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11 Best Things To Do in Antalya, Turkey (2024 Travel Guide)

After visiting Antalya, we created this travel guide where we gathered the top things to do in Antalya, a beautiful coastal city on the Turquoise Coast of Turkey with first-hand travel tips to help you plan your trip.
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Arijana & Matej
Arijana & Matej

Croatian-Slovenian full-time travel duo, photographers, bloggers and travel journalists for over 4 years. We write in-depth travel guides about destinations we have personally visited, providing practical travel tips and recommendations.

11 Best Things To Do in Antalya, Turkey (Travel Guide)

Before visiting Antalya, we didn’t think much of it and thought we wouldn’t like it. But after visiting Antalya during our big Turkey Road Trip it ended up being quite a cool place. It’s a big comfortable city with lots to do and a great base for exploring some of the incredible places in Turkey.

About

Antalya Turkey, located along the picturesque Turquoise Coast, is a huge city and Turkey’s top travel destination. It offers an outstanding balance of luxury hotels, stunning beaches, and a city and surrounding area full of history and beautiful nature, ready for exploring. 

Antalya is also an excellent base to visit nearby historical attractions like Aspendos Theater and Termessos Ruins, natural wonders like Pamukkale, and more.

TRAVEL RESOURCES

BEST EXPERIENCES

  1. Pamukkale and Hierapolis Tour
  2. Suluada Boat Tour (Turkish Maldives)
  3. Rafting and Canyoning at Koprulu Canyon
  4. Termessos Ancient City Hiking

WHERE TO STAY

  1. Adalya Port Hotel – above the old marina of Antalya with free parking
  2. Lykia Old Town Hotel – charming stay in Kaleici with a pool
  3. Calista Luxury Resort – beach resort

GETTING TO ANTALYA

  1. Fly into Antalya Airport – check the flights
  2. Use a public bus – check the buses
  3. Drive yourself – check car rentals

DATA: Get a Turkey eSIM to stay connected.

Top things to do in Antalya

Let’s jump right in and show you all the top things to do in Antalya.

Antalya Travel Map

1. Lower Duden waterfall (Karpuzkaldıran)

The lower Duden waterfall, locally known as Karpuzkaldıran, is a breathtaking natural wonder that stands as one of Antalya’s highlights.

Cascading from a height of 40 meters into the Mediterranean Sea, it offers a picturesque scene. Therefore, Duden Waterfall is a must-visit attraction in Antalya.

It’s not often that you see a waterfall falling from a cliff directly into the sea. The last time we saw something similar was in Madeira

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Good to know: There are two Duden waterfalls, the upper and the lower, so don’t confuse them. The lower one falls into the ocean. (📍location)

You can easily see this unique sight of Duden Waterfall from a sidewalk in Duden Park. But the best view is definitely from a boat which takes you directly in front of the waterfall from the ocean. Check it out here.

Entrance fee: Lower Duden Waterfall is free to visit.

Getting there: To get to the Lower Duden waterfall, you can use a public bus from Lara Beach and Kaleici, the old town of Antalya. Or you can drive with a car. There’s parking nearby.

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2. Kaleici, the Old Town of Antalya

Kaleici in Antalya is a charming old town district known for its narrow cobblestone streets, historical Ottoman architecture, and lively atmosphere. With its well-preserved Ottoman houses, cozy cafes, and boutique shops tucked away in its alleys, Kaleici offers a delightful mix of history and modernity.

Taking a stroll around Kaleici Old Town is one of the best things to do in Antalya, as you can enjoy the beautiful streets full of stunning architecture and colorful shops.

Check out these important landmarks while wandering around the Antalya Old Town:

Old Harbor

Antalya’s harbor was one of the most important ports on the Anatolian south coast. Today, it serves as a modern marina with restaurants and cafes and is a starting point for many boat tours. 

The Harbor is very picturesque and a must-visit in Antalya.

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Travel tip: Start your walk at the harbor, climb the city walls, and walk around the Old Town of Antalya towards Karaaliouglu Park for sunset. You can also park your car near the harbor.

