Things to Do in Antalya: A Quick Guide
Let's dream about the Turkish Riviera
Whether you’re here for the eclectic Turkish cuisine, the impressive harbour views, or the crumbling Roman ruins, Antalya has a little bit of everything. And now that you’re here (or about to be), you do too. The scenic port city lies on the so-called Turkish Riviera, meaning your deluxe holiday home might just have an unforgettable view of the turquoise hue of the sea. Our job is to break down the best things to do in Antalya, so you don’t have to do the research (even if reading this probably does count as research), so that is exactly what we've done. Here at Plum Guide, we've gone above and beyond to curate this guide for you, so allow our expert advice to guarantee you the trip of a lifetime. We’ll take you on a voyage past waterfalls, through museums and down narrow, crumbling lanes not yet entirely lost to time. We’ll look at the best places to eat, discover fun treats and activities for the whole family to enjoy, and see what it’s like to meander through the Old City Marina.
Discover the waterfalls
Before we delve into the cultural and historical heart of the city, we wanted to show you the lay of the land, and give you a front-row view of the picturesque topography surrounding Antalya. In the city’s south-eastern corner lies Lower Duden Waterfalls, a chute rushing from the rugged cliffs. Embark on a two-hour cruise for incredible views from below, and even swim in the vicinity (do be careful though, there’s a waterfall there). A little further inland stands the Kursunlu Waterfall, the falls seeping out from the forest like a depiction of an oasis in a cartoon.
Embark on a day trip to Kalkan
When thinking of the best things to do in Antalya, consider heading west along the coast to Kalkan, where many of our luxury homes can be found. This scenic and serene cove is known for its beaches, including the Palm Beach Club, the Kalamar Beach Club, and the Kalkan Beach Club. Delve through the Xanthos Antik Kenti ruins, and take a cruise or sunset boat trip. Swim in the warm, clear water of the Mediterranean Sea, while forgetting all your troubles (but remembering to keep swimming).
Learn about the rich culture
Thanks to its boiling summer weather, Antalya isn’t really a rainy-day destination. But you might just get some air-con and actually learn a thing or two in the various museums that teach us about the destination’s rich past. Learn how the area developed in the exhibits of the Antalya Muzesi (the city developed outside of the museum, of course, but you'll be learning about that within it). As for open-air monuments, the Termessos ancient ruins make for an exceptional setting, while Hadrian’s Gate is one of the region’s most iconic sights. Admire its three arches, set up to honour the visit of Emperor Hadrian in 130 AD. And yet, they didn’t build anything to hail your arrival, did they? It’s time Antalya got its priorities right.
Take the kids for day out
There are all sorts of things to do in Antalya for families with kids. The Antalya Aquarium is one of the first stops on the list for little ones. Just don’t let them out of your sight, as it’s said to be among the world’s largest aquariums. It has 40 thematic rooms, including an enormous tunnel aquarium. Another highlight in the area is the Antalya Zoo.
Work up a tan on the beach
The beaches are never a bad option when considering how to spend your time in Antalya. Play basketball, football and other sports on the Konyaalti Beach, and enjoy the superb views of the cliffs circling the Kaputas Beach. Between the marina and the rugged crags lies the Mermerli Beach, where you’ll have the chance to check out some of the top yachts. For something a little more playful and wild, bring your little ones to Lara Beach, which is adorned with soft golden sand and crystalline water.
Try some Turkish delights
Last but certainly not least, if you like to feast: food. We’re willing to bet that you like food, and as it happens, Antalya has loads of it. For some of the best Turkish food in the city, try the Vahap Usta Et Restaurant. The seafood is delicious at Lara Balik Evi and the Arma Restaurant, while the Terrace Steak House Restaurant is another great fine-dining option.