Welcome to Antalya!
Known for its astounding views of dramatic scenes of ancient ruins of cities, beautiful coastlines with theatrical cliffs, and crystal blue waters, Antalya, Turkey, is the perfect place for anyone with a camera. You may know the well-known attractions, but a worldwide local knows how to explore the roads less traveled. This is an insider’s guide of some of Antalya’s best hidden spots.
Visiting Antalya will allow you to submerge yourself in its history. It is everywhere! For an example of some notable history, explore the ruins of Aspendos, an ancient city that dates back to 160 A.D. This is a short-day trip away, where you can stand on the stage of a fantastic amphitheater, one of the best-preserved theaters in the world.
Worldwide Local Tip: You must visit Antalya’s old town. Away from the busyness, it is tucked away on the edge of the main harbor. Well preserved, away from the crowds, you can enjoy sitting at street side cafes, sipping on a cappuccino.
Eating in Antalya
For lunch, you can go to an ev yemekleri restaurant (home-cooked food restaurant), and choose four courses from the buffet for around 25 Lira (5 dollars). This usually includes soup, salad, a casserole of meat, chicken, or vegetables, and rice pilaf or pasta.
A trip to Turkey isn’t truly complete until you sample the wine! Taste a wide range of local wines at Karaf Wine Bistro. This restaurant is located in an old Ottoman house that has retained many antique decors from years past. This bistro also organizes a wide range of workshops and tasting events for guests to enjoy. The menu is a fine match for such a special venue with cheese plates, fajitas, quesadillas, steaks, and soft desserts among its choices.
The Antalya Coast
The city is based on the coast, and many Antalya hotels boast phenomenal views. However, you shouldn’t feel bound to just the water. There is some amazing hiking to enjoy that’ll get you out of the city and allow you to explore the wilderness! The Lycian Way is a 335 mi path that begins just outside of Antalya and leads all the way to Fethiye. Now, we don’t expect you to hike the whole thing, but you can take an afternoon to get out of town and enjoy the beautiful coastline of Turkey with better views than you’ll find outside of your flight into Antalya airport.
While you are enjoying all the adventures, you might want to take advantage of the beautiful turquoise coast. Sit on the beach, bask in the sunny Antalya weather, and soak up the view! Visit Konyaalti or Lara Beach. These beaches stretch 4,5 miles from the Beydaglari Mountains, however, the Konyaalti Beach is made up of mostly pebbles rather than sand. You might want to keep this information in mind when you decide which beach to settle on for the day.
Don’t Miss Inönü: Shopping, Snacking, and More!
Take a stroll down Inönü Caddesi. Nicknamed by the locals “Şemsiye Sokak” (Umbrella St), this is a pedestrianized lane with a gloomy arcade to the east of the Dönerciler Çarşısı. The entire street is devoted to kebab shops churning out tasty grilled-meat dishes. Here you can pick up balık (fish), döner (spit-roasted lamb slices) sandwiches, pide (Turkish-style pizza), lahmacun (Arabic-style pizza), or güveç (stew), as well as all the classic kebabs.
Worldwide Local Tip: Zip between the maze of streets in one of the oldest neighborhoods in Antalya, Kaleici. This is a perfect neighborhood to stroll through and see how the locals live and breathe in the simple, antiquated atmosphere.
Bring out your adventurous side and explore a prehistoric cave. The Karain Cave, which is in the city limits of Antalya, is said to date back over 25,000 years. Ruins from Lower and Middle Palaeolithic Eras have been excavated from here. The cave findings include bones, teeth, weapons, etc. Some of the paths in the cave are narrow but all is worth for a peek into the glory of primeval era.
Worldwide Local Tip: Take a dive into the Damlatas Caves. This underrated location was formed mainly of spikes and columns about 15,000 years ago. Interesting patterns of rocks in various colors, protruding from every surface of these caves, make for an adventurous expedition. These caves, according to local belief, have the ability to cure respiratory illnesses and even asthma.
Enjoy Your Stay!
With easy transport from Istanbul to Antalya, there’s no reason not to visit this incredible city. You will love it here for many reasons, including its smell of night-blooming Jasmine, the colorful Bougainvillea blooming year-round, the snow-tipped mountains, and the relaxed atmosphere conducive to plenty of enjoyment. Visit the city as a worldwide local for unmatched access to its amazing sights and fascinating sounds.