Hidirlik Tower

The 14-meter-high Hidirlik Tower was built during Roman Emperor Hadrian’s reign in the second century. Unfortunately, it is closed to the public, so you can only observe it from behind the park’s fence.

Hidrilik Tower is one of the coolest buildings in Antalya Old Town.

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Yivli Minare Mosque

One of the first Islamic buildings in Antalya is the Yivli Minare Mosque, built at the beginning of the 13th century. Its fluted minaret is a perfect example of a minaret in Anatolian Turkish Architecture.

The entrance to the Yivli mosque is free, and you can visit it anytime except during prayer.

Antalya Saat Kulesi (Clock Tower)

Saat Kulesi is a beautiful four-sided clock tower in the historic center of Antalya.

Hadrian’s Gate

On the corner of Kaleici, you can find Hadrian’s Gate or Üçkapılar, also known as “The Three Gates,” the only remaining entrance gate in the walls around the old town of Antalya.

Karaalioglu Park

A must-visit spot in Antalya’s Old Town is also Karaaliouglu Park, a beautiful seaside park full of greenery and statues. It offers stunning views of the mountains and Antalya city.

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3. Beaches

The best thing to do in Antalya is relax and swim at the beach. The Turkish coast is breathtaking, and Antalya offers beautiful beaches.

The most popular beaches in Antalya are:

  • Konyaalti beach: long pebble beach with lots of water activities and rich nightlife
  • Lara beach: the closest beach to Antalya airport
  • Mermerli beach: a small beach located right next to the marina

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Konyaalti Beach can be absolutely stunning on a clear day with mountains in the background. We weren’t so lucky when we visited. 😅

4. Waterfalls

Antalya’s surroundings have some beautiful waterfalls that are worth checking out. So, if you’re a nature fan, include these on your Antalya itinerary.

  • Kursunlu Waterfalls are about 20 km from Antalya. You can combine a visit to them with a visit to the Ancient City of Termessos.
  • Upper Duden Waterfalls, where you can also go behind them in a cave to get a unique perspective.
  • Uçansu Waterfalls, located around 60km away from Antalya, where you can even swim in one. There is also an upper waterfall to which you’ll need to trek for about an hour.

April and the rainy months (autumn and winter) are the best months to see Antalya’s waterfalls in full power. They’re pretty small or even dry in the summer, so this is something to remember. 🙂

Important: In many places in Turkey, camels and other animals might be used as photo props, especially around waterfalls, and are not treated well. Please don’t support this. 

Arijana Tkalčec on Kekova boat tour in Turkey

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5. Pamukkale and Hierapolis

A day trip to Pamukkale, also known as Turkey’s cotton castle, is one of the top things to do in Antalya.

Pamukkale, a UNESCO World Heritage site, is a natural wonder known for its stunning white travertine terraces and thermal springs. Formed over centuries by the calcium-rich waters, the terraces cascade down the hillside, creating a mesmerizing, otherworldly landscape.

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Stunning Pamukkale – a must-see from Antalya

At Pamukkale, you can explore its incredible white travertines and hot springs, bathe in the pools, or stroll around the ancient city of Hierapolis, once a significant center of trade and culture.

Important: Keep in mind that the photos of Pamukkale going around social media are mostly heavily photoshopped and don’t show a realistic picture of the place. While we think it’s still very much worth seeing Pamukkale and Hierapolis, set your expectations. Read more about our experience here.

Getting there: Pamukkale is around 3,5 hours (approx. 240 km) drive from Antalya. You can drive to Pamukkale by yourself or book a guided tour.

We drove to Pamukkale from Antalya by car and added Salda Lake to our trip.

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6. Salda Lake

Salda Lake, or Salda Golu in Turkish, is often referred to as the Maldives of Turkey because of its white sandy beach and crystal clear turquoise water. Locals even refer to it as the “Saldives.”

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The bathing season in Salda Lake is between June and September, but you can still visit it outside those months because the scenery is gorgeous, even if it’s too cold and windy to swim.

