There are so many things to do in Antalya; an area so beautiful, that it’s hard to believe it’s real. When you research Turkey, you’ll no doubt see plenty of pictures of this place turn up. It’s one of the best places to visit in Turkey, especially during the summer months, and I believe that it’s one of the most stunning areas of the world; a bold claim, I know.
I lived in Turkey for several years and still visit regularly now. I’m married to a Turkish man and am lucky to have his guidance whenever we go somewhere new. The first time we went sightseeing in Antalya I couldn’t believe we hadn’t been before. I’ve traveled to many places outside of Turkey, but this place is a jaw-dropper and somewhere I’d always return to.
However, it’s important to remember that Antalya City and Antalya province are different. Antalya City is one destination, but Antalya province is like a state, including many other towns and resorts. The good news is that there are so many amazing places to visit in Antalya that you won’t spend a second of your time wondering what to do next.
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Best Things To Do in Antalya
The first thing to know is that Antalya is a big and busy city. That’s why figuring out the best things to do in Antalya is important from the get-go. Out of all the available Antalya attractions—and there are many—you have to think about what calls out to your interests.
The thing that stood out to me was the natural side of the city. Yes, it’s a huge place, but it’s so beautiful and isn’t overly built up. It manages to be modern yet old at the same time, traditional yet functional; it’s quite a feat to achieve. But, I want to help you have the best time possible, so here are 15 of the best things to do when you visit Antalya City:
1. Duden Waterfalls
The fact that there’s a huge, simply stunning waterfall right in the middle of a city is pretty mindblowing. A visit to Duden Waterfalls is one of the coolest things to do in Antalya – it’s low-cost and well worth the experience. You can stand right on the edge and look down as the water cascades and then thunders down into the sea, creating rainbows amidst the fog and foam.
It’s pretty magical, and something you have to do. Duden Waterfalls are easy to get to as they’re on the way to Lara Beach, so you can easily combine a day at the beach with a visit here; it shouldn’t take more than an hour to explore and sit and have a coffee if you wish. You can also take a waterfall tour to visit others in the area. Click here for more details.
2. The Land of Legends Theme Park
One of the best things to do in Antalya for families is to visit the Land of Legends Theme Park. There’s so much to see and do here, you’ll need at least one full day, but you can also stay in the on-site hotel and spend a second day if you choose. There are rides, restaurants, shopping, and shows to enjoy.
If you’re traveling with children, this is one of the best places to visit in Antalya and it should definitely be added to your itinerary. I had a great day here, and even though my husband isn’t one for rides, I did manage to persuade him! However, I would recommend you get your Land of Legends tickets beforehand to avoid the queues. Click here for details.
3. Antalya Old Town/Kaleiçi
There are many things to do in Antalya Old Town, so I recommend you set aside a full day to spend here. The park around the Old Town is really beautiful and is ideal for taking panoramic photographs, but there’s also Hadrian’s Gate, Hidirlik Tower, and the cobbled, winding streets around the town to explore.
This is one of the best free things to do in Antalya, and it offers a great opportunity to get some souvenir shopping, as there are plenty of small shops where you can haggle for your purchases. I took a walking tour and I learned so much – I highly recommend you take one too. Click here for more details.
Address: Selçuk, 07100 Muratpaşa/Antalya
4. Köprülü Canyon National Park
Around an hour’s drive away from the city center you’ll find Köprülü Canyon National Park, one of the most unique things to do in Antalya. I was stunned at the sheer beauty of this entire area, but it’s also a great place to go if you enjoy extreme sports. A whitewater rafting trip is a brilliant idea if you’re looking to test your bravery. Click here to learn more.
I visited this park in the middle of summer, and the shade and depth of the canyon provided great relief from the heat. However, it was particularly busy, so if you don’t enjoy crowds, perhaps visiting around June or September would be a better idea. Despite that, it’s one of the top things to do near Antalya, and it would be a crime to miss it.
Address: Bozyaka, 07550 Manavgat/Antalya
The entire Antalya province is packed with ancient ruins and history to uncover, and that’s something I always enjoy doing. I was really surprised at how many ruins were so close to the city center, and Aspendos is less than 10 minutes away from the Old Town. It’s one of the best places to visit in Antalya if you’re a lover of all things history, like me.
