Antalya is one of the most famous cities in Türkiye (Turkey) and for a good reason. It is right on the Mediterranean Sea and has all the history and beauty that Türkiye is known for.
It’s also a great place to go if you’re looking for a cheap holiday that has the most stunning coastline you’ve ever seen!
There are so many things to do in Antalya that narrowing it down to fit your itinerary can be difficult.
Lucky for you, I’ve done it for you.
Things to Do in Antalya – FAQ
Before going into the main topic, I wanted to go through some questions that first-time visitors often have, so make sure to read those before the tourist attractions in Antalya.
How to Get to Antalya?
When traveling from the UK to Antalya it couldn’t be easier. You can book with many budget airlines with direct round trips costing under £100 in the offseason and £200 at peak time. I chose Jet2 to get my cheap flights to Antalya.
Another option with Jet2 is their package deals, taking care of my flights, hotel and transfers in one hit. This included flights from Stansted Airport. I even tried their ‘Indulgent escapes’ offer for the first time, more on that later.
Another option to see more of Turkey is flying into Istanbul and spending a few days there before heading down to Antalya by plane or bus.
Antalya is 100% worth visiting! If you are looking for a cheap place to relax on the beach, learn more about Turkey’s history, and eat incredible food, this is the place you need to go.
There are also lots of things to do in the surrounding area like visiting Side, Ölüdeniz, Belek, and Aspendos.
Antalya is the perfect place to base yourself in Southern Turkey so you can see everything this area has to offer.
The best month to visit Antalya for hot weather is from June to September. However, if you are looking to avoid the crowds then go in April to early June or late September to October. It’s also a fantastic escape or winter holiday to get away from the cold.
The weather in the Summer doesn’t get too hot, the high is around 27°C (80°F) and the winters aren’t too cold the low is around 10°C (50°F).
Best Tours in Antalya
Best Things to do in Antalya – Travel Guide
There are hundreds of things to do in Antalya so if you’re just visiting for a few days then you need to have a well-planned itinerary.
Some of the main things that you can’t miss while in Antalya are the Old Town, beaches, museums, amusement parks, ancient cities, and waterfalls just to name a few.
Visit The Old Town
When in Antalya, you’ve got to explore the Old Town, Kaleiçi. It’s like stepping into a time machine! Imagine wandering through narrow, cobblestone streets, surrounded by buildings that tell stories from Roman, Byzantine, and Ottoman times.
Antalya’s Old Town has been around since 200 BC so the things to see here are truly ancient.
Don’t miss the incredible Hadrian’s Gate, the bazaars with handmade crafts, the most aromatic Turkish coffee, and much more.
Grab a bite in one of those cozy cafes or taverns and treat yourself to some authentic Turkish delights.
You’ll want to make sure that you get here early in the morning (before 10 am) to avoid crowds and have time to explore this part of the city before it gets too busy.
Also, while in Antalya, I recommend signing up for a walking tour in the old town, so that you’ll be with a knowledgeable guide that will show you everything you must see! Plus, it includes a boat trip and a cable car, how’s that for a treat?
This is the Best Tour in Antalya
This is one of the entrances into the Old Town of Antalya and was built in the Roman era around 150 AD. It was named after the Roman emperor Hadrian, who visited Antalya in 130 AD.
The gate has three marble arches and four granite pillars and is a great place to start your day in Old Town.
This large, circular tower is located at the opposite end of the Old Town in the southernmost part near the ocean. It was built in the second century and has been used as a fortification and a lighthouse but was originally built as a military outpost used by the Byzantines.
Today, it’s a place where tourists go learn about Turkish history and get amazing views of the ocean.
Visit the Mosques
The Yivli Minaret Mosque has been around since 1230 and is located right in the centre of the Old Town. It’s known for its large minaret that towers over the Old Town at 38 meters tall.
The Murat Pasha Mosque was commissioned in 1570 and is in the northern part of Old Town. Inside, you will find ancient Turkish calligraphy that covers the interior of the mosque.
Then we have the Kesik Minare Mosque (or the Broken Minare) which was originally built in the 2nd century AD as a Roman temple and in 2021 was converted into a mosque.