Getting here: Salda Lake is around 160 km away from Antalya. If you’re driving by yourself, you can combine a visit to Pamukkale and then Lake Salda on the way back. It will be a lot in one day, but it’s manageable and definitely worth it. 

Not many tours include a visit to Lake Salda, but this one seems to stop there on the way to Pamukkale and Hierapolis.

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Rent a car! Turkey is very easy to navigate by car, which allows you to explore at your own pace.

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7. Aspendos Theater

Aspendos is an ancient city known for its well-preserved Roman theater, one of the best-preserved in the world. Built in the 2nd century AD, it could seat up to 12,000 spectators and is one of the best Antalya attractions.

The theater at Aspendos is still used today for performances and festivals (such as the Aspendos Opera and Ballet Festival), showcasing its remarkable architectural and historical significance.

Although the theater is the highlight of the archeological site, you can also walk around to see a few more ruins (agora, castle, basilica). 

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Entrance fees: The ticket price for the Aspendos Theater is 15 EUR (16.3 USD) for adults and free for children. However, you might go above the theater for free to see a glimpse of it.

Opening times: Aspendos Theater is open every day from 8 am until 7 pm. 

Getting there: Aspendos is 50km from Antalya, and it takes about 40 minutes to get there by car.

Public transport to Aspendos is more complicated but doable. From Antalya, take a bus to Serik and then a dolmuş (local minibus) to Aspendos.

Alternatively, to maximize your time, join a tour that visits Aspendos and a few other attractions on the same day (like this one).

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Aspendos Aquaduct, close to Aspendos Theater

We wanted to see Aspendos on the way to Konya, the next stop of our big Turkey road trip. Unfortunately, we only managed to get in front of the theater. We were followed by a storm and heavy rain from Antalya, so we didn’t go in.

Looking for more Turkey Travel Guides?

We spent 1,5 months traveling around Turkey. Read all of our guides here.

8. Termessos Ancient City

Termessos, an ancient city known for its stunning mountain setting and well-preserved ruins, is a great place to visit in Antalya. This archaeological site offers a glimpse into the past with its impressive theater, agora, and necropolis. Surrounded by the Taurus Mountains, Termessos provides a unique and picturesque historical experience.

Termessos is a much less visited attraction than some other archeological places around the area, so it’s perfect if you’re looking for something less crowded.

Good to know: Be prepared to hike a bit. It takes 20 to 45 minutes of a bit steeper hike to reach the ancient city from a parking lot.

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Entrance fees: The ticket price for Termessos Ruins is 3 EUR (3.2 USD). 

Opening times: Termessos is open every day from 8 a.m. until 7 p.m. (the ticket office closes at 5 p.m.).

Getting here: Termessos Ruins are about a one-hour drive (40 km) from Antalya. The easiest way to get there is by renting a car. There is no public transport to take you there. Alternatively, join this hiking tour from Antalya.

9. Day trip to Alanya

Alanya is another resort town on the Turkish coast with beautiful beaches and historical landmarks. It is a popular day trip from Antalya, located around 130 km away from the city center (about a 2-hour drive). 

A day trip to Alanya from Antalya offers a wide range of activities. 

Start your day by exploring the majestic Alanya Castle, offering breathtaking views of the Mediterranean Sea. Visit the Red Tower, an iconic landmark with a rich history. Relax on Cleopatra Beach, known for its golden sands and crystal-clear waters. Stroll through the vibrant Alanya city center to shop for local souvenirs and taste delicious Turkish cuisine. Don’t miss the chance to experience the Damlataş Cave, famous for its healing properties.

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Scuba diving

Alanya is also famous for scuba diving and has some really cool dive sites (check it out here).

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We got scuba-certified in Koh Tao, Thailand.

Paragliding

Paragliding is the top thing to do in Alanya. While paragliding, you can enjoy breathtaking views of the Mediterranean Sea and Taurus Mountains. It’s recommended that you book in advance to secure your spot.

