night party. 

Bars, clubs and entertainment

Antalya's nightlife is concentrated in two main areas: Kaleiçi (Old Town) and the Lara district. Both offer several bars and pubs that are perfect for a relaxed drink. In addition, they also feature several nightclubs where you can dance the night away. Club 29 in Kundu is one of the most popular venues with international DJs.

If you're looking for entertainment, head to the Aspendos Arena or the Hadrian's Gate, which hosts live performances and concerts throughout the year. The Antalya Culture Center also has a diverse program of events, from concerts and plays to exhibitions.

Overall, Antalya's nightlife scene is diverse and exciting. Whether you're looking for a chilled-out evening with a drink or a wild night out, Antalya won't disappoint.


Antalya Shopping

Where to shop in Antalya

If you're a shopaholic visiting Antalya, you're in for a treat. This beautiful city has many shopping options that cater to every budget. You can buy almost anything you want, from clothes to souvenirs and everything in between.

Markets, malls and bazaars

Antalya has a variety of shopping experiences. If you're interested in local handicrafts and fresh produce, check out the Kaleici bazaar. The Antalya Bazaar is another popular market where you can find everything from spices to jewellery.

If you prefer to shop at malls, head to the TerraCity Mall or the Migros Shopping Mall, which offers a variety of luxury and high-street brands. In contrast, Sarampol Mall is best for bargain shopping.

Overall, Antalya offers a dynamic shopping experience with options that suit every taste and budget. Whether you want to explore traditional markets or shop at high-end malls, Antalya has something for everyone.


Day Trips from Antalya

Exploring the neighbouring regions

If you're looking to explore beyond the city of Antalya, many day trip options are available. You can head to Kemer, just a short drive away which offers stunning beaches and outdoor activities like hiking and mountain biking.

Another popular option is to visit the nearby town of Side, known for its ancient ruins and beautiful coastline. You can also take a boat tour from the Side to explore the nearby caves and islands.

For a more relaxing day trip, head to the charming town of Kas, a three-hour drive from Antalya. Kas offers a picturesque marina and plenty of cafes and restaurants to enjoy Turkish cuisine.

Perge Ruins and Aspendos Theatre

If you're interested in history, visiting the ancient city of Perge is a must. Located just 18 km from Antalya, Perge is an ancient Greek city built in the 4th century BC with well-preserved ruins, including a stadium, agora, and theatre.

Another popular attraction for history buffs is the Aspendos Theatre, one of the world's best-preserved ancient Roman theatres. Located about 25 km east of Antalya, the theatre was built in the 2nd century AD and can seat up to 15,000 people.

Antalya offers a range of day trip options, from beach destinations to historic sites. With so many options, you're sure to find a day trip that suits your interests and preferences.


Tips for Traveling to Antalya

  • Antalya has a Mediterranean climate, so prepare for warm weather.
  • It can get crowded during the high season, so if you want to avoid crowds, plan your trip during the off-season.
  • Ensure that you carry a power adapter that works in Turkey.
  • Book your accommodation in advance if you plan to visit during peak tourist season.


Why Antalya is a Must-Visit Destination

Antalya is a lovely place with many options for exploring and making memories. Whether you're a history buff, a beach enthusiast, or interested in outdoor activities, there's plenty to see and do. Antalya is a must-visit destination with stunning beaches, scenic mountains, ancient ruins, mouth-watering cuisine, and friendly people.