Republic Square in Antalya is not just the city’s main hub, but also a vibrant testament to Turkey’s rich history and modern-day culture.
Dominating the square is the majestic Atatürk Monument, an iconic tribute to Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the revered founder of the Republic of Turkey.
The monument, capturing Atatürk mounted on a horse, flanked by a boy and a girl, symbolizes the nation’s youth and hope for the future.
The square itself is a bustling center of activity, surrounded by an eclectic mix of restaurants, cafes, and shopping malls, offering both local and international flavors and styles.
The Old City Marina
Another of the things to do in Antalya is the Old City Marina (or Kaleiçi Yat Limanı). Here you will find beautiful sailboats and yachts from around the world.
There are also plenty of restaurants and cafes that you can choose from that line the marina. This is the perfect place to relax and enjoy the beauty of the harbour while sipping on a delicious Turkish coffee.
Visit the Stunning Beaches
Antalya is a jewel of the Turkish Riviera, and it’s popular for its stunning beaches. Two of the most celebrated beaches here are Konyaalti and Lara Beach.
Each with its unique charm, these beaches are not just about the sun and the sea; they’re a whole experience.
This pebble beach is over 13 kilometres long and has private and public beaches.
If you are looking to rent a sunbed then you can head to one of the many beach clubs that line the shore or you can find a secluded place of your own and set up for a day of swimming and tanning.
This 15km sand beach is famous for its 5-star luxury hotels. If you are looking to just spend the day here, then keep in mind that only 2km of the beach is public.
If you are looking to be pampered while visiting Antalya, then I recommend booking a hotel on Lara Beach.
Land of Legends
Land of Legends is a theme park/hotel that’s located on the outskirts of Antalya. It has won numerous awards for its waterpark and rollercoasters and is a great place to take the family.
Here you will find rides and slides for all ages and levels of thrill seekers. Needless to say, this is one of the things to do in Antalya you can’t miss out on your trip!
Antalya Archaeology Museum
If theme parks aren’t your thing, then head to the Antalya Archaeology Museum. It’s one of Turkey’s largest museums and has 13 expedition halls as well as an open-air gallery.
Some of the most interesting expedition halls include the Natural History Hall, the Hall of Imperial Statues, and the Turkish–Islamic Period Works Hall.
If you travel as a group, I recommend checking out this guided tour of the Archaelogy Museum, Perge, and Aspendos, which is an awesome way to spend the day in Antalya!
Take a Day Trip to Pamukkale
The city of Pamukkale is one of the best day trips from Antalya. The tours from Antalya are very cheap for what you get and they take you to some of the most incredible thermal baths you’ve ever seen!
I personally recommend this particular tour from Antalya, which includes everything you need.
First, you’ll discover the ancient wonders of Hierapolis, a UNESCO World Heritage Site with epic ruins and a rich Greco-Roman past.
Then, be wowed by Pamukkale’s ‘Cotton Castle’ – those white terraces are straight-up magical!
But wait, there’s more! Dip into Cleopatra’s Pool, where you can chill in thermal waters surrounded by ancient ruins. How cool is that?
If that wasn’t enough, they’ve got your lunch sorted with some tasty local grub, and they’ll handle all the logistics – from hotel pick-up to entry tickets.
The catch? This is the most popular day trip from Antalya, and you’ll want to book now to secure your spot!
Visit One of the Many Waterfalls
When you’re in Antalya, don’t miss the epic waterfalls! It’s like stepping into a hidden paradise.
From the beautiful Duden crashing into the sea to the chill vibes at Kursunlu, these spots are perfect for cooling off and snapping some photos.
Trust me, a day chilling by these natural wonders is a total game-changer for your trip.
In case you don’t plan to rent a car or visiting on your own, make sure to check out this day tour to 3 waterfalls in Antalya, including lunch and the entrance fees!
The Duden Waterfall has two sets of falls. There are the Upper Falls and Lower Falls.
The Upper Falls is the smaller of the two at 20 meters, while the Lower Falls is 40 meters and dumps directly into the Mediterranean Sea!
If you only have time to visit one of them, I would recommend visiting the Lower Falls.
