Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Antalya

Turkey

By Meagan Drillinger

Antalya, located on the stunning Mediterranean coast of Turkey, is a must-visit destination for its rich history, beautiful beaches, and vibrant city life. This charming city offers a perfect blend of ancient ruins, natural wonders, and modern amenities, making it an ideal vacation spot for all types of travelers.

One of the top attractions in Antalya is the historic Old Town, also known as Kaleici. With its narrow streets, traditional Ottoman-style houses, and ancient city walls, exploring this neighborhood feels like stepping back in time. You can visit the iconic Hadrian’s Gate, marvel at the Kesik Minare Mosque, or wander around the quaint shops and cafes that line the streets.

For history enthusiasts, a visit to the Antalya Museum is a must. This world-class museum houses a vast collection of artifacts from the region, including ancient statues, intricate mosaics, and beautifully preserved sarcophagi. You can learn about the rich history of Antalya and its surrounding areas, from the ancient civilizations of Lycia and Pamphylia to the Byzantine and Ottoman periods.

No visit to Antalya would be complete without exploring its stunning natural beauty. The Duden Waterfalls, located just a short drive from the city center, offer a breathtaking sight as the water cascades down the cliffs into the Mediterranean Sea. You can take a boat tour to fully appreciate the beauty of the waterfalls or simply enjoy a picnic by the river.

Ancient City of Perge

The Ancient City of Perge is one of the most impressive archaeological sites in Turkey. Located just 17 kilometers east of Antalya, this ancient city dates back to the Hellenistic period and was an important city in both Greek and Roman times.

Perge was known for its impressive architecture and well-preserved ruins. The city was surrounded by a fortified wall and had a grand entrance gate. Inside the city, there were numerous temples, a theater, and a stadium. The most impressive structure in Perge is the grand Roman theater, which could hold up to 15,000 spectators.

In addition to its architectural wonders, Perge was also known for its natural beauty. The city was situated near the Köprüçay River and had fertile fields and gardens. Visitors to Perge can still see the remains of the impressive aqueduct that brought water to the city.

Location 17 kilometers east of Antalya
Period Hellenistic period, Greek, and Roman times
Architecture Fortified wall, grand entrance gate, temples, theater, stadium
Main Attraction Grand Roman theater
Natural Features Köprüçay River, fertile fields, and gardens
Special Feature Impressive aqueduct

A visit to the Ancient City of Perge is a journey back in time. The well-preserved ruins and impressive architecture provide a glimpse into the past and offer a unique insight into the history and culture of the region.

Hadrian’s Gate

Hadrian’s Gate, also known as Üçkapılar, is one of the iconic landmarks of Antalya. Built in the 2nd century AD, it is an ancient Roman triumphal arch that stands at the entrance of the city’s historical Kaleiçi district.

The gate was erected in honor of the Roman Emperor Hadrian, who visited the city in 130 AD. Its impressive architecture showcases a mix of Roman and Hellenistic styles. The gate is made of white marble and has three arched passages. The central arch is larger and supported by two pillars adorned with decorative Corinthian capitals.

Walking through Hadrian’s Gate is like stepping back in time. As you enter the gate, you can imagine what it must have been like for ancient visitors to be welcomed into the city. The intricate carvings and inscriptions on the arches tell stories of conquests and victories, transporting you to a different era.

Today, Hadrian’s Gate remains an important symbol of Antalya’s rich history and cultural heritage. It serves as a gateway to the vibrant streets of Kaleiçi, where you can explore narrow alleys lined with Ottoman-era houses, souvenir shops, cafes, and restaurants.

Visitors should take some time to admire the gate from different angles and explore the surrounding area. There are several cafes and benches nearby where you can relax and soak in the atmosphere. During the evening, the gate is beautifully illuminated, creating a magical ambiance.

Make sure to have your camera ready, as Hadrian’s Gate offers excellent photo opportunities. Capture the intricate details of the arches, the play of light and shadow, and the juxtaposition of the ancient monument with the modern cityscape.

