Your Travel Guide to the Best of Antalya

Turkey coastal cities harbour #turkishriviera

Is Antalya worth visiting? Besides being one of the world’s top holiday destinations in Turkey and the gateway to the picturesque Turkish Riviera. It boasts stunning beaches and historical significance with a tranquil atmosphere. With so much to experience on the Turkish Coast, one can get overwhelmed. To assist you in planning your best Antalya Itinerary, I compiled this Travel Guide to Antalya with the best things to do in Antalya, Turkey.

Things to know when visiting Antalya

Answers to frequently asked Questions and travel advice to assist you in planning a perfect trip and where to stay in the largest Turkish city on the Mediterranean coast. Feel free to ask if you have any questions about Antalya and its surroundings.

Where is Antalya Türkiye?

The beautiful city of Antalya is located in Turkey on Anatolia’s southwest coast, bordered by the Taurus Mountains. Located 61 meters above sea level, Antalya operates in the EEST time zone. The Turkish Riviera encompasses a vast coastline between Antalya and Fethiye. If you want to know how to get to Antalya, the best transport options from Istanbul to Antalya, and the best way to travel from Cappadocia to Antalya, visit the best ways to travel around Turkey.

Antalya old town
Antalya old town

Is Antalya Safe?

Like most countries, you should travel responsibly and not flash around money or other valuables. Always keep your electronics and valuables close by. A money bag is the safest way to carry cash and valuable documents like your passport. But yes, Antalya is relatively safe, and we never felt unsafe during our visit to Antalya and other regions in Turkey.

Best Time to Visit Antalya?

With a very long summer season that lasts until November, the best time to visit Antalya, Turkey, is between June and September, when temperatures are high and there is less chance of rain. The low season is a good time with fewer tourists, from September to October.

Visit Best Turkey destination advice to assist you in planning your trip.

15 Best Things to Do in Antalya, Turkey

1. Explore Kaleiçi Old Town

Most of Kaleiçi city was enclosed within its walls in ancient times, featuring buildings dating back to the 18th and 19th centuries. The Hadrian Gate is a remarkable architectural masterpiece resembling a Roman triumphal arch and has remained intact throughout the years. Situated within Antalya City’s walls, the Hadrian Gate was the sole entrance to the old town and the port in ancient times.

Hadrians Gate

In ancient times, almost the entire city of Kaleiçi was confined within its walls, with structures dating back to the 18th and 19th centuries. The Hadrian Gate is an architectural masterpiece that resembles a Roman triumphal arch and has remained intact after all these years. Built into Antalya City’s walls, the Hadrian Gate was the only entrance to the old town and the port in antiquity.

The Hadrian Gate in Kaleici (old town Antalya) #hadriansgate
The Hadrian Gate in Kaleici

2. Visit the Antalya Harbour

One of the best things to do in Antalya, Turkey, is to visit the Antalya Marina, which is brimming with restaurants overlooking the turquoise sea and Antalya Bay. Then, get seated at one of the several restaurants next to the sea and experience a beautiful sunset over the Mediterranean.

3. The World’s Biggest Tunnel Aquarium

One of the best things to do in Antalya for families is a trip to the most significant aquarium complex in the World. Besides experiencing abundant sea life, it offers inspiration, entertainment and education. Sea life includes fish species varying from poisonous- to tropical reptiles, white whales, dolphins, and even Sea lions. Its 40 thematic aquariums and a 131-meter tunnel aquarium make it the longest tunnel aquarium in the world.

The popular Aqualand features a waterslide, making the exciting outing even more enjoyable for those who travel with kids. To soothe your thirst and taste buds, have something to eat at one of the restaurants in the complex. Go to the Aquarium Antalya Information for the Antalya Aquarium entrance fee and opening hours.

View over Antalya Gorge and the Mediterranean near the Harbour
Picturesque view of Antalya Gorge and the Mediterranean

4. Boat Trip Antalya Boat Trips

What can be more energising than sailing on the turquoise sea with the hot Mediterranean sun against your skin, the wind tossing through your hair, and the smell of the sea on your lips? Embarking on one or more of the many Boat Trips from Antalya is a great way to experience the picturesque coastline of the Turkish Riviera. Some trips include Turkish food served with Turkish hospitality. For a romantic odyssey, book a sunset cruise.