The Kursunlu Waterfall is 18 meters tall and is about 20km away from Antalya. This waterfall consists of a series of small waterfalls that pour into 7 ponds. It’s about 2km to get to the falls so be prepared to walk a little.
Although the height of this waterfall is only about 5 meters, the width is an incredible 40 meters. The aqua-blue-coloured water and surrounding scenery make this waterfall unlike any you’ve ever seen.
The falls are about 75km outside of Antalya so it’s best to go with a tour.
Visit the Ancient Roman Sites of Antalya
Next on this list of things to do in Antalya is visiting the ancient Roman sites, and I’m talking about Perge, Aspendos, and Termessos.
First up, Perge Ancient City – it’s like walking through Rome with its cool columns and ruins.
Then, there’s Aspendos with its insanely well-kept Roman theater. Trust me when I say it’s a paradise for history lovers!
And don’t miss Termessos – it’s a bit of a hike, but the views and ruins are totally worth it. Each spot has its own vibe and story – perfect for some epic pics and a taste of the past.
Just like other tourist attractions in Antalya, you can join a day tour to the Ancient Roman Sites, which is the most convenient way to visit. That said, this is a popular tour, so make sure to book now!
Perge Ancient City
This is one of my favourite things to do in Antalya! Perge Ancient City, located just a short distance from Antalya, is a captivating historical site that offers a window into the ancient world.
This once-bustling Roman city is renowned for its well-preserved ruins and remarkable architecture. As you wander through the grand entrance, the Hellenistic Gate, you’re transported back in time.
The ruins of the Agora, the heart of public life, and the Roman Baths, showcasing intricate engineering, are sights to behold. The beautifully preserved Roman theater and the stadium, one of the largest and best-preserved in the region, are testaments to Perge’s cultural significance.
All in all, this is a trip from Antalya that cannot be missed.
Ancient City of Aspendos
The ancient city of Aspendos has the best-preserved Roman theatre in all of Turkey. In 333 B.C. it was conquered by Alexander the Great and then later became part of the Roman Empire.
Regarded as one of the best examples of Roman theatre architecture in the world, the Aspendos Theatre continues to amaze visitors with its stunning design and acoustics
But there’s more to Aspendos than just its theatre. The city’s ruins, including a fascinating aqueduct, offer a glimpse into the daily lives of its inhabitants back in the days.
Visiting Aspendos is like stepping into a page of history, where each stone tells a story of glory, art, and you’ll love visiting as a one-day trip from Antalya.
Visit Termessos Ruins
These ruins are high up in the Antalya mountains at 1,050 meters above sea level. This was one of the few cities that wasn’t taken over by Alexander the Great and wasn’t part of the Roman Empire.
The upper city has an ancient theatre with panoramic views, remnants of the Artemis-Hadrian Temple, a gymnasium, and baths.
Take a Boat Trip to Suluada Island
If you’re looking for a great way to see the coast and mountains from Antalya, the best way is to join a boat trip to Suluada Island.
You’ll be cruising to Adrasan-Suluada island on a spacious yacht, feeling the sea breeze and soaking up the sun. It’s a full day of exploring gorgeous islands and bays along Turkey’s Turquoise Coast, and trust me, it’s as dreamy as it sounds.
Suluada will steal your heart with its volcanic charm and a bay that’s just perfect for a swim. Think clear blue waters, mineral springs, and these cute little rock lakes – it’s a slice of paradise.
And the best part? You don’t have to worry about a thing. You’ve got a delicious lunch on board, with soft drinks to keep you cool and fruits for that sweet touch.
Lastly, if you’re into snorkeling, the marine life here is just wow. But no pressure – lounging on the yacht, basking in the sun, and just enjoying the vibe is totally fine too.
Curious to know more? Check out the cruise here below.
Get Breathtaking Views from a Cable Car
Speaking of seeing Antalya from a different perspective the Tunektepe Gondola is a great way to take in all the views that Antalya has to offer.
You get views of the mountains, sea, and city from a bird’s eye view. The gondola climbs over 605 meters and offers stunning views as you ascend to the top.
As I mentioned above in this guide, Tunektepe Gondola is included in the Old Town walking tour, together with a boat trip and a trip to Antalya waterfalls, and I couldn’t recommend it enough!
