Back in ancient Roman times, Antalya was a major port city and a known trading destination. Today, this town is known for its resorts and beaches and is one of Turkey’s most visited tourist destinations. Situated on the Mediterranean, this area is also known as Turkey’s “Turquoise Coast” owing its blue waters. The resort town of Antalya was the last place we visited on our 8 day Turkey trip. There are a lot of things to do as a part of day trips around Antalya. However, our goal in Antalya was to relax and take it easy. This post covers 10 best things to do in Antalya, Turkey that are not far from the heart of the town and can be done with very minimum effort.
1. Old Town
Antalya’s Old Town is called Kaleici which means inside the Kale (Castle). From colorful houses to road side shops, the narrow streets of Old Town is a great place to stroll around and take in all the sights and sounds of Antalya.
We were deciding between Old Town and the resort area to stay and ‘m so glad we stayed in the Old Town. There is definitely a lot to see around this area and it is my number one thing to do in this 10 best things to do in Antalya, Turkey list.
2. Hadrian’s Gate
This monument was built to honor the Roman Emperor Hadrian who visited Antalya in 130 AD. The gate along with its 3 arches are still well preserved and it still main entrance points to the historic Kaleici neighborhood even today.
3. Old Marina
Once the thriving economic hub of Antalya, today the Old Marina is a charming place to walk around in and take in the sights of the Mediterranean sea in the foreground and mountains in the background . The beautiful boats that fill up this Marina make for a very picturesque site.
4. Duden Waterfalls
Nothing fascinates me more than waterfalls that terminate its journey in the ocean. Perhaps because this is such a rare sight! Duden waterfall gushes rapidly and dramatically plunges into the calm waters of the Mediterranean often causing a rainbow right where the falls touch the ocean. The falls are pretty big and hard to capture in one picture and comes as a very pleasant surprise.
5. Kursunlu Waterfalls
Located in Kursunlu nature park and is a short drive from Antalya. The falls are reduced to a trickle in the summer months which is when we went but the park itself was pretty with lost of greenery and foliage.
6. Lara Beach
Lara Beach is one of the most famous beaches in Antalya. Even if you don’t decide to stay in a glitzy resort in this area like we didn’t, definitely visit the beach even for a few hours. We sat at a restaurant along the beach and had a few drinks while enjoying the view.
7. Sunset over the Mediterranean Sea
Ok so not exactly over the sea as Antalya is in the south and the sun sets in the west but so beautiful nonetheless!
8. Kecili Park
It’s not so much the park but the panoramic view of the Mediterranean sea and the mountains in the distance that you can see from an observation deck at the end of the park that is really worth the visit. The view is straight out of a travel magazine!
9. Mermerli Beach
A paid beach that you can relax at all day. You can also hire lounge chairs, umbrellas or boats. The beach is attached to a restaurant with excellent food and awesome views .
10. Seafood Feast
Antalya is know for its seafood and there are many restaurants (especially in and around Old Town) that whip up some really delicious food. Check out Kaleiçi Meyhanesi. We ate here twice!
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It used to be one of my favourite parts of Turkey some years ago but I haven’t visited now for about 30 years. Judging from your photographs I wouldn’t recognise it!
oh wow! I didn’t realize Turkey looked very different before
It was later than the other Med countries in latching on to the tourist trade, but it has certainly made up for it since then.
Yes, it was full of tourists when we went 🙂 and judging by how many hits this post gets on my Pinterest, I am guessing the popularity is only increasing!!