This ancient theater is extremely well preserved, and it’s one of the top tourist attractions in Antalya, dating back to the 5th century BC. Standing at the top and looking down gives quite a powerful feeling, and you can just imagine the hustle and bustle of life back in the day. I highly recommend a visit here; in fact, you can take a full-day tour of the ruins in the area and combine everything into one. Click here for details.
6. Konyaaltı Beach
Konyaaltı Beach is the main beach in Antalya, and it’s stunning – there’s no other word for it. The sea is crystal clear, and the mountainous background is breathtaking. The other plus point is that the beach is especially wide and long; meaning there’s always plenty of space, even when it’s crowded in summer.
Spending some time soaking up the sun and splashing in the Mediterranean is one of the top things to do in Antalya, and there’s no better spot for it than here. You will need to pay for sun loungers and parasols, and prices vary depending on where on the beach you are, so keep this in mind.
You can expect to pay less than 100 Lira ($3.50 USD) for a full day’s usage, which isn’t bad when you consider this beach is one of the best attractions in Antalya, and possibly even Turkey.
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Less than one hour away from the city center you’ll find Termessos, one of the best places for views, hiking, and enjoying history. Dating back to around 333 BC, the views are something else, and on a clear day you can see for miles. I took a hiking tour here, and the entire area blew me away. Click here for more information.
Without a doubt, this is one of the top things to see in Antalya, and you don’t need to be an expert hiker to enjoy it; you just need to have a reasonable level of fitness. I would strongly suggest you wear comfortable shoes and a hat – it can be very hot during the summer months, and there’s very little shade around the ruins and the mountainside. Take plenty of water too.
There are lots of fun things to do in Antalya, but one of the most unique is a visit to Sandland. With new exhibitions every year, you can see sand sculptures by talented artists from across the globe here. I have to say, I was skeptical at first, but once I got there, I was glued. It’s a really interesting place and there are lots of different themes to check out.
Sandland is between Antalya and Lara Beach, so it’s really easy to visit and you can pair it with a little beach time too. It’s one of the most interesting places to visit near Antalya, and it’s a great option for a fun family day out. Click here for ticket details.
9. Selfie Park
I stumbled upon Selfie Park by accident, but it was such a super day, and even if you’re not a big selfie fan, you’ll probably find yourself snapping away. We managed to lose three hours, just taking photographs, but the time went so fast because it was so much fun – I can’t remember laughing that much in ages.
If you’re looking for things to do to beat the heat for a few hours and do something a little different, I’d highly recommend this place. It’s really unique, and if you have a birthday while you’re there, you can book a special package and have some even better photos to share on your social media. Click here for ticket details.
10. Antalya Archaeology Museum
Antalya Archaeology Museum is one of the best museums I’ve ever been to, and I found it refreshing to find something so historic and educational in the middle of a place famed for beach time. This is one of the best things to do in Antalya if you’re a history fan, and the exhibits are really easy to follow; making it great for families too.
There are so many historical activities to do in Antalya, it’s is an open-air museum in so many ways, but a few hours spent in this museum will teach you a lot about days gone by. I loved the Emperor’s Hall, dedicated to Roman emperors, and the Sarcophagi Hall the most.
11. TerraCity Shopping Mall
It’s very easy to lose a few hours in TerraCity; not only because it’s so big, but also because it’s home to a surprising amount of things to do inside. For me, this is one of the best things to do in Antalya for couples, because there are some great restaurants where you can enjoy a quiet meal. If you want to try another shopping center, the Mall of Antalya is also good.
Inside the mall, you’ll find all the big names, as well as some local ones. There’s a cinema, food hall, cafes, and lots of designer stores if you want to purchase something particularly special. I’m quite a fan of shopping and enjoyed my trip here; I managed to buy a fair amount, and with the exchange rate, I saved quite a lot on the price back home.
12. Watch a Soccer Match
Soccer is big business in Turkey, and if you get the chance to get a Süper Lig match when you’re in the country, I’d highly recommend you go. There’s a vibrant atmosphere, no matter where you are, and you’ll see visitors of all ages in attendance; making it a fun thing to do for families. Antalyaspor is the big team in this part of the country, and Antalya Stadium is their home ground.
Watching a match is one of the best things to do around Antalya, (if you can get tickets), and you don’t have to be the biggest soccer fan to enjoy the experience. After the match, you’ll see everyone heading to the nearest cafes, bars, and restaurants to (hopefully) celebrate a win – join in and enjoy the extra fun vibe.
