Antalya attracts visitors from all over the world with its magnificent history, warm air and its great geographical features. Because of these features, there are countless reasons to make a holiday in Antalya.
The Best Things to Do in Antalya
Plenty of opportunities for relaxation and peaceful sea views as well as wide range of active water sports are available to meet holidaymakers. Antalya embraces people of all ages and countries and offers activities for both groups and individuals. Moreover, Antalya is one of the most economical destinations for such activities. Antalya’s attractions simply promise to pay off all the expenses that you make.
12 Things You Can Enjoy in Antalya
1. Discover the History of the City
Antalya is one of the few cities that do not lose their historic amour. Although the city of Antalya has developed and popular, its historical texture has always been permanent. Kaleici (The Old City), which deserves more than its name, has fascinating streets surrounded by ancient walls.
Hadrian’s Gate brings you to the heart of Old Antalya. Hidirlik Tower, Clock Tower, Kesik Minaret Mosque, Yivli Minaret Mosque, which have roots up to the 2nd century, can be visited in Kaleici. Then you can spend a day enjoying the beautiful view of the Marina. In Kaleici and around the Marina you can find delicious cafes and restaurants to accompany the day.
Do not miss to see the Ancient City of Termessos, one of the best preserved ancient cities in the world. This is the result of having the city built and designed to be protected. The environment is so alive that it can even take you on a short history trip.
2. Explore One of Turkey’s Most Impressive Museums
Antalya Archaeology Museum, located in the city center, has been home to Turkey’s unique works since it was founded in 1922. The museum is definitely a must-see for those who are interested in Turkish culture and the history of Anatolian lands dating back thousands of years.
The unusual sculpture unearthed as a result of careful work in Perge is waiting to be visited in the Museum Hall of the Gods Room. Many sarcophagi, ceramic artifacts, mosaics and marble portraits from ancient civilizations also attract the attention of history fans.
3. Enjoy the Sun, Sand and Sea in the City
One of the first things that comes to mind in Antalya is definitely the beaches. The city is home to unique beaches all over. It is possible to find a beach even in the city. With a short staircase from Kaleici you can reach Mermerli Beach, with its umbrellas, sunbeds and restaurants nearby.
The most famous beaches of Antalya city center are of course the Konyaalti and Lara beaches which are known to almost all the world. Konyaalti is a 7.5 km long beach in the western part of the city. This beach is adding value with new enrichment projects. While relaxing on Konyaalti beach and swimming in the sea, you can enjoy the view of the unique Beydaglari Mountain, which is right next to you.
Lara Beach on the east side is sandier than Konyaalti. The Lara region, home to countless hotels, attracts attention with its public beaches and entertainment venues, restaurants and cafés on the shore of the beach. After your time at the seaside, you can visit magnificent sand sculptures in Sand Land in the same area.
4. Meet Underwater Life in Antalya Aquarium
Antalya Aquarium has the largest collection of underwater creatures in Turkey in terms of variety. Inside are the Snow World & Ice Museum, three-dimensional cinema, tropical artificial forest, restaurants, cafes, play parks and more.
In Antalya Aquarium, underwater creatures, tropical reefs, old aircraft and shipwrecks, historical remains are displayed in arty decorations. The Aquarium’s most famous place is, of course, a 131-meter tunnel. The underwater creatures that accompany you while passing through the dimly lighted tunnel offer a complete visual feast.
5. Taste the Peace at Manavgat Waterfall
Manavgat Waterfall presents you a natural environment with its peaceful atmosphere. The waterfall, which is known to have a width greater than its height, creates a cool air with full flow in the summer months and provides a small escape from the heat of Antalya.
You can spend a peaceful time with the magnificent tea gardens among the trees. In addition, the local markets around the waterfall attract a lot of tourists.
6. Take a History Trip to Side
It is a must to see the fascinating history of Side when you go to Manavgat Waterfall. The town is equipped with social and local amenities such as bars, cafeterias, restaurants and hotels. Side aims to entertain you in summer nights with its discos as much as daytime with its marina and beaches.
