10 Must See Things in Antalya (Antalya) Turkey

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Lluis Enric Mayans

wikipedia.org, lonelyplanet.com

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Antalya is one of the best known tourist resorts in Turkey, a city full of charm, with palm tree lined avenues and a beautiful marina. Located in the south-west of Turkey, Antalya is characterized by a long Byzantine domination, then passed under the Ottoman reign until 1923, the year of the proclamation of the Turkish Republic.

The city is populated by almost one million inhabitants, and stands on a very steep cliff. Antalya is considered the "Mecca" of Turkish tourism, here in addition to the beaches, there are many attractions that are worth a visit, including the buildings in the historic center, the mosques and natural attractions, such as the wonderful Karaalioglu Park, from which you can admire the view of the entire Gulf of Antalya. Here you are 10 things to see absolutely in Antalya.


  1. Düden waterfalls
  2. The beaches of Antalya
  3. Kesik Minare Mosque
  4. Ancient Termessos ruins
  5. Yivli Minare Mosque
  6. Kaleici neighborhood
  7. Karaalioglu Park
  8. Perge
  9. Köprülü Canyon
  10. Antalya Archaeological Museum
  11. User questions and comments

1 - Düden waterfalls

Located about 10 km from the south-eastern beaches of Antalya, they are characterized by a depression of about 15 m deep and 20 m wide, mainly composed of formations of volcanic origin. The waterfalls are immersed in a wonderful botanical park, and being a place of volcanic origin rich in tuff, stattites and stalagmites proliferate, so much so as to become a destination of excellence for speleologists. There are two main waterfalls, namely the Upper Waterfall and Lower Waterfall, and their waters flow directly into the Mediterranean Sea from the coastal cliffs of Antalya.

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2 - The beaches of Antalya

Thanks to its 604 km long coastline, Antalya is also a perfect destination for sea lovers. Here you can immerse yourself in the wonderful emerald waters from March to November. The beaches of Antalya are mostly rocky, like the beautiful beaches Lara e Konyaalti. In addition to these we point out the beaches Adrasan e Phaselis, known for the ancient ruins and the scenery in which they are located e Patara, one of the few sandy beaches in the area, known for the nesting of Caretta Caretta turtles.

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3 - Kesik Minare Mosque

The suggestive Kesik Minare minaret, or Minareto Troncato, was originally a Roman temple which in the Byzantine era was transformed into a church dedicated to the cult of the Virgin Mary, to then become, on the occasion of the period of Ottoman domination, a mosque in the thirteenth century. Unfortunately, the minaret was seriously damaged by a strong earthquake that undermined its original beauty, so today it has become a place of archaeological importance, surrounded by an interesting neighborhood that attracts many visitors. The minaret is located in the old city, near the center of Antalya.

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  • always open
  • free admission

4 - Ancient Termessos ruins

The city of Termessos, one of the best preserved ancient cities of Turkey, an ancient settlement of the Solimi people, rises along the slopes of Mount Gulluk (about 30 km from Antalya), in Gulluk National Park. Inside the city it is still possible to admire its defensive walls, with the ten towers placed to control the entire city, the cistern used to collect the city's water, the propilon of Hadrian and the temple, a structure dedicated to the Roman emperor Adriano; then the agora, the mausoleum, dug into the living rock on the south-western side of the agora and finally the amphitheater, the most beautiful building in Termessos, with a capacity of 4.200 spectators and built in the Hellenic style, with a semicircular shape, a diameter of 33 m and a height of 13 m.

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  • April - October 9-19; November - March 8-17
  • 5 TL (€ 1,08)

5 - Yivli Minare Mosque

Il symbol of Antalya is the Yivli Minare, the "fluted" minaret erected by Sultan Aladdin Keykubad I at the beginning of the 1373th century, with the adjacent mosque, dating back to , which is still in use today. The minaret is certainly one of the most emblematic places in the city, and is located within the historic city, easily accessible from the city center.
Inside the complex is the Mevlevi Tekke (monastery of the whirling dervishes) which probably dates back to the 1502th century; not far away, towards the west, there are two türbe (tombs), one dated to the end of the th century and the other from . The large square that opens to the west with the statue of Atatürk on horseback is called Cumhuriyet Meydanı.

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  • always open
  • free admission

6 - Kaleici neighborhood

ll historic district of Antalya starts in the main square called Kale Kapısı (fortress gate), featuring the ancient stone clock tower (saat kalesi) and a statue of Attalus II, the founder of the city. To the north is İki Kapılar Hanı, a huge covered bazaar dating from the late 1886th century. Continuing south you can admire the eighteenth-century Tekeli Mehmet Paşa Camii, a beautiful mosque later restored in 1926 and . To the east, in the highest part of Hesapçi Sokak is the monumental Hadriyanüs Kapısı (Gate of Hadrian), built on the occasion of the Roman emperor's visit to Antalya in 130 AD

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7 - Karaalioglu Park

Karaalioglu Park is a quiet and enchanting green area characterized by numerous water features and unusual tropical vegetation, very close to the center of Antalya. The main attraction is represented by the Hidirlik Tower, a Roman structure that dates back almost 2000 years ago.
The rocky cliff is an unmissable stop; from its top you can enjoy an incredible view of the Mediterranean Sea. While walking along the paths it is possible to admire a wide variety of plants and trees and the pond embellished with suggestive fountains. Heading towards the center of the park, you will also find a small playground and an outdoor gym.

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  • always open
  • free admission

8 - Perge

Perge or Perga is an impressive ancient site located in the province of Antalya, a must-see for archeology enthusiasts.
The foundation of the city took place in 1000 BC, about 20 km from the coastal area, while the Roman influence began in 188 BC and the ruins visible today are, for the most part, dating back to this period.
With the fall of the Roman Empire, Perge continued to be inhabited until the Seljuk period, only to be gradually abandoned. Today the city is an archaeological site and a major tourist destination, also thanks to its perfectly preserved ruins which are divided into a theater, a gym, a temple of Artemis and two churches.

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  • Monday to Sunday 9-19
  • 25 TL (€ 5,40)

9 - Köprülü Canyon

Il Koprulu Canyon National Park it is located in a wonderful fertile valley, in the center of many natural beauties. It is one of Longest canyons in Turkey, with its 14 km along the river Koprucay, it is also one of the most popular areas in the country for rafting.
The National Park covers an area of ​​approximately 36.000 hectares, including part of the Koprucay and the ancient city of Selge. In the park is also located the largest Mediterranean cypress forest in Turkey. It is certainly worth a visit both for the many archaeological and geological remains that populate this area, and for the many endemic plants and rare species of animals.

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  • always open
  • Tours and activities: Rafting on the Koprulu canyon

10 - Antalya Archaeological Museum

Il Antalya Archaeological Museum, located about 2 km from the old city, is one of the most famous in Turkey and tells the extraordinary history of Antalya through the artifacts found during archaeological excavations. In the section dedicated to Prehistory there are also testimonies of the Neolithic and the Bronze Age; while the Sculpture section includes a large collection of statues and copies of Hellenistic sculptures, made during the Roman period and found in the renowned site of Perge; then there is the section of the Sarcophagi which collects numerous sarcophagi and steles of particular beauty and the section of the Mosaics, where it is possible to admire the findings of the ancient city of Seleukia and Xanthis.

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  • Monday to Sunday 8,30-17,30
  • 20 TL (€ 4,30)

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