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Antalya is one of the most unique and precious cities in Turkey due to the ancient ruins and historical landmarks as well as archeological artifacts found in the city. It is worth a visit to explore the ancient cities, theaters, as well as the natural beauties, located in Antalya.
Antalya is the vacation destination for many people including the Turks themselves. The Mediterranian Sea has very clean and beautiful water that everybody loves and enjoys. Therefore, if you want to spend your summer somewhere close to the sea and has historical importance, Antalya may be the best place to visit.

Antalya is thought to be founded by King Attalus II of Pergamon in 150 BCE. At the time, the city was named after the king as Attaleia. Due to the city’s location right beside the Mediterranean Sea, it was used as the naval base of Pergamon for the fleet of King Attalus. The city later on in 133 BCE, came under the rule of the Roman Empire. This was the high time of the city when it improved and prospered. Christian missionaries came to the city and Christianity started to spread in the first century CE.

Antalya was also an important city during the Byzantine Empire era, due to its closeness to the Mediterranean Sea. The city was a major naval port of the Byzantine Empire just like all the other empires came before them. Antalya was also a place where many people from different descents came together such as Jews, Armenians, Saracens as well as Italians. In 1118, Antalya was only accessible by sea due to being surrounded bu Turkish beyliks of the time. In 1207, Kaykhusraw who was the sultan of the Seljuk Turks took over the city. Antalya then became the capital of the Turkish beylik named Teke at the time. Later on, the Ottomans came and took over the city.

After the industrial revolution, there were factories opened in Antalya for spinning and weaving cotton. After the Turks immigrated from Balkans to the Anatolia, the population in Antalya grew. The economy of Antalya strictly remained centered on its ports. For a long time, Antalya was manufacturing and exporting flour, wheat, sesame seeds, timber, charcoal and livestock. At the end of World War I, Antalya was occupied by the Italians until 1923 when the Republic of Turkey was established. After the 1970s Antalya became a metropolitan city with the improvements made especially in terms of tourism.


    Antalya is best to be visited during summer because it has a beautiful sea to offer and you will fall in love with its natural beauty. Many tourists both local and foreign prefer to visit Antalya during the summer holidays to enjoy the Mediterranean Sea. Antalya is also a great option for those who would like to go on a romantic trip or a honeymoon with its natural beauty and many secluded areas away from the city.
    Turkish is the official language that is spoken. Since so many tourists visit Antalya both for its historical value and for vacation purposes, many people are used to interacting in different languages but mostly in English.
    There are many different public transportation options in Antalya. To reach the city center, it is best to use the tram. However, in general, buses can take you pretty much anywhere in Antalya unlike the other transportation options.
    During the summer Antalya is very hot and dry, exceeding 30°C on many days. The winter season can get a bit cold but not as cold as the other parts of Turkey.
    Antalya International Airport is only 13 kilometers away from the city center and is preferred by the tourists especially during the holiday season. It takes about 45 minuted to reach the city center from the airport.
    Type C
    The currency is Turkish Lira or TL.
    Time zone of Antalya is GMT +03:00

Antalya International Airport is only 12 kilometers away from the city center and it is quite fast and easy to reach it as there are many different ways you can choose from.

Airport shuttles might be the easiest and direct options you have to reach the city center. Havas buses are operating hourly between 06:00 am and 10:00 pm. There are also two buses specific to the morning, one at 04:30 am and the other at 05:30 am. It takes around 45 minutes to reach the city center and the fee is between 10 to 12 Turkish Liras. AtlasJet also offers shuttles that can take you to the city center for free.

Another way you can reach the city center is by getting on buses. 600 numbered bus comes in about every 30 minutes and takes you directly to the city center. The trip costs 3,60 TL and the fee can only be paid by using Antalyakart. 800 numbered bus also travels to the city center along with many other famous locations such as Kaleiçi.

AntRay Tram is a tramway that reaches to the Antalya International Airport. Keep in mind that the tram line has two stops for the airport. One of the stops is for the domestic terminal while the other is for the international terminal. All you have to do is to get on a tram that travels to Fatih and get out at the İsmetpaşa stop which is the city center.


When it comes to traveling around the city of Antalya, there are a few public transportation options that you can choose from.

If you are staying near the Old Town, also known as Kaleiçi or you are planning to visit the area, the best option you have is to take the tram also known as AntRay. In order to benefit from the tram, you need to buy “TAM KART” first from a designated machine for only 5 TL. These machines only work with Turkish Lira.

