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Best things to do in Antalya

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Where in the world: Europe  /  Turkey  /  Turkish Mediterranean Coast  /  Antalya Province  /  Antalya

Top 15 things to do in Antalya

1. Kaleici

Also referred to as Old Antalya, Kaleici represents the historical center of the city. Up until World War II, it was one and the same city as Antalya, but rapid development in the decades since has created two cities. The historical center features narrow streets squeezed between old houses on the Roman harbor along the Mediterranean coast. Several entrances allow you access to the old town; the most historical and best-known is Hadrian's Gate. Wander the ancient city streets to find restaurants offering authentic Turkish dishes.
Suggested duration: 2h 30 min
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2. Lower Duden Waterfalls

Lower Duden Waterfalls includes two distinct waterfall attractions. The upper falls bring together a collection of small falls in a quiet municipal park, while the lower waterfall creates one impressive cascade that spills over the Antalya city cliffs from the Duden River into the sea. The upper falls are easier to reach, but many make the trip to the lower falls. Take a spiral staircase that leads into a natural cave behind the falls, where you'll feel their power and be treated to a view from behind a wall of water.
Suggested duration: 30 minutes
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3. Old City Marina

Watch the fishing boats come and go at Old City Marina. Descend the steep stone steps to the bottom of the marina to experience the spot where fishermen earn their living. Notice the many yachts moored at the dock, including one that resembles a pirate ship and gets a lot of attention from tourists. Stop for a bite at one of the harbor's outdoor cafeterias that serve seafood and traditional meals. The marina area also offers shops selling souvenirs, Turkish crafts, and spices. Take a boat trip around the bay and see the city and coastline from a different perspective. Amenities include public restrooms.
Suggested duration: 2h 30 min
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4. Apollon Temple, Side

Feel the enormous weight of history at the ancient ruins of Apollon Temple on the Side peninsula. Dedicated the Greek god of light and sun, the temple has a counterpart dedicated to Athena, and both were constructed around the 2nd century CE. Take in a view of the harbor from here and appreciate the intricate detailing of the marble. While most of the temple lies in ruins, the remaining columns and foundation make it easy to imagine how this impressive temple would have once appeared.
Suggested duration: 2h 30 min
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5. Hadrian's Gate

Hadrian's Gate represents a triumphal arch dedicated to Roman emperor Hadrian, who came to the city in 130 CE. The gate sits flanked by two towers and richly decorated with marble columns, coffered ceilings, and stone carvings featuring floral motifs, rosettes, and lion heads. While the southern tower was built in Hadrian's time, the upper part of the northern tower represents the Seljuk period. Notice the deep trenches in the stone pavement under the central arch, imprinted by the wheels of thousands of wagons. Nearby streets are lined with restaurants and shops selling carpets, glassware, spices, and dried fruit. Observe the three-arched gate from one of the benches of the park on its east side while sipping tea (seek out an itinerant çaycı--a Turkish tea waiter).
Suggested duration: 1h 30 min
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6. Antalya Aquarium

Antalya Aquarium features 40 thematic aquariums and one of the world's biggest tunnel aquariums. Journey through the exhibits, encountering poisonous and colorful species in the tropical reptile house, and then sail out on a virtual tour around the globe in the Ocean-ride X-D cinema. Cafes and restaurants on the terrace floor and near the entrance offer various refreshments. On the terrace floor, you can get a treatment by "doctor fishes." The aquarium arranges underwater pirate shows with mermaids for children, as well as occasional violin concerts.
Suggested duration: 2h 30 min
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8. Antalya Muzesi

One of Turkey's largest museums, Antalya Muzesi showcases the history of the Mediterranean and Pamphylia regions in Anatolia through thousands of works of art. Founded in 1922, the museum's 13 exhibit rooms display 5,000 works. Each exhibit is dedicated to a specific theme, from natural history and prehistory to coins and ethnography. Wander from room to room to discover items as simple as arrowheads and as ornate as full-sized marble statues and sarcophagi from ancient civilizations. The museum is family-friendly and even includes a designated children's section, which displays antique kids' toys.
Suggested duration: 2h 30 min
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9. Termessos Ruins

Surrounded by dense pine forests and a multitude of wild plants, Termessos Ruins represents one of the best-preserved ancient cities in Turkey. Notable architectural structures of the city include the agora and the Roman theatre, which are joined by a large arched entrance. Look for the five small rooms under the stage where wild animals were kept before being taken into the arena. A king's road with wide porticoes winds within the city walls, and you'll see the remains of a gymnasium with an internal courtyard, an odeon, six temples of varying sizes, towers, Hadrian's gate, and the necropolis with hundreds of sarcophagi.
Suggested duration: 4 hours
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10. Ancient Theater, Side

Be transported back to the culture of antiquity at Ancient Theater, one of the well-preserved highlights of the Side ruins system. The mighty theater was originally constructed in 2 CE, boasting a seating capacity of 15,000-20,000--making it one of the largest of its kind in the Ancient Pamphylia region. Although some of the stage area has collapsed, the construction provides a vivid insight into life and entertainment millennia ago. After exploring the historical construction, take time to appreciate the views of the ruins complex as it sits amidst the surrounding countryside and the sea. There are special paths for visitors, but these are not particularly well-maintained; sensible shoes are recommended.
Suggested duration: 2h 30 min
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11. Perge Ancient City

Visit the remains of the ancient city of Pamphylia at Perge Ancient City, where Saint Paul preached his first sermon in 46 CE before embarking on his journeys. Pass between the massive antique gates and stroll down the remnants of a colonnaded boulevard to a nymphaeum--a shrine dedicated to nymphs--which lies on the slopes of the acropolis. Dating back to the Bronze Age, the acropolis offers encompassing views of the ruins. The site also includes city walls, a theater with a 52 m (170 ft) stage, a stadium, an agora, a necropolis, a gymnasium, and Roman baths. Join a guided tour to learn historical details about the site.
Suggested duration: 2h 30 min
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12. Kleopatra Beach, Alanya

Swim along the long coast of Kleopatra Beach, most notable for its crystal clear water. According to legend, Egyptian Queen Cleopatra visited Alanya and chose this beach for a swim. Bask in the warm rays on this sandy beach and play in the large waves. You'll find beach bars nearby to satisfy your hunger. If possible, bring snorkelling gear to catch sightings of fish just beneath the water's surface.
Suggested duration: 2h 30 min
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13. Off-Road Tours

Suggested duration: 2h 30 min
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14. Phaselis, Tekirova

Situated between beaches and mountains completely immersed in greenery, Phaselis presents the crumbling remains of what was once an important harbor for the region. Merchants from Greece, Egypt, and Asian countries used it for commerce from the 7th century BCE. As you walk along its 24 m (79 ft) wide central street, you'll encounter ruins of ancient perfumeries and other stores, plus structures that housed lavish Roman baths, and theaters more than two millennia old. You'll also find forgotten artifacts and sarcophagi here. If the weather's right, you may want to refresh yourself in the sea right next to the ancient city.
Suggested duration: 2h 30 min
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