Antalya beach and blue bay surrounded by mountains, Turkey

Things to do in  Antalya

Rhapsody in turquoise

Part family-approved beach resort along the Mediterranean Sea, part historic powerhouse, Antalya is the de facto capital of the Turkish Riviera and a popular port of call for cruise visitors. Day trips to the ancient cities of Aspendos, Perge, and Termessos are among the top things to do in Antalya, but you can just as quickly lose yourself in the cobbled old-town streets of Kaleiçi, spend the day at the beach, or set sail for the islands, bays, and sunken cities of the Turquoise Coast.

Top 15 attractions in Antalya

Duden Waterfalls (Duden Selalesi)

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The Duden Waterfalls sit at the end of the river of the same name, which winds its way through the Taurus Mountains before tumbling from a cliff into a valley next to the Mediterranean. The falls consist of two cascades, and the upper part is nearly 50 feet (15 meters) tall and 65 feet (20 meters) wide.More

Antalya Old Town (Kaleici)

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Antalya’s Old Town (Kaleiçi) remains the heart of this modern Turkish city. Home to a number of historic monuments, it’s also the city’s most atmospheric district—a maze of narrow winding streets dotted with traditional wooden houses, bars, restaurants, and Ottoman-style boutique hotels.More

The Land of Legends Theme Park

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With a 5-star hotel, a gigantic water park, a luxurious shopping avenue, and plenty of amusement park rides, the Land of Legends is a one-stop-shop for family entertainment. Open to both day visitors and Land of Legends hotel guests, the theme park is one of the largest of its kind in Turkey (officially the Republic of Türkiye).More

Perge (Perga)

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Just northeast of Antalya lies the region’s most significant Roman ruins. Dating to the Bronze Age, the city of Perge was originally settled by the Hittites, but under Roman occupation grew to become one of the most beautiful and scholarly cities of the ancient world, attracting important thinkers such as physician Asklepiades, philosopher Varius, and Apollonius, a pupil of Archimedes.More

Antalya Marina (Kaleici Yat Limani)

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Antalya Marina (Kaleiçi Yat Limanı) is the heart of the city. It stretches along the waterfront beneath the steep cobbled streets of Antalya’s Old Town, known as Kaleiçi. With cruise ships, ferries, yachts, and fishing boats constantly arriving and departing, this historic harbor is buzzing with activity at all hours and is a popular hub for both locals and visitors.More

Köprülü Canyon

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Running for 14 miles (22.5 kilometers) between dramatic rock stacks and sheer cliffs—reaching up 1,312 feet (400 meters) high in places—Köprülü Canyon is one of Turkey’s (officially the Republic of Türkiye) most spectacular natural wonders. Carved out of the limestone cliffs by the Koprucay River, the canyon is the centrepiece of Köprülü Canyon National park.More

Aspendos

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Founded around 1000 BC, the ancient Greco-Roman city of Aspendos is best-known for its impressive Roman theater, one of the most remarkably preserved in the world. Designed by Greek architect Zeno and built in the second century AD, the theater seats up to 7,000 people and is still used as a venue today.More

Fire of Anatolia

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The Fire of Anatolia show is a dramatic tribute to Anatolia’s rich history. Watch as 120 dancers take to the stage, performing a mix of traditional and modern Turkish dance to live music complete with dazzling lights and costumes. See the show at the purpose-built, open-air Gloria Aspendos Arena.More

Antalya Aquarium

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Best known for housing the world’s largest underwater tunnel exhibit, Antalya Aquarium is a family destination on Turkey’s (officially the Republic of Türkiye) Mediterranean coast. In addition to its 430-foot (131-meter) by 10-foot (3-meter) tunnel and 40 themed tanks, the attraction center houses a tropical reptile house, 3D cinema, and a snow-themed museum.More

Hadrian’s Gate

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Marking the eastern entrance to Kaleiçi—Antalya’s historic Old Town—Hadrian’s Gate is the last of the city’s ancient gates, dating back to AD 130. Named in honor of Roman emperor Hadrian after his visit to the city, the triple-arched gateway is decorated with marble columns and is one of Antalya’s most distinctive landmarks.More

Kursunlu Waterfalls (Kursunlu Selalesi)

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Tumbling over a wall of moss-covered rock into a clear natural pond, Kursunlu Waterfalls are set inside a forested natural park. Compared to the more visited Duden Waterfalls, which are more expansive and by the Mediterranean Sea, these gentle cascades feel secluded and remote.More