  • The boat trips and experiences are endless. Enjoy a relaxing Green Canyon Antalya Boat Cruise and swim along the emerald-sparkling waters surrounding the Taurus Mountains. Take a boat trip to Phaselis Bay, experience the ruins of ancient Phaselis, and savour a BBQ lunch on board the Green Canyon Boat.

5. Take a Trip to Suluada Island

Drive to the port at Adrasan, Antalya, where you will board a boat for a fun cruise to the beautiful Suluada Island with its crystal-clear Suluada Bay. While swimming in the clear blue waters, look out for sea turtles. To see prices and book one of these most amazing Suluada boat trips, click on Suluada Bays Boat Trip with Lunch. Book early to avoid disappointment.

Blue Voyage at sheltered coves of Suluada, Adrasan in Kumluca Turkey
Suluada Island, Adrasan in Turkey

Best Things to Do in Outskirts of Antalya

6. Tour the Antalya Waterfalls

One of the best things to do in Antalya, Turkey, is to visit the three waterfalls or at least one. Besides the three most typical waterfalls in the region, the Upper Düden Waterfalls and the Lower Düden Waterfalls, which both originate in the Taurus Mountains. They are about 20 minutes drive apart, but one can experience all these waterfalls in one day. To simplify things, book one of the remarkable Duden Waterfalls Boat Trips.

Duden Waterfalls Antalya
Duden Waterfalls Antalya

The Upper Düden Waterfalls

Also known as the Alexander Waterfalls, the 15-meter-high Upper Duden Waterfalls are about 12 km northeast of Antalya. They derive their name from Alexander the Great, who passed through the region on his horse between 334 and 333 BC.

Karpuzkaldiran Waterfalls

The splendid single Karpuzkaldiran Waterfall, the Lower Duden Waterfall, is the region’s highest cascade that plunges over a 40-meter-high cliff into the Mediterranean Sea below. Its lush green grass and benches make it an ideal picnic spot. On weekends, there are stalls selling all kinds of handicrafts. 

Kurşunlu Waterfalls

Compared to the other waterfalls, the Kursunlu Waterfalls, located 19 kilometres north of Antalya, took the Antalya-Serik-Alanya highway. Likewise, it is ideal for a picnic and walks on a few pathways and over bridges. Although the venue is not pram-friendly, it is next to beautiful emerald fishponds and ducks swimming around.

7. Explore the ancient city of Perge & Aspendos

Most tourists visit Perge and Aspendos on a day trip, 48 kilometres east of Antalya. The Greco-roman ancient town of Perge and Aspendos, also known as Belkis, built during the 12th and 13th centuries BC, is of great historical and archaeological value. This is also where the apostle Saint Paul preached his first sermon when Romans reigned under Alexander the Great. Check out prices for the best Perge, Aspendos and Waterfalls Guided Tour.

8. Anatolia show at Aspendos Theatre

Treat yourself to the world-famous Fire of Anatolia dance show at the Aspendos Antalya theatre, which won 2 Guinness world records and is one of the best shows in Antalya. Book tickets at the well-preserved Roman Gloria Aspendos theatre well in advance to avoid disappointment. The Aspendos theatre hours are daily from 08h00 until 07h00.

9. Tahtali Mountain Cable Car ride

One of the most exciting things to do in the vicinity of Antalya is to take an Olympos Aerial Tram cable car ride to the top of Lycian Olympus, located in the Beydağları Coastal National Park near Kemer. From the top of Lycian Olympos, also known as Tahtalı Dağı, you’ll have a panoramic view of the Mediterranean as far as the eye can see.

Two in one: A great decision is to book the exciting Tahtali Mountain Cable Car ride and the Waterfalls excursion together. Thus, you will experience the Düden and Kursunlu waterfalls and the Tahtali Mountain cable ride on the same day.

Tip: Wear comfortable shoes, as the terrain around the ruins is rough.
Moreover, there are no trees or shade, so wearing a hat and sunscreen is a good idea. Equally important, take some drinking water.

10. Explore The Best Beaches in Antalya

By now, you know that whenever I visit a coastal region, I have to experience its beaches. I love to feel the sand under my feet, the warm summer sun on my skin, and the Mediterranean Sea. One of the best things to do in Antalya, Turkey, is to explore its beaches. You can pick between these stunning beaches from over 5,000 miles of spectacular Mediterranean Coastline. Antalya’s top beaches are irresistible. Therefore, grab your sunscreen, hat, and towel and visit the Top Mediterranean Beaches.

