Any traveler visiting the Antalya Province, whether it's Belek, Kemer, or Side, should visit the city center of Antalya, the fifth largest city in Turkey.
Indeed, Antalya city center is a charming place that greets 15 million foreigners every year and offers amazing activities for young and old.
While visiting this charming and quite romantic town, you will notice how easy it is to move around and see a lot of important landmarks while doing some shopping and eating great local food.
In this article, you will find a list of the best things to do in the city center of Antalya and the best sights to visit, including ancient ruins, museums, attractions, and much more.
1. Antalya's Old Town (Kaleiçi)
The historical city center, called "Kaleiçi" (or Old Town in English), sheds light on the cultural heritage of Antalya, where you can feel the spiritual and historical influences on the city.
Getting to know Antalya should start from Kaleiçi (Old Town), which is the historical city center. Hadrian's Gate, Hıdırlık Tower, Yivliminare Mosque, Kesik Minaret, and Kaleiçi with its narrow streets and historical houses, along with the ancient marina covers an area of approximately 1 km in diameter. It is quite easy to explore all of it on foot or with transport in Antalya.
- More information about the history of Antalya's old town.
2. Visit the Yacht Harbor
This is the second largest port on the southern coast of Turkey, after Mersin, where ships can dock. Currently, only yachts dock at the harbor.
You can have a good evening walking along the harbor and watching the waves and colorful yachts in the marina. You can participate in daily or hourly tours from the yacht harbor.
- Check our our official shop for attraction tickets in Antalya
3. Karpuzkaldıran (Lower Düden Waterfall)
If you are looking for an amazing walk with a breathtaking landscape in Antalya, Lower Düden Waterfall is definitely one of the most dazzling natural shows to see in the city.
Lower Düden Waterfall, a unique beauty located in the Düden Park in Lara district of Antalya, is a powerful water attraction to see from the sidewalk and also from a boat in the water.
- Read more about Lower Düden Waterfall and how to book a boat tour to see it more closely
4. Hadrian's Gate
Hadrian's Gate is one of the city's oldest and most important sights. The arch, called "Üçkapılar" in Turkish, was dedicated in the name of the Roman Emperor, Hadrianus, who visited Antalya in the year 130.
Today, it's the only entrance gate to the walls that surrounded the city and is a very popular tourist spot.
- Read our guide for your visit to Hadrian's Gate in Antalya
5. Visit the Ancient City Perge
If you spend time in Antalya, you shouldn't miss visiting the ruins of the ancient city of Perge, or Perga. It's one of the most ancient cities in Turkey and will take you back 3000 years.
Perge is a major historical attraction in the region and is only 17 kms from Antalya. It was one of the largest and richest cities in ancient times and became the capital of the Pamphylia region.
- More information about visiting the ancient city of Perge
6. Konyaaltı Beach
Konyaaltı Beach, on the Turkish Riviera west of Antalya, is considered to be the most popular beach in the city and one of the most popular nightlife destinations in the Antalya region. In addition to sea, sand, and sun, Konyaaltı Beach offers a lot of entertainment thanks to quite a few attractions.
The 13 km long beach is primarily composed of fine pebbles but also has some sand, too. The water is beautifully clear. Konyaaltı Beach has a "Blue Flag", which confirms the good water quality.
- Read more details about Konyaaltı Beach in Antalya
7. Sandland Antalya
Have you ever seen a museum dedicated to sand sculpture? Sandland in Antalya gives you the opportunity to make this fun discovery. Indeed, Sandland is one of the must-see places in Antalya where art, creativity, and fun come together.
It's an open air museum where sand sculptures made by artists from different parts of the world are exhibited and has a different theme each year. It's waiting for you to be drawn to its fabulous atmosphere.
- If you want to visit the park, make sure to read the dedicated article about Sandland in Antalya that will give you all the necessary information.
8. Antalya Aquarium
Did you know that you can see real dangerous sharks in Antalya? Not in the water, thankfully, but in the very successful Antalya Aquarium, a favorite family place in the city.
