Antalya is one of the major cities and among the economic, historic and cultural centers of Turkey. It is the pearl city of the Mediterranean for tourism and the trade hub.
The city is not only rich in culture and history but is famous as the world’s 4th most visited city. It is perfect place for a relaxing holiday with a variety of unforgettable memories and interesting activities.
Why should anyone visit the city?
Antalya has magnificent historical landmarks which worth exploring to learn about the amazing past and culture of the country. The monuments were made by different emperors and they depict the lifestyle during different dynasties.
Another remarkable fact about the city is that it has some amazing hiking trails. This is the best place for the hikers to enjoy the panoramic views and have some adventurous exercise.
How does one get to the destination (airport, ferry or others)?
- Antalya is one of the major cities so it is easy to reach by air from all over the world.
- By boats and ferries from islands and neighboring countries.
- By car and by bus from the other cities of Turkey.
Is the city safe? What areas are not safe?
Generally, Turkey is a very safe country for tourists. Antalya has some convenient laws and regulations to assure the security of the locals and tourists. However, the general rules of travelling are to be followed like taking care of belongings in public and staying alert from the scammers etc.
Women need to be more careful and avoid going to the isolated and dark places alone.
Sometimes people give wrong directions to the women and send them to some isolated area where they become a harassment victim.
What’s the weather like?
Antalya bears hot and dry summer season, wet and humid winter season and pleasant spring season that is perfect to explore the city. The mild and pleasant season of the city remains from March to May and September to November.
It is recommended to never plan the trip to Antalya during July and August because this is the peak summer time. However, during the summer season natural springs, beaches and waterfalls remain over crowded.
The winters should also be avoided because of the precipitation and cold. January has the most rainfalls in the entire year. Tourists crowds are during spring, autumn and summer whereas winters get very less visitors.
What languages are spoken in the area? Is English spoken?
The native language is Turkish where as many people speak German. English is spoken in many touristy parts.
Is the US Dollar widely accepted?
The currency that is used in Antalya is Turkish Lira whereas some places accept US dollars and Euros as well.
There are a lot of benefits in using the local currency in the souks and markets because they deal in their own currency and offer discounts. You rarely get a chance for lesser prices by dealing in dollars and euros.
You can easily find money exchange to convert your cash into local currency.
What are the best areas or districts to stay in the city?
Kaleici is the best area to stay for the first time visitors of Antalya. It is an old town with a lot of historical attractions belonging to the Greek, Roman and Ottoman times. There are also a plenty of eating and shopping options.
Konyaalti beach is located a little away from the city center and it is the perfect place for the budget travelers. There are a lot of accommodation and eating options for families and backpackers.
Belek is the golf and nightlife area of the city. It is the best option for the people who are travelling for party vibe.
Lara is the most beautiful part of the coastline of the city. It is the best area to stay for families and couples on romantic holiday.
What’re your top 3 hotels and why?
Gold coast hotel
It is located in Kaleici so the old town attractions are very convenient to be visited. The roof top terrace is the best place to relax and see the panoramic views of the old town. A nice breakfast is served in 4 euro.
It is very charming and budget friendly hotel in Kaleici. The rooms are furnished in the traditional Turkish style with a wardrobe, seating area and private balcony. Complimentary breakfast is served in the morning that guests can take in the garden to eat there.
The Tuvana hotel
It is the best treat to experience a stay on the traditional culture of Antalya. It is a historic townhouse with a central courtyard, gardens, outdoor swimming pool and am amazing restaurant. The best part is that you get a choice for the rooms with private balconies or private hot tubs.
How does one get around the city? Taxi, Uber, similar apps, ATVs? Include links to public services
The city has frequent tourism so there are a lot of visitor friendly transportation. Buses and mini buses are the mostly used means of travel among the locals and visitors.
Buses have the routes in the different parts of the city to the heart of Antalya covering the major attractions. Mini buses are also similar and are a quick way to go to the other place.
Trams are also available to travel but they are limited to some places and you have to get a bus or taxi to get to the destination. They are good if you want to travel to some specific part of the tram route.
Taxis are the best way to travel if you have a lot of baggage or you want to travel quick. Normally the taxi charges are economical whereas the distance of places in the big city may increase the taxi fares.
Uber is also available in Antalya and it is the best way to compare the taxi fare and get the most reasonable one.
Can you highlight the MUST see sight? Minimum of 5, feel free to share as many as you would like.
Antalya museum is the best place to learn about the history of Turkey. There is an enormous and amazing collection of the artifacts found from the excavation sites. Many things are excavated from the coastline, mountains, caves and other archeological sites. There are statues, mosaics, art pieces and many more to get impressed by the Turkish history.
This fluted minaret was the work of Seljuk Sultan Aleddin Keykubad during the 12th century. it is entirely designed in the Seljuk architecture style. There is a gallery on the top and the mosque that was built during 14th century, is still used by the Muslims. You can see the clock tower from the Ottoman era opposite to the minaret. There are different tombs belonging to the 14th century near the minaret.
