Nestled on the Mediterranean coast of southeast Turkey, Antalya is truly a sight for sore eyes. We’re talking ancient ruins offset by stunning beaches, traditional bazaars mingling with chic restaurants and sun, sun and more sun. Antalya is the place to go if you want to do everything or nothing.
Walk amongst the ruins of history at Perge and Termessos and then bargain up a storm at the Akdeniz Bazaar and Sultan S Bazaar. Keen for the beaches? We don’t blame you – after all, Antalya is Turkey’s biggest sea resort. Head to Mermerli Beach and Konyaalti Beach for a killer tan and the clearest water in the universe, plus a backdrop of mountains that create an almost mythical setting.
Antalya's Top 10
10. Hadrian’s Gate This stone gate is old. Real old. Plus, it’s believed that the Queen of Sheba passed under it. Fancy.
5. Hidirlik Tower This tower has roots in the Hellenistic era (we’re talking B.C.!) and is essential for a top view.
9. Antalya Shopping Centre: Done the bazaars? Hit up this mall for top labels, cheap finds and everything in between.
4. Lara Beach Packed with hotties, so make sure you do your sit-ups before hitting the sand.
8. Atatürk’s House Museum Named after Turkey’s first Prez, it’s a great place to get an insight into the birth of the modern nation.
3. Yivli Minare Mosque A city icon at 38 metres high. Now home to a historical museum.
7. Konyaalti Beach Relax on a lounger before heading into the lush, warm waters. Heaven!
2. Antalya Museum The most important museum in the city is where you’ll discover local history tidbits and other awesome exhibits.
6. Karaalioglu Park Fresh sea air and phenomenal views combine.
1. Kaleiçi Antalya’s historic city centre is full of cobblestone paths, Ottoman-era houses and bazaar gems.
- Alanya Museum of Archaeology – Richly crammed with ancient Greek and Roman artifacts, the variety of wonders here are breathtaking to behold.
- Kaleiçi – Stride the streets of old Antalya and be dazzled by the history and architecture dating back to many centuries ago.
- Aspendos – One of the best-preserved Roman amphitheatres in the world, Aspendos is still used for concerts and performances today.
- Ancient City of Termessos – Perched high above the city of Antalya, these ruins are a great and informative way to spend an afternoon.
- Hadrian’s Gate – The fabled entrance to the city of Antalya.
Antalya Art & Culture
- Yivli Minaret Mosque – This mosque, with its beautiful, fluted minaret, is a popular local landmark and tourist attraction.
- Tekeli Mehmet Pasa Mosque – Built in the 18th century, this Kalekapisi mosque is one of the most important religious structures in Turkey.
- Antalya Museum – Check out this truly amazing collection of fascinating artefacts from ancient times, mostly recovered from the local area.
- Antalya Cultural Centre – Visit the symphony orchestra and catch an opera, a concert or the ballet.
- Kesik Minaret Camii – Take in the historic broken minaret in Antalya’s old city and don’t forget to bring your camera.
- Antalya Bazaar – This covered market is the place to bargain for jewellery, handcrafted items, clothing and great food.
- Migros Shopping Mall – All you need in one place: designer clothes, scores of specialty stores and food.
- Laura Street Market – Saturday morning markets, belly-dancing costumes, street stalls and local souvenirs.
- Kaleiçi Halicilik – The place to go for textiles, kilims and carpets for which Turkey is famous.
- Hitit Souvenir Shop – Haggle for handmade jewellery, crafts and fresh Turkish delight.
Gay & Lesbian Antalya
- Aspendos Sinemasi – This cinema is becoming known for its gay clientele.
- Carsi (Cumhuriyet) Hamami – Turkish baths where it is easy to relax and mingle with others.
- Konyaalti Beach – The closest beach to the city centre and definitely worth a visit.
- Antalya Work Club – A great place to party if you’re a part of the gay scene.
- Marjinal Bar – Drink and meet others at this bar located near the Yacht Harbour.
- Hip-Notics Cable Park – A great place to cable water ski, wakeboard and have outdoor fun.
- Rafting in Koprulu Kanyon National Park – Get into some white-water rafting to get your adrenalin pumping.
- Paragliding – See this city from the best seat in the house, high above the Mediterranean coast.
- Troy Aqua Park – The biggest in the region, fun and a huge hit with the kids.
- Alanya Diving – Take a buddy, hire some scuba gear and check out what’s under the surface.