In fact, the Antalya Aquarium is an important one that you shouldn't miss. It's the 2nd largest aquarium in Europe and the 5th largest in the world. It's the best place to discover the magical world of underwater creatures while spending a great time with your family.
- Visit the Antalya Aquarium and get your tickets early
9. Bazaar at the Harbor
At this market, which is open all week, you can find everything your heart desires. Souvenirs, leather goods, gifts, spices, clothing, and much more is waiting for you here.
Also, a lot of inexpensive things are available. The dealers are usually happy to haggle over the price and make some jokes.
The bazaar is partially covered and is located in the center of Antalya, which makes it very popular with visitors.
You might also stroll through the small alley right next to the market, where coppersmiths are located and still produce their goods as they did a hundred years ago. Plates, pots, and tea trays are in high demand.
10. Stay at a Boutique Hotel in Kaleiçi
Kaleiçi (Old Town) is a neighborhood in the center of Antalya, with beautiful traditional houses, each one more charming than the last. You can see Antalya's old civic architecture here in these 19th century houses where natural conditions and climate played an important role in their design.
There are a lot of traditional houses converted into "boutique hotels", restaurants, and cafes in Kaleiçi. If you choose to stay in one of these lovely hotels, you can actually feel the history.
11. Landmark, Yivli Minare Mosque
Yivli Minare Mosque immediately catches your eye when you enter Antalya's Old Town, which was built at the highest point above sea level in Kaleiçi. It's regarded as one of the symbols of the city of Antalya.
The Yivli Minare Mosque, built in 1230 by the Anatolian Seljuk Ruler, Alaaddin Keykubat I, draws your attention with the form of its grooved minaret, which is unique in Anatolian Turkish Architecture.
- Check out our article about Yivli Minare Mosque in Antalya's old town.
12. Upper Düden Waterfall
The temperature in Antalya can get to up to 60 degrees during summer and some days, you just want to go in a refreshing place with cold water. What do you thing about spending the day at a cool waterfall?
Upper Duden Waterfall is one of the best refreshing recreational areas located about 12 kilometers northeast of Antalya. It's a magnificent natural beauty where you can breathe in the fresh air and admire the beautiful shades of green.
It's not to be confused with another waterfall named Lower Düden Waterfall, located on a cliff facing the sea.
13. Aktur Park
Are you tired of the beach and want to try something fun in Antalya? Aktur Park is an amusement park located in the Konyaaltı district in Antalya. To add some excitement to your time in Antalya, Aktur Park offers a wide range of rides and attractions available for children and adults.
- Read everything you need to know about Aktur Park in Antalya.
14. Stay at a Beach Resort in Lara
Lara attracts many people during the summer season with its magnificent beaches and its close proximity to Antalya city center.
It's home to many luxury-themed hotels, mainly in the popular Lara Beach area which includes the Lara, Kundu, Aksu, and Muratpaşa municipalities in the Antalya province.
Most of the hotels are replicas of famous places around the world, luxury design hotels and theme hotels (for example Topkapi Palace, Venice Palace, Kremlin Palace, Titanic Beach Lara, and Concorde De Luxe Resort) with all inclusive concepts.
15. Hıdırlık Tower
Hıdırlık Tower is right next to Karaalioğlu Park in the center of Antalya. It's believed that the 14 meter high cylinder tower was built in the 2nd Century AD to ensure the safety of the harbor.
This is a great location to escape from the heat of the sun as there are many cafes and restaurants with air conditioning here. When it gets dark, the lighting on the tower by the sea creates the perfect backdrop for images.
- Address: Kılınçarslan, Hıdırlık Sk. No:50, 07100 Muratpaşa/Antalya
16. Boat Cruise from the Yacht Harbor
Buy a ticket for a boat cruise from the the harbor in Kaleiçi that goes to the cliffs east of the city center or to Düden Waterfall in Lara Beach.
The boats leave as soon as there are enough passengers on board. The tickets are sold on the spot. Keep in mind, this is a place without fixed prices. Expect to haggle to get a good price.
You should also ask which direction the boats take. Some boats only visit the cliffs to the east. The most popular option is the boat to marvel at the impressive Düden Waterfall in Antalya.