In addition to the modern tramways, Antalya also has nostalgic, old trams. This nostalgic tram line runs about 5 kilometers and has 10 stations in total. The tram line is full of many landmarks that you might want to see, therefore it may be a good idea to follow the stops and explore the area if you have time.

ANTBIS is a smart bicycle system that allows you to travel around the city by bike. Along with the bike, you are given a map and a lock so that you know where to go and where the bike stops are. You can rent a bike by using your credit card.

If you are planning to visit Kemer, you can get on a sea bus and reach it in about an hour. The sea bus departs at certain hours during the day, therefore make sure to check them out if you want to use it.

Even though slower than other options, buses are the best public transportation option in Antalya because they provide access to most of the areas that you might want to visit. The only way for you to pay the bus fee is by using an Antlyakart.

    Akra Hotel is quite a big hotel only 12 kilometers away from the airport. All the rooms in the hotel have balconies along with free wireless internet connection. Smoking in the rooms is not allowed. The Akra Hotel has four outdoor pools along with outdoor and indoor heated pools. The hotel has many different restaurants you can choose from depending on your diet such as a vegan restaurant. The hotel also has airport transfer services, diving schools, tennis schools, hairdressers, car renting services, kids club and many other services to make you comfortable and keep you entertained.
    Tuvana Hotel is a four-star hotel that is right beside the beach. Tuvana Hotel offers free breakfast, an outdoor pool, free wireless internet connection as well as airport transfer. The hotel has three restaurants and three bars for you to choose from. It is also close to a shopping mall if you happened to need anything during your stay. The name “hotel” should not deceive you as Tuvana Hotel is made up of two-story old Ottoman buildings that have been renovated. You can enjoy your stay while also live in a historical atmosphere.
    Olympos Lodge is a unique place to stay. It located right beside the Mediterranean Sea and on the foothill of Mount Olympos. You will feel one with nature and refreshed surrounded by green and blue. Olympos Lodge also offers airport transportation for its visitors if you do not want to get on the public transportation services. You will have an authentic time in these luxurious bungalows.
    Mehtap Pension is made up of rustic houses that have a beautiful view of the Mediterranean Sea. These houses are surrounded by many trees and plants but mostly fruit trees that smell amazing and also filling. The hotel does have a restaurant and a bar for the guests to enjoy. They offer a traditional Turkish breakfast in the morning.
    Olea Nova Hotel is a boutique one with very sharp and clean rooms. Olea Nova Hotel provides an outdoor pool, laundry service, room service, free wireless internet connection. The staff is extremely friendly and helpful in the hotel while most of them speak excellent English. The hotel’s closeness to the sea and location in the middle of nature attracts couples for a romantic trip as well as the newlyweds for some alone time.
    Villa Perla Hotel is not your typical hotel as it is an old Ottoman mansion with a beautiful and enchanting antique look. The hotel has a restaurant, bar, an outdoor pool, laundry and room service as well as wireless internet connection.
    Hotel Patara Viewpoint is another rustic hotel for those who want to have a secluded getaway. It is surrounded by fruit trees and has an amazing view of the Patara beach. It is designed with a simple yet elegant taste. The hotel offers an outdoor pool, beach, laundry service, as well as a wireless internet connection. The Turkish breakfast here tastes completely different as most of the products are produced in the garden and the greenhouse of the hotel itself.
Kaleiçi is known as the Old Antalya because it was the Antalya until modern times. The city expanded and became the Antalya we know afterwords. Kaleiçi started out as being a town of the Roman Empire. Later on, it became a town in the Byzantine Empire, followed by Seljuk Turks and then finally became a town in the Ottoman Empire. Seeing so many empires rise and fall, Kaleiçi is a rich harbor of history. Kaleiçi has its own character with huge stone walls surrounding the area as well as old houses and narrow streets. Even though there are people living in these old houses, most of them have been turned into boutique hotels where you can stay.
What makes Antalya, Antalya and such a special place is its harbor. No matter which empire took over the city, the harbor would be the center of it. In the Roman Empire era, it was a popular and frequently used port in the Mediterranean. The Old Roman Harbor is, as you can imagine, located in Kaleiçi, where the real Antalya is. Of course, the harbor changed in its nature and use over the years. Nowadays, it holds private yachts and gulets for cruising. The surroundings of the harbor have many restaurants and cafes where both locals and tourists enjoy a cup of coffee or tea while watching the view.
