15 Amazing Things to Do in Antalya
Located on the Mediterranean coast, Antalya is a beautiful city with many things to see and do. The Turkish Riviera is not known as the Turquoise Coast for nothing. Whether you are looking for beautiful beaches, the abundance of historical sites, or magical waterfalls in the countryside, Antalya will give you a lifelong memory of a fantastic trip.
Exploring the city’s historic center is a pleasant way to get to know the city, and settling down for a Turkish coffee while watching the world is an idyllic experience. Dripping in the history of this wonderful city, it not only present-day Turkey, but the world will also be introduced to the richness of civilizations throughout the ages from this corner.
The historic center of the city is full of lovely old Ottoman mansions and beautiful monuments and buildings dating back to Roman and Byzantine times. As such, it is an absolute pleasure to visit Kaleiçi; Its Warren-like streets are the perfect place to get lost and just enjoy all the sights and sounds of Antalya.
With countless restaurants, shops, and atmospheric cafes to choose from, there is plenty to see and do. There are also lots of cute little art galleries that you can check out. Splendid buildings, such as the 18th-century Tekeli Mehmet Pasha Mosque and the elegant Kesik Minaret, scattered among narrow streets, whirl around the picturesque main square.
It is the highlight of Kaleiçi trips for many visitors. If you want to experience the intoxicating mix of contemporary and traditional Turkish life, there is something not to be missed.
2. Duden Waterfalls
Located about 12 kilometers from the city center, Düden Waterfalls are beautiful to see and very popular for visiting both locals and tourists.
The water from the Taurus Mountains travels through the karst countryside surrounding Antalya before dramatically plunging into the Mediterranean at the Lower Düden Waterfalls.
The lower waterfalls are best seen on board, while the upper waterfalls are a pleasant place for a picnic; They are located in a small valley with a beautiful view. Here you can enter a cave behind the waterfall; This is a fascinating experience as the water flows from the ledge of the cliff in front of you.
3. Hadrian's Gate
Impressive and equally dramatic, Hadrian’s Gate is a fantastic monument to honor the Roman Emperor Hadrian, who visited Antalya in 130 AD. The triumphal arch has been well preserved and still serves as one of the main entry points of the historic Kaleiçi quarter.
The three arches are lined with pillars and there are some beautiful carvings on the ceiling for you to look at; The two old towers frame Hadrian’s Gate perfectly on both sides. Although the old defensive walls still surround a large part of the city, Hadrian’s Gate is the only entrance gate still standing.
Aspendos, which leaves its mouth open to attract attention, must be seen to believe. Although it is about 40 kilometers from Antalya, it is definitely worth the trip for the astonishing scenery that greets you.
The great Roman theater of Aspendos, one of Turkey’s most important tourist destinations is incredibly well preserved and was built around 155 AD. The gigantic entrance towers on the slope of a hill are above you as you enter; the mind is surprised by its size and scale.
Away from the theater, there are a number of other ruins you can explore, such as the basilica, aqueduct, and agora. Undoubtedly it is a magnificent theater that attracts people from all over the world.
5. Antalya Archeological Museum
One of the most important museums of Turkey’s most beautiful Antalya Archeology Museum is home to a huge collection of works in and around the city, and something not to be missed.
History lovers will definitely adore its vast archaeological sections, which include enormous mosaics, silver jewelry, and beautiful sculptures from Perge and Byzantium. Spanning over five thousand years of history, the exhibits feature magnificent ruins and artifacts from the Bronze Age to the Roman and Byzantine periods.
Perge, only 15 kilometers from Antalya, is a magnificent archaeological site that you should visit. The ancient capital of Pamphylia was founded around 1000 BC and there are many incredible ruins for you to discover; The stunning Roman theater is the highlight of many people’s sightseeing.
Perge has an awesome car racing stadium for you to check out, along with huge buildings, half-destroyed temples, and decaying pillars that collapse wherever you look; in that golden age, it could accommodate 15,000 spectators.
Considering how epic everything is, there are quite a few tourists around, which leaves you to step back in time and imagine Perge in all its glory.
