Antalya has something for everyone; from sunbathers to history buffs to shopaholics to adrenaline junkies. An unforgettable vacation awaits you in Antalya, the star of the Mediterranean coastline.
Given that it is a year-round destination, there is never a bad time to take a trip to this beautiful city. With this list of the best attractions and activities to do in Antalya, you’ll be able to arrange the perfect vacation!
Spend a Magical Day in the Land of Legends
The Land of Legends is a massive amusement complex located in Belek, a bit off the shore. It’s like walking into a fairy tale when you first arrive at the resort, and that theme is carried throughout the whole complex. It’s no coincidence that the resort is dubbed “Antalya’s Disneyland.”
The massive water park features 55 water slides and an adventure park attraction with all possible attractions, including canal gondola rides, doughnut kiosks, and fairy tale characters everywhere. These activities draw in millions of people each year and have been ranked as the top activity for tourists since they first opened their doors. It’s like a kid’s dreamland.
The nightly street show along with the laser displays and the incredible shopping mall with more than 100 stores are not to be missed.
Take a Stroll Through the Old Town
When it comes to city views, Kaleici is Antalya’s most gorgeous location. Kaleici is a must-see no matter which town in Antalya you intend to visit, with its beautifully quaint old alleyways and fantastic cafés. Today, the ancient homes within the old city walls remain the focal point of Antalya’s social life. The houses themselves are interesting to observe, with some going back to the Ottoman era. It is as if time has frozen here.
The region is densely packed with architectural marvels ranging from Ottoman-style mansions to Roman relics. Hadrian’s Gate, with its massive arches and columns, is one of the most outstanding Roman constructions, erected for Emperor Hadrian in 130 AD, it stands proudly at the city’s entrance. The important Ottoman mosque Tekeli Mehmet Paşa Camii, the Yivli minaret, and the Clock tower are also within close vicinity and are a sight worth seeing.
Along the small cobblestone alleyways of Antalya’s old town, one souvenir shop after another can be found. Here you may also buy antiques, artworks, and high-quality Turkish carpets.
Bask in the Sun and Swim in Antalya’s Beaches
In Antalya, beach-goers will be spoiled for options. Many beaches are within a short distance of the city center, and they include both popular sites and tranquil beaches that are popular with the residents.
- Konyaalti Beach
Located in the foothills of the Rocky mountains, Konyaalti beach is one of the most beautiful beaches in the area. You’ll be in awe of the stunning scenery here. The Taurus Mountains and rock formations provide a dramatic backdrop to the glittering sea below.
The beach’s vastness prevents it from being overcrowded, as there are numerous cafes along the shore. The 13-kilometer-long beach is mostly made up of tiny pebbles, and the water is a brilliant blue. Confirming the high water quality, Konyaalti Beach has been awarded the “Blue Flag.”Directly on the beachfront, there is an abundance of beach resorts, cafés, and restaurants for visitors’ enjoyment.
Many beach clubs in the area lend out umbrellas and sun loungers for a charge. You may also find free restrooms, showers, and changing rooms here. Additional amenities include a basketball court, skating areas, workout equipment, and a playground for kids. The diverse water sports activities available right on the shore provide hours of enjoyment and adrenaline rushes.
- Lara Beach
Known for its miles of light brown sand, clear water, Blue Flag certification, and several of Turkey’s finest 5-star hotels with all-inclusive packages, Lara Beach draws tourists from all over the globe every year. It’s the nearest beach to the Antalya Airport, making it quick and easy to get to.
Jet skiing, catamaran, and banana boat trips are among the water sports that you can try, as are paragliding, kitesurfing, and windsurfing. Children can have a good time building sandcastles in the soft sand or paddling in the clear water.
Right on Lara Beach, the fascinating Sandland sand sculpture museum is also a famous place to see in Antalya.
- Ladies Beach
The women-only beach Sarisu Beach in Antalya, Turkey, is located in the south of the province. This beach, which is just a few blocks from the famed Konyaalti area, is strictly for women only. It’s an ideal location for privacy-conscious Muslim ladies to soak up the sun or dive into the sea.
The two restaurants, a tea garden, and a few stores along the shore are staffed entirely by women. There’s a children’s playground, sports field, fitness area, and a prayer room on the private beach. Take care not to disturb other visitors by snapping too many photos. Free access to the beach is provided by the municipality, which manages and maintains it very well.
See the Waterfalls
A visit to Antalya wouldn’t be complete without seeing one of the area’s many natural beauties. Kursunlu and Düden are two equally spectacular waterfalls.
- Kursunlu Waterfall
The waterfall here is a cascade linking seven ponds that falls over roughly 18 meters and creates a natural pool with spectacular views. When you arrive at the Kursunlu Waterfall, you will be amazed by the natural beauty placed in a wonderfully tranquil atmosphere with refreshing clean air.
Nature walks among the ponds, natural pools, and pine trees are some of the best things to do here. You may take a stop in the lovely café here if you need to rest.