Some day excursions to Kaleiçi, Antalya also offer a boat cruise to the waterfall from the harbor as part of their itinerary.
17. Nightlife in Kaleiçi and at the Beach Park in Konyaaltı
There is plenty of entertainment when it gets dark in Kaleiçi (Old Town). Music can be heard in the streets until late in the night, and people from many different nationalities have fun in the late night bars here. Bars where you can smoke a water pipe can also be found in this area.
Near Konyaaltı Beach there are numerous discos, resorts, and clubs that entertain visitors until the early hours of the morning.
16. Antalya Archaeological Museum
Antalya Museum, or Antalya Archaeology Museum, is one of the most important and appreciated museum in the whole city.
It's a unique place where you can see ruins from the early periods of human history to the Roman period, without interruption. The collections displayed in this spacious and modern museum are unique and will definitely please history and archaeology lovers.
The Antalya Museum is considered to be one of the most established archaeological museums in Turkey. It's very special because it traces three of the largest ancient regions: Lycia, Pamphylia, and Pisidia.
17. Upside Down House
A great attraction especially for the kids in Antalya's touristic Kundu area. This upside down house with its interesting design and colorful decoration attracts many people to take the funniest photos!
The Upside Down House, where you'll get the feeling of walking on the ceiling as you walk in, is open to visitors 7 days a week.
- Address: Altıntaş, Kardeş Kentler Cd. no 15, 07400 Aksu/Antalya
18. Shopping Malls in Antalya
Antalya is a large city with 2.5 million of inhabitants, which means that there are very high quality malls to discover around the city.
Indeed, Turkey is an expert at building luxurious malls and every large city has several to offer with different styles, different purposes, and different locations around the city.
Mall of Antalya, Agora Shopping Center, Terra City, Mark Antalya, and Nova Mall are some of them.
- Check out our list of the best shopping centers in the Antalya Province.
19. Tünektepe Teleferik
One of the best ways to see Antalya from a high spot is to get a ride on the Tünektepe cable car. called the Tünektepe Teleferik in Turkish.
You should definitely add Tünektepe to your route as it's one of the best attraction in Antalya.
You can get a spectacular view of Antalya and get some fresh air with the scent of pine trees, all while taking amazing pictures of the skyline.
- Read more, if you want to try a ride on the Tünektepe Teleferik in Antalya
20. Aqualand and Dolphinland Antalya
Founded in 1994, Aqualand is the oldest of its kind in Antalya. Located in the middle of a large green area and surrounded by shady trees, it offers various water slides, a circular canal, and a wave pool.
The dolphin shows last about 1 hour, during which the animals show their acrobatic tricks. Those who wish can swim with the dolphins after the show.
21. Swimming at Mermerli Beach
Mermerli Beach is located right next to Antalya's marina in the old town of Kaleiçi. The small sandy beach has plenty of sun beds next to each other.
It can get quite crowded at times because of how close it is to the city. The clear water and the view of the cliff on the opposite side are particularly beautiful.
Mermerli Beach is not far from the boutique hotels in Antalya's old town, Kaleiçi, which is why the beach is very interesting, especially for visitors who live here or in the surrounding area.
22. Atatürk House Museum
Atatürk's House Museum is dedicated to Mustafa Kemal Atatürk's visits to the city of Antalya. It's located in the Muratpaşa district. The doesn't have an entrance fee and can be visited any day, except for Mondays.
The two story replica house holds a lot of memories and objects about Atatürk, such as newspapers, photos, and documents relating to Atatürk's visits to Antalya.
The museum also sheds light on to the first years of the Turkish Republic, with the objects like banknotes, commemorative coins, and postage stamps issued after the proclamation of the Republic.
- Address: Haşimişcan, Sırrı tuğaoğlu sitesi No:11, 07100 Muratpaşa/Antalya
Here is a map to locate these 22 things to do in the city of Antalya:
Now, you know all the important things to do in the city of Antalya. If you liked this article, tell us about it in the comments below and make sure to check out other towns and things to do in the Antalya Province: