Ultimate guide of Antalya: All about Antalya Province in Turkey

Antalya is a highly sought-after tourist destination in Turkey, drawing in visitors from all over the world with its diverse range of attractions. The city is steeped in history, boasting impeccably preserved ancient theaters and cities. Visitors can also marvel at numerous magnificent waterfalls and partake in a variety of outdoor sports, such as the popular activity of rafting. In addition, Antalya offers dozens of world-class, blue-flagged beaches, making it a favorite destination among travelers. With well-developed accommodation facilities, aqua parks, a lively city scene, and nightlife filled with music, Antalya has become one of Turkey’s top tourist destinations. You can find answers to frequently asked questions about Antalya below.


  • Is Antalya Turkey worth visiting?
  • What is Antalya best known for?
  • Why is Antalya famous on the Turkish Riviera?
  • Why is Antalya so Popular?
  • What is the Best Time to visit Antalya?
  • How long should your Antalya visit be?
  • Is Antalya or Bodrum better to visit?,
  •  Which month is best for Antalya?
  • Does Antalya have nightlife?
  •  Is Antalya full of Russian tourists?
  • What food is Antalya famous for?
  •  Can I wear shorts in Antalya?
  • Is Antalya better than Cappadocia?
  • Is Antalya better than Istanbul?
  • Why is Antalya so famous?
  •  How many days are good in Antalya?

1. Is Antalya Turkey worth visiting?

Antalya is a breathtakingly beautiful destination in Turkey, renowned for its stunning natural scenery along the Mediterranean coast. The city is nestled between the majestic Taurus mountains and the endless expanse of the Mediterranean Sea, creating a picturesque landscape that is truly awe-inspiring. So the answer is definitely YES.

i. Antalya is worth to visiting because of its ancient sites:

Antalya has been inhabited since prehistoric times, but it gained prominence after the Trojan War. Historians believe that leaders who fought in the Trojan War settled in the region and founded Pamphylia following the fall of Troy. As a result, Antalya Province is home to numerous ancient sites such as Aspendos, Side, Olympos, and the old city of Kaleici, which are all great alternatives to visit. Additionally, Antalya is also associated with the myth of Santa Claus. Recent research has proven that St. Nicholas, the saint of miracles, lived in the ancient city of Myra in the region known today as Demre in the 4th century. Today, visitors can explore the St. Nicholas Museum, where the miracles attributed to St. Nicholas are showcased. Additionally, the Antalya Museum exhibits bones that are believed to belong to St. Nicholas.

ii. Antalya is worth visiting because of its natural sites:

Antalya Province is a popular destination among nature sports enthusiasts, boasting attractions such as Koprulu Canyon, which is one of the most visited sites in the Turkish Riviera. The Lycian Way, a trekking route that stretches more than 500 km (310 mi) long from Hisaronu (Ovacik) in the Fethiye district of Mugla province to Geyikbayiri in the Konyaalti district of Antalya province, is also a must-visit for trekking enthusiasts. The trail is named after the Lycian civilization that once ruled this region.

In addition, Antalya is home to dozens of beaches that have been awarded blue flags, with almost all of them being free to visit. Some of the most famous beaches in the area include Mermerli, Ornekkoy, Lara (known worldwide), Muratpasa, Inciralti, Konyaalti, Olympos, Adrasan, and Papaz Iskelesi.

2. What is Antalya best known for?

Antalya is renowned for its beautiful blue-toned coasts, historical sites, and serene natural attractions. Thanks to its diverse landforms, Antalya is also home to numerous waterfalls. The most popular ones include Duden, Kursunlu, and Manavgat.

3. Why is Antalya famous on the Turkish Riviera?

We can describe Antalya’s popularity in Turkey with a metaphor. It’s often referred to as the “Maldives of Turkey” due to its long stretches of pristine beaches known for their sandy shores, crystal-clear waters, and over 250 days of sunshine per year.

