Country: Turkey
Currency: Lira (TRY)
Peak Season: July-August
Shoulder Season: November-March
Median Temperature: 18.90 C / 66.02 F
Main Languages: Turkish, Arabic, English
Primary Modes of Transportation: Bus, mini-bus, tram, dolmus, taxi
Recommended Duration of Stay: 4 days
Recommended Pocket Money: $120.00/day
Tourist Passes: n/a
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Turkey’s sunshine and holiday capital, Antalya, is well-known for its beaches, entertainment, nightlife, marina, archeological sites and mountainous regions. With a population of roughly a million, but having an expanse of approximately 547 sq. miles, you won’t feel the usual jostling and busy vibe other Turkish cities have. Additionally, getting to and back from Ankara, Bodrum, Istanbul and Izmir are made possible via low cost domestic flights.

The city’s tremendous fortification from various annals is history is an offshoot of its direct proximity to the Gulf of Antalya, which attracts not only merchants, but also conquerors from far regions like Greece and Rome. Successful conquests of the city led to the diverse architecture, evident in the proliferation of churches and mosques.

Antalya prides itself in tourism and streamlining its urbanization with the preservation of Lycian, Ottoman and Byzantine architecture and remains. Despite being touted as “expensive,” much of the city can be explored for free without the constraint on hanging inside bars and restaurants. Within the city center are a number of places of religious worship, as well as historic houses that exude Lycian and Ottoman touches. The city is also host to many art-endeavored international festivals during summer.

Packing List

  • Light, cottony clothes, sunglasses and sunscreen since Antalya is one of the hotter Turkish cities during summer; beachwear is advisable, as rentals are costly
  • A decent camera, good zoom lenses (for the panoramic sceneries), plenty of film/memory, batteries; a tripod will also be useful if you’re planning to take shots from the cliffs
  • Shorts and other touristy apparel; unlike in densely populated Istanbul and Ankara where the in attire include pants and polo shirts , Antalya is better suited for those wearing “country club” outfits
  • Credit cards and debit cards are widely accepted in many hotels, malls and restaurants; foreign currency is very much appreciated by the merchants because of the high inflation rates
  • Comfortable walking shoes (regardless of whether or not you’re trekking or just exploring); the city has stretches of high terrain unsuitable for the inexperienced trekker, more so the unprepared

Things to Do

  • Participating in Lycian archeological tours, treks en route the Taurus Mountains; ruins of historical interest include: Aspendus, Kekova, Hierapolis & Pamukkale, Phaselis, Olympus, Myra, and Termessus
  • Enjoying the turquoise beaches (Olimpos, Side, Kemer), despite most of them having pebbly and course-grained shores; beaches usually stretch for miles and are best visited during the off-season
  • Visiting a flurry of archeological and anthropological museums, including the Antalya Museum (Greek, Roman), Antalya Archaeological Museum (indigenous), and Karain Cave Museum (prehistoric)
  • Shopping for dresses, jewelry and tapestry at the Antalya Bazaar, Dogu Garaji Market, or at the historic town of Kaleici; be discerning however, as there are plenty of knock-offs in these markets
  • Overlooking the Gulf of Antalya and the cliffs from the Hidirlik Tower (and from several vantage points) at Karaalioglu Park; a few government offices and edifices are also found here


  • Comfortable walking shoes (regardless of whether or not you’re trekking or just exploring); the city has stretches of high terrain unsuitable for the inexperienced trekker, more so the unprepared
  • Lock yourself inside your hotel room or spend too much time in a restaurant; Antalya is the pinnacle of exploration in Turkey, make no mistake about it—the hiking trails are easily locatable
  • Forget to observe Islamic laws and traditions; while Antalya may pass off as a lenient city, one still has to remember that this is still in fact Turkey, and disrespect is inexcusable
  • Ask the tourists where they’re headed or if they have suggestions; tourists you see here might be recurring ones and are open to shelling out firsthand accounts of places you should/shouldn’t go to
  • Go scouring for souvenirs; there are very little of these here; understand that it is forbidden to export antiques (that are considered to be of historic significance) out of the country