Antalya is the largest city on the Turkish Mediterranean coast, and is one of the hubs of the so-called Turkish Riviera.Having entered the scene in 150 BC as Attalia, named after its founder, Attalos II, king of Pergamon, Antalya has ever attracted a wide array of travellers, including Paul the Apostle, and Ibn Battuta among others. Antalya had replaced Phaselis beautiful ruins of which now lie to south of the city, between Kemer and Olympos as the main harbour of the surrounding region during the reign of Seljuks, in early 1200s, but the lack of a large hinterland (or, rather, lack of good connections with its mountainous hinterland) meant for much of its history ever since that it was a provincial coastal town, albeit with a multicultural community of Muslims, Christians, and Jews. As the centre of a region with beautiful beaches, verdant mountains, and a mind blowing number of ancient ruins, the tourism investments started in 1970s, which changed the fate of the city considerably. However, as most of the visitors (make no mistake) they are in the range of millions annually) to the region are actually on “all-inclusive” vacation packages nowadays, they are immediately taken from the airport to the huge resorts lining the coastline of hundreds of kilometres, where they stay until the end of their holidays except perhaps a raid or two to the nearest and the most popular attractions, so Antalya itself, especially the old town (Kaleici), is more of an independent traveller destination, where you will meet the other travellers of a similar mind, and the locals.

Get in
Antalya is the closest airport, served by inexpensive flights from Istanbul. (As low as $50, early booking is also available for lower prices).

By plane
Being 10 km from the city from Antalya, Antalya Airport caters for the charter flights full of holiday makers. Airlines that serve Antalya include: SunExpress  (dozens of flights from all over Europe), (low cost and charters from Germany, Netherlands, France and Denmark), Turkish Airlines  (plenty of flights from Ankara and Istanbul), Aeroflot (daily flights from Moscow), Ukraine International Airlines (several charter flights a week from Kiev) to Antalya.

The new airport Gazipasa, Alanya airport opened up in 2012 and is based near Alanya, Antalya. It is a large investment by the Turkish government to relieve some of the pressure from tourist traffic through the main Antalya airport.

As of March 2011, a taxi ride between the airport and the city centre will set you back € 18 during the day. You can also prefer transfer companies in order to avoid any scam. Other, more wallet-friendly options for the airport transportation include: Havas buses can be used which are less expensive but more frequent, and they are departing on the hour from “Güllük PTT”. There are public buses from the airport  which leave on the half hour. You need to purchase a contactless payment card at the bus driver, To catch the public bus from the International Terminal you have to go to the domestic terminal (300m, just turn right when you leave the International Terminal), there is a small blue “D” sign next to a larger ficus tree. The blue “D” sign next to the taxi stand in front of the International Terminal won’t get you anywhere; waiting there usually attracts taxi drivers.

By bus
The Turkish bus system is comprehensive and you can get about anywhere from anywhere. Better spend a few more liras and you will have an unforgettable journey. Ulusoy has buses with seats that resemble business class in airplanes. There are also other bus companies, including Akdeniz, Kamil Koc, Pamukkale, Metro selling bus tickets of  and other seventy bus firms

The terminal is separated in two buildings. The larger building obviously houses the long distance bus routes, and the smaller building to the left (west) serves for shorter distance routes including Serik, Manavgat, Side, and Fethiye.

Fares are low. Simply show up at the bus station (“otogar”) and announce your destination. From most cities, there are an overnight bus options (with Antalya). There are regular buses destined for Antalya that run along the coastal roads and stop at tourist towns such as Kas and Fethiye.

By boat
Most travelers arrive in Marmaris from Rhodes, Greece, then bus it overland. You can also take a ferry from Kastellorizo, a tiny Greek island just off the Turkish fishing village of Kas.

By train
The nearest train station is in Burdur, 122 km north. Although Turkish State Railways (TCDD) ceased to operate direct passenger trains to Burdur from Istanbul, you can still buy a ticket for Pamukkale Express, which has sleeper berths as well as a coach car. You should get off the train in Dinar station and transfer to the connecting bus provided by TCDD (no extra payment other than your train ticket). Once in Burdur, all you need is to catch a minibus for Antalya, which takes one and a half hour. All this may seem a bit of a hassle, but it is still an option if you are on a tight budget, keen on reducing your carbon footprint or hold an Inter Rail pass.