- Challenge yourself at one of the many great golf courses in the area.
- Head up to the mountains with Saklikent Skiing.
- Cycle in the Taurus Mountains.
- Catch the Antalyaspor football team at a home game at Ataturk Stadium.
- Fish on the Antalyan coast and then fire up the barbecue.
Mediterranean Art Days (March to April) is an art and culture festival presented by the Akdeniz University. Whether you’re up for a serious discussion about dying cultural values or just want to look at pretty pictures, there’ll be something to suit you.
May welcomes partygoers with SunSplash, a week of sun, sea and top tunes. Slap on your sexiest threads and groove to some soul by day and club beats by night.
If you prefer higher-brow entertainment, try the Aspendos International Opera and Ballet Festival in June and July? Ticket prices are reasonable and everyone loves Swan Lake.
The Golden Orange Film & Art Festival (October) is Turkey’s oldest film festival and reels (get it?) in massive crowds.
Local and international classical music superstars come together for the Antalya Piano Festival in November and December. Wear your fanciest threads for this one.
When To Go
Summers are super-hot and temps can soar over 40°C (104°F). Make sure to keep hydrated and slap on some good ol’ deodorant – no one likes a stinky tourist!
Ditch the rainy months by avoiding a visit during December to mid February.
If you want to be surrounded by throngs of like-minded tourists and plenty of parties, visit from July to September.
Buses are the best way to move around Antalya. They’re cheap, reliable and have air-con!
The cabs are reliable but more expensive after midnight.
A dolmus (kinda like a big cab/mini-bus) is ideal if you’re travelling with a bunch of friends.
Turkey's gem of Antalya proves the importance of location, location, location. The city of 800,000 has become one of the premier international resorts in the world, thanks to a propitious position on the Gulf of Antalya and the Mediterranean coast. City scenery just doesn't get much better and as Turkey's status as a tourism superpower has risen over the decades, so has Antalya's magnetic pull.
Far from a manufactured resort town however, Antalya has genuine authenticity, much in evidence throughout the former outpost of the Roman Empire. From landmarks such as Hadrian's Gate, a magnificent triumphal arch, to ancient Hidirlik Tower and supreme exemplars of Ottoman architecture, the city is full of great attractions. The Lara and Konyaalti districts provide beach lovers with some of the best sand, surf and resorts in all of Turkey. A good meal is never too far away in Antalya either, with restaurants all over town for every price point that offer homestyle regional fare on tap.
Attractions & Activities
Restaurants & Nightlife
Antalya's Mediterranean climate provides near perfect weather all year round.
- Winter (December to February) 5-16°C
- Spring (March to May) 7-26°C
- Summer (June to September) 19-33°C
- Fall (October to November) 11-26°C
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156 hotels in Antalya
Crystal Tat Beach & Golf Resort Hotel Antalya is a lavish all-inclusive oasis featuring chic accommodations, various leisure facilities and dining opportunities in Antalya. Aside from gazing at the... More
Offering luxury accommodations, state-of-the art amenities and view of the Mediterranean Sea and Toros Mountains, Nirvana Lagoon Villas Suites Spa makes for an ideal haven for discerning Antalya... More
Experience a refreshing change when you stay at the Hillside Su Hotel, which offers a warm hospitality and enriches your visit with savvy amenities, unobtrusive service and elements of surprise. ... More
Recognized as one of the most desirable locations for international vacationers, Marmara Hotel Antalya has been the alluring playground for those seeking anything from daring adventures and exotic... More
Featuring sophisticated accommodations, contemporary facilities and direct access to the beach, Club Hotel Sera makes for an idyllic retreat for discerning travellers in Antalya. Apart from... More
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Crystal Sunrise Queen Luxury Resort & Spa Antalya takes its name after the famed crystal clear and sparkling blue waters of the Mediterranean Sea. Guests can choose to swim on the hotel's private... More
Kervansaray Kundu Hotel Antalya offers memorable holiday accommodation. This beach front hotel amazes with its unique swimming pool, garden and modern facilities. Children can have fun in the pool... More
Enjoy terrace dining on the Mediterranean at the Ottoman-style Crowne Plaza Antalya hotel, close to Antalya's government buildings. Step into the modern, palatial atrium at Crowne Plaza Antalya ,... More
Crystal Deluxe Kemer Hotel Antalya offers a combination of classical style and modern facilities. The hotel offers a private fine pebble beach. The city center of Kemer is nearby and features... More