TOP RATED TOURIST ATTRACTIONS IN ANTALYA
Antalya offers plenty of things to do for everyone. If you want to dose up on sightseeing, you’ll find a fascinating line-up of tourist attractions to keep you busy. The labyrinthine old town is full of atmospheric historic sites, while the city is perfectly placed to act as your base for sightseeing around the outlying area, where dozens of grand ruins await.
It’s not all history, though. This city is also a great spot for your launch onto the white-sand beaches of Turkey’s Turquoise Coast. Beach lovers and history buffs will both leave satisfied. Plan your trip with our list of the top tourist attractions in Antalya.
1.Old Town (Kaleiçi)
The maze-like Kaleiçi neighborhood was made for strolling. Perfectly restored whitewashed and red-roofed Ottoman mansions line the cobblestone streets, now home to a plethora of boutique hotels, souvenir shops, art galleries, and restaurants. Although it’s more a place to simply breathe in the old-world ambience, there are also plenty of small tourist attractions for those who want to sightsee. The main square (Kale Kapisi) has a fortress gate and stone-clad clock tower, while the 18th-century Tekeli Mehmet Pasa Mosque is worth a look just for its stunning interior tile work. Along Hesapçi Sokak, you’ll find the graceful Kesik Minare (truncated minaret). Destroyed by fire in the 19th century, this is all that is left of a building that started its life as a Roman temple, was converted into a Byzantine church, and finally became a mosque. You can check our Antalya Daily City Tour to explore beautiful Kaleiçi side.
Nestled into a recess in the cliffs, Antalya’s old harbor is a picturesque huddle of boutiques, pretty cafés, bazaars, and gently bobbing yachts that look out over the shimmering Mediterranean. With its peaceful pleasure-boat atmosphere now, it’s difficult to imagine this place was once Antalya’s major economic hub, but from the 2nd century up until the mid-20th century, this was the main port, bringing trade and prosperity to the city and surrounding region. These days, you come here to shop and then watch the sun set over the sea while you sip a coffee, or you can head out onto the Mediterranean on one of the many excursion boats to swim, sightsee, and spread out your towel on an empty beach. Check out our daily & package tours of Antalya.
If you’re at all interested in Turkish history, don’t miss this excellent museum. The dazzling exhibits here showcase all the best finds from excavation sites across the Turkish coast. Even better, the collection is displayed in exemplary fashion, making Turkey’s rich (and rather complicated) history easy to understand. The large archaeological section offers displays from the Bronze Age to Byzantium, with a particular emphasis on ruins in the nearby area. If you’re short on time, make a beeline for the galleries containing the mosaics from Seleukeia, silver hoard display from Aspendos, and divinity statues from Perge. Check out our daily & package tours of Antalya.
Hadrian’s Gate is one of the main (and the most dramatic) entrance gates into the Kaleiçi district. Considerable stretches of the Hellenistic and Roman town walls on the eastern side of the old town have been preserved, and Hadrian’s Gate is the most notable of these sections. Erected in honor of the AD 130 visit by Emperor Hadrian himself, this imposing three-arched marble gateway, flanked by imposing towers, is decorated with rich sculptural decorations. As you walk through the arches, look up at the ceiling to view the best preserved carvings. Check out our beautiful Antalya tour packages with the best attractions.
The main reason history buffs visit Antalya is to make the day trip to Aspendos, about 47 kilometers east. This archaeological site is home to a Roman theater commonly thought to be the best preserved in the world and one of the top tourist attractions in Turkey. The glory days of this dazzling, ancient town were during the 2nd and 3rd centuries, when most of the ruins that can be seen today were built. Apart from the theater, which has been fully restored and can seat 15,000 people, much of the rest of the site still lies in ruins and is probably only interesting to the most enthusiastic sightseer. If you’re short of time but keen to pack in as many highlights of the Antalya region as you can, the Aspendos, Perge and Manavgat Waterfalls tour allows you to cover three of the most popular attractions all in one day. It includes tours of the Roman ruins of Aspendos and Perge, entrance to Aspendos and the waterfalls (which are near Side), lunch, and pickup and drop-off from your Antalya hotel. You can check our beautiful Perge & Aspendos & Side Daily tour from Antalya!
Aspendos may get all the tourism fame, but Termessos, 34 kilometers northwest of Antalya, beats it hands down for atmosphere. Neither the Greeks nor the Romans managed to tame the war-like Pisidians, who fiercely protected their independence from the mountain eyrie of Termessos. The well-preserved remains of this ancient city lie scattered along a rugged hillside with jaw-dropping views across the surrounding countryside. Wear sturdy shoes and take plenty of water if you want to fully explore this site. The colonnaded street and upper agora are particularly impressive but don’t miss the theater, where the vistas across the peaks of the Taurus Mountains are astounding. Check out our beautiful Antalya tour packages with the best attractions.
Perge’s vast and rubble-filled stadium, half-destroyed temples, and huge colonnaded agora are imbued with an atmosphere of past glory. This was once the capital of ancient Pamphylia, which blossomed under first Greek and then Roman rule. The ruins here, about 17 kilometers east of Antalya, are not as well-preserved as others on Turkey’s Turquoise Coast, but this also means they attract fewer crowds, leaving visitors able to explore the long colonnaded streets and half-collapsed temples in peace. The Roman baths, Hellenistic Gate, and Acropolis are all particularly interesting. You can check our beautiful Perge & Aspendos & Side Daily tour from Antalya!
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