Considered the gateway to the Turkish Riviera, Antalya is a sun-drenched city on the south-west coast. Over the centuries it’s been ruled by the Romans, the Byzantines and the Ottomans which means there’s plenty of history to soak up. Beyond its history, Antalya is a fantastic place to enjoy the Turquoise Coast, with gorgeous beaches and a string of luxury resorts.
Things to Do
At the heart of Antalya is the beautifully preserved Kaleici quarter. The district wraps around the yacht-filled Old Harbour and boasts sparkling views of the Mediterranean. Its winding streets are lined with Ottoman buildings, which now house an eclectic mix of boutique hotels, trendy cafes and cosy restaurants.
Antalya was once a thriving Roman port which means there are plenty of remnants to explore. Built to honour the emperor’s visit in 130 AD, Hadrian’s Gate towers over bustling Atatürk Boulevard. The 2nd-century Hidirlik Tower is another city icon and offers incredible views over the harbour.
If you want to top up your tan, Konyaalti Beach is an eternal favourite with sunseekers. Lara Beach is its glitzy cousin, with Vegas-style hotels, lively nightlife and plenty of water sports on offer.
If you’re craving a culture fix, don’t miss the Antalya Museum. Covering everything from Stone Age relics to Byzantium artefacts, it offers a fascinating glimpse at Turkey’s historic narrative. Nearby, the Yivliminare Mosque serves as the city’s main place of worship.
With maze-like streets and hidden staircases, the best way to get around Kaleici and the Old Harbour is on foot. Public transport in Antalya is fast and efficient, with both buses and trams running throughout the city. There are plenty of taxis cruising the streets, with most drivers happy to make the trip to Konyaaltı or Lara Beach. From Kaleici the drive to Antalya Airport takes around 20 minutes.