Antalya, a beautiful city on the Mediterranean coast of Turkey, is a holiday paradise. To someone’s great surprise, unlike other Turkish cities, Antalya does not attract tourists. On the one hand, I was amazed to see the lack of interest people have in the aforementioned wonderful city. The other half of me was too happy to play without a shoulder rub. Here is The Ultimate Antalya Guide – Best things to do in Antalya, Turkey.
If you are heading to Turkey on holiday, there are many reasons to add Antalya to your list. Whether you’re a history buff or a nature lover, this city has something to offer you. Antalya has it all, from well-preserved historical ruins to the bluest beaches.
THE BEST OF ANTALYA IN ONE DAY – HOW TO SPEND A PERFECT DAY IN ANTALYA, TURKEY.
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How to get to Antalya
Via flight: Antalya has an international airport, which makes it easy for domestic and international tourists to visit the city. The airport is located approximately 12 km from the city center.
The Antray tram i.e. Light Rail takes you from the airport (Airport) to the city center in about 45 minutes.
On the highway: If you are a budget traveler like me, you should go by bus. Turkish bus service is one of the best in the world, so you don’t have to worry about your comfort. My bus ride to Antalya was pleasant and did I mention CHEAP? It is always better to book tickets in advance to avoid the last minute rush. I traveled with the tourist bus company of Pamukkale. You can book your ticket here.
How to travel within Antalya
If you are in Antalya for more than a few hours, buy an Antalya card. You can easily buy it at any tram stop or special kiosk made for sale and charging Antalya card. The card can be used on trams and buses. With this card you can enjoy discounted public transport, so it’s a great way to save money.
Trams connect almost all the main places in Antalya including the main attractions, the airport and the bus station.
Taxis are also readily available in the city and can be used if you prefer not to use public transport.
The best places to visit in Antalya in one day
Old Town (Kaleici)
Kaleiçi is the historical center of the city. This small heart of Antalya is full of small hotels, restaurants, colorful houses, mosques and cobbled streets. Take a moment to wander the narrow car-free streets Kaleici and enjoy the essence of Antalya.
Kaleiçi is absolutely gorgeous and perfect cafe hopping and souvenir shopping. It gets better and better as the sun goes down. During the night you can enjoy dinner with live music performances in most restaurants.
HOW TO ACHIEVE: The closest tram stops to Kaleiç are Muratpasha and Ismatpasha. You can get off at any of these stations and reach Kaleiç after a 5-10 minute walk.
Hadrian’s Gate is a beautiful monumental gate that leads to Kaleiç.
It was built in the second century AD in honor of Roman Emperor Hadrianwho visited the city.
The gate consists of three archways of the same size. Except for the pillars, the gate is made entirely of white marble.
HOW TO ACHIEVE: If you are staying in Kaleiç, you can easily reach Hadrian’s Gate on foot. But if you’re staying somewhere other than the old town, go down to the Ismatpasha tram stop and walk 5 minutes to Hadrian’s Gate.
A trip to Antalya is incomplete without a visit to Dudenfalls.
There are two Dudenfalls in Antalya: Top Dudenfallme and Lower Dudenfall.
Both waterfalls are heavenly. If time permits, you should visit both.
I decided to visit the Lower Dudenfalls because it is said to be the highest waterfall in Europe, with water falling directly into the sea from a height of 40 meters. If time is also a problem for you, you should choose this waterfall.
Entry to this waterfall is free, unlike the upper Duden waterfall. There are small restaurants near the waterfall and a huge park where you can enjoy the beautiful view. Take a walk in the park to find a quiet place with a sea view to hang out.
Unfortunately, you are not allowed to go near the waterfall, but many people climb down from the cliff to take pictures, which is very risky because there is no paved path. In addition, the water flows at a tremendous speed and the wind is very strong.
So don’t be tempted to climb down from the cliff as it can prove fatal.