The Pamukkale Express is NOT operating as of April 2009 and it is unclear when or if it will resume service.

Get around
Antalya offers a variety of public transportation, such as public buses, trams, mini-buses, taxi cabs and dolmus. There is a system to the letters that precede the route numbers on the signs posted in the front fo the buses:

A – Aksu, which is a town to the east
C – Çarşı
D – Dösemealtı
F – Tıp Fakültesi
K – Konyaaltı Beach, to the west of the town centre
L – Lara Beach, to the southeast of the town centre
M – Masadağı
T – Terminal
U – Uncalı
V – Varsak
For example, when a bus has destination number as AF04, it runs between Aksu and Tıp Fakültesi.

Antalya Transportation System also offers alternative method for mobile device users. The system uses a QR code. It is possible to logon to this website link and use your device as payment method. The website has English and Russian versions. You can charge your deposit by credit card and benefit from the advantage of paying less if you transfer to another bus or tram. You don’t need an internet connection, all you need to do is to save the QR code to your gallery.

By bus
In Antalya, buses pass from anywhere to any destination in the city. Fares are low and most buses offer air-conditioning and TV even for short routes. To travel to remote places you may need to travel to the bus terminal first. The bus terminal has its own buses with distinctive blue stripes. As of 2011 bus terminal to city to airport travel (Bus 202, “Terminal-Otogar”) is possible every 30 min. There is also Bus 600 which runs from the Otogar to Konyaaltı Beach, then through the town centre towards Aksu. The closest bus stops to the Old Town would be on Ali Çentinkaya Cd. which is a few minutes of walking from the Old Town.

By dolmus
Dolmus literally means “filled up”. Dolmus is a large cab, a station wagon, a regular taxi or a minibus that travels a certain route. Most major public transportation stations have a dolmus station, where you just take a seat in the dolmus that travels your desired route. In Antalya dolmus does not wait until it fills up. Instead, it is scheduled. However, if empty dolmus will move slowly hoping to find more passenger. Still it has to abide its schedule and cannot stall much.

By taxi
There are taxi stands all over the city where the drivers have their base and tea pot. Each taxi is metered and there are two different rates. After midnight (24:00) till morning (06:00) it will cost 50% more than the daytime fare. For popular destinations there are price lists showing the rate in Euro.

You can also negotiate with any taxi driver to be your private tour guide. You also have to pay the gas money. This option could be quite expensive but if you have the money, it is worth it!.Besides,you can make pre-booking Antalya airport transfers Antalya airport transfers by private taxi companies.

By tram
The (historic) tramway has been donated by the German city of Nuremberg and connects the western Konyaalti Beach and Antalya Museum to the eastern part of the city center. It runs all 30 min. in either direction. Tramway can be used for sightseeing as it passes most beautiful places of the city center.

The new tram system (“AntRay”) currently (04/2011) consists of one line, serving the route Fatih-Otogar-Muratpasa-Ismetpasa-Meydan every 7min during the day. Trams are comfortable, air conditioned and feature WiFi, although a Turkish cell phone number is needed to register for the WiFi. To get to the Kaleici or to the interconnection with the historic tram line, get off at Ismetpasa station. Tickets can be obtained at the stores around the stations or at specific AntRay-counters (e.g., at the Otogar). It is possible to pay via the Antalya contactless public transport card; these cards can be recharged at vending machines near the tram stops (at Kaleici, for example). Vending machines speak Turkish and English. If you’re unsure, just ask the helpful station guards.

By car rental
Car rental is available in the bus terminal, air port and city center. It is advised not to use car to reach city center (specially Cumhuriyet, Atatürk, Isiklar streets, Sarampol street and old city), as finding a car park and the way people drive (sometimes you feel like you are in the race tracks) might be difficult. Be sure to abide non-parking restrictions, the municipality is very strict about it. There are destination signs on roads to help travelers. Also most of the younger locals know English will be pleased to help about your destination. You can also obtain city map from tourist information desks in the city center.

