Antalya, Turkey

Antalya is Turkey’s largest seaside city, located on the Anatolian coast (also known as the Turquoise Coast). It was first settled in 200 BC by the Attalid dynasty, which soon came under the rule of Rome. The area has been controlled by many including the Byzantines and the Ottomans, before Turkey declared its independence in 1923. Large-scale development beginning in the 1970s transformed Antalya from a rural town into one of Turkey’s largest metropolitan areas. Much of this expansion has been due to tourism, which swelled in the 21st century. Today the city is still centered on the tourism industry. I have had the pleasure to visit this city multiple times because Antalya is my husband’s hometown.


Old Town
This section of Antalya, named Kaleici, is filled with beautiful architecture and quaint cobblestoned streets. It is a great place to get lost in a maze of streets, while exploring the ancient ruins, admiring the many mosques, enjoying the local cuisine and shopping for local hand crafts.

Hadrian’s Gate – Built to honor the Roman Emperor Hadrian who visited the city in 130, it is the only remaining entrance gate in the wall that surrounds the Old City.

Hıdırlık Tower– It is believed that the ruling Roman Empire built the tower in the second century. It is located at the point where the city wall meets the sea wall.


Clock Tower – This is the last surviving structure from the 80 towers that made up the ancient walls of the city. This tower is often seen as the iconic image of Antalya because of its unique design and nod to its ancient past.

YivliMinare Mosque – This historical mosque dates back to 1230. Today the building houses the Antalya Ethnographic Museum and contains many different artifacts from the city’s past.


The old harbor of Antalya is a small bay surrounded by cliffs and the ancient city wall. Today the harbor is used as a marina that is often busy with tourists and locals alike. There is a glass elevator that takes visitors down to the harbor – or back up. You can also take a boat cruise from the harbor, which is a wonderful way to view the city, while also enjoying the beautiful Mediterranean Sea.

Antalya Aquarium
This is a large, contemporary attraction with multiple themed aquariums and the world’s longest tunnel aquarium. It also has an XD cinema, wildlife park, and a snow and ice museum.


Konyaaltı Beach
One of two main beaches in Antalya (Lara is the other).