St Nicholas Church

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Originally built in AD 343, St. Nicholas Church in Demre is one of Turkey’s (officially the Republic of Türkiye) most important Christian pilgrimage sites. Rebuilt by Constantine IX, the church is known for its stunning Byzantine frescoes and mosaics and houses the sarcophagus of St. Nicholas, the original Santa Claus.More

Goynuk Canyon (Göynük Kanyonu)

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Fringed with green forest and lined with turquoise pools, its sheer walls worn to smooth curves by the flow of water, Goynuk Canyon (Göynük Kanyonu is a popular hiking and picnic spot. But there are plenty of other adventures to be had, with an over-water zipline course and waterfalls that seem designed for canyoneering.More

Clock Tower

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Standing on the edges of Antalya Old Town (Kaleiçi), the Antalya Clock Tower (Antalya Saat Kulesi) testifies to the region’s storied past. Built on the remnants of the city’s Roman walls and converted into a crenelated clock tower by the Ottomans in the early 20th Century, this stone fixture is an instantly recognizable Antalya landmark.More

Konyaalti Beach (Konyaalti Plaji)

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One of Antalya’s two main city beaches, Konyaalti Beach (Konyaaltı Plajı) is a popular spot for both locals and travelers. Stretching for 4.3 miles (7 kilometers) west of the city, Konyaalti has a mix of pebble and sand beaches, where sun worshipers can swim and enjoy water sports against the dramatic backdrop of the Beydağlari Mountains.More
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All about Antalya

When to visit

If you’re a sun-seeker, then visit during the summer months (June to August). However, temperatures can soar over 86°F (30°C), and the beaches often are crowded at this time. For those seeking a cooler climate and fewer crowds, the best time to visit is in the spring or fall. This is when the city is a little quieter, and temperatures remain moderate throughout the day. Winters are cold, with temperatures around 45°F (7°C), and especially rainy in January.

Getting around

Antalya is a well-connected city. The local bus network is affordable and efficient, with many routes around the city that run to a set timetable. You’ll also find minibusses (dolmuses) that run around town and offer more of a hop-on and hop-off option, with more flexibility and cheaper prices for short trips. The things to do in Antalya and its city center can be easily explored on foot, and the seaside offers bike-friendly paths.

Traveler tips

One of the highlights of Antalya is indulging in the local delicacies. Start your day with a Turkish coffee as you look out at the coastal view, or take a traditional tea in the afternoon. Seafood is plentiful in the city: Try fried fish—typically served with a tahini paste, lemon, oil, salt, and garlic. As you drink and dine, be aware that it’s customary to leave tips, around 10 percent of the total bill, in restaurants and cafés.

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People Also Ask

What is Antalya famous for?

Antalya is the gateway to Turkey’s Turquoise Coast, and famous for its beautiful Blue Flag beaches, atmospheric Old Town (Kaleiçi), and nearby Düden Waterfalls. The city is also a popular starting point for tours to the ancient ruins of Aspendos Theater, Termessos, and Perge.

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How many days in Antalya is enough?

Plan a minimum of three days to allow enough time for all the things to do in Antalya including exploring the Old Town (Kaleiçi), enjoying the beaches and nightlife, and taking a boat trip along the coast. With a week or more, you can also include day trips to Duden Waterfalls and the ancient ruins of Aspendos, Termessos, and Perge.

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Is Antalya good for nightlife?

Yes, Antalya has some of the best nightlife along Turkey’s Turquoise Coast. Head into the Old Town (Kaleiçi) to hop between bars, pubs, and live music venues, party into the early hours at one of the beachfront nightclubs, or attend a spectacular night opera at Aspendos Theater.

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Which part of Antalya is best?

The Old Town of Kaleiçi is Antalya’s historic heart and most atmospheric district, and many visitors opt to stay here or around the Old Port. To the west, the beachfront district of Konyaalti is lined with resorts and fringed by the Taurus Mountains, while Lara Beach to the west is a family favorite.

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What activities are there to do in Antalya?

Antalya’s beaches are ideal for swimming and water sports, but you can also take a boat cruise from the Old Port, enjoy snorkeling and scuba diving along the coast, or go quad biking in the Taurus Mountains. Day trips to the Düden Waterfalls and ancient Aspendos and Termessos are also popular.

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Which is better Antalya or Bodrum?

If you want beautiful urban beaches, ancient ruins within easy reach, and a buzzing nightlife, Antalya is the better choice. However, Bodrum can be more affordable, quieter, and less crowded than Antalya, with some great beaches nearby and boat cruises to the Greek islands.

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