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What to See around Antalya Old Town

This post will take you on a walk to the most interesting sights in and around Antalya Old Town, Turkey. Antalya’s historic old town Kaleici is a sight in itself and there’s even more to see outside the thick city walls.

We will start in the seaside park Karaaliogly and walk around Kaleici to the local’s favorite shopping area, from where we will head west to the Museum of Antalya and Antalya’s main beach Konyaalti.

Antalya umbrellas

Walking around Antalya Old Town: a street covered with umbrellas

Before dark we will take a Turkish dolmus bus back from Konyaalti Beach and return to the shopping and dining area north of Antalya Old Town.

This post will show you the sights around Antalya’s city walls. To read about the area inside the city walls, Kaleici, check out my post Walk in Kaleici, Antalya Old Town.

Turkish carpets for sale in Kaleici, Antalya Old Town

Colorful Turkish carpets for sale in Kaleici, Antalya Old Town

Sights around Antalya Old Town on the Map

 

Walking itinerary around Antalya Old Town

The map shows a walking itinerary around the old town of Antalya, first to the Antalya Museum and from there on to Konyaalti Beach. You can either choose this route, or follow the seaside promenade.

So, we started at the east end of the Port of Antalya in Kaleici, and climbed up the long stone stairs from there. Following the narrow lanes we found more stairs leading up and came to a scenic place with a row of restaurants with a superb view to the Mediterranean. They looked nice but as the waiters were too aggressive in trying to get us stay there, we walked on.

An Antalya sea view

An Antalya sea view

This is the place where Antalya’s seaside park Karaaliogly starts.

What to See around Antalya Old Town: Karaaliogly Park

Turkish flags in Karaalioglu Park, Antalya

Turkish flags fill the main park of  Antalya

So Karaaliogly Park is right south of the Old Town, a big shady park offering fantastic views to the Mediterranean.

The park has a lot of fountains and statues, but what you see first its the Turkish flags hanging everywhere.

 

Karaaliogly Park is where Antalya locals gather on Sundays. They stroll here with their families and meet friends. For that purpose there’s a big shady tea garden where you can get a glass of Turkish tea. The park also is where Antalyan couples take their wedding photos.

We, however, didn’t want any tea in the park, but walked back to a tower restaurant that had even more amazing views. There was a bit of climbing to the tower, but the place was excellent, and the view!

North of Antalya Old Town

A typical view of Antalya, Turkey

The market hall of Antalya, Turkey

From Karagiooly Park we walked along the edge of the Old Town (Ataturk Street), first towards Hadrian’s Gate, and then to a road that has tram tracks (Cumhuriyet Cd.).

 

This area has a market hall (the big picture above) and a restaurant street covered with umbrellas in all colors.

Antalya's shopping zone

Antalya’s shopping zone

Walking further you will come to a typical Turkish shopping area. Shops, bazaars and restaurants. Lots of people. And mosques.

 

Konyaalti Road

Ataturk Park

Ataturk Park

We had planned to take a tram to Antalya Archaeological Museum that is 2 km west of the city center. But as there was no tram coming we started walking along Konyaalti Road. The street is not very pretty, but there is a good walking lane so it’s ok to walk.

After walking for a while there was the green Ataturk Park. The park is quite pretty and worth visiting, especially when the view to the bay is so great. A huge Ataturk statue takes the most central position in the park.

 

Antalya Archaeological Museum

Antalya Archeological Museum

Archaeological treasures of Antalya Archaeological Museum, Turkey

Antalya Archaeological Museum hides right opposite to the park. This museum is incredible. It doesn’t look inviting at all from the outside, but go in, the collection is huge.

This is one of the best museums in the whole country,showing how great history this area of Turkey has had, totally unknown for us, coming from Europe.

Most of the objects on display come from the surrounding areas, from places like Perge, Side, Efesos, Phaselis and Myra. The oldest finds are from the Karain Caves, after which came the Bronze age, the Greek and Roman periods and finally the Ottoman time.

 

There was a valuable mosaic collection showing how baby Achilles was dangled into 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.

If you want to see more about Phaselis, chek out this post: Lycian Way: A Walk to Phaselis Ruins

Hall of Gods

Statue of Aphrodite, Antalya Archeological Museum

Statue of Aphrodite in Antalya Archaeological Museum

The museum also has a Hall of Gods with rows of statues of the Greek Gods. So you have a chance to see such statues as Emperor Hadrian, Aphrodite and Hygeia, the Goddess of Health.

 

We found the museum so fascinating that we almost spent the whole afternoon inside when the Turkish history opened in front of us.

What to See around Antalya Old Town: Ataturk park

A view from Ataturk Park

The Mediterranean seen from Ataturk Park, Antalya

After the exhibition we spent some more time in the museum gardens where they had a display of antique pillars and columns and all kinds of massive things 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 the area where most Antalya tourists prefer to stay.

What to See around Antalya Old Town: Konyaalti Beach

Konyaalti Beach

Walking along Antalya’s 3 km beach

So we started walking along the beach, looking for a cafe to get something to eat, but there was absolutely nothing. Not a single place to sit at and not a single tourist on the beach.

IT was late April, but the beach was still uncleaned and toilets and other buildings could not be used. So April and early May is definitely not a beach season here yet, even when the season is almost there.

The many hotels look a bit old and stand empty, and the beach, too, looks a bit old and not well kept. But probably within a week or two it will change.

 

We were disappointed with the beach and happy for not having chosen to stay here. Antalya Old Town is much cleaner and a lot more interesting place to stay.

Back to the city

So we took the first dolmus back to the city. The ride was nice, the driver was friendly, the music loud and the dolmus looked very Turkish, like this:

 

It looks like Turkish dolmuses stop wherever somebody wants to join. They pay the fare with small coins so dolmus travel is very cheap. But watch your head in a Turkish dolmus! Many buses are low from the inside.

It was fun watching other passengers enter and leave, and soon the driver shouted Center and we jumped off. We had come to Antalya’s shopping streets.

Shopping in Antalya

A local cloth shop

An Antalya shopping street

Antalya has many busy shopping streets where almost always crowds of locals are walking. As clothes and shoes are cheap here you might make good bargains if you like the style.

 

Turkey is a big producer of cotton clothes. But the taste is different here than in my country. As we were more looking for international brands we didn’t really find anything to buy here. Only Turkish brands that we don’t know were sold in these streets.

But if you want to use time in Antalya shopping streets you will certainly make very good bargains on Turkish brands.

Turkish Food for Dinner

A view of a mosque

An Antalya mosque at sunset

After a long stroll in Antalya bazaars we then came back to the umbrella street and noticed how hungry we were.  We had not stopped to eat during the whole day, so in we went to one of the Turkish restaurants, looked what the locals had on their plates and ordered the same. Good and delicious!

 

These pictures show you the restaurant street at dusk and below is a night view from Antalya clock tower to the Mediterranean.

Good night Antalya!

My Other Posts on Turkey

If you are planning a trip to Turkey you might want to read about what to see inside the walls of Kaleici, the old town of Antalya.

Or why not make a day trip from Antalya? Check out how to make a day trip to Kemer, hike the Lycian Way or take a dolmus bus to the Upper Duden Waterfalls north of Antalya.

Sea view from Antalya Old Town

Bye bye from Antalya!

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