13. Perge Ancient City
The Ancient City of Perge is very close to the city center, and it’s one of the most stunning places to see in Antalya. I’ve already mentioned how much I love historical sites, and this one does not disappoint. Originally a Lycian village, Perge grew over time and then fell under Greek and Roman rule.
Along with Aspendos, Perge was an important city during Hellenistic times, and you can still see so much of the original foundations even today. This is another open-air museum where you can just walk around and almost feel the whispers of the past around you.
14. Take a Boat Trip
When the weather is hot, taking a boat trip around the coastline is one of the best things to do in Antalya. In fact, even when it’s not so hot, it’s still a great idea. One of the most popular trips is to Suluada Island – I can honestly say that I’ve never seen water this clear in my life and the trip itself was such a fantastic day out.
Most boat trips also go to Paradise Bay and Waterfall Bay, and lunch is typically included in the price. Click here for tour details.
However, I wouldn’t recommend this full-day trip in July or August. Sure, the sun is beating down with summer vibes, but that same sun is also extremely intense, and a friend of mine was very sick after spending so much time outdoors. I’d advise going in June or September when you can better enjoy the scenery without the risk of extremely high temperatures.
Address: Tour meeting point: Adrasan, 07350 Kumluca/Antalya
15. Jeep Safari
One of my favorite things to do in Antalya is to head off on a Jeep safari tour around the Taurus Mountains. The scenery is jaw-dropping, and the countryside is so calm and serene compared to the hustle and bustle of the city. You’ll also stop for a delicious meal in a local village, which allows you to try traditional cuisine at the same time.
There are indeed lots of things to see in Antalya, but it’s important to head into nature sometimes and take in the wonder of it all. This part of Turkey is supremely beautiful, and while modern-day fun is important, these types of trips show you a different side of the city that you may otherwise miss out on. Click here for tour information.
Address: Tours will pick you up from your hotel
Things To Do in Antalya: FAQs
Antalya is known for its amazing beaches, countless historic ruins, and breathtaking natural landscapes.
Antalya is open all year round, however, most of the main tourist attractions close between November and April. To get the most out of your time, it’s best to visit during the summer season. Be sure to avoid July and August if you don’t enjoy extremely hot temperatures.
Antalya is definitely worth visiting. This area is known for its beauty, and there’s so much to see and do.
Antalya city itself can be enjoyed in roughly five days to a week, however, if you want to go further and explore Antalya province, including Alanya, Side, Manavgat, and Belek, you’ll need around ten days.
Antalya is a safe area to visit. As with any large city, there’s a risk of petty crime, such as pickpocketing, but you simply need to use your common sense as you would anywhere else in the world. Don’t walk with large volumes of cash and avoid flashing valuables.
When you research things to see in Antalya, you’ll quickly realize that there is a lot to add to your list. However, during the summer months, most people flock to the amazing beaches to simply soak up the sun.
Konyaalti Beach is the most famous and biggest beach in Antalya, featuring a stunning mountain backdrop.
Antalya is a great place to try the freshest seafood around, but if you prefer meat, you’ll find countless different types of kebabs to try.
Three days in Antalya will give you an overview of the city, but it won’t allow you to truly explore. A week would be better.
Compared to most other European beach cities, Antalya is fairly low-cost. However, prices have risen over the last couple of years.
Antalya is a large city so there are plenty of opportunities to party – many bars and clubs stay open until the early hours during the summer months. However, you can also find some chilled-out spaces to enjoy cocktails and evening drinks, especially in the Old Town.
Antalya doesn’t exactly have a strip in the traditional sense; however, the Old Town does have many bars, cafes, restaurants, and shops all lined up in a small space. Nightlife and shopping opportunities are rather dotted around the city instead.
Yes, you can drink alcohol in Antalya if you choose to.
Both Antalya and Side are beautiful places to visit, but Antalya is much bigger and has more to offer than Side alone. Side is in Antalya province and is only around one hour’s drive away, so it’s possible to visit both areas in one vacation.
There are so many places to visit in Antalya that it’s essential to have an idea of what you want to see before you go. The first time I went to Antalya, I went without a plan, and I missed out on a few top attractions. This did, however, mean that I had to go back again, which was definitely not a hardship.
If you visit during the summer months, I’d highly recommend hiring a car and heading to some of the other small towns around the province too. There are some amazing beaches in this part of the country, including the famous Kaputaş Beach. But even if you base yourself in Antalya city alone, I guarantee you won’t be bored for one single second.