- Duden Waterfall
A popular attraction surrounding Antalya’s city center is the Duden Waterfall. The Lower Duden waterfall, which flows from a height of roughly 40 meters, is where the waters from the Upper Duden waterfall meet the Mediterranean Sea.
Many people and visitors come here to spend the day admiring the stunning views, taking photographs, and roaming about the park beside the waterfall. There are also boat tours available from Antalya to the Duden waterfall which offer a different perspective on the stunning view.
Go on an Adventure to the National Parks
- Rafting in Koprulu Kanyon
The Köprülü Canyon National Park consists of lush pine and cedar woods and rocky cliffs, with the Köprüçay River winding through the terrain. Two of the bridges in the area date all the way back to Roman times. To get a bird’s eye view of the stunning terrain and deep valley, head to Tazi Canyon, a panoramic view high above Köprülü Canyon.
Köprülü Canyon is one of Turkey’s most popular white-water rafting destinations, so thrill-seekers may enjoy the landscape while splashing. If rafting isn’t your thing, there are other options, such as taking a boat ride or sitting at a café and enjoying in the scenery.
- Hiking in Termessos
Hiking the beautiful outdoors of this national park should be the primary goal while also visiting the ancient sites in Termessos. With many well-preserved ruins, the mix of landscape and history in this area is fascinating. The Termessos national park, which is located in the Güllük Mountain Range, is a popular destination for tourists not only for its historic city but also because of its rich wildlife.
Many visitors are fascinated by its majestic theater, odeon, gymnasium, cisterns, necropolis (old theater), and other ruins distributed over a broad region. In addition, there is a small museum and cafes to ensure that guests have a pleasurable experience at the end of a memorable journey.
Explore the Sea Life
- Visit the Aquarium
Second in Europe, and fifth worldwide, the Antalya Aquarium houses the second-largest collection of marine life. About 5,000 fish and sea creatures may be seen in 64 tanks and 40 themed aquariums. The world’s largest tunnel aquarium, which is particularly remarkable, is also on display here. If you’ve ever wanted to feel like you’re swimming with sharks, here is the place for you.
Additionally, even in the middle of summer, the aquarium’s integrated snow world maintains a temperature of -5 degrees and displays ice sculptures.
- Go Scuba Diving
On a full-day diving excursion in Antalya, you’ll learn about the underwater world that exists under the Mediterranean sea. You may even get to explore shipwrecks. This activity is open to people of all levels of expertise, including those who have never dived before. You will get to dive with your guide and fellow divers. If you don’t want to dive at all, snorkeling gear will also be available for you.
Taste Traditional Turkish Breakfast in Cakirlar
Cakirlar is a village located at the foot of the mountains inside the city limits and is well-known for its all-day Turkish breakfasts. This authentic destination draws a lot of people who come here to get away from the city life, eat fresh, inexpensive food, and enjoy the blissful atmosphere.
You will have a one-of-a-kind experience at Cakirlar. All of the cafés here offer a large, rustic village garden where you may get a taste of the delicious traditional Turkish breakfast. One of the famous breakfast spots here is ‘Cennet Vadisi’ which is situated along the river.
Delve into Antalya’s Rich History
The Roman amphitheater at Aspendos is the best-preserved in the Mediterranean. However, Aspendos is more than simply a theater. The city’s arena, stadium, agora, basilica, fountain, parliament building, aqueducts, streets, temples, baths, and cisterns may all be found on site. It’s regarded as one of the best-preserved in the world, and it’s still utilized as a venue during the summer season.
Aspendos hosts an opera and ballet festival every year in June called the International Opera and Ballet Festival. The theater is also home to the famed “Fire of Anatolia” show.
- Antalya Museum
In 1988, the Antalya Museum was named “Museum of the Year” by the Council of Europe. If you’re a history geek, this should be on your list of things to do in Antalya. From artifacts from the Early Bronze Age such as elaborate idols and earthenware jars to sculptures from the Roman Empire, it is overflowing with archaeological riches.
As one of the country’s most renowned museums, it will provide you with a solid understanding of Turkish history. The museum is conveniently located in between the old town and Konyaalti beach. It’s a good idea to spend a few hours here and avoid the scorching afternoon sun.
Shop Till You Drop at the Mall of Antalya
The Mall of Antalya can be found in the city’s northern suburbs, right off the highway and close to the airport. The mall is enormous, the largest in southern Turkey, and offers free on- and below-ground parking. This mall is ideal for those who like to shop without the inconvenience of having to deal with crowds.
Stores are well-organized and the personnel is customer service-oriented, and the brands on display are evenly distributed. This mall has pretty much everything. There is also a pharmacy on the first floor, as well as a number of nice cafes where you may relax and unwind.
Go Skiing in Saklikent
The closest ski resort to Antalya is only 30 kilometers away! Despite the fact that Turkey may not immediately spring to mind as a destination for skiers, the country does offer several great options. Offering 7 kilometers of slopes, Saklikent is located at a height of 2,287 meters and has slopes ranging from beginner to expert degrees of difficulty. Mid-December marks the start of the ski resort season, which lasts until early April.