HOW TO ACHIEVE: Take bus KL08 from Hadrian’s Gate bus stop (Üç Kapılar – Muratpaşa) and get off at Duden Park. The ticket costs only 2.40 TL. Walk through a beautiful park to reach the waterfall.
Ancient ruins / Go forward
Antalya has two ancient cities: Perge and Termosses
I decided to visit Perge because firstly it is accessible by public transport and secondly it is closer to the city center than the city of Termosses.
This well-preserved ancient city of Perge is worth a visit. It is not very famous among tourists and therefore you can enjoy it without much disturbance.
There are no audio guides available, so you have to read the plaques near the buildings to know their historical significance.
Of all the ruins, it is the best-preserved and most impressive structure nice theater which is across the road from the entrance.
Entrance fee: 35 TL
HOW TO ACHIEVE: Get off at the Aksu tram stop and walk for 10-15 minutes to reach the ancient city of Perge.
Antalya has two main beaches: Lara Beach and Konyaalti Beach.
Lara Beach is long sandy beach. It’s a well-known beach and that’s why it’s crowded throughout the day.
It is very famous among tourists because there are many hotels and entertainment places near the beach. If you are looking for accommodation near the beach, this is the place for you.
You can walk along the coast or just enjoy the beach sitting in a beach chair.
HOW TO ACHIEVE: Bus KL08 from the center goes to Lara Beach. But if you’re at Lower Duden Falls, you don’t need to take the bus because it’s walking distance from there.
Konyaalti Beach is another famous beach in Antalya. If you only want to visit one beach in Antalya, you should visit this beach. I found it more pleasant and interesting than Lara Beach.
It is beautiful pebble beach dramatic mountains in the background.
Beach chairs and umbrellas can be rented, and the water is safe for swimming.
HOW TO ACHIEVE: Take the Nostalgic Tram towards Antalya Müzesi and get off at the last stop. Walk 10 minutes to Konyaalti beach.
Do you have more time to spend in Antalya?
If you have more than a day to spend in Antalya, consider visiting the following places.
Caves of Karain
Karain Caves, also known as Black Caves, are located 30 km from Antalya. Scientists have confirmed the presence of people in the caves more than 25,000 years. Due to accessibility problems, tourists often miss the caves. But if you have more than a day to spend in Antalya, don’t miss the opportunity to visit the fascinating caves.
The ancient city of Aspendos, located about 50 kilometers from Antalya, is popular with tourists. It is believed that the city was founded around 1000 BC. For obvious reasons, the city is now in ruins, but the famous Aspendos Theater is one of the best-preserved theaters from the Roman era. The theater was built in the 2nd century AD and can hold up to 15,000 people. If you happen to visit Antalya in summer, don’t miss it Aspendos Opera and Ballet Festival which takes place in the theater.
Best time to visit Antalya
The best time to visit Antalya is from from March to October. Winters in Antalya are wet and humid, making it the least recommended time of year to visit. Because of the cold winds and rain, you can’t enjoy outdoor activities, especially beaches and waterfalls.
Summers in Antalya are hot and dry In July and August are the hottest months of the year. These two months are also the busiest in terms of tourist flows and thus also the most expensive in terms of hotel reservations.
If you want a nice visit and a cheap stay, consider visiting Antalya in April-May and September-November.
Day trip from Antalya
Antalya is a great base for a famous visit UNESCO World Heritage Sites – Pamukkale and Hierapolis. The white travertine, which looks like snowy pools, seems to come straight from a fairy tale. The Romans used thermal springs for years for health and beauty.
Very close to the travertine you will find the ruins of the Roman city of Hierapolis. The ruins are well preserved and therefore can give you the feeling of time travel. Book your trip here.
Do you visit many places in Turkey?
If you’re looking to explore more of Turkey, check these out.
Cappadocia : 7 most beautiful places in Cappadocia
Istanbul: Must visit places in Istanbul, Turkey – 3 day itinerary
Turkey: 10-Day Turkey Itinerary: The Complete Guide
A recommended travel guide to feed your wanderlust
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