The main attraction of Side is that it has one of the most magnificent open-air museums in the world. This area, which dates back to the 7th century BC, houses the antique theater of 20000 people, Apollo Temple and the walls surrounding the city. Apollo Temple in Side, one of the world’s historical heritages, creates spectacular images with the sun setting to the sea.
7. Take the Cable Car to Tahtali Mountain
A remarkable feature of Antalya is the magnificent harmony of the mountains and the sea. When you go to Antalya, there are many ways to experience these two unique landscapes at the same time. One of these is the Tunektepe Cable Car Line. With this cable car line, you can reach the viewing terrace on the Tahtali Mountain, 1639 meters above the ground. The terrace offers a 360-degree view. Thus, it reveals the view of the city on one side and the Mediterranean’s vast landscape on the other side blending the mountain, nature and sea.
In addition, adrenaline addicts are considered. If you are not thinking about going down by the cable car, you can fly with hillside parachute by experiencing an excellent adventure.
8. Discover Aspendos, the City of Ancient Civilizations
Filled with four different historical sites, Aspendos is one of the most striking places of Antalya. The most known hallmark of Aspendos is the magnificent ancient theater of 12.000 people. The Theater annually hosts the Aspendos International Opera and Ballet Festival.
Although the Aspendos Antique Theater is a striking theater with enormous size and virginity, it is a whole city with aqueducts, basilicas, stadiums, fountains and arches. In other words, it is one of the world’s greatest historical monuments.
9. Enjoy Playing Golf in Belek
Belek has attracted the attention of the world as much as it is in Turkey with its unique golf fields. Its popularity in Antalya is rapidly rising. In fact, Belek has been under the shadows of resorts such as Kemer, Side and Alanya for years. But nowadays, it’s the most attractive tourist spot of Antalya.
Through recognition as an international brand, the town has begun to collect the fruits of its rapid development. Belek is currently hosting international golf tournaments organized annually. Furthermore, the town successfully welcomes the number one names in the golf world like Tiger Woods. In addition, even if you do not know playing golf, you can enjoy 5-star hotels or learn golf with the lessons given by professionals.
10. Experience the Adventure in Koprulu Canyon
Koprulu Canyon, one of the national parks in Turkey, is an ideal place to enjoy nature. Spreading 366 kilometers in length, it offers you a peaceful experience with fresh fish restaurants, cafes and tea gardens.
However, Koprulu Canyon is not just peace and quiet. Koprulu Canyon National Park located in Manavgat district is today identified with rafting sport. Not only in Turkey, but also in the world, it is the most popular nature sports center for adventure enthusiasts. Visitors can enjoy many fun activities such as canyon walk, abseiling and canyon rafting. Moreover, if this is your first experience training with hands-on courses are given by experts.
Although the national park is known for rafting, the region is described as “World Heritage” because of its natural and historical richness.
11. Walk on the Lycian Way
From its easternmost point to westernmost point, Antalya is full of enormous antique cities, historical sites and natural beauties. The Lycian Way is a walking path designed to allow you to see all of these charms closely. During your walk, you have the opportunity to run across precious places like Phaselis, Olympos, Patara, Myra, St. Nicholas Church and Yanartas.
If walking on the road seems difficult, you can explore the sea and the fresh air of the forest by using the D400 highway that stretches along the coast in Antalya. The explorers can spend the nights in places like Cirali or Olympos in a very economical way. Alternatively, you may stay in the prestigious areas like Kas, Kalkan.
12. Sail with Yacht Tours
After listing such fun things to do in Antalya, it would be impossible to mention the sea, which is the most important feature. There are yacht tours of hourly, daily or 3-4 nights from every town of Antalya which is located at the center of the Mediterranean coasts. While daily tours departing from the yacht harbor in the city center are the most economical, tours that sail up to Fethiye are also available for those who like a little more luxury. From Antalya to Fethiye you will experience the best way of discovering the blue and calm Mediterranean.
Looking for fun in Antalya nights? See our article “Antalya Nightlife Attractions“