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What to do and see in Antalya, Turkey
What to do and see in Antalya, Turkey

If you are looking for hot Turkish temperatures, warm turquoise shores and a calm, enjoyable atmosphere, Antalya has it all. This exceptional destination, one of the most popular places on the Turkish Riviera, offers much to travellers of all varieties. The city has ancient ruins, stylish bars, a breezy harbour and beautiful scenery – everything you need for a perfect, sunny getaway.

Laid-back Antalya
Despite being a city of over a million, Antalya is one of the most relaxing places on the Turkish Mediterranean. Days spent on Konyaaltı or Lara beaches, wandering through millennia-old Roman ruins, learning about ancient treasures and dining on delicious meals – it is the perfect place to unwind and escape the stresses of the everyday.

The area surrounding Antalya is similarly laid back. Sleepy fishing villages and characterful towns line the coast out east and west from the city, and there are lots of natural, historical and tourist sights to experience. Antalya is the perfect holiday base, with plenty of great transport links, tour operators and attractions.

Antalya Castle

Antalya's cuisine
Turkish cuisine is bold, rich and delicious, with wonderful sweet and savoury dishes that will delight diners of all varieties – meat, fish or vegetable lovers. Antalya's culinary line-up is just as good, but given its resort nature, there are lots of different twists on Turkish cuisine to be found that depart from the traditional.

When exploring a new city it is always good to start your culinary adventure in a traditional fashion and for classic Turkish food, nothing beats a visit to 7 Mehmet. Serving up all sorts of dishes from the region, make sure you try a three course meal here – there is a divine assortment of plates to choose from.

If you want a fine dining experience, Vanilla Lounge and Seraser Fine Dining Restaurant are both very popular. These restaurants serve tasty dishes in large-sized portions – you are on holiday, after all!

Vegetarians will delight at the bright and interesting meals served at Rokka – vegetarian pizzas, flavoursome falafel and other great dishes prove meat doesn't always have to be on the menu – while fish-lovers will certainly enjoy the freshly caught line-up at Anyali.

Baklava is an Anatolian delicacy that you should definitely also try, and these delicious, crispy treats made of pastry, honey and nuts can be enjoyed at Antalya's Hakan Usta Baklavalari, located near the city's otogar (bus station).

Antalya offers a diverse range of attractions and sights – here are some of the places you simply shouldn't miss.

The oldest part of Antalya, the Kaleiçi district contains a huge number of sights. The ancient Hadrianus Gate, built by the Romans in 130AD; towering city walls; Ottoman clock towers; intricate mosques and minarets; crumbling ruins – the winding streets of this district host a great variety of treasures, making for a magical visit.

Antalya Ruins

Antalya Museum
One of the best museums in the country, Antalya Museum features a diverse range of historic artefacts, covering the Stone Age, Hellenic, Roman, Byzantine, Seljuk and Ottoman periods – an unparalleled collection. Marvel at perfectly-preserved statues and sarcophagi, clothes, weapons and more.

Brilliant beaches
As most top tourist destinations do, the city has its share of beaches. The enormous Konyaaltı Beach is the most accessible, but for finer sands and quieter shores, Lara, Side, Alanya, Kemer Phaselis and Olympos beaches are all located relatively close by. Practically all of these locations feature extensive ruins as well.

Antalya Aquarium
One of the largest aquariums in the world, Antalya's aquarium is a great place to visit during the hottest times of the day. The attraction has thousands of species of sea creatures on display and features the world's largest tunnel aquarium – particularly exciting for children.

Visiting Antalya
Most tourists arrive to the city via plane at Antalya Airport, 10km from the city. The airport is served by airlines including Transavia, AtlasJet, SunExpress, Turkish Airlines, Aeroflot and a range of package holiday charter carriers. Gazipasa Airport is also nearby, and both of these transport hubs can be reached from Turkey's main airports.

If you don't have transfers arranged from the airport, public buses into the city can be caught from outside the domestic terminal and taxis from both international and domestic terminals. Bus fares are far cheaper than those of taxis.

In the city itself, bus, minibus (dolmus), taxi and tram are available to help you get where you need to go, but while a number of locations further afield are also served by public transport networks, hiring a car is an easier and quicker means of visiting the many locations in the surrounding country – vehicles can be rented from operators near the bus terminal, airport and in the city centre.

For luxury accommodation, there is no better place to stay than the Kempinski Hotel The Dome. Situated in nearby Belek, this sumptuous hotel has everything visitors could possibly need, with beautiful interiors, delicious restaurants, wonderful views and much more. Click here to contact the hotel team and arrange your stay.

Antalya is a fantastic mix of ancient and modern, and a gateway to the exciting surrounding countryside - definitely one of Turkey's best destinations.

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