When learning about Side in Turkey, the first thing to know is that it is a cheerful beach resort within easy reach of Antalya International Airport. Side is suitable for year-round living and makes a great holiday home destination, thanks to its family-friendly atmosphere, lovely sandy beaches, and perfect Mediterranean climate. In Side’s long history, Alexander the Great, the Greeks and the Romans occupied it, ensuring its status as one of the region’s most important trading centres.
Today locals enjoy relics of its ancient past outside the main centre and around the town. These are internationally recognised as some of the most important ruins in Asia Minor. Side is very popular with families because of its calm, sandy beach, and wealth of things to do. Property in Side, Turkey, is affordable and also within walking distance of the beach, and general costs are low. Overall, Side is an all rounder with lots to offer anyone who ventures to see her, but let’s look at the basic things to know.
About Side in Turkey
1: Where is Side?
Side sits on the southern Mediterranean coast of Turkey, just 75 kilometres from Antalya City. Side is within easy reach of Belek, Turkey’s main golf resort and Manavgat town, where the famous Manavgat waterfalls are. The coastline is sandy, and there are idyllic villages when one drives only 5 to 10 minutes inland. The old town centre is on a rocky promontory jutting into the ocean, with three kilometres of golden sands stretching out from the town on each side. The peaceful beach shelves away gradually, making it suitable for paddling. North of the town centre, find a large ancient theatre and a bathhouse, where told Antony and Cleopatra used to meet. Behind the town centre, wide, pleasant streets comprise Side’s residential area, home to both locals and foreigners.
2: Weather and Climate
Side’s climate is typically Mediterranean, with long, hot, and dry summers followed by highly mild winters. It is scorching in Side during July and August, so be careful to stay out of the direct sunshine in the hottest part of the day when temperatures can reach 35 degrees Celsius. Side’s mild winters have a low rainfall, concentrated mainly in November to March. Side’s weather is a huge factor for the number of expats who settle here.
3: How to Get Here
Side sits 54 kilometres away from Antalya airport and is just an hour’s drive. The airport operates all year round, making this ideal for a holiday home or permanent living. Side also sits on the main D400 highway running from the east to the west of Turkey. This makes driving here more accessible, and if arriving by bus, head first to Antalya central otogar station and then catch the connecting services.
5: Things to Do in Side
Whether you buy a holiday home or live in Side permanently, you will never be short of things to do. Start locally by indulging in all things traditionally Turkish. The local hamam gives baths that will prep your skin for a golden tan, while men should also try a Turkish shave. The main attractions in Side are the historical ruins at the centre of the old town, but to refresh, jump on onboard one of the daily boat trips that leave from the harbour every morning. They visit coves and bays for swimming stops while also serving lunch onboard. Local tour companies also sell day trip excursions like a jeep safari or trip to see Manavgat waterfalls, a stunning place of natural beauty.
Going further afield, you have the whole of the Antalya region to explore. Delights include places like Kaleici old town, Aspendos ancient ruins, of which historians say the theatre to be one of the world’s best-preserved. Antalya city centre is also home to two of Turkey’s best beaches; Konyaalti and Lara. Go golfing in Belek or white water rafting in Alanya. The choice is endless. Read about more things to do here.
6: Quality of Life
Side’s population is small, with only around 4000 permanent residents. In summer, the population swells to the tens of thousands, with visitors from all over Europe, especially the United Kingdom, Germany, the Netherlands, and Russia. There is a small but cohesive expat community who choose to live in Side all year round. Life in Side is idyllic. As well as the obligatory excellent beaches and 300 days of sunshine, a stable population of locals and expats enjoy good shops, restaurants, cafes, a weekly market. A large draw for expats moving here is Side’s proximity to Antalya City, where you can find some of the best hospitals in Turkey, large shopping malls and supermarkets, and an international airport that connects you to Europe and the broader Middle East all year round.
7: Eating Out and Nightlife
When it comes to after dark, Side is an all-rounder. The restaurants vary in menus, and visitors and locals can eat their way around the world with a decent choice of Turkish, Mediterranean, steak, and pasta houses. In addition, many bars offer sit down, family entertainment. If you visit at the beginning or end of the year, the social nightlife scene will be quieter, but a quick trip to Antalya city centre opens many wider nightclub choices.
8: Shopping in Side
Side is like many other places in Turkey in that it has a weekly Saturday market on the road opposite the main mosque. This is a great place to buy fruit, vegetables, and dairy products. There are also many supermarkets and small shops situated throughout the resort. However, for large, modern shopping malls, the best place to head to is Antalya city centre, for the best shopping scene in Mediterranean Turkey.
9: Real Estate in Side
The property market of Side is diverse and varied, and homebuyers will always find what they are looking for. A popular theme with apartments is dwellings on complexes that include shared communal facilities like a swimming pool and gardens. Side is also a great place to look if you want a traditional renovated Turkish cottage full of charm and character. Otherwise, for those looking to retire to Side and live in Turkey, a modern luxury villa with a private garden and swimming pool will be the perfect home from home all year round. Crucially, the cost of housing is low here. Buy a decent apartment on a shared complex within walking distance of the beach for around Euro 90,000. Fees and utility prices are generally low, and rental prospects are good if you are looking to earn some extra income from your property. To find out more about housing in Side, browse our portfolio of apartments and villas. Each listing contains everything to know, including price, location, home features and contact details to find out more or arrange a viewing.
Antalya Region: Side belongs to the larger Antalya region covering the eastern Mediterranean coast right up to Fethiye. Anyone interested in Side would do well to know about the large area since it opens many places to go and things to do. In this article, we discuss everything to know to make the most of both Side and Antalya. Alternatively, to learn more about Side in Turkey, and other aspects of the country like the language, food, culture, traditions and living here as an expat, browse our blog about Turkey.