Konyaalti beach in Antalya

4. Why is Antalya so popular?

Antalya’s popularity stems from its stunning coastline, crystal-clear waters, and beautiful beaches, as well as its well-preserved ancient sites and natural wonders such as magnificent waterfalls. In addition to these attractions, Antalya offers well-designed lodging and social facilities, and a variety of outdoor sports, from golf to rafting. With more than 250 sunny days per year, it’s no wonder Antalya is a top travel destination.

There are many reasons that could explain this question, but to keep it concise, here are a few:

  • Antalya boasts world-class beaches that are renowned for their clear waters and sandy shores.
  • The city is home to numerous well-preserved historical sites that attract visitors from all over the world.
  • Antalya is known for having one of the best rafting tracks in the country, which is a popular activity for adventure seekers.
  • The Lycian Way, a 500km trekking route, ends in Antalya, making it a popular destination for hikers.
  • Antalya is blessed with numerous breathtaking waterfalls that are like visual feasts for visitors.
  • The local cuisine in Antalya is a blend of Mediterranean and Turkish flavors, offering a rich and diverse culinary experience.
  • With its developed lodging facilities, golf resorts, aqua parks, and more, Antalya has become an attractive destination for travelers seeking a luxury vacation experience. Plus, it has so many camping spots for backpackers.

5. What is the best time to visit Antalya?

Antalya enjoys a year-round tourism season due to its location on the Mediterranean coast, where the weather is generally sunny. With an average of 250 sunny days per year and an average annual temperature of 18.7 degrees. Antalya is one of the few regions in the world where tourism activities are possible almost for 12 months. The winter season, which lasts only 40-50 days, is the only time when the weather is typically overcast and rainy. Although swimming may not be possible during this period however tourists can still visit the region’s many archaeological and natural sites. Therefore, Antalya is definitely worth considering as a travel destination throughout the year.

6. How long should your Antalya visit be?

As long as it is possible because there are so many things to in Antalya. Here are some ideas for your itinerary:

  • A day in Antalya itinerary;

You should see the old city because, when it comes to visiting Antalya, the sites below are kind of “must-do things in Antalya’

  • i. The Hadrian’s Gate;

The Hadrian’s Gate, named after the Roman Emperor Hadrian who visited Antalya in 130 AD, is one of the most well-preserved historical buildings in the city and serves as a great starting point for a tour of Kaleici. 

Hadrian's Gate
Hadrian’s Gate
  • ii. Clock Tower;

The Clock Tower in Antalya, constructed in 1901 by Grand Vizier Sait Pasha in the era of Abdulhamid II, is a 14-meter tall square tower featuring clock dials on each of its four sides and a bell at its pinnacle.

The clock tower and Attalos statue in Antalya
The clock tower and Attalos Statue in Antalya
  • iii. Elevator

Kaleiçi is a neighborhood situated on a hilltop and descending towards the sea, which means there is a significant amount of uphill and downhill walking involved. In order to make it easier for visitors, an elevator was constructed to reach the harbor. However, similar to the elevator in the center of Izmir, it serves more as a scenic lookout than a practical transportation means.

  • iv. Marina

Antalya’s marina, located in the Kaleiçi district, was one of the most significant port cities in the eastern Mediterranean during the Byzantine era. This historic site has served as a port since ancient times, although it has been modernized in recent years. The marina and its surroundings are the epicenter of Antalya Province’s lively nightlife scene.

Antalya Marina
Antalya Marina
  • v. Hidirlik Tower

Located at one end of Karaalioglu Park, one of the most beautiful recreational areas in Kaleiçi, is the Hidirlik Tower. This 14-meter-high cylindrical tower with a square base supports the southwest corner of the Kaleici walls and dates back to the 2nd century. In its time, it served as a watchtower and lighthouse.

Antalya Hidirlik Tower
Antalya Hidirlik Tower
  • vi. Broken Minaret Mosque

The Kaleici district of Antalya is home to the Broken (Kesik) Minaret Mosque, which has a fascinating history. The mosque was originally a Roman temple built in the 2nd century AD, and was later converted into a Byzantine church in honor of the Virgin Mary in the 7th century. However, it suffered significant damage during Arab invasions in the 7th century and was subsequently restored in the 9th century. Later, when the Anatolian Seljuk State took over Antalya in the early 13th century, the church was converted into a mosque.

