Antalya, Turkey is one of the most popular holiday destinations for beach lovers from around the world. Turkey, in general, has been in the news for the last few years because of its picture-perfect touristic opportunities. Hence, we do have Turkey Guide for you to plan your trip as well. If you are in Turkey, be sure to include Antalya once you read this, Antalya Travel Guide, after Istanbul in your travel. The city is known for its stark contrast from old towns representing bygone areas to hip beaches that will definitely make you a beachy baby to mighty mountains with beautiful waterfalls, Antalya has everything to offer and more.
If you are a first-timer, a budget vacationer, or a solo traveler this Antalya Travel Guide for 2021 and beyond is what you need to read to plan a perfect holiday which is equal parts fun and relaxing at the same time:
DURATION AND THE BEST TIME TO VISIT ANTALYA
Unlike Istanbul, Antalya is a place where you sit back and relax. Even when you are having fun, it is more of destressing and letting yourself go. When in Istanbul you just want to be on your feet and see more and more because things never end there, but in Antalya, you would want to sit back and relax because of the calmness surrounding the beaches. Hence, I recommend you keep a maximum of 4 days if you have a timeline to follow, otherwise, you can do more or less.
Coming to the weather, the best time to visit Antalya is definitely April. It is the perfect weather to get a suntan at the beach without feeling like you are being baked or can’t stand it anymore. After April, September to mid-October is also a good time to visit because the weather is cold but not too cold that you can’t swim or have fun in the water.
RECOMMENDED BUDGET FOR ANTALYA TRAVEL GUIDE
During the COVID times, the budget for travelers can be a lot less because various hotels, hostels, and other places are offering a discount to sustain their business. In any case, if you are under a budget, Antalya isn’t exactly expensive either. You can easily get around in a backpacker’s budget if you know how to spend and where to look to find cheap items. Moreover, Antalya isn’t exactly expensive either.
If you are on a budget, you should reserve $20 or around 100 lira per day for Antalya. You can get a little lower or even more depending on what accommodation you are booking for yourself and aren’t eating from expensive restaurants. In Antalya and Turkey in general, Lira, Dollar, and Euros are all accepted widely.
WHERE TO STAY?
If you are looking for cheap accommodation in the most happening town, the best bet is Kaleci. It is the old town but is always inhabited by party spirits, and you can get accommodation here for as cheap as $10 a day. I am sure, you can get a hostel for even less if you look around properly and book the dates in advance.
If you are looking to save even more money, you can couchsurf with the local so you not only get to know about them and what their city has to offer but save money all the while as well.
THINGS TO SEE AND DO IN ANTALYA
Antalya is a dream destination. There is a lot to see and do. The best thing about this city is the contrast it offers – there are serene beaches, there are historic towns, there is nightlife, and there is beautiful nature that will sweep you off your feet. Let’s just say, this place has every marvel the world has to offer just within one city. So, let’s look at all the places you can visit. Please keep in mind that the list is not numbered or rated, so you should visit them all accordingly:
The Old Town – Kaleci
Kaleci is an old town, which still takes you back to the old times with its raw and regal charm. The old historical time can be understood through its meaning, which is ‘the inner castle’. It is surrounded by two walls, which have now fallen. It is one of the major tourist attractions because of being a Roman Harbor now renovated into a modern town. You should visit Hadrian Gate to get a gist of old times. Another reason for its popularity is cheap accommodation, so you should definitely check it out.
Duden Waterfalls are another reason people love and visit Antalya. They are a group of waterfalls at a distance of only 12km from the main city formed by the recycled station water. The Upper Duden Waterfalls are a group of small cascades in a quiet park. The lower part of the same waterfall spills directly into the sea from the Antalya cliffs.
Most of the tourists climb down the spiral staircase that leads to the cave behind the waterfalls for majestic views. You can also take a boat to make the best out of the experience.
The Antalya Archeological Museum in Konyaalti is one of the largest museums in the country. It has an open-air gallery and 13 exhibition halls spanning over an area of 7000 m². it has over 5000 works of art exhibited with some of them going back to a million years. The artifacts you see inside the museum are just as easily thousands of years old. You will be allowed to take indoor photos but only without a flash.
The Old Roman Harbor
With one of the ancient port towns of the country, Antalya’s old Roman Harbor is the one you must visit. The boat tours from the location to many others are available for the tourists. You can easily find the yachts and small boats of the tourists stationed here as well. If you are not in the mood for a tour, you can sit by the harbor and get the experience of 150 years by sitting at the nearby restaurants, bars, and shops, etc.
It is one of the largest underwater aquariums, not just in Turkey but in the world as well. You will definitely be enjoying visiting it and will be gawking over the marvel that we call underwater life. The amphibian life in all its glory is worth witnessing. A definite visit!
The Antalya Saat Kulesi is a 19th-century old clock tower with a square shape. It is situated right by the ancient city walls with rough stones all around it that were previously constructed keeping in mind the protection of old Antalya in the times lost. It is still a marvel of the century gone before. If you are a history addict, you will love it.
If you are in the mood of shopping or just looking around the traditional craft especially jewelry, Antalya Bazaar is your place to be. Just like Grand Bazaar, Antalya Bazaar with all its old-school charm should be a must on your list just like it is on the Antalya Travel Guide because you will love it.
Hidrik Kulesi – The Old Stone Tower
Hidrik Kulesi, which translates to the Old Stone Tower in English, is in the old town of Kaleici’s Karaalioglu Park. The tower overlooks the majestic cliffs of Antalya and is set in a small park by the Roman Harbor. With a 14-meter height, the tower’s construction goes back to the 1st or 2nd century AD. You will feel it once you visit the tower. The historians still try to find out the purpose of its construction with the common belief being that it was a tomb of a great leader of that time. In any case, you will love the old feel that you get when you visit it.
Panoramic Elevator of Antalya
Now some time to gawk over the beautiful city of Antalya by the modern creation of mankind. This elevator is perfect if you want to save your time and take a shortcut from the harbor to Republic Square, vice versa or if want to go anywhere from there. The entrance to the elevator is free, and even if you do not have any place to go, the views are worth visiting the elevator for.
HOW TO GO AROUND – ANTALYA TRAVEL GUIDE?
Antalya also has a transport system similar to Istanbul, which means you get a network of trams, subway, and metros to move you around the city. You can easily get an AntalyaKart and keep recharging it for all your trips. The card will cost you as low as $0.5 for a single ride and will even cover long distances.
There is no need for you to hire private transport or take cabs around the city because public transportation will easily cover all the areas and will be comfortable as well. You should rent a car or driver if you plan to go out of the city.
WHAT TO EAT?
If you are planning to travel to Antalya which you are because you are on this Antalya Travel Guide, I am pretty sure you must have already heard about Turkish food and how great it is. The food is super cheap and yummy. The best option would be to eat street food, which is the best in Turkey overall. Otherwise, you should eat from roadside cafes and not from expensive eateries especially not the ones you see when you visit the tourist attractions.
Eating street food and roadside cafes will be cheap and will cost you around 10 to 30 lira or a maximum of $5 otherwise. Most of the time, your breakfast is covered by the dorm or the hotel, so you only have two meals to cover. When in Antalya, do not forget to try out seafood, because this is what the city is known for. You can go out of the budget at least once in four days, I am sure of that.