Antalya, the Turkey, is one of the most popular holiday destinations for beach lovers worldwide. The city is known for its stark contrast from old towns representing bygone areas to hip beaches that will make you a beachy baby to mighty mountains with beautiful waterfalls; Antalya has everything to offer and more. Turkey, in general, has been in the news for the last few years because of its picture-perfect touristic opportunities. Hence, we also have Turkey Guide for you to plan your trip. If you are in Turkey, include Antalya once you read this Antalya Travel Guide after Istanbul in your travel.
If you are a first-timer, a budget vacationer, or a solo traveller, 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
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 like to sit back and relax because of the beaches’ calmness. 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. 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 in 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 an excellent time to visit because the weather is cold but not too hard that you can’t swim or have fun in the water.
RECOMMENDED BUDGET FOR ANTALYA TRAVEL GUIDE
During COVID, travellers’ budget can be a lot less because various hotels, hostels, and other places offer a discount to sustain their business. In any case, if you are under a budget, Antalya isn’t exactly expensive either. You can quickly 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.
Generally, Lira, Dollar, and Euro are widely accepted in Antalya and Turkey. If you are on a budget, you should reserve $20 or around 100 lire daily for Antalya. You can get a little lower or even more depending on what accommodation you book and aren’t eating from expensive restaurants.
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 permanently 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 want to save even more money, you can couch surf with the locals, so you not only know about them and what their city has to offer but also save money all the while.
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 say this place has every marvel the world offers 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 see them all accordingly:
The Old Town – Kaleci
Kaleci is an old town which still takes you back to ancient times with its raw and regal charm. The old historical time can be understood through its meaning, ‘the inner castle’. It is surrounded by two walls, which have now fallen. It is a major tourist attraction because it is a Roman Harbor now renovated into a modern town. Visiting Hadrian Gate to get a gist of old times would be best. Another reason for its popularity is cheap accommodation, so you should check it out.
Duden Waterfalls are another reason people love and visit Antalya. They are a group of waterfalls only 12km from the central city formed by 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 tourists climb down the spiral staircase leading to the cave behind the waterfalls for majestic views. You can also take a boat to make the best 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 an area of 7000 m². It has over 5000 works of art exhibited, some going back a million years. The artefacts inside the museum are just as quickly 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. Boat tours from the location to many others are available for tourists. You can also easily find the yachts and small boats of the tourists stationed here. If you are not in the mood for a tour, you can sit by the harbour and experience 150 years by sitting at the nearby restaurants, bars, shops, etc.
A definite visit! It is one of the largest underwater aquariums, not just in Turkey but in the world as well. You will enjoy visiting it and gawking over the marvel we call aquatic life. The amphibian life in all its glory is worth witnessing.
The Antalya Saat Kulesi is a 19th-century 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.
Antalya Bazaar is your place if you are in the mood for shopping or just looking around the traditional craft, especially jewellery. Like Grand Bazaar, Antalya Bazaar, with all its old-school charm, should be a must on your list, just like the Antalya Travel Guide, because you will love it.
Hidrik Kulesi – The Old Stone Tower
Hidrik Kulesi translates to the Old Stone Tower in English 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 building. Historians still try to find out the purpose of its construction, with the common belief that it was a tomb of a great leader of that time. In any case, you will love the old feel you get when visiting it.
Panoramic Elevator of Antalya
Now some time to gawk over the beautiful city of Antalya by the modern creation of humanity. This elevator is perfect if you want to save time, take a shortcut from the harbour to Republic Square, and vice versa or go anywhere. 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?
You can quickly 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 even cover long distances. Antalya also has a transport system similar to Istanbul, which means you get a network of trams, subways, and metros to move you around the city.
You don’t need to hire private transport or take cabs around the city because public transportation will efficiently cover all the areas and be comfortable. You should rent a car or driver if you plan to leave 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, it would be best if you ate from roadside cafes and not from expensive eateries, especially not the ones you see when you visit tourist attractions.
Eating street food and roadside cafes will be cheap and 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. Do not forget to try out the seafood in Antalya, which is what the city is known for. I am sure you can go out of the budget at least once in four days.
Article updated on march 21, 2023