Broken Minaret-Kesik Minare in Antalya
Broken Minaret in Antalya
  • vii. Karaaliogu Park

Karaaliogu Park, situated in the center of Antalya, offers a stunning panoramic view of the Beydag Mountains and the Gulf of Antalya. About 8 kilometers away from the city center in the direction of Lara, the park is also home to the Karpuzkaldiran waterfall, which cascades from a height of 40 meters and creates a misty cloud over the sea. The park provides an excellent vantage point to witness this natural wonder.

Karaalioglu Park in Antalya
Karaalioglu Park in Antalya

  • 2 days in Antalya itinerary;

On the second day, you can explore the ancient sites of,


  • 3th day Antalya itinerary;

Koprulu Canyon, which was designated a national park in 1973, is a popular attraction worth visiting. The canyon is formed by the rift valley of Koprucay, which is the main water source of the national park. With a length of 14 km and walls that tower over 100 m, it is one of the longest canyons on Turkish Riviera. Koprulu Canyon is an ideal location for outdoor sports such as rafting, canoeing, and canyoning on Koprucay, which is one of the most important rafting routes in Turkey. Additionally, visitors can engage in activities like swimming, hiking, rock climbing, orienteering, cycling, and fishing.

  • 4th day, Antalya itinerary;

Consider visiting Saklikent, a natural wonder that spans over 18 km and reaches a height of about 200 meters, making it the first canyon in Turkish Riviera  and the third in Europe. The region was declared a national park in 1996 due to its steep and deep canyon formation, offering opportunities for hiking, trekking, and other outdoor activities.

4 day Antalya Turkey Tour Itinerary can assist you in deciding the ideal duration for your trip. Antalya offers numerous other attractions, including Kekova, Sunken City, Olimpos, Cirali, and dozens of beaches, which can be added to your list. Therefore, it would be beneficial to examine Antalya Tours to plan your trip better.

7. Is Antalya or Bodrum better to visit?

Despite being approximately 400 km apart and a 5-hour drive, it can be difficult to choose between Bodrum and Antalya as both cities offer many historical sites, beautiful beaches, and delicious cuisine, making them two of the most popular holiday destinations in Turkey. However, Bodrum has an advantage with its location along the Aegean Sea, while Antalya lies along the Mediterranean. Bodrum has been more successful in preserving its traditional streets, and it is more likely to find them there. Additionally, due to legal arrangements, almost all the houses in Bodrum are white in color. Lastly, it is easier to reach the Greek islands from Bodrum than from Antalya, as Antalya is a bit farther away. If possible, it is recommended to add both destinations to your itinerary.

8. Which month is best for Antalya?

For those who enjoy basking in the sun, the ideal time to visit Antalya would be from June to September. July typically sees the hottest temperatures of the year, with average daily highs of 35°C and lows of 25°C. On the other hand, January tends to be the coldest month, with average daily highs of 14°C and lows of 5°C, making it a suitable time for history enthusiasts to explore the area. Thus, it can be concluded that there isn’t a specific month to visit Antalya, as each season offers its own unique experiences.

9. Does Antalya have nightlife?

The city is particularly busy during the summer months and buzzing with activity. The old city comes to life at night, offering a vibrant mix of options from lively parties to peaceful restaurants, catering to all types of travelers.

10. Is Antalya full of Russian tourists?

As of 2023, the source markets for tourists visiting Antalya by air have remained consistent. From January 1st to February 28th, the largest number of tourists arrived in Antalya from Russia with 132,074 visitors, followed by Germany with 79,797 tourists and England with 40,010 tourists. Therefore, Antalya receives travelers from various countries around the world, not just from Russia. In the first seven months of 2022, Germany was the most visited country, with 1,363,526 tourists. Russia came in second with 1,275,353 tourists, and England followed with 617,440 tourists. Poland with 392,135 tourists, the Netherlands with 236,115 tourists, Kazakhstan with 212,461 tourists, Romania with 155,626 tourists, Israel with 138,562 tourists, Denmark with 125,263 tourists, and the Czech Republic with 119,736 tourists rounded out the top ten countries.