Visiting Hadrian’s Gate is a must-do for history enthusiasts and anyone interested in experiencing the ancient Roman legacy in Antalya. It is a testament to the city’s rich cultural heritage and a fascinating sight that should not be missed.

Antalya Museum

The Antalya Museum is one of Turkey’s largest museums and is known for its impressive collection of archaeological artifacts. Located in the heart of Antalya, the museum showcases over 5,000 years of history from the region.

The museum is divided into various sections, each representing a different historical period. Visitors can explore exhibits dedicated to the Paleolithic, Neolithic, and Chalcolithic eras, as well as the Bronze Age, Classical Antiquity, and Byzantine Empire.

One of the highlights of the museum is its collection of ancient Roman statues, which are displayed in the Hall of Emperors. These beautifully preserved statues depict various emperors, gods, and mythical figures, giving visitors a glimpse into the ancient Roman world.

The museum also houses an extensive collection of ancient Greek artifacts, including ceramics, pottery, and jewelry. These artifacts provide insight into the rich cultural history of the region and the influence of Greek civilization.

In addition to its permanent exhibits, the Antalya Museum also hosts temporary exhibitions that focus on specific themes or periods. These exhibitions provide an opportunity to see rare and unique artifacts that are not normally on display.

Visitors to the museum can also take advantage of educational programs and workshops that are offered throughout the year. These programs aim to engage and educate visitors of all ages, making the museum a popular destination for families and school groups.

Overall, the Antalya Museum is a must-visit for history enthusiasts and anyone interested in the rich cultural heritage of Turkey. With its impressive collection and educational programs, it offers a comprehensive and immersive experience for visitors.

Antalya Aquarium

The Antalya Aquarium is one of the largest aquariums in the world and a must-visit attraction for nature and marine life enthusiasts. Located in the heart of Antalya, this impressive facility offers visitors the opportunity to explore an underwater world filled with diverse marine species.

At the Antalya Aquarium, you can embark on an immersive journey through different themed aquariums. The main tank, known as the Oceanarium, is home to a wide variety of fish, sharks, and other fascinating sea creatures. It is an awe-inspiring experience to witness the underwater spectacle and marvel at the beauty and diversity of marine life.

One of the highlights of the Antalya Aquarium is the tunnel aquarium, where visitors can walk beneath the water and be surrounded by marine animals swimming above and around them. It is a truly unique and mesmerizing experience that allows you to get up close and personal with sharks, stingrays, and other creatures.

In addition to the aquariums, the Antalya Aquarium also features an impressive reptile exhibition, where you can learn about and observe a variety of reptiles, including snakes, turtles, and lizards. This is a great opportunity to discover more about these fascinating cold-blooded animals and their habitats.

For those seeking a bit of adventure, the Antalya Aquarium offers the opportunity to experience a thrilling virtual reality journey. Strap on a VR headset and get ready for an exciting ride through the ocean, encountering various sea creatures along the way. It is a unique and interactive way to explore the underwater world.

Overall, the Antalya Aquarium is an incredible attraction that offers a fun and educational experience for visitors of all ages. Whether you are interested in marine life, reptiles, or simply looking for an exciting adventure, this aquarium has something for everyone. Make sure to add it to your itinerary when visiting Antalya!

Duden Waterfalls

The Duden Waterfalls are a natural wonder located in Antalya, Turkey. These beautiful waterfalls are split into two sections, the Upper Duden Waterfalls and the Lower Duden Waterfalls, both of which offer stunning views and unique experiences.

The Upper Duden Waterfalls are located about 14 kilometers northeast of Antalya city center. Here, the Duden River cascades down a rocky cliff into a large pool, creating a breathtaking sight. Visitors can explore the surrounding park area, which is filled with lush greenery and offers shade and picnic areas for relaxation. There are also several cafes and restaurants where you can enjoy a meal or a refreshing drink while taking in the beauty of nature.