By bicycle
Using bicycle in crowded roads might be dangerous and tiresome(especially in summer as the temperature hits high 40’s at noon (100F-120F). However, there are a few bicycle-only roads passing beside the sea having incredible views.

See                                                                                                                                                                          Hadrian’s Gate, one of the gates on the walls of the old city of Antalya (Kaleici)
Antalya is rich in history and art.

Kaleici The old quarter
Kaleici, has narrow, winding streets enclosed in ancient city walls, which now protect the peaceful quarter from the noise of the concrete metropolis of a million people. The northern part (Selçuk and Tuzcular sections) of Kaleici is mostly touristy shops and restaurants lining the narrow maze like streets. The Kilincarslan section is a little more quiet and still charming. Although there are other entrances, it is best to enter and exit the old quarter from charming Hadrianus Gate, built by the Roman emperor Hadrianus as the entrance arch to the city. Hadrian Gate will lead you to Kilincarslan district.

Fluted Minaret Yivli Minare – In this area, you can see the famous 125 feet tall fluted minaret and the mosque. Nearby is an old market building with an interesting entrance, and a ruined gate or two.
Clock Tower area Saat Kulesi – Ottoman-era clock tower and 18th century Paşa Camii mosque.
Fortified Roman port Yat Limanı – A beautiful harbour surrounded by town walls built during the Roman Era. Nearby is the Iskele Camii mosque.
Broken Minaret Mosque Kesik Minare – beautiful ruins of an old Roman temple, which eventually was converted into a Christian church and finally a mosque.
Hıdırlık Tower Hıdırlık Kulesi – a tower on the edge of the town walls with scenic views of the marina and the harbour.
Atatürk’s Home Atatürk Evi (just outside the Kilincarslan district, walk to Karaalioglu Park along Atatürk Cd.) – house where the first president of Turkey stayed at during his visits in Antalya.
Konyaaltı Beach (West of town)
Aqualand, which is a large complex of waterpark and beach park. (2013-08-08: Opening hours where 10:00-17:00  information that they don’t display on their homepage)
Migros MMM – a large shopping centre with a traditional American-style mall food court lined with American fast food chain restaurants as well as some Turkish restaurants.
Antalya Aquarium – boasts the world’s largest tunnel aquarium.
Aktur Lunapark Antalya – a fairground with various rides
Lara Beach (East of Town)
TerraCity – a huge shopping mall.
North of city
Antalya Zoo and Nature Park – 400 acres of Zoo, accessible by taking the tram to the last stop.
Further out of town[edit]
Remember that you do not necessarily have to go to the Otogar to get on these buses. They can be hailed anywhere along the route. Check the bus map to see where the routes run.

Perge ruins – (buses heading to Aksu can drop you off at the road leading to Perge) a fantastic Roman city ruins, with a hippodrome, theatre still intact. The South Bathhouses helps very well to create good imagination of what it looked like in the era. You can now take the tram heading to EXPO which will drop you at Aksu.
Düden Falls – it is a waterfall off the cliffs southeast of the town. You can have the option to take a boat for a two hours cruise to view the falls and swim, or take the dolmus # VC30 from Sarampol to the last stop.
Aspendos – a beautiful intact theatre from the Roman time. It is possible to take a ride with Serik Koop bus from the Otogar to Serik, where you will change buses to local bus number 10 for Aspendos which depart on the 55th minute of the hour. It is about 4 to 5 hours roundtrip. It definitely can be combined with a stop at Perge, which is on the same route.
Side – an ancient Roman city near Manavgat.
Termessos – an ancient city ruins in a nature setting (part of a nature park). One can take the high-road Fethiye Seyahat bus and ask to be dropped off at the intersection for Termessos. You have the option to take a taxi, look for a lift or walk the 9 km up the steep road to the actual site.
Demre/Myra – take a low-road route bus with Fethiye Sahayat bus and get off at Demre. At Demre, you can see ancient Lycian ruins with tombs and Myra is also the home of St. Nicholas, or “Santa Claus.”

