Antalya: A Full City Guide

  • Post last modified:April 19, 2022
  • Reading time:26 mins read
  • Post category:Cities / Tourism

Antalya is one of the most visited destinations in Turkey. With its beautiful coastline, Antalya has a lot to offer visitors. This blog post will take you through some of Antalya’s top sites, as well as give you tips on where to stay and eat while visiting this incredible city.


The History of Antalya

Antalya has been inhabited since the Stone Age, It became a critical trade center for the Romans and reached its height during the Byzantine Empire. The city was eventually conquered by by the Selçuks in 1220 CE.

Antalya in Roman & Byzantine times

The earliest mention of Antalya is by Ptolemy, the Greco-Egyptian geographer who lived in Alexandria. In his book Geographia, he mentioned Apollonia as one of the major ports on the south west coast of Anatolia. We now know that Apollonia was just another name for either Antalya or Alanya.

Antalya was a major Ancient Roman port town. The Romans built their first settlement there following the victory over King Antiochus I of this province in 60BCE, and named it Attaleia after him (in honor of Attalos).

Experts believe that its urban development began in about the second or third century CE, which means Roman convoys from western-central part of Anatolia started to routinely use this city as it’s base from late 2nd century or early 3rd century on. This is also arguably when the construction had started at Great Theatre.

Gradually it became one of Rome’s important co-emporia in Asia Minor alongside Laodicea and Seleucia to the northeast, Iskenderun to the south and Perga to west.

The city became a victim of multiple earthquakes in 130AD, but was rebuilt by Valerianus (the Roman Emperor at that time). It then quickly started to grow again with most notably temples being built for Demeter and Artemis. At this point it had become one of Asia Minor’s major ports and a thriving metropolis.

The city continued to grow under the Byzantine Empire, becoming an important trading port in Anatolia.

History of Antalya

Antalya in Seljuk times

The Seljuk Turks gained control of the region between 1076 and 1085, The city was partitioned into Christian and Muslim sections soon after the Byzantine Empire fell, with Venetians and Genoese serving as trading partners in the Christian community. Alanya grew and prospered during the Seljuk period.

Alanya was one of the most successful maritime cities in Anatolia under the Seljuks; serving as a bridgehead for further Islamic campaigns into Anatolia. In 1226, Alanya was captured by the Nicaean Crusaders. until the city was captured by the Ottomans in 1273.

Antalya during the Ottoman era

Antalya was Fully conquered by the Ottoman Empire in 1522 CE and became an important trade center. Antalya was an important city in the ottoman times as a center of international trade and as a port.

Turkish Republic

With Turkey gaining its independence after World War One, there has been significant development throughout Turkey including Antalya. The Turkish republic had repaired the damages done during WWI and near the end of 20th century most coastal areas were developed into resorts.

Antalya has gained a lot of attention at this time and has been one of Turkey’s fastest growing city.

Antalya Geography

Antalya is Turkey’s major coastal city, located on the southern coast of Turkey. It is part of a region in Turkey called Mediterranean Turkey, with Turkey’s other coastal cities being Izmir to the west and Mersin to the east.

The city itself spans about 200 km from north to south but it can be divided into three parts: old Antalya which lies on hill slopes down towards sea level; new Antalya as contemporary seaside development in northern suburbs; and Konyaaltı beach resort area around 12 kilometers from central or old Antalya.

The Economy of Antalya


Antalya has a significant amount of land that is used for agriculture. Vegetables are the most significant plant in this area and includes cucumbers, tomatoes, garlic and beans.

Smaller areas of the land are used for cereal crops such as wheat and barley. Agricultural activities take place in all seasons but mostly during autumn.

Animal husbandry also takes place in this area with livestock including sheep, goats, cows and pigs. The region’s hinterland also provides fodder in the form of hay and stubble for animals grazed on small plots too steep for cropping.”


Industry in Antalya is mostly centered on small-scale, labour-intensive manufacturing. It includes the production of rugs and carpets, fishing gear, textiles, cement and other construction materials and processed food.

Antalya’s industrial sectors are linked closely with its primary sector activities such as agriculture.


The economy of Antalya Turkey is mainly based on tourism. The city had grown into one of Turkey’s most important tourist centers, with its new hotels and resorts having a major impact on the local economy which now heavily depends on the hospitality industry; as well as trade fairs and conferences.

Antalya has also attracted many domestic tourists outside summer season to places like Kaleici (old town), Aspendos and other historical sites in or near it such as Side.

Antalya beaches also offer many opportunities for water sports such as windsurfing, sailing and jet skiing.

One thing which is pretty unique about Antalya is its beaches, as the city has the hıghest number of Blue Flag Beaches in Turkey, These beaches have strict standards for cleanliness, water quality and environmental management practices which qualifies them to be awarded with a blue flag in order to show visitors that they are safe for swimming.