The Lower Duden Waterfalls are situated a few kilometers away from the city center, near Lara Beach. These waterfalls cascade directly into the Mediterranean Sea, creating a mesmerizing view. To experience the full beauty of the falls, visitors can take a boat tour that provides a close-up look at the cascading water. Another option is to take a walk along the scenic coastal path that leads to the falls. Along the way, you can enjoy the fresh sea breeze and admire the stunning coastal views.

Both sections of the Duden Waterfalls are easily accessible and provide a unique opportunity to immerse yourself in the natural beauty of Antalya. Whether you choose to explore the Upper or Lower Duden Waterfalls, you are guaranteed to be amazed by the stunning landscapes and the power of nature.

Visiting the Duden Waterfalls is a popular activity for tourists in Antalya, and it is easy to see why. The combination of lush greenery, cascading water, and breathtaking views create a serene and picturesque atmosphere that is truly unforgettable.

Termessos

Termessos, located in the Taurus Mountains, is an ancient city that offers a unique archaeological experience. This well-preserved city is situated on a hillside and provides stunning views of the surrounding mountains.

One of the most remarkable aspects of Termessos is its untouched state. Unlike many other ancient cities, Termessos has not been fully excavated or reconstructed. Instead, visitors can explore its ruins as they were discovered, giving them a sense of discovery and adventure.

Highlights of a visit to Termessos include the well-preserved city walls, the theater, and the remains of several temples and tombs. The city’s location on the mountain provides a natural defense system, making it difficult for invaders to conquer. As a result, many of Termessos’ structures remain intact.

Visiting Termessos requires some physical effort as the terrain is rocky and steep. However, the effort is rewarded with breathtaking views and a sense of being transported back in time. Hiking trails wind through the ancient city, providing opportunities to explore its various sites.

Termessos offers a unique glimpse into the ancient world and is a must-visit for history enthusiasts and nature lovers alike. Its remote location and untouched state make it a truly special destination in Antalya.

Kekova

Kekova, also known as the Sunken City, is a fascinating archaeological site located near the town of Demre in Antalya. This unique attraction is a result of an ancient earthquake that caused some parts of the town to sink into the sea.

Today, visitors can take a boat tour to explore the remarkable underwater ruins of Kekova. As you sail along the crystal-clear turquoise waters, you’ll be able to see the remains of ancient houses, staircases, and even a Byzantine church beneath the surface. The sight of these submerged structures is truly mesmerizing.

Guided tours of Kekova are available, allowing visitors to learn about the history and significance of this sunken city. You’ll hear stories of the Lycian civilization and the impact of the earthquake that ultimately led to the city’s downfall.

Aside from the underwater ruins, Kekova is also known for its picturesque coastal scenery. The area is home to secluded beaches and coves, making it a perfect spot for swimming, snorkeling, and sunbathing.

Exploring Kekova is a unique and unforgettable experience. It offers a glimpse into the ancient past and allows visitors to witness the incredible underwater world that lies beneath the surface. Whether you’re interested in history, archaeology, or simply looking to enjoy the natural beauty of Antalya, a visit to Kekova is a must.

Aspendos Theatre

Aspendos Theatre is one of the most well-preserved ancient Roman theaters in the world. Its construction dates back to the 2nd century AD during the reign of Marcus Aurelius. Located in the ancient city of Aspendos, approximately 48 kilometers east of Antalya, the theater is a marvel of Roman engineering and architecture.

The theater was originally built to accommodate around 7,000 spectators, and it was primarily used for theatrical performances and gladiator fights. The theater’s seating area is divided into three sections, including the lower section, which was reserved for the wealthy elite, and the upper sections for the common citizens.