RECOMMENDED TOUR

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We tried paragliding in Fethiye, and it was one of our top experiences in Turkey. Read more about paragliding in Fethiye.

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10. Boat trips

Boat trips in Antalya offer a delightful way to explore the stunning Turkish coastline. Popular options include day cruises to Kekova Island to see ancient ruins, sailing tours along the Turquoise Coast for swimming and snorkeling, and sunset cruises to enjoy breathtaking views of the Mediterranean Sea.

Joining a boat trip is one of the best things to do in Antalya. Check all the options here.

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Suluada Island (Turkish Maldives)

Join a day trip to the beautiful Suluada Island, also known as Turkish Maldives from Antalya, which also includes a few swim and snorkel stops at other beautiful bays of the Mediterranean Sea.

Suluada Island looks beautiful, and we would love to go there on our next visit.

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Kekova Boat trip

When we were in Kas (read our Kas Travel Guide), the Kekova Boat tour was a highlight of our visit. You can see a part of Kekova by joining a trip from Antalya which also visits some other attractions on the way.

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11. Fun activities in Antalya

From scuba-diving in the crystal-clear Mediterranean waters to hiking through the stunning Taurus Mountains, you can also enjoy paragliding, rock climbing, canyoning, ziplining, and more! Antalya’s diverse natural landscapes provide endless opportunities for adventure and exploration.

Joining one of these fun activities is the best thing to do on your Antalya vacation.

Rafting and canyoning in the Koprulu Canyon

One of the most exciting things to do in Antalya is to get your adrenaline pumping on an adventure-filled day of canyoning, rafting, and ziplining at the nearby Koprulu Canyon National Park.

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Boat Tour at Green Canyon and Emerald Lake

Head out from Antalya to the fascinating Green Canyon for a stunning boat tour, where you can swim in the beautiful waters of the emerald lake while surrounded by lush nature.

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Olympos cable car ride

One of the best ways to take in the views of the Mediterranean coast and the mountainous landscape near Antalya is to take the Olympos cable car ride to the top of Mount Tahtali, which is 2365 m high.

The starting point of the Olympos Teleferik (Olympos Cable Car) is about 1 hour and a half drive south of Antalya’s downtown, near Kemer. You can book a skip-the-line Olympos cable car ticket only or buy a combo ticket with a transfer from either Kemer or Antalya. Check all the options here.

At the top of Mount Tahtali, after completing the 10-minute ride with the Olympos cable car, you are rewarded with gorgeous views. There’s also a cafe and a restaurant, and you can even go paragliding.

RECOMMENDED TOURS IN ANTALYA

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Best restaurants in Antalya

Antalya offers many restaurants for all kinds and budgets. It’s easy to find something just by walking around Kaleici, the old town, from cheap and tasty food in local restaurants to exquisite meals in fine-dining restaurants.

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Where to stay in Antalya?

The best places to stay in Antalya are at one of the many beachside resorts or in the old town of Kaleici.

Our recommended stays:

If you want better deals or bigger apartments with a kitchen, consider going a bit outside the central area. Antalya is pretty big, so there are plenty of accommodations for all budgets.

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Konyaalti Beach, Antalya

How to visit Antalya?

The best way to get to Antalya is by flying directly to the Antalya International Airport (AYT), which is about 25 kilometers away from the city center. It is easily reachable by bus line 442, or you can book an airport transfer in advance.

Getting to Antalya (AYT) from Istanbul (IST) is very easy on many daily flights in just 1 hour and a half. Reaching Antalya from Cappadocia is also easy, as you can fly directly from Kayseri (ASR) to Antalya (AYT) in about 1 hour and 20 minutes.

Turkey’s cities are also well connected by buses, so you can get to Antalya by direct bus from Istanbul, Izmir, Goreme (Cappadocia), and Ankara, among others.

Turkey’s roads are great, so renting a car and driving to Antalya from Istanbul, Izmir, Ankara, Cappadocia, or other places is easy and efficient. 