Mermerli Beach

Education in Antalya

Antalya is home to many schools and universities. It has a number of private and public institutions including:

  • Antalya Bilim Üniversitesi
  • Akdeniz Üniversitesi
  • Alanya Hamdullah Emin Pasa Üniversitesi
  • Antalya International University.

There are also different educational opportunities for students in the city ranging from kindergarten to college level education.

Akdeniz Üniversitesi

Sports in Antalya

Antalya Turkey has a wide variety of sports at all levels; from grassroots to elite level sport. This includes football and other individual/team ball games like basketball or volleyball as well as water polo, tennis, swimming, golf, rowing and horse-riding.

Transportation in Antalya

Antalya Turkey is an ancient city and many of the main attractions are scattered across a wide area.

There is no metro or subway in Antalya Turkey so most people rely on public transportation like buses or taxis.


Taxi services are available 24 hours a day in Turkey and can be hailed from the street by raising your hand to signal one as they drive past. There is no need for an appointment ahead of time or any other formality, you can just get straight into the taxi when it arrives at the curb.

Antalya Airport

Antalya has its own airport with flights arriving from many destinations in Turkey and Europe.

The airport was originally built in 1998 and has undergone a series of expansions.

In 2004, the airport underwent its most significant expansion with two new terminals being constructed for international and domestic flights respectively.

These expansions have allowed the airport to provide handling capacity of up to 12 million passengers per year.

A significant amount of these passengers are Turkish nationals that live in nearby countries such as Germany.

Antalya Airport


Within the city, there are a number of bus lines as well as ferries and water taxis that you can move with.

Buses in the city of Antalya in Turkey are an important public transportation service that is used by many people. It has bus lines which run all across the city as well as buses that connect to nearby cities and towns.

On top of these, there are ferries and water taxis for people who need to get to locations a bit further away from the city centre.

Antalya’s bus service operates 24 hours with less buses in the evening.

The fare system is fairly straightforward for locals. For foreigners, you can buy a pre-paid card at one of the kiosks or use an electronic balance transfer machine on the bus to register.


The city of Antalya Turkey is home to many public transportation options including trams. These trams run from the south end of the city to the north, with their primary function being to transport people. Tram stations are located throughout the city and tickets can be bought at all stop stations.

The trams in Antalya have a total length of 30 kilometers (18.6411 mi) and travel up to a maximum speed of 45 km/h (28 mph). The trams were originally built in 1999 as an alternative to cars but have grown in popularity ever since that time.

Antalya Hospitals

Antalya is home to many hospitals in the city. These hospitals are ranked highly and have high standards when it comes to cleanliness, safety for patients and staff as well as medical equipment.

  • Antalya State Hospital
  • Muratpaşa Akdeniz University Medical Center
  • Antalya Anadolu Hastanesi
  • Memorial Antalya Hospital
  • Lara Anatolia Private Hospital
  • Mediterranean Health Foundation (ASV) Life Hospital
  • Antalya Private Life Hospital
  • Dünyagöz Hospital – Antalya

Housing in Antalya

There are a wide variety of housing options in Antalya. These include:

  1. Modern homes with gardens and pools
  2. Penthouses that have views over the entire city
  3. Waterfront apartments
  4. Apartments by the sea that offer great amenities such as jacuzzis or gyms.

Students can also find accommodation close to their school so they don’t need to travel far every day for classes. This makes it easier for students living on campus not to miss any lectures due to public transportation issues, while those commuting often will be able to save time by being closer than if they lived further away from their university. For international schools, there is typically some sort of boarding option available where you would live in a dormitory or other housing options.

Olympos Beach 1

Food in Antalya

Antalya is well-known for having a great variety of food and Antalya has some of the best restaurants in Turkey. There are many different options including street vendors, kebab shops or high class fine dining establishments where people can go to taste their favorite dishes as often as they like.

A lot of these restaurants offer menus that include Turkish staples such as lamb stew served with rice pilaf (şiş köfte) but there are also international cuisine choices available too if you’re craving something else.

It’s no secret that Turkey is know for culinary skills. Turkish food in Antalya has a great variety of foods to offer and can be categorized into three general menus:

A) Regional Cuisine – the type of dishes offered by any given region, most often including meat as well as vegetables which are usually grown locally.

B) Seafood – Turkey is an ocean country so it’s not surprising that seafood dishes are popular here. This includes rosemary fish, mussels with garlic sauce or fried calamari served with lemon mayonnaise dip as some examples of what you might find on the menu in Antalya Turkey.

C) Turkish Cuisine – this type of food can be found almost anywhere and typically consists of meat from a variety of animals such as lamb, beef, chicken or even goat which is then combined with vegetables to create hearty stews.

Turkish coffee is also famous worldwide and Turkey is known for their skillful artisans who have perfected the craft of making this delicious drink. Turkish coffees can be found at many places throughout Antalya Turkey, including cafes as well as street vendors selling drinks.