Antalya Archeological Museum holds many different objects most of which were found in Antalya. In the Natural History Hall, you can see fossils and bones of certain animals or shells. Pre-History Hall has many items from different ages. Most of these items are tools made from bone and stone. There is also a famous woman figure found in this hall. Another hall contains ceramic and other small objects such as jewelry. Mosaic Hall has many mosaics found in Lycia, Xanthos and Seleukeia along with statues. Heads and Portraits Hall has many heads carved out of marble that depict ancient men and women. The hall that attracts the most attention and remains in memory the most is the Emperors and Gods Hall. Statues of many important emperors of the ancient world can be found in this hall as well as the statues of Greek gods such as Apollo, Artemis, Athena and Medusa. Icons Hall has many icons depicting the Last Judgement, Jesus, the Ascension of Mary and the life of John the Baptist. Hall of Coins includes many coins from the ancient world as well as the Middle Ages and the modern period. Another hall is the Islamic Period Works Hall where many objects from the Seljuk and Ottoman periods can be found.
Yivli Minare Mosque is a mosque located in Kaleiçi and built during the Seljuk era by Sultan Alaaddin Keykubat I in 1230. It is not only a mosque but a part of a complex that has medreses, lodges and vaults. The minaret that became a symbol of the city is 38 meters in height with 90 steps to climb the top and it is standing independent from the mosque. Unfortunately, the original mosque was destroyed and a new one was built in 1373.
Hadrian’s Gate is one of the gates that lead to Kaleiçi. It is also known as the Triple Gate due to its structure with three archways. Hadrian’s Gate gets its name from a Roman Emperor named Hadrian who visited the city. It was built in 130 AD after Emperor Hadrian’s visit to commemorate it. The Hadrian’s Gate has become an important landmark in the city with its mesmerizing Roman architecture with marble columns.
Hıdırlık Tower is located right beside Kaleiçi. It was built in the 2nd century CE. It was first built as a square structure yet it was turned into a circular one later on. It has been used as a lighthouse as well as a fortress.
Aspendos is an ancient city founded by Greeks possibly coming from Argos. It is believed that Aspendos was the most important city in the 5th century BCE. Aspendos is known for trading oil, salt and wool which were important sources of their wealth at the time. After the Greeks, Persians captured the city of Apendosin 411 BCE. Even Alexander the Great reached Aspendos in 333 BCE. Aspendos finally was taken over by the Romans in 190 BCE. After all its fame and importance, Aspendos lost its old shine during the Byzantine Empire era. Aspendos is most famous for having the best-preserved antique theater in the entire world. This theater was built in 155 BCE and able to hold 12.000 people. Aspendos is indeed so well-preserved thatThe Aspendos International Opera and Ballet Festival is held annually in this place for those who would like to enjoy arts while being enchanted by the beauty of the antiquity.
Termessos is an ancient, Pisidian city located in Antalya. This ancient city looks like it is out of this world being surrounded by forests. It was founded by the Solims. It is one of the best-preserved ancient cities in Turkey. Termessos is mentioned by Alexander the Great who surrounded the city back in 333 BCE yet was not able to take it over. He said that the city was like an eagle’s nest. Termessos came to its end when an earthquake hit the city and destroyed its water supply. The citizens abandoned the city after the incident and the city remained abandoned. Termessos also has an ancient theater. It is the structure that draws attention the most in this ancient city. The architecture of the theater carries the elements of the Roman period. The theater was able to hold 5.000 people.
Perge is a city founded by Greeks after the Trojan War approximately around 1200 BCE. This information is mot likely true due to Trojan War hero names found on one of the gates: Kalchas, Mopsos, Machaon, Riksos, Minyasas and Leonteus. It is also believed that in the surrounding areas, Hittites had- lived before Greeks came around. Persians ruled the city until Alexander the Great arrived in 333 BCE. After many empires claimed and ruled the city over many centuries, Perge finally came under the rule of the Roman Empire and had its golden age at last. Many structures were built and fortifications were strengthened. The population steadily grew with all of the improvements made in the city. Perge is known to be one of the first cities where Christian missionaries tried to convert the non-believers. In fact, the Apostle Paul came to Perge around 50 CE. Artemis worshippers were the ones mostly lived in Perge. When Constantine the Great took over the city, it became a Christian center. After a pirate attack, the city fell and its residents moved to central Antalya. Therefore, the city was abandoned.
Konyaaltı Beach is the closest beach to the city center and the longest with a 6 kilometers coastline in Antalya. Konyaaltı Beach is a public beach which means you can enjoy it without paying any entrance fee. Despite being a public beah it is preferred frequently due to its cleanliness and being easily accessible.