Then we have the Olympos Teleferik which takes you to one of the highest peaks in the Taurus Mountains, Tahtalı Mountain.
This gondola reaches 2,365m in just 10 minutes and once you are at the top you will not be disappointed. In the winter months the summit will be covered in snow and during the summer will be dry and rocky.
Köprülü Canyon National Park
If you are looking for an adventure, then Kuprulu Canyon National Park will be your heaven on Earth. This canyon offers activities like rafting, ziplining, hiking, and even the chance to explore ancient ruins.
Whether you’re up for some awesome white-water rafting or just want to chill with a hike and picnic, there’s something for you to enjoy.
This is one of the longest canyons in Turkey and has crystal clear blue water, beautiful mountain scenery, and tall cliffs that surround the canyon.
All in all, it’s the perfect way to add some adventure to your trip, and trust me, you’ll be talking about it for days!
The best way to visit is to get a tour on GetYourGuide, and I recommend checking it now, as they always sell out.
Take a Day Trip to Side & Belek
If you want to explore more of the region then take a day trip to Side and Belek. Side is right on the Turkish Riviera and has modern resorts as well as ancient Greek ruins. Some of the main attractions you won’t want to miss are the Greek Amphitheatre, Apollon Temple, and the Monumental Fountain.
Belek is where the Land of Legends theme park is as well as many golf courses and the beautiful Belek Town Mosque. This is a great place for people who are looking for a more modern city with all the amenities of a true beach holiday.
Visit Mount Chimaera
Mount Chimaera is a mountain near Antalya that has fires that burn constantly. However, these aren’t manmade fires. They are naturally occurring gas fires from the natural gases that seep out of the mountain!
The fires on Mount Chimaera have been burning for thousands of years, with the first record of this phenomenon being from 400 BC. If you are a fan of nature and science then you need to visit this extraordinary, mythical mountain.
Pamper Yourself at a Traditional Turkish Bath (Hammam)
Looking to pamper yourself? Head to one of the hundreds of traditional Turkish Baths in the area. These baths usually offer massages, saunas, hot tubs, and more depending on the location.
If you don’t know what massage to get or where to go, why not prebook your session online?
This session, which lasts about 2 hours, includes hotel transfers, and different services, which I list here below:
- Steam room
- Foam massage
- Oil massage
Yes, it does sound like a premium, exclusive me-time to be had in Antalya, and I urge you to get your hands on this package as soon as possible!
Go Paragliding in Ölüdeniz
Looking for something more thrilling? Try paragliding in Ölüdeniz, one of the best things to do in Dalaman!
This is one of the most beautiful locations in the world so seeing it from above will be one of the most incredible experiences of your life. Just look at those views over the Blue Lagoon!
Ölüdeniz is known for its white sand beach, tall green mountains, and its quaint little resort town.
Tours usually include entry to the National Park where you will take off from and transportation to and from Antalya for under £100 per person.
Where to stay in Antalya
The Cullinan Belek is a luxury 5-star all-inclusive resort located in the city of Belek. It has 8 pools, 11 restaurants, a 36-hole golf course, and is right on the beach! It’s a great place to have a romantic getaway or bring the whole family.
If you are looking for the best discounted rates, then check out Jet2holidays deals to Antalya. Here you can find packages that include roundtrip flights, hotel, and airport transportation at one low cost.
The highlight of staying at the Cullinan with Jet2holidays was the exclusive feel and the onsite restaurants. The food here really blew me away. And don’t expect just house spirits to be included in the drinks package, the Cullinan has world-class wines, cocktails and top-shelf whisky included.
The final things that impressed me about the Cullinan over similar hotels in the area; there was a very impressive spa (steam room and sauna) included with the main swimming pool. And a free bowling alley in the games room. Many other hotels charged extra for this.
Conclusion – Antalya Tourist Attractions
If you are looking for a place that has beaches, mountains, ancient cities, and is rich in history and culture then Antalya is the perfect place for you. There are so many things to do in Antalya and I hope that I was able to make your trip planning a little easier!
My trip to Antalya was in partnership with Jet2 Holidays and may contain affiliate links at no extra cost to you. However all opinions about the destination are my own, and I absolutely love visiting Antalya.