7. Konyaalti Beach
Located to the west of the city, this gorgeous pebble beach stretches for more than seven kilometers and is a great place to go if you want to sit back and relax in the sun. If you are in pain, there are many cafes, snack bars, and restaurants nearby, and Antalya Beach Park right behind it has many shady spots if you want to get away from the sun.
Konyaaltı Beach, with its magnificent Beydaglari Mountains providing a beautiful backdrop in the distance, is the perfect place to just admire the view while lounging by the sea. If you’re feeling a little more active, why not try your hand at the jet ski or visit the Aqualand water park just a stone’s throw away.
The ancient city of Termessos, located on the slope of Solymos Mountain at an altitude of more than 1000 meters, is magnificent. It is a magical experience to explore the well preserved old buildings and ruins of Termessos, with magnificent views of the surrounding area and the Taurus Mountains in the distance; The colonnaded street and the agora are just two of its prominent features.
Neither Greek nor Lycian, their inhabitants were Pisidians, fierce and warlike. Its secluded position allowed it to maintain its independence from the invading armies; This is one reason the site is doing so well.
Visitors to Termessos, where a beautiful open-air theater is also presented, will never be disappointed with the incredible views they see.
9. Antalya Aquarium
The fantastic aquarium of Antalya, one of the largest aquarium complexes in the world, is as fun as it is educational; Its 40 themed aquariums definitely make for a fun day out for the whole family.
There is definitely a lot to see and do for you to enjoy with the world’s longest tunnel aquarium; the tropical reptile house is also worth seeing. In addition, a Snow World and Ice Museum is also part of the complex; You can engage in snowball fights and play in an icy wonderland.
10. Kursunlu Waterfalls
Kurşunlu Waterfalls, about 12 kilometers from Antalya, is located in the nature park of the same name and are worth seeing. Water from the Aksu River flows through the countryside before entering the beautiful, turquoise pool that runs below Kurşunlu.
Lush vegetation surrounds the pool and the water wall only adds to the perfect view. The secluded and tranquil place is full of wildlife and almost feels like you are in a fairy tale, that’s the perfection in the show.
11. Karaalioglu Park
Located just outside the city center, Karaalioğlu Park is a great spot to walk around and a perfect place for a picnic. Antique Hıdırlık Tower is located in a corner of the park.
From the ancient Roman fort, there are magnificent views overlooking the Gulf of Antalya in front of you – you can also see the old Roman harbor. Home to several sculptures and monuments, Karaalioğlu is a great park to go to if you want to take a break from all your excursions.
12. Yivli Minaret
The Yivli Minaret, one of Antalya’s most well-known landmarks, and an elegant monument that cleverly displays Seljuk architecture rise above its surroundings. Yivli, part of the 13th-century mosque that is still in use, is located in the historic center.
From above, there are beautiful views over the red roofs around it. Yivli, which means ‘grooved minaret’ in Turkish, is 38 meters high and now houses the Antalya Ethnography Museum, where there are many ancient and interesting artifacts for you to browse.
13. Old Marina
Situated in a beautiful small natural bay, the Eski Marina is located between steep cliffs and is full of boats floating in turquoise waters. It is an atmospheric place to stop by, with lots of small cafes and restaurants lining the waterfront, and small, winding streets that curl away from the marina.
Once the important economic center of Antalya, Antalya is now the perfect place to grab a coffee or a meal and take in the beautiful scenery. From here, you can also take a boat tour and explore the nearby Turkish coastline.
14. Lara Beach
About ten kilometers east of the historic center, Lara Beach is a great place to sit back and relax while sunbathing. With the Mediterranean hitting the shore while sunbathing, you can comfortably have a drink or a meal at one of the restaurants nearby, as it is a peaceful place with many tourist facilities.
A little further back, if you want to be closer to the beach while staying in Antalya, you can find many different hotels and accommodation options.
15. Tunek Tepe
Tune Tepe, rising on the western side of Antalya, is a gigantic hill that offers impressive views of the city, the Gulf of Antalya, and the winding coastline.
One of the best ways to reach the top is by cable car on the slope. If you want to dance the night away somewhere unforgettable, there is a restaurant and a nightclub on the hill. If clubbing is not for you, Tunek Tepe is worth seeing only with its magnificent panoramas.