We rented a car in Istanbul and did a road trip along the Turquoise coast all the way to Antalya. The itinerary for that is coming soon! 

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Getting around Antalya

The best way to get around Antalya is by renting a car. That way, you’re the most flexible and can also make some day trips by yourself. Renting a car in Turkey is affordable, and the roads are great, so don’t hesitate to rent a car if you’re a driver.

If you aren’t driving in Antalya, you can always use its public transport or taxis to go around the city. 

Antalya has excellent public transport, and you can take a bus, tram, or a dolmus (minibus) to reach your desired destination. Public transport is also the most convenient way to get around Antalya during peak season, as you don’t have to worry about parking.

Like any bigger city, Antalya also offers bike rental, and you can rent a bike for as low as $0.5 for a few hours. We found one bike rental spot at the Konyaalti beach, and we’re sure there’s plenty around the major spots of the city.

How many days in Antalya?

One or two full days in Antalya is enough to see the city’s main highlights. However, if you plan to base yourself in Antalya and explore some fantastic towns and nature spots, count on spending at least four or five days here. Everything more than that is perfect if you also want to relax a bit.

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Costs of traveling in Antalya

On average, a budget traveler can expect to spend around $500-$700 USD for a week in Antalya. This includes accommodation, meals, transportation, and activities.

Check our table to get an idea of prices for traveling in Antalya.

Hotel: 60 – 250 USDCheck availability
Car rental: 25 – 70 USDCheck car rental deals
Tours: 20 – 100 USDCheck tours and activities
Food: 10 – 40 USDCheck top-rated restaurants
Transport: 2 – 20 USDCheck transportation options
Mobile Data: 5 – 30 USDCheck data options
Average costs of traveling in Antalya, Turkey

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Best time to visit Antalya

Antalya has a Mediterranean climate with hot and dry summers and cool and mild winters. 

Therefore, the ideal time to visit Antalya is in spring, from mid-March to June, and in fall, from mid-September to mid-November, when the temperatures are pleasant, and the area isn’t too busy, like in the peak summer season.

June to September are the hottest months in Antalya, Turkey, and temperatures average from 21 Celsius (the lowest) to 35 Celsius (the highest). It’s the peak season in Antalya, which means the area gets crowded and the prices higher.

Colder weather in Antalya starts in November and lasts till the end of March. January is the coldest month in Antalya.

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We swam at the Konyaalti beach at the end of October, and we’ve heard of many people enjoying the beaches even further into the end of the year, up until January. So, it’s definitely worth visiting Antalya, even in the off-season.

Is it worth visiting? – Personal thoughts

Antalya is absolutely worth visiting! Beautiful beaches, turquoise water, nature, historical attractions, many fun activities, nightlife, shopping, and closeness to other beautiful coastal cities are just some reasons you should visit Antalya. There’s something for everyone.

Unfortunately, we visited Antalya towards the end of our Turkey road trip, so we were already exhausted. Therefore, we didn’t manage to see everything we wanted from Antalya, but we visited all the highlights. And if you’re unlucky like us and only have one good day in Antalya, you can still see a lot in 24 hours.

However, we want to return to see more of Antalya’s surroundings, especially spots around Alanya and Alanya itself. It looks amazing.

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Is Antalya safe?

Antalya is a very safe place and one of the top tourist destinations in Turkey. Many solo travelers, including female solo travelers and families, visit Antalya, so there’s nothing to worry about. Just follow standard safety procedures as you do anywhere else, and you’ll be fine.


Thank you for reading our Antalya Turkey Travel Guide. We hope we helped you plan your trip. If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment below.

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Arijana & Matej
Arijana & Matej

Full-time travelers, photographers, bloggers and travel journalists.

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We're Arijana and Matej, a couple and travel blogging duo from Croatia and Slovenia who thrive while slow-traveling. And we have been doing it for over 4 years.

During and after our travels, we love publishing in-depth, researched and above-all, useful travel guides, full of personal first-hand information on the places we personally visited.

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