A street in Antalya old city
A street in Antalya old city

11. What food is Antalya famous for?

Let us explore the cuisine of Antalya, a picturesque city in the Mediterranean Region, and acquaint ourselves with the local dishes.

  • a. One of the famous dishes in Antalya is Shish-Meatballs served with Piyaz. The meatball mixture is prepared with minced meat and salt, then kneaded thoroughly and rested. The meatballs are then skewered and grilled on charcoal. Piyaz, on the other hand, is a salad made with boiled beans mixed with finely chopped onion, parsley, salt, olive oil, and vinegar.

  • b.     Hibes is an appetizer that is made from tahini, lemon juice, and various spices.
Hibes from traditional Antalya cuisine
Hibes from Antalya cuisine
  • c.      Alanya Bohcasi: These are crepes stuffed with breakfast ingredients such as cheese, tomatoes, olives, and eggs. They can also be filled with lamb and are often served with yogurt or sour cream. This dish is known for its amazing view as well as its delicious taste.Goleviz: it is a local dish made with Taro plant (a root vegetable), chickpeas, meat cubes, tomatoes and onions.

  • d.     Toros Salad is made by combining arugula, parsley, green onion, mint, and sumac.

  • e.      e. Arap Kadayifi: This is a local dessert made with shredded phyllo pastry, soaked in sweet syrup, and filled with plenty of crushed walnuts and pistachios.

  • f.       The Finike Banana Dessert is a delectable treat made with banana, orange juice, butter, and sugar, with added flavor from cinnamon and coconut. It is an ideal choice for those who are gluten-sensitive and looking for a delicious dessert option.

12. Can I wear shorts in Antalya?

There is no strict dress code in Antalya or in Turkish Riviera, and you can wear whatever you like. However, it is recommended to dress modestly and show respect when visiting religious places, just like in other countries.

13. Is Antalya better than Cappadocia?

Different travelers look for different features and attractions when planning a holiday. To determine which destination is better, you need to consider what you expect from your vacation. Antalya, for example, offers stunning beaches, ancient cities, and natural sites, as well as luxurious accommodations, vibrant nightlife, and a variety of outdoor sports like paragliding. On the other hand, Cappadocia is located in the center of Anatolia and does not have a coast or beaches. It is known for its unique landscape, featuring cone-shaped fairy chimneys formed by the erosion of soft layers of lava and ash over millions of years. The soft rock formations also allow for the easy carving of cave houses, churches, and even underground cities. The region is also home to stunning valleys created by natural conditions. Ultimately, the answer to this question depends on your personal preferences and what you want to experience during your travels. However, if you’re looking for our recommendation, we suggest visiting both destinations. 

Antalya vs Cappadocia

14. Is Antalya better than Istanbul?

Istanbul, which served as the capital city to Byzantines, Romans, and Ottomans for centuries, is now one of the most populous metropolises in the world. Its bustling city offers everything Antalya could provide to a traveler, but it has limited options for soaking up the sun and relaxing on the beach. To help you decide between the two cities, here’s a list of places you can visit in both Antalya and Istanbul.

Antalya vs Istanbul

15. Why is Antalya so famous?

Due to the high number of tourists that visit the city throughout the year, there are numerous attractions, as previously mentioned.

16. How many days is good in Antalya?

Antalya offers a plethora of attractions and places to explore and also serves as an ideal starting point for day trips to other destinations in the country. If you are solely interested in exploring Antalya, a 4-day stay would be sufficient. However, if you wish to visit other parts of the Turkish Riviera you can check out the 10 Day Turkish Delight Vacation Package itinerary. It highlights one of the most visited destinations of Turkey; Ancient City of EphesusPamukkaleAntalya Old CityWaterfallsTomb of MevlanaOzkonak Underground CityGoreme Open Air Museum, Cappadocia.

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