One of the most impressive aspects of Aspendos Theatre is its acoustics. The architecture of the theater was specifically designed to allow for clear and amplified sound. The theater’s perfect symmetry and well-preserved stone seating contribute to the exceptional acoustics of the venue, making it an ideal place for concerts and performances.

Today, the Aspendos Theatre continues to host various cultural events, such as concerts, ballets, and operas. Visitors can witness the grandeur of this ancient theater and experience its remarkable acoustics firsthand. The theater also offers guided tours, providing visitors with insights into its history and significance.

Location Aspendos, Turkey
Construction Period 2nd century AD
Capacity Around 7,000 spectators
Significance Well-preserved Roman theater with exceptional acoustics

Old Town (Kaleici)

The Old Town, also known as Kaleici, is the historic heart of Antalya. This charming neighborhood is located within the ancient city walls and is filled with narrow, winding streets and traditional Ottoman-era houses. Exploring the Old Town is like stepping back in time, with its well-preserved architecture and unique atmosphere.

One of the main attractions in the Old Town is Hadrian’s Gate, a magnificent triple-arched gateway built in 130 AD to honor the Roman Emperor Hadrian. It is a symbol of Antalya and a must-visit site for history enthusiasts. Just beyond Hadrian’s Gate, you’ll find the Old Harbor, which offers stunning views of the Mediterranean Sea. Take a leisurely stroll along the harbor and admire the picturesque scenery.

While wandering through the streets of Kaleici, you’ll come across numerous shops, restaurants, and cafes. The area is known for its vibrant nightlife, with many bars and clubs that offer live music and entertainment. Don’t forget to try some traditional Turkish cuisine at one of the local restaurants, where you can savor delicious kebabs, baklava, and Turkish tea.

For those interested in history, the Kaleici Museum is a must-visit. Housed in a restored Ottoman mansion, the museum displays artifacts that date back to the Roman and Byzantine times. It provides a fascinating insight into the rich history of Antalya and its surrounding region.

Another highlight of the Old Town is the Yivli Minare Mosque. This iconic mosque features a unique fluted minaret and is one of the oldest and most important mosques in Antalya. Take a moment to admire the intricate details and beautiful architecture of this historic site.

Exploring the Old Town (Kaleici) is a captivating experience that allows you to immerse yourself in Antalya’s history and culture. Whether you’re interested in ancient architecture, shopping for souvenirs, or simply enjoying the lively atmosphere, this neighborhood offers something for everyone.

So, don’t miss the opportunity to wander through the charming streets of the Old Town and discover the hidden gems that await around every corner.

Konyaalti Beach

Konyaalti Beach is one of the most popular beaches in Antalya and a must-visit attraction for tourists. Located on the western side of the city, this beautiful beach stretches for over 7 kilometers and offers stunning views of the Mediterranean Sea.

The beach is famous for its crystal-clear waters and pristine sandy shore. It is a perfect spot for swimming, sunbathing, and various water activities such as jet skiing, parasailing, and banana boat rides. The calm and shallow waters make it suitable for families with children as well.

Konyaalti Beach is not only a popular tourist destination for its natural beauty but also for its amenities and facilities. Along the beach, you will find a wide range of cafes, bars, and restaurants where you can relax and enjoy delicious local cuisine. There are also numerous shops where you can buy beach essentials and souvenirs.

For those interested in exploring the history and culture of Antalya, Konyaalti Beach offers easy access to several nearby attractions. Just a short distance away, you can visit the Antalya Aquarium, MiniCity Antalya, and the Antalya Archaeological Museum.

Facilities Details
Sunbeds and umbrellas Available for rent
Toilets and showers Available
Beach volleyball courts Available
Water sports equipment rental Available
Beachside cafes and restaurants Available

Whether you are looking for a relaxing day at the beach or an adventurous water sports experience, Konyaalti Beach has something for everyone. Don’t miss the chance to visit this stunning beach during your trip to Antalya.

