You start in Karaaliogly Park in the south and walk around the Old Town to the lively local shopping streets at the north edge of Kaleici.
From here you head west to the Museum of Antalya and Konyaalti Beach. Before dark it’s time to take a dolmus back and inspect the shops and restaurants of the city.
We started at the east end of the Port of Antalya where we climbed up the stairs.
We followed the narrow lanes and discovered more stairs leading up. We came to a scenic place with many restaurants with a superb view to the Mediterranean. The waiters were too aggressive in trying us to stay there so we walked on.
This is the place where Karaaliogly Park starts.
Sightseeing around Antalya Old Town: the Map
The map shows a rough route description up to the Antalya Museum, but as Google seems to have some problem in presenting walking routes in Turkey the map doesn’t show that we in fact followed the beach all the way from there on.
Karaaliogly Park is just south of the Old Town. It’s a big shady park on a high hill and there’s a beautiful view to the Mediterranean.
The park has many fountains and statues, and above all, lots of Turkish flags hanging everywhere.
Locals like coming to Karaaliogly Park and they stroll here with their families meeting friends. There’s a big tea garden in a shady place where they come and have a glass of Turkish tea. We saw many just married couples taking their wedding photos in this pretty park.
We didn’t have tea in the park, instead we took something to drink in a tower restaurant that we had passed earlier. It was a bit of climbing but the place was excellent, and the view!
North of Antalya Old Town
From Karagiooly Park we walked along the edge of the Old Town (Ataturk street) towards Hadrian’s Gate and came to the road that has tram tracks (Cumhuriyet Cd.).
Here is a market hall (the picture above) and a popular restaurant street with umbrellas that you can see in the big picture.
When you walk further you come to the the lively shopping area. Shops, bazaars and restaurants. Lots of people. And of course mosques.
We were thinking about taking a tram to Antalya Archeological Museum that is 2 km west of the city center. But there was no tram coming so we started walking along Konyaalti Road. The street is not very pretty, but there is a good walking lane so it’s good to walk.
After walking a bit we reached Ataturk Park. The park is pretty and the view to the bay is great. There is a huge Ataturk statue in the middle of the park.
Antalya Archeological Museum
Antalya Archeological Museum is right opposite to Ataturk Park. This museum is incredible. It doesn’t look inviting from the outside but the collection is huge. This is one of the best museums in the country and it shows how great history this area has that we Europeans don’t even think about.
Most of the objects in the museum come from the surrounding area, from places like Perge, Side, Efesos, Phaselis and Myra. The oldest finds are from the Karain Caves, then comes the Bronze age, Greek and Roman periods and finally the Ottoman period.
There was an imposing mosaic collection showing baby Achilles being dangled in to the river by his mother. What I liked most was the collection of pottery, ceramics and art found at Phaselis and other antique cities around Antalya.
Hall of Gods
There is a Hall of Gods where you can see rows of statues of the Greek Gods. Here you can see the statues of Emperor Hadrian, Aphrodite and Hygeia, the Goddess of Health.
We almost spent the whole afternoon in this museum learning a lot about Turkish history.
After the exhibition we spent some time in the museum gardens where they had a display of antique pillars and columns and other massive things of stone and marble found in the area.
Ataturk park ends in a big open terrace with a great view towards Konyaalti Beach. Konyaalti Beach is a 3 km long pebble beach and this is the area where most tourists stay.
We started to walk along the beach looking for a cafe where to get something to eat but there was absolutely nothing. Not a single nice place to sit at. The beach was dirty, the toilet and other buildings were in a bad condition. It was not beach season yet but the season was almost beginning.
There are lots of hotels, a bit old, and also the beach looks a bit old, not very well kept.
We were disappointed with the beach. Of course there will be more life and services during the season. So we were happy that we hadn’t chosen to stay here. The Old Town is so much more interesting.
Back to the city
So we took the first dolmus back to the city. The driver was very friendly and the dolmus looked very Turkish, like this:
The dolmuses seem to stop wherever somebody wants to join. You pay with small coins, it’s very cheap. But watch your head, the buses are very low from the inside.
It was fun watching other passengers come and go, and soon the driver shouted Center and we jumped off. We had come to the shopping streets.
There are many lively shopping streets in Antalya and almost always crowds of locals shopping. The clothes and shoes are cheap so you might make good bargains.
Turkey is a big producer of cotton clothes. But the taste is different here than in my country. We didn’t really find anything to buy since we were looking for international brand stores and only Turkish brands that we are unfamiliar with were sold here.
But if you want to start exploring you might make very good bargains here on Turkish brands.
Time for Dinner
After walking through the maze of bazaars we returned to the umbrella street and were already very hungry after not eating anything during the whole day. So we stepped in one of the restaurants and ordered Turkish food, selecting on the basis of what other customers seemed to favor. Delicious!
These pictures are from the restaurant street and below is a night view from the clock tower to the Mediterranean.
My Other Blog Posts on Turkey
If you are planning a trip to Turkey you might want to read about Kaleici (the old town).