Weather in Antalya

Antalya has a subtropical climate typical of Mediterranean regions that is characterized by hot, dry summers (with temperatures averaging 27-28°C) and mild winters (average temperature 14°C).

People living in Antalya Turkey will need to be prepared for warm weather all year round, but it also makes the city ideal for those who want to enjoy outdoors activities such as going on a bike ride or jog.

Antalya Turkey will have a typical Mediterranean climate, which means that the summers tend to be hot and dry while autumns can start to see some rain.

Tourism in Antalya

Tourism is a major part of Antalya’s economy and it has been growing rapidly since the 1990s. This growth can be attributed to Turkey having cheaper costs of living than other European destinations, as well as being on the Mediterranean coast with plenty of beaches where tourists swim or enjoy water sports such as scuba diving or jet skiing.

Antalya Turkey doesn’t just have tourist attractions that are confined to city limits: there are also many historic sites that date back thousands of years but still exist today, not only for locals but for visitors too.

Some places included in this category include the Roman Theatre which dates back nearly 2000 years ago; The ancient Temple dedicated to Apollo from 500 BC; The Antalya Aquarium which is Turkey’s largest aquarium that includes undersea tunnel, allowing visitors to walk underwater in a spacious tank; or the Museum of Ceramics with over 5000 pieces from Turkey.

Kleopatra Beach 1

Best hotels in Antalya

The Corner Park Hotel

Because of its modern design, the hotel is perfect for everyone. Elegance and comfort are impeccably mixed in the hotel’s 74 rooms as a guest.

Featuring wonderful views of the sea, the mountain, and the city, the Corner Park Hotel is located on the beautiful Konyaalti Beach, which is a blue flag beach.

The Corner Park Hotel, is right by the turquoise-colored Mediterranean Sea and the Konyaalti tunnel, within walking distance of the world’s largest tunnel aquarium, Antalya Aquarium.

The Corner Park Hotel

Sealife Lounge Hotel

Sealife Lounge Hotel is Just a 5-minute walk from Konyaaltı Beach and 4 kilometres from the Antalya Museum, this hotel is located on a major commercial thoroughfare.

The airport is 19 kilometers away from Sealife hotel that have, stylish rooms provide Wi-Fi, big-screen TVs, safes, and minifridges, with kettles and balconies as well.

Sealife Lounge Hotel 1

Cagan Otel

Cagan Otel is a very good hotel that is near Konyaalti Beach park with cheap prices.

Holiday Inn Antalya – Lara

The sandy Lara Beach is only a 15-minute walk from the Holiday Inn Antalya – Lara hotel. Shopping Mall TerraCity is a 15-minute drive from the hotel. Free parking is nearby and you can reach the beach in just 15 minutes.

The 30-minute drive from the hotel will take you to ruins of Roman city gates and ruined Roman castles, which can be found in the winding streets of Kaleiçi Old Town.

Antalya’s Archaeological Museum features artifacts that show the city’s history, such as Byzantine mosaics. A leafy park, and only a ten-minute drive from the hotel, surrounds these Düden Waterfalls, which cascade down cliffs into the Mediterranean Sea.

Business-minded guests can host events for up to 120 people in the hotel’s three flexible meeting spaces. The computers and AV equipment are state-of-the-art, so presentations will go off without a hitch. It’s free Wi-Fi all over the hotel.

Relax by enjoying a swim in the pool, working out in the gym, or chilling on the terrace overlooking the ocean in the lobby bar before enjoying the international cuisine in the restaurant. Indulge in a soothing sauna, steam bath, or massage or order room service all day long.

Holiday Inn Antalya Lara

Lara Hotel

Lara Hotel wants to help you have the most colorful dreams in Antalya’s turquoise waters and the Mediterranean sun.

You’ll have perfect room service with 24-hour room service, a mini-bar, satellite TV, and air conditioning in your comfortable rooms. Every single one of our 72 regular rooms.

Terra City Shopping Center is located 11 km from the airport and 12 km from the Anfas Expo Center. Cold and warm are present in salt water, as well as fresh and marine water, on the beach. The evenings are alive with color because of the Cafe Bar, Pool Bar. On the open buffet, the best delish dishes are served by the Turkish and international kitchen.

Lara Hotel

Other Hotels

Titanic hotel AntalyaBaia lara hotelliberty hotel lara beach and Royal wings lara beach are also some of the best hotels to stay near Antalya beaches.

What is the weather like in Antalya

The weather in Antalya Turkey is Mediterranean, which means that the summers tend to be hot and dry while autumns can start to see some rain.

What kinds of beaches can tourists visit when they come to Antalya Turkey

Many people will come to Antalya Turkey because of its beaches. As well as providing a great way to relax, they also have many water sports for people who are into that kind of thing.

What is the most famous attraction in Antalya Turkey

There are lots of attractions which make Antalya Turkey so special such as historic sites dating back thousands of years or Turkey’s largest aquarium which includes the underwater tunnel.