Olympos

Olympos is an ancient city located in the Olympos Beydagları Coastal National Park, about 90 kilometers southwest of Antalya. This archaeological site is famous for its natural beauty and historical significance.

One of the main attractions in Olympos is the ruins of the ancient city, which date back to the 2nd century BC. The city was once an important port and was inhabited by various civilizations, including Lycians, Romans, and Byzantines. Today, visitors can explore the remains of the city walls, theaters, temples, and necropolis, giving them a glimpse into the past.

Aside from the ancient ruins, Olympos is also known for its stunning beach. The sandy beach stretches for several kilometers and is surrounded by beautiful turquoise waters and lush green forests. It is a perfect spot for relaxation, swimming, and sunbathing.

For nature enthusiasts, Olympos offers many opportunities for hiking and exploring the surrounding area. The Olympos Beydagları Coastal National Park is home to diverse flora and fauna, including rare species of plants and animals. There are also various hiking trails that lead to mountain peaks with breathtaking views.

Another unique attraction in Olympos is the Chimaera, also known as the eternal flames. Located on the slopes of Mount Chimaera, this natural phenomenon consists of several vent holes that emit burning gas. The flames have been burning for thousands of years and create a surreal and mystical atmosphere at night.

Overall, Olympos is a must-visit destination for history lovers, beach enthusiasts, and nature seekers. Its combination of ancient ruins, beautiful beaches, and natural wonders make it a truly unforgettable place to explore.

Mount Tahtali

Mount Tahtali, also known as Mount Olympos, is a must-visit attraction in Antalya. Standing at an impressive height of 2,365 meters, it offers breathtaking panoramic views of the surrounding area. Visitors can reach the summit by taking a cable car ride, which is an experience in itself.

Once you reach the top, you’ll be rewarded with stunning vistas of the Mediterranean Sea, the Gulf of Antalya, and the Taurus Mountains. On a clear day, you can even see the distant peaks of the Greek island of Rhodes.

In addition to the views, Mount Tahtali also offers a range of activities for outdoor enthusiasts. You can go paragliding and experience the thrill of soaring above the mountains and sea. Hiking and mountain biking trails are also available, allowing you to explore the natural beauty of the area.

  • Take a cable car ride to the summit
  • Enjoy panoramic views of the Mediterranean Sea
  • Try paragliding for an adrenaline rush
  • Explore hiking and mountain biking trails

No matter how you choose to experience Mount Tahtali, it is guaranteed to leave you in awe of its beauty. Don’t forget to bring your camera to capture the magnificent scenery!

FAQs

What are the top tourist attractions in Antalya?

Antalya has many top-rated tourist attractions, including the Old Town (Kaleici), Hadrian’s Gate, Duden Waterfalls, Antalya Museum, and the Antalya Aquarium.

What can I see in Antalya in one day?

In one day in Antalya, you can visit the Old Town (Kaleici) and explore its narrow streets and historical buildings, visit Hadrian’s Gate, take a boat tour to see the Duden Waterfalls, and visit the Antalya Museum.

What is special about Antalya?

Antalya is special because of its stunning coastline, beautiful beaches, and crystal clear waters. It also has a rich history and is home to many historical sites and ruins. Additionally, Antalya offers plenty of entertainment options, including shopping, dining, and nightlife.

Are there any natural attractions in Antalya?

Yes, there are several natural attractions in Antalya. Some of the top ones include the Duden Waterfalls, Koprulu Canyon National Park, and the Antalya Beach Park. These attractions offer opportunities for outdoor activities such as hiking, swimming, and picnicking.

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Meagan Drillinger

Meagan Drillinger, an avid travel writer with a passion ignited in 2009. Having explored over 30 countries, Mexico holds a special place in her heart due to its captivating cultural tapestry, delectable cuisine, diverse landscapes, and warm-hearted people. A proud alumnus of New York University’s Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute, when she isn’t uncovering the wonders of New York City, Meagan is eagerly planning her next exhilarating escapade.

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