Düden Waterfalls are quite famous locations in Turkey where tourists would like to visit each year. There are two waterfalls: Upper Düden Waterfall and Lower Düden Waterfall. Both waterfalls are astounding for the visitors. Losing yourself in nature and relaxing with the sound of the waterfall may be a great activity after all.
Karain Cave is actually an archeological site that dates back to the Paleolithic age. The cave is a complex one with three main chambers as well as corridors. These rooms are separated by calcite walls. There are many narrow curves and passageways. Karain Cave has been home to many artifacts, bones and fossils. A piece of a Neanderthal cranium was found in the cave that belongs to 150.000 - 200.000 years ago. The carvings and inscriptions in the cave suggest a religious function of the cave during the Iron Age. In addition to these, there were many arrowheads, scrapers and flint blades that were discovered in the cave. The Museum of Anatolian Civilizations displays the artifacts found in the Karain Cave if you are interested in seeing them.
Phaselis is an ancient city in Antalya and known to be the oldest settlements in the area. It was founded in 693 BCE. Phaselis was an important port of its time, therefore it was improved. The ancient city is surrounded by trees that give off the atmosphere of the place being unearthly. Phaselis was first a part of the Lycian Union however, it then was invaded by the pirates. Later on, with the coming of the Romans, the age of pirates was over. There are baths and theaters found in the ancient city although this city as not as well-preserved as some other ancient cities found in Antalya.
Köprülü Canyon National Park is a great place to enjoy all sorts of activities in one place from doing water sports to hiking, from exploring the ancient cities to enjoying nature itself. The canyon is 14 km long and reaches 400 meters in height, it is, in fact, one of the longest canyons in Turkey. The national park is located quite high on the mountains. In the Köprülü Canyon National Park, you will see the Oluk Bridge above the river that is an example of Roman architecture, dating back to the second century CE. The largest cypress forest in the Asia Minor is located in the Köprülü Canyon National Park. One of the ancient cities located in the Köprülü Canyon National Park is Selge antique city which you might want to explore. You can also do rafting on the river beside the Köprülü Canyon.
    Hibeş is one of the traditional appetizers in Antalya. Hibeş is prepared with tahini, garlic, lemon juice, cumin, red pepper and chili pepper, water and olive oil. Hibeş can be eaten as an appetizer as well as during breakfast. You can also enjoy Hibeş by spreading it on toasted bread.
    Tahinli Piyaz is a famous food in Antalya. Even though there are many different versions of “piyaz”, piyaz with tahini is unique to Antalya. Tahinli piyaz is made from dried beans, tahini, garlic, rock salt, lemon juice, vinegar, tomato, onion, eggs, parsley and olive oil. Even though it is a strange combination, we would highly recommend you try it.
    Gökçesu pilavı is a rice recipe that is unique to Antalya. It has rice, chickpeas, broth, lemon juice, dill, carrots, sesame in the recipe along with some spices and other additions. It is quite different from the traditional rice recipes in Turkey which is why you should give it a try.
    Kabak çiçeği dolması is actually stuffed squash blossoms. It is a meal cooked in the Mediterranean region of Turkey and much loved by the locals. It is such an interesting yet tasty meal that you probably should give a chance to.
    Antalya is most famous for its oranges. There are 57 different kinds of oranges produced in Antalya including sweet orange.
  • JAMS
    Antalya has some of the most strange jams. Although they are made from strange vegetables and fruits, they taste amazingly beautiful. Locals of Antalya make jams from eggplants, bergamot, melon peel and tomatoes. Each of them has a completely different aroma yet they are all beautiful in case you are not sure about trying them. We promise you would not even be able to tell what the ingredients are if they did not tell you.
How many days you should spend in Antalya completely depends on what you wish to see and do. Essentially three days would be enough if you do not have much time. However, it could be extended to 4 or even 5 days to truly enjoy the city.
    On your first day, it is a good idea to explore the area known as the Old Town or Kaleiçi. Visit historical landmarks and learn about history. If you wish you can also visit a museum.
    On the second day, you can visit one of the ancient cities. Exploring ancient cities takes time, therefore, you may only be able to visit one in a day depending on which one you prefer to visit.
    The Köprülü Canyon National Park is an amazing place to visit if you have time. Get lost in nature, explore the ancient ruins and landmarks in the area. If you are into extreme sports, you can always enjoy rafting on the river alongside the canyon.
    After all that time traveling and sightseeing, you may be exhausted. On your last day or days, you can enjoy the long and hot beaches of Antalya. The warm and blue Mediterranean Sea is a perfect place to wind down and relax before you leave Antalya. After all, many people visit Antalya for holidays during the summer. You might as well enjoy it while you are there.
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