Antalya, Turkey: Best Things To Do
Updated: Sep 21, 2022
Antalya is a beautiful city located on the South Coast of Turkey. We were lucky enough to spend 10 days in the city and explore the best things to do in the area. From ancient ruins to unique waterfalls and even hiking, Antalya is a great place to base yourself from when traveling to Turkey. In this blog, we will break down the best things to do in Antalya so you can make use of your precious time in the area.
If you're basing yourself in Antalya for more than a couple days, we highly recommend staying in the Old Town (Kaleici). It has an amazing atmosphere, many historical buildings, and all the amenities tourists need to have a good time. We stayed in the Old Town for our entire stay during our Antalya trip and it was really easy to walk, taxi, or bus to all of the activities mentioned in this article.
Check out our video all about Antalya to get a taste of what it's like there!
Best Things To Do In Antalya
Without further ado, let's jump into the top things to do in Antalya! Since there is such a variety of activities in the area, you can pick and choose which ones fit your travel style best... or do them all like we did!
10. Upper Düden Falls
The 10th best thing to do in Antalya is to visit the upper Düden waterfalls. These falls are an oasis of peace and nature located in the bustling city of Antalya. They are about 10km north of the city center. After paying a small entrance fee, you can see the falls from above, walk in the gorge and even walk in a hidden cave located behind the waterfall.
9. Hike Tünek Tepe (gondola)
Another great thing to do in Antalya is to go on a scenic hike. The Tünek Tepe trail is located right on the outskirts of the city and is about 7km out-and-back. The trail starts across the road from the Tunektepe Gondola and is very easy to follow as it’s basically a dirt road all the way up. It’s pretty steep, so we definitely recommend bringing hiking shoes and hiking poles. We have hiking poles from Glymnis, which are collapsible and affordable! The top of the trail offers a birds-eye view of Antalya as well as the beautiful blue waters and mountains around.
8. Lower Düden Falls
At number 8 we have the Lower Düden Falls. This waterfall is in a different location than the Upper Düden Falls, but both are part of the same underground river. The lower Düden falls are located about 8km to the east of the Old Town, right along the coastline. The water drops about 40m into the sea, creating an impressive sight. You can access the falls free of charge from the Park beside it. However, it’s also possible to observe the falls from a boat out at sea.
7. Watch the sunset
The 7th best thing to do in Antalya is to watch the sunset. With its year-round good weather, Antalya is the perfect place to see the sun go down. There are many places around the city that offer breathtaking views of both the ocean and the mountains. Our favorite ones are the the Old Town Harbour and Atatürk Park.
6. Aspendos Theatre
At number 6 we have the ancient city of Aspendos, which is home to the best-preserved Roman theatre in the Mediterranean. It’s located about 40km to the east of Antalya and is best reached by car or tour bus. The theatre is still in use today and is mainly used for concerts and ballets during the summer months. The theatre, which was built in the 2nd Century, could fit an audience of between 15,000 and 20,000. However, Aspendos is more than just the theatre. You’ll also find ancient ruins of the city, such as an arena, basilica, aqueducts, temples and streets. Get an audio guide at the entrance and learn all about it!
5. Kursunlu Waterfall
The Kursunlu waterfall ranks number 5 in Antalya because of its unique color and lush nature around it. It is located about 22km to the north of Antalya, but it feels much further from the city. The area consists of waterfalls connecting 7 ponds and a backdrop of lush pine trees. There is a short hiking trail where you’ll be able to see its water flowing downhill, and a charming cafe for a small coffee or tea break.
4. Perge ruins
The fourth best thing to do in Antalya is to visit the ancient city of Perge, which is located near the Kursunlu Waterfalls. It’s known as one of the most important cities of the Pamphili civilization and is believed to have been built in the 12th to 13th centuries BC. However, Perge saw the rise and fall of many other civilizations, like the Romans. Today, you can see the remains of the city, such as the column lined streets, the necropolis, Roman baths, and Greek and Roman gates. We really enjoyed walking around this archeological site as it feels like you’re truly in a city.
3. Konyaalti Beach
At number 3 we have Konyaalti beach. This is one of the two main beaches of Antalya and located on the western side of the city. The beach itself is made of pebbles instead of sand, with a beach park and numerous bars, cafes, and hotels right beside it. It stretches for nearly 7km, but our favorite part is the eastern end of the beach, right next to the cliffs. It’s a lot quieter and it also has a beautiful viewpoint right on the cliffs above it. Konyaalti Beach is the perfect place to cool off on a hot summer day.
2. Old Town (Kaleici)
The runner-up activity is to visit the old town, which is Antalya’s most picturesque place. You’ll find narrow cobblestone streets, traditional houses, and a charming harbour. But besides that, it’s also the historic heart of Antalya. It’s surrounded by old city walls and home to many ancient sites, such as Hadrian’s Gate and the Broken Minaret. The best way to learn about the history of the Old Town and other things to do is to join a free walking tour. You can find the details in the description below.
1. Termessos ruins
The best thing to do in Antalya in our opinion is to visit the nearby Termessos Ruins. Termessos is located in the Taurus Mountains, about 45 mins outside of Antalya. It’s not only one of the best-preserved ancient cities in Turkey, but it’s also concealed by pine forests and a mountain backdrop. This makes for a more impressive atmosphere than any of the other ancient cities. No excavation work has been done yet, which assures a more real and wild experience. It takes a few hours to walk around and we recommend going on a day tour with a guide, as there aren’t any information boards at the site itself.
Things We Learned When Visiting Antalya
As you can tell by our top 10 list of things to do in Antalya, there is a huge variety of activities in this beautiful place. We had no idea what to expect when we arrived in Antalya and were pleasantly surprised by what it had to offer. Here are some top things we learned when visiting Antalya, in case they help you when visiting the area.
The people are very friendly here.
In the past, many tourists stayed in the resorts instead of the city center. However, the historic downtown has a lot to offer and it's a great place to stay.
It's best to rent a car if you want to visit the nearby ruins and waterfalls because there is no public transportation there.
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More Helpful Info About Antalya, Turkey
If you still need more information about things to do in Antalya, make sure to check out these other great articles below:
Top things to do in Antalya by Nomad Addition
15 best things to do in Antalya by The Crazy Tourist
25 top-rated attractions in Antalya by Antalya Tourism
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