Most of Antalya’s historic buildings can be found along the narrow, winding streets of Kaleiçi, the old quarter. Historical, architectural and archaeological sites of note include: Yivli Minaret, Karatay Medresesi, Hıdırlık Tower, Ahi Yusuf Mescidi, Iskele Mosque, Murat Paşa Mosque, Tekeli Mehmet Paşa Mosque, Balibey Mosque, Musellim Mosque, Seyh Sinan Efendi Mosque, Hadrian Arch, and the Clock Tower. Many structures date back to the Hellenistic era. Also The Antalya Museum has a notable archaeology collection.

Walk around and chill at Karaalıoğlu Park or observe fishermen at lively Yacht Harbour
Shop at great malls; Terracity, 5M Migros, Özdilek and Deepo Outlet Center.
The hill of Tünektepe, with a height of 618 m/2009 ft, west of the city has a splendid panorama of Antalya. On the top of it, there is a hotel, a rotating restaurant, and a nightclub, although the club is mostly open for private parties only.
You can take a short scenic cruise on the Mediterranean from the boats anchored in the harbor. Assume that the right price is about half of the first price you are offered. Don’t believe their assurances that the boat is leaving right away–the boat will leave when the owners think there is no reasonable chance that more passengers can be persuaded to board. Morning cruises tend to be calmer than afternoon cruises.

In Belek which is 45 km’s from Antalya city center you can enjoy playing golf as this is Turkey’s golf center with more than 30 well organised golf courses. Lara Golf Club, is a good option as there is no membership required and they do have a nice spa as well.

The usual souvenirs are kilims, blue eyes, fake designer clothing, shoes, aromatic herbs, waterpipes and more.

If you feel the need to visit a modern shopping mall, Terra City (which is on the way to Lara) and Mark Antalya (close to the old town) do have all of the international designer shops you could wish for. In Terra City, here is even a power boat dealer.

Pharmacies sell most prescription drugs completely legal just over the counter and at low prices. A wide array of generics (drugs containing the same agent as a brand medicine, but from less known companies) is also available. Best-sellers include Viagra, Prozac, Ventolin, Xenical, various contraceptive pills and antibiotics.

A word of caution
The export of antiques or objects considered so is strictly forbidden and will cause a lot of problems not to say hefty fines to those caught when leaving the country. Possession and possibly even commerce in Turkey is legal – just the export is banned. Be on your guard and don’t believe sellers who may try to convince you of the opposite. Also, customs back home target more and more faked goods such as video, CDs, shoes, watches and the like. The odds of being caught are minimal, but you should know that you are moving on illegal terrain.

Tudors bar (kaleici): Women are warned to steer clear of this bar. The ownership is very strict on clothing and will throw out any woman that does not dress conservatively. Do not be confused by the prostitutes that do frequent the bar. Better bars are to be found outside of Kaleici, in Lara or Konyalti.

Food is extemely cheap, and good. Full meals will cost you about 5 to 11 US Dollars. Service is amazing, and only matched by its genuine friendliness. Antalya has good seafood restaurants as well. One caveat to be aware of is to make sure the quoted price is the same as the price written on the menu.

