Things to Do in Antalya : A Guide for Tourists and Relocators

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Antalya is the main tourist destination for most tourists. With the onset of the pandemic, people began to come here for the winter, and in 2024 there was a new wave of migration. We have written a large guide that will be useful for tourists, nomads, and relocators.

Kaleici Old Town

The main resort of Turkey attracts with its clear sea, cheap last-minute tours, all-inclusive format and convenient location, direct flights from more than ten cities in all the world. And also – the ruins of ancient eras, natural monuments and traditional oriental sweets. Turkey also have the cheapest prices for transfer services, for example with KiwiTaxi.com.

Antalya is comparable in size to other cities in the world, such as Belgrad. But, unlike the capital of Serbia, where 1.3 million people live, there are 1.2 million local residents on the Turkish coast. This is due to low-rise development and tourism, because during the season the number of people doubles.

The beaches are full, there is nowhere to sit in a cafe, everyone wants to make money from tourists. But from here there is where to go on a trip and immerse yourself in the history of Ancient Rome or Greece. You can travel to Antalya at any time of the year: the sea is warm until November, winter is mild and sunny, the surrounding area is green, and fruits and vegetables are always fresh.

What else is good about one of the most popular cities in Turkey, where to look for the best beaches, where to go to the mountains for canyons, where to buy a fur coat and how to get to the local Disneyland – we’ll tell you in our big guide.

Streets of the Old Town

Antalya Old Town

Kaleici (translated as “inside the fortress”) is the historical center of Antalya. People have lived in this part of the city since the 2nd century BC, since the times of the Roman Empire. Kaleici is located in a bay; on the other side, the city was protected by fortress walls. Nowadays, a high wall with Hadrian’s Gate separates Kaleici from the modern city.

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Outside there are cars, shopping centers, crowds of pedestrians and the noise of the city, and inside there are narrow streets buried in flowering trees, cats imposingly walking and cool views of the sea.

In order to preserve the atmosphere of the Old Town, the authorities prohibited the construction of new houses, and ordered restoration using materials identical to the original ones: stone, wood, red tiles. On the one hand, the historical layout of the Old Town and architecture have been preserved. But on the other hand, there are almost no local residents left in Kaleici.

And most of the buildings are designed for entertainment, which kills the atmosphere of the area a little. We are also recommended to use Antalya airport transfer to your hotel, because this is the fastest way to get out of the airport and come to the hotel.

Antalya Streets of the Old Town
Antalya Old Town

Builders constructed Hadrian’s Arch in 130 to honor the arrival of the ancient Roman emperor. Craftsmen primarily used marble for its construction, although they made the eight carved columns from granite. During the mid-20th century restoration of the arch, archaeologists discovered that the gate features two levels and that builders constructed the columns in different periods. Although the second tier has not survived, they installed a glass bridge on the floor, allowing visitors to see traces of carts on the lower tier.

The Yivli minaret, not far from the arch, features an unusual shape made of eight half-cylinders and derives its name from the Turkish word for corrugated. The Seljuk conquerors built it in the 13th century as a symbol of their victory. Inside, there is a small museum that you can visit free of charge when there is no prayer. Many points in Antalya offer a view of the tall 38-meter minaret, which is why people sometimes call it the symbol of the city.

During the Ottoman Empire in the 17th and 18th centuries, skilled builders erected the magnificent Tekeli Mehmet Pasha Mosque. A grand chandelier illuminates the space inside, and stunning stained glass adorns the windows. Intricate ceramic tiles featuring elegant Arabic script adorn the walls. Another mosque is the small Iskele, built in the 19th century. A spring flows between its columns, and superstitious tourists throw coins into it.

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Beaches in the Sity and Surroundings

Antalya Beaches

Antalya has more than 300 sunny days a year, so even in winter, locals and tourists sunbathe on the beach. Many people even swim, because at this time of year the water temperature is usually equal to the air temperature and can reach plus 18–20 degrees. There are three beaches within the city.

The pebble-sand beach in Konyalti is a large municipal beach eight kilometers long and 50 meters wide. Because of the rocks, coral slippers are useful for comfortable swimming. There are two zones on the beach – free and paid, which differ not only in services, but also in entry into the sea. The free zone has a sharp transition to depth, so it is not suitable for swimming with children. In the paid area, they provide a sunbed with an umbrella, bring drinks and food from the cafe, offer water activities, and the descent into the water is gentler.

Toilets and changing cabins are available in both areas. The beach is located in a residential area, so there will be no problems here to buy something at the supermarket or have a snack.

The area is full of cafes and bars that host lively open-air parties during the season. There are also several cozy coffee shops (Özsüt Sahil, Roberts Coffee, Coffee’s), where you can grab a cappuccino and work on your laptop. There are many different rental points for SUP boards, mopeds and bicycles, sports grounds, a skate park and an open-air cinema.

Along the beach in the greenery of palm trees there are bicycle and walking paths. Locals love to come here on weekends with the whole family for a picnic, set up camp chairs and look at the sea. Even in winter on weekends there is active life on the beach, unlike other areas of the city.

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Tourist Taking Images

You can get here by bus (KC06, LF09) from the center, but a special pleasure is to ride the red retro tram from the Old Town (Kale Kapı stop) along the coast and parks. Such a trip will take 15 minutes and will cost the same as regular travel on public transport, the only thing is that the tram runs once every half hour.

Nature

Nature

30 kilometers from Antalya, mountain streams merge into the Duden River, which passes through the city and forms two cascading waterfalls. Both are open to visitors all year round, with the best viewing time being from January to April during the rainy season.

Duden Waterfall

Upper Duden Waterfall is located in the residential area of Kepez, eight kilometers from the center of Antalya. Locals spend weekends here and enjoy nature without the crowds of tourists. The waterfall is 600 years old, it is located in the Duden National Park, the entrance costs ten liras. The park has many walking paths, stairs and bridges to view the falls from different angles.

Duden Waterfall

From the cave under the waterfall, you obtain an unusual perspective, where you can see streams of water falling from a 27-meter height up close. Another observation deck is located at the foot, where you can take a full-length photograph of the waterfall itself and the lake that it forms.

Due to the rapid flows, the park’s humidity causes the surrounding area to be lush with greenery, resembling an impenetrable jungle. If you go further along the river and go up towards the entrance, you can feed the goose and ducks, have a picnic or have lunch in a cafe. Buses go here from the center (MK80 and CV17), get off at the Düden Şelalesı stop.

Antalya A Guide for Tourists and Relocators

Conclusion: 

In conclusion, Antalya offers a unique combination of historical sites, stunning beaches, and lively nightlife, making it an ideal destination for tourists and potential residents alike. Whether you’re planning a short vacation or considering a permanent move, Antalya has something for everyone. From the charming Old Town to the breathtaking views of the Mediterranean Sea, there is plenty to explore and experience in Antalya. Whether you’re a tourist or a potential resident, Antalya is a city that caters to all.

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