Anyone who chooses Antalya city centre for a fun-filled holiday will be surprised with the vast range of things to do. As Turkey’s second most popular holiday destination, keeping tourists entertained is what it excels at, whether this is family-friendly activities or romantic experiences for couples and those who purchase Antalya property for sale. The time-honoured excellence came about through decades of experience, and since Antalya embraced mainstream tourism, some 60 years ago, it sets a shining example to other places looking to become travel hotspots.
However, if you are undecided whether it is for you, there are some great reasons to book that ticket now.
- Enjoy two of Turkey’s best beaches
- Historians worldwide admire the vast number of ancient sites to explore
- It is easy to get there via road, sea, or land
- Indulge in a diverse nightlife scene from quiet and relaxing to pulsating, hardcore nightclubs
- Thousands of shops make it the best shopping scene in southwest Turkey
- The Mediterranean climate makes it a year-round destination
- Restaurants serve every type of cuisine you can think of
- It is a major Turkish riviera hub boasting of immense luxury
- However, it also keeps traditional cultures and traditions
- Beautiful landscapes promote an outdoor lifestyle for everyone
- The sunsets are to die for.
Things to do in Antalya City Centre
Kaleici: Antalya’s Old Town
Before doing anything else, visit Kaleici, the old town part and top tourist attraction. Formerly called Attalia, it garners fame through two ancient mosques including the 18th century Tekeli Mehmet Pasa and 13th-century Kesik Minare Mosques. Also walk down the stone steps to the harbour part, where cafes are an ideal place to soak up the coastal side ambience.
Hidirlik Tower, another landmark building, presents perfect photo opportunities but Hadrian’s gate flanking the entrance is the most famous structure. To soak up nostalgic traces, wander cobbled, narrow streets, and spot beautiful architecture. Although it keeps a clean, uniformed appearance, many buildings are old, restored Ottoman houses that give a glimpse into days gone by.
Shopping Galore: Malls, Bazaars and Local Markets
Offering a diverse shopping scene from trendy boutiques, international and Turkish brand names to local, corner markets where you get to know the owner on a first name basis, shoppers won’t be disappointed. Buy souvenirs in Kaleici old town, where you can combine spending the cash, with dining, and sightseeing. Otherwise, large shopping malls, an integral part of society, hosts food courts, places to empty your purse and family entertainment like cinemas and children’s clubs. The most popular TerraCity, Migros, and MarkAntalya, receive hundreds of visitors every day.
Lara street market and Caglayan bazaar, the highlight of local communities, adhere to time-honoured Turkish traditions of weekly farmers markets and is a great place to taste your way around the region through the citrus fruits, vegetables, olives, cheese, and other delicious ingredients. The old bazaar, Iki Kapili Han is another souvenir hotspot and place to practise your Turkish bargaining skills. Lastly, just a short walk from the old part, Turban marina is all about upmarket shopping with finesse and style.
City Centre Beaches: Lara and Konyaalti
When people hear of city centres, it is reasonable to imagine them as concrete jungles with little space for swimming, sunbathing and relaxing, but this is a unique urban landscape because it has two gorgeous beaches often ranked by international travel publications as Turkey’s best.
8-kilometre Lara Beach, also the same name as the neighbourhood is Turkey’s equivalent of Las Vegas, because of large, themed all-inclusive hotels backing it. Marketed by British travel agents as an ideal family holiday, beach lovers can rent sunbeds, umbrellas and buy refreshments and food from local restaurants.
Meanwhile, locals often prefer Konyaalti beach, in the westerly direction. Once again, everything you need for a perfect beach day is available to rent or buy, including water sports like parasailing. Konyaalti receives worldwide admiration for its stunning Mediterranean views. (Six beaches of Antalya worth visiting.)
4 More Things to do in Antalya Centre
The Stunning Duden Waterfalls: Sitting 12 kilometres, east, the landmark Duden waterfalls often portray the city in many travel magazines. Dramatically dropping off a cliff-side, see them from a boat trip, or up close. Separating into upper and lower falls, the latter is more dramatic than the first hence its fame.
History Portrayed in Antalya Museum: This marvellous collection delights history lovers from around the world with ancient artefacts discovered in and around the region. Covering 7000 square metres, over 13 exhibition halls, original objects include roman statues uncovered during the excavation of Perge, pottery, sarcophagi, coins, and the famous Heracles statue.
Family Friendly Fun at Antalya Aquarium: Welcome to the world’s biggest aquarium tunnel, a family-friendly establishment offering a snow and ice museum, tropical wild park, and XD cinema. Visitors can sign up for underwater shows and fish feeding sessions, alongside seeing a massive collection of aquamarine life.
Aspendos and Perge Ancient Cities: Head a short distance from the centre to explore the dramatic history through the ancient cities of Perge and Aspendos. The latter is what historians’ call an excellently preserved theatre outranking others in the world and concerts held there highlight its exceptional acoustics. (Read impressive historical ruins to visit in Antalya.)
Visit Resorts Near Antalya City
Kemer: Sitting at the foot of the Taurus mountain range, Kemer, 43 kilometres from the city boasts of large, all-inclusive hotels, and a long beach. Spend a day exploring the resort, and shops to discover a more low-key coastal resort.
Belek: As Turkey’s golfing capital, Belek has garnered international fame having hosted players like Tiger Woods. Anyone who shies away from practising their golf course swing can also indulge in five-star plus spa and wellness facilities, another feature that keeps holidaymakers coming back.
Antalya city centre belongs to the broader region with the same name that includes many small coastal resorts like golfing Belek, historical Side and beautiful Kemer. Getting around is easy and there are so many more attractions and sites worth visiting. Find out more in our information area guide.
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