Du Bastion Fine Dining Restaurant, Barbaros mah. Hesapçı sok. No:30 Kaleici/ Antalya, ☎ + 90 (0) 242 247 5676 (, fax: + 90 (0) 242 248 5074), [1]. 12:00-01:00. A sophisticated dining experience, great culinary classics, exciting creations and expertly designed menus reflecting the freshest seasonal ingredients. The extensive menu covers French and Mediterranean dishes, and provides for vegetarians, and includes fine wines.
Alp Paşa Restaurant, Barbaros mah. Hesapçı sok. No:31 Kaleici/ Antalya, ☎ + 90 (0) 242 247 5676 (, fax: + 90 (0) 242 248 5074), [2]. 12:00-01:00. Offers Ottoman and Turkish flaovurs, open throughout the year, for a nostalgic, candlelit meal beside the fireplace during winter or by the pool in summer season and accompanied with live piano music.
Gazetta Brasserie & Bar, Barbaros mah. Hesapçı sok. No:32 Kaleici/ Antalya, ☎ + 90 (0) 242 247 5676 (, fax: + 90 (0) 242 248 5074), [3]. 12:00-01:00. A mouth-watering Italian Restaurant. Delicious pizzas from a wood-fired oven, and other Mediterranean delights.
MCYörüks, Atatürk Street 68 (Located between Işıklar and Karaoğlan Park). A middle class semi-casual restaurant located in City Center serving dishes and alcoholic/non-alcoholic drinks from Western, Islamic and Turkish world as well as fast food with live music every evening and night.Prices are cheap and no more than 10 Euros per person for a full meal.
Hakan Usta Baklavalari, Antalya Bulvarı Yanyolu No:28 Kanal Mh., 07980 Antalya, Turkey ‎. Excellent shop for baklava while waiting for your bus at the Antalya otogar. From the otogar head towards the tramvay by taking the tunnel away from the station. Continue past the tramvay entrance towards the exit labelled ‘Kanal Mahallesi’. Follow the steps up out of the tunnel and head north (turn left). Haka Usta will be on your right.
Kaleici Corbacisi, Kilincarslan Mah. Yeni Kapi Sok, No: 17-17/A, Kaleici ANTALYA, ☎ + 90 (0) 242 244 78 11. 5 – 7tl lentil soup, fried rice etc. good food, excellent value, family restaurant.
Seraser Fine Dining Restaurant, Tuzcular mah. Karanlik sok. No:18 Kaleici/ Antalya, ☎ + 90 (0) 242 247 6015 (, fax: + 90 (0) 242 241 1981), [4]. 15:00-01:00.

Antalya has a lively nightlife in summer. Options include bars with nargile (water pipe), games, live music and sitting around, discotheques with glamorous visitors, etc. On Konyaalti’s Beach Park one club follows the next. Some of traditional houses of Kaleici (Old City) has been turned into bars, in which a bottle of ‘Efes’ beer. Their gardens shaded by trees offer a nice escape with a beer from the peak of summer heat. Raki is a traditional alcoholic beverage that tastes like licorice. Make sure you do not drink it fast otherwise you will be out quickly.

You can divide Antalya into two main areas (as far as tourists are concerned). The Old Town (Kaleici), as its name implies, is full of character and has beautifully restored buildings with small guest houses and more evidently luxury boutique hotels. Lara to the east of the city has many 4/5 star beach hotels that cater for the all inclusive holiday market. Both are good options, depending on what you are looking for. Of course, there are very good hotels outside of these areas, but not in the density that Old Town/Lara have.

Old Town/Kaleiçi
You can just stroll around (with luggage) and you won’t have to wait for long until you’ll be offered ‘Pansiyon’ (Hostel) accommodation. Almost every second house in the Old Town is a small hotel (many of which are of very high standard, with small swimming pools and smart restaurants). A couple of years ago summers used to be packed but those days seem to be gone. The big share of visitors to this region are package tourists being channelled through ‘all inclusive’ programs outside the city. The going rate for a double room with en-suite is TRY 20-35 per night/room.

White Garden Hotel / Pansiyon, Kaleiçi, Hesapçı Geçidi 9, ☎ 0242-241 91 15, 0242-247 41 66, . Simple, clean and cheap hotel in the old town offers friendly service and good Turkish breakfast.
Kale’s Homestay, Kaleiçi, Hıdırlık Sokak 10, ☎ 0531-282 69 32, . Cheap and private accommodation in the old town.
Terra Anatolia House / Pansiyon, Kaleiçi, Hesapçı Geçidi 5, ☎ 0242-244 37 35, . This is a bed & breakfast type small hotel in the old city area of Antalya. 25 Euro.
Sibel / Pansiyon, Kaleiçi, Fırın Sok. 30, ☎ 0242-241 13 16. checkin: 21 2 2014; checkout: 22 2 2014. Very nice hotel owned by a warmhearted French woman who also speaks German and Turkish. Rooms have aircon, satellite TV and private bathrooms. It is quiet at night and the breakfast is delicious. 25 Euro.
Hotel Blue Sea Garden, ☎ 2422488213, [8]. Lovely hotel with garden restaurant with a sea view, in the old town. Friendly service and great breakfast. Strong wifi and fluent English spoken.


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