It is a stunning and dramatic entrance to the Kaleici district with the Roman town walls. It was constructed in the honor of the visit of emperor Hadrian. This is an amazing three arched marble gateway with beautiful carvings to see the splendor of the empire during 130 AD.
Visit a Hammam
Experiencing the relaxation of the hammam is a must thing to do when you visit Turkey. These are traditional baths which are designed according to the ancient style of spa. You can get into a public hammam or can book yourself a private one to enjoy some relaxation, exfoliation and scrubbing on your body.
These natural wonders are located in a big park just outside the city. You can spend a very relaxing time. There are some fresh water species in the waterfalls that you can see. They are a little away from the city so they get limited tourism.
What’s the best place to take a photo?
There is a plenty of places in the city offering panoramic views and wonderful photography opportunities. You can click as much photos as you want. If you want to go a specific place, then Perge is the best option. This is historical site so you can click some dramatic pictures among the ruins, huge pillars and collapsed temples.
What about the top 3 restaurants?
The top three best restaurants in Antalya are
- Club Arma – European dishes and seafood.
- Castle Café Bar – Mediterranean food
- II Vicino Pizzeria – Italian Cuisine
What about the top 3 breakfast places?
There are three places not to miss for amazing breakfast
- Pablito Bistro
- Sirali Kebap
- Borekci Tevfik
What’s the one thing you MUST eat in the city?
First of all, never miss the Turkish coffee that is known as kahve. Secondly the thing to try is the Turkish breakfast. Sit at a traditional place and eat typical breakfast with olives, variations of cheese, fresh butter, honey, jam, scrambled eggs, bread, sliced tomatoes, white cheese, cucumbers and a couple of other things. This is a very interesting experience for a lot of visitors.
What about food markets?
Main Market Antalya
It is a captivating, amazing and vibrant market of Antalya. Most of the shop keepers offer apple tea to the customers that is a part of tradition. You will get good quality products in economical price and the deal can be even more cheaper if you know the art of bargaining. You will find some of the delicious traditional Turkish foods, sweets and desserts in the market along with leather goods, textiles, jewellery, crafts and carpets.
You will get a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables at the shops of Iskele market. Some shops sell products made of fresh fruits like salads, fresh juices and more. The huge variety also contains some rare and exotic fruits and vegetables as well that you can try to add in the food experiences.
This is the oldest market if Antalya and you will find an amazing variety of products. This is the major touristy area so you will easily find money exchange offices to deal in local currency and get amazing discounts. This is an international and local market with an amazing range of textiles, carpets, gold and silver jewelry and ornaments, handicrafts and Turkish traditional things. Never forget negotiating the price after you select the products.
Where should one go at night? Any bar/nightlife areas or districts you recommend?
The specialty of the bars and clubs in the old town is their unique concept. They have different themes and styles. You will find a number of places according to your taste to enjoy a wonderful cocktail with some traditional or international music.
Kemer only targets the elite class so your will find amazing, luxurious and glamorous places in this area. However, be very careful because the foods, drinks and entertainment in this area is expensive.
Any rooftop bars or restaurants that you recommend?
Best roof top restaurants and bars in Antalya are:
- Nobel Turku café and bar
- Teras café and restaurant
Can you recommend the best shopping areas? Best shopping mall?
The entire Antalya has a lot of shopping places selling many specialty goods and unique products. There are some famous areas for shopping.
Antalya Kaleici Marina is the place to buy international brand products and water sports equipment. It is near the sea so you can grab a meal and relax after shopping.
Terra City mall is the huge shopping mall with over 150 shopping stores and more than 30 restaurants. You can shop and eat under one roof.
Cagalayan Bazaar is an amazing indoor market with a wonderful variety of fruits, vegetables, foods and dry fruits. You will find some variety of olives sold by the villagers from the suburbs of the city.
Do you recommend any tours outside the city? Islands? Boat Tours?
Aspendos is a perfect archeological site to explore on a day trip. It is a Roman theatre that is one of the best preserved buildings of the world. The site has the ruins from the 2nd and 3rd century so this really fascinating to explore the ancient glory. You can get the tour of the Aspendos, Perge (another ancient site) and Manavgat waterfalls.
Karst Springs are the limestone hilly area with springs, waterfalls and sinkholes. These were created from the limestone deposits and converted into the natural terraces. You can have a wonderful dip in the natural surroundings.
Are Casinos allowed? Blackjack tables? If so, what’s the best Casino in town?
Turkey is a Muslim country so gambling is strictly restricted and illegal. You will not be able to find any casino. There are some hotels which used to have the gaming setup because it was legal almost 17 years ago.
Any last advice for people visiting the city?
Never click photos of locals especially women and children without permission.
There are a lot of Islamic sites, mosques and museums where it is needed to cover your body and women should carry a scarf otherwise entering the place with revealing clothes is not allowed.
Alcohol and beverages are not allowed to drink on the streets.
Leave a tip for porters, maids and waiters in the hotel and restaurants.
Bargaining is like a ritual for shopping so do not buy the things without negotiating.