Visit Antalya beach is one of the Best thing to do in Antalya Turkey
Antalya beach

11. Explore the Taurus Mountains

Get off the beaten path and explore the outskirts of Antalya on a Jeep Safari, where one visits typical villages and the Ucansu Waterfall. The trip includes Pick-up from your hotel and lunch. For price and to book, go to Antalya Jeep Safari to the Taurus Mountains.

Another big favourite among the adventurous is exploring the Taurus Mountain range in southern Turkey on a Quad bike, a motorcycle, scooter, or bicycle. For options, reviews, prices, bookings, and what to expect, go to Bikesbooking Antalya, Turkey.

12. Experience a Turkish bath or Hammam

No one should leave Turkey without experiencing an authentic Turkey Hamam. As the famous saying goes, when in Rome, do as the Romans, so why not do as the Turks do? Going for a Turkish bath or a Turkish Hammam, you shall experience the rejuvenating ancient tradition. Therefore, include this in your Antalya Itinerary.

Asia Spa next to beach
Spa next to the beach from Getty Images

13. Explore Antalya on a Bike

If adventure is for you, one of the best things to do in Antalya, Turkey, is to explore Antalya by bike. See the best prices and special offers for bike renting; Visit Bikesbooking. Besides Antalya’s City centre, venturing into the surroundings on a bike is exciting and a great way to experience nature and scenery fully. Benefits of Biking around Antalya:

  • Enjoy the fresh Mediterranean air while exploring Antalya on two wheels.
  • Learn the story behind Antalya’s most iconic sights while exploring the region.
  • Discover the Old Town’s old Marina while driving along the coast.
  • A Bike is one of the best ways to explore the city’s iconic sights.

14. Hike the Likya You-Trail

Experience the epic hiking trail along the beautiful Mediterranean coastline by walking in the footsteps of ancient Lycians. Turkey’s most famous long-distance trail is a 540-kilometre walk along the Lycian coast.

The typical trail is a 29-day hike. Experience the beauty and warm Turkish hospitality that contribute to making your journey unforgettable.

Feeling adventurous? Book one of the exciting Antalya activities, like the popular Antalya White water rafting, which is one of the best things to do in Antalya. Check out what to expect from a Koprulu Canyon Full-Day Rafting and Canyoning Adventure, known for the best rapids on the Antalya River in Turkey. Altogether, visit the 2,000-year-old Roman bridge in Turkey while swimming in the clear waters of the turquoise Mediterranean.

To make it more exciting, spend a few days at Köprûlû Park by pitching a tent. That way, you will experience more than one of these fantastic water sports activities.

Visit the Bohemian Village of Olympos.

Antalya Hiking the Ancient Lycian Way, Lycian Coast

You don’t want to miss Turkey’s Fascinating Cappadocia (Kapadokya). To visit Cappadocia is like partaking in a Flintstone movie. The history of Cappadocia is fascinating and reveals where Christians hid in self-made underground cities during years of persecution.

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Azure blue water of the ocean Antalya beach Turkey
Boat trip Antalya

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  1. What is the name of the Mediterranean beach hotel/spa pictured in your Antalya post above? Thank you.

  2. Yes, Turkey offers so much for each and every one.

  3. Turkey is beautiful, I just wish it was not strife driven. The Mediterranean coast is beautiful with its clear and clean water. I definitely want to visit Turkey, let’s see when the internal conditions improve, then might travel.

  4. Antalya looks gorgeous! I love the water views. I would want to visit the tunnel aquarium, the Turkish bath, and the waterfalls. A day relaxing on the beach and ending with views of the sunset would make for the perfect day. The jeep safari would be a must to!

  5. Wow, all of the waterfalls in and around Antalya, Turkey are amazing especially the Duden Waterfalls! That would be a highlight for sure. But I have to say any of the Turkish Riviera sounds amazing as I love the beach and their beaches and marinas looks beautiful. Of course, we would love walking around and exploring Kaleiçi and checking out Hadrian’s Gate! What an amazing piece of architecture!

  6. You can not go wrong. Turkey offers it all!! From Captivating Cappadocia – The Lycian Coast and Antalya to Ephesus as well as vibrant Istanbul. And you cannot compare the one to the other. Amazing Country, it is!

  7. Wow! Antalya looks like the place to go instead of Istanbul. The history, waterfalls, riviera, fire dance show and jeep safari – all sound very interesting. I have never been to Turkey, but now it is in my bucket list after reading your blog post. That image of the gorge with turquoise water below is simply spectacular! 🙂