In the 14th century, the explorer Ibn Batuta, the Muslim counterpart of Marco Polo, wrote that Antalya is one of the most beautiful cities you will ever see. Nowadays, visitors to the city can easily understand this point of view. Antalya - chief city on the eastern part of the Mediterranean coastline - is located on fertile and flat land with high and often snow-covered mountains in the background.
Those who want to make something extra with their holiday and really get acquainted with the history of the city will not be disappointed with Antalya. Karain, a cavern just north of the city, contains remnants of the oldest settlement in Turkey. Romans, Byzantines and “Seldjuks” have always characterized Antalya.
Today, Antalya is a mixture of a modern metropolis and an old-fashioned small town. In Kaleiçi, the visitor will experience the original Antalya. It is an oasis with its small mosques and its muddle of both renovated and ramshackle Ottoman wooden houses from the turn of the century. In the harbour, Yat Liman, there is a multitude of cosy small cafés and bars where you can sit down and relax as you enjoy the boat life in the bay nearby.
Here you will find great exhibitions such as well-preserved Roman statues, enormous sarcophagi and remnants of the theatre in Perge. In a small showcase among the icons, you will find a jawbone that belonged to the Santa Claus, who was born in Patara and buried in Demre. The Museum also contains a collection of folk costumes and very beautiful rugs.
This ribbed minaret was built by Sultan Keykubat in the 13th century, and is the city’s landmark. Nearby you can find a vibrant city center as well as an expressive riding statue of Kemal Atatürk.
Antalya’s biggest outdoor disco with a capacity of around 2000 people. Here you can dance to live music all night long. It also works as a restaurant, so it is wise to book a table early in the evening.
Good to know
The simplest way to get somewhere in Antalya is to use the “dolmus”—minibuses that depart when they are filled up with passengers and stop where you ask them to stop.
There are also ordinary city buses, but they are much more expensive and stop only at the regular places. Buses depart from the bus station Otogar to various parts of Turkey. Different companies offer transportation along the same routes. Make a seat reservation in advance.