Marmaris Vs. Antalya. Choosing Between Antalya Or Marmaris

Post author SJ

Written by our local expert SJ

Sarah-Jane has lived in Croatia for 10+ years. SJ, as she is known, has been traveling the Balkans & beyond since 2000. She now shares her passion for traveling with her husband & kids.

Should you visit Antalya Or Marmaris? This guide shares detailed information about weighing up Marmaris vs. Antalya.  We cover the top attractions and the best day trip ideas.

In a rush and want to know how to choose between Antalya or Marmaris? Here is what we think you should know:

Antalya Marmaris
Perfect for outdoor lovers A less crowded beach town
Known for its local cuisine Awesome for water sports
Excellent location & rich history Vibrant nightlife

Keep reading below for our in-depth analysis on weighing up Antalya vs. Marmaris.

Turkey is famous for its vibrant culture, delectable Turkish cuisine, rich history, and heavenly beaches. Each city and region in Türkiye provide its visitors with a different experience, and among the most popular destinations are Antalya and Marmaris.

Each has its own blend of culture, history, and entertainment. While both cities are known for their stunning beaches and Mediterranean climate, they each offer unique traits that appeal to various types of travelers. Each city’s culture, attractions, and cuisine are similar due to their geographical proximity and climate.

Turkey Travel Blog_How To Choose Between Marmaris and Antalya Turkiye

Let’s dive into the differences between Antalya and Marmaris and compare both cities. If you need to decide which city to visit before planning your next holiday to Turkey, keep reading!

What information is in this guide

Antalya, Türkiye

Antalya Guide - Hidirlik Tower in Antalya, Turkey

Known for its stunning natural beauty and rich history, Antalya is a city located on the Mediterranean coast of Turkey. The city has a long history that dates to the Roman Empire, and it is home to several ancient ruins and monuments, including Hadrian’s Gate, Hıdırılık Tower, and the ancient city of Perge.

The old town, Kaleiçi, is the ideal combination of modern conveniences and historical beauty. Antalya is also noted for its beaches, clean waters, and Mediterranean temperature, making it a popular beach resort.

Thanks to the Taurus Mountains encircling the area, the city is perfect for outdoor enthusiasts who enjoy hiking, skiing, paragliding, and other activities.

Why You Should Visit Antalya

Best beaches in Turkey - Kaputas beach Antalya
Kaputas Beach, Antalya

Antalya is one of the most scenic and peaceful cities in Türkiye, and here are some of the reasons why it should be your choice for your next visit:

  • Stunning Beaches: Antalya is well-known for its stunning beaches, crystal blue waters, and Mediterranean climate. The beaches in the city are ideal for swimming, sunbathing, and water sports
  • Outdoor Activities: The unique nature of Antalya provides several chances for outdoor enthusiasts, including hiking, skiing, and paragliding
  • Delicious Local Cuisine: Antalya is well-known for its delicious Mediterranean cuisine, which includes seafood, kebab, and Turkish pastries. You can taste the unique cuisine of Antalya at myriads of restaurants in the city. Plus, the local taverns serve the most savory foods with traditional beverages
  • A Rich History: Antalya has a rich history that dates back to the Roman Empire and is home to several old ruins and monuments, including Hadrian’s Gate, Hıdırılık Tower, and the ancient city of Perge. You can visit the Old Town (Kaleiçi) and other historical sites to learn more about this history and culture
  • Shopping: If you’re planning to buy souvenirs and authentic objects, Antalya must be your first choice! The city is a fantastic shopping destination, with everything from traditional trinkets to luxury brands available
  • Pleasant Weather: Antalya has a Mediterranean climate, which means hot summers and mild winters, making it a great year-round vacation
  • Excellent Location: Antalya is well-connected to other cities by air and land, making it a perfect base for exploring the rest of Türkiye and the Mediterranean

Reasons Not to Visit Antalya

What To See In Antalya - Waterfall Duden at Antalya, Turkey
Waterfall Duden, Antalya

Being a heavenly destination doesn’t mean Antalya is perfect; there are some things you should know before making it your next holiday destination:

  • Crowded Tourist Areas: Antalya is a crowded city, especially during the peak season. Therefore, if you’re planning to visit Antalya in the summer, you should expect most places to be overcrowded. So, Antalya isn’t the best location if you want a quiet beach holiday
  • Limited Cultural Activities: Despite the city’s rich history, cultural activities are not as diverse and broad as in other places
  • Fewer Options For Vegetarians And Vegans: Although there are great vegan restaurants in the city, Antalya’s traditional cuisine is mostly meat and seafood based. Finding vegetarian and vegan options at most restaurants isn’t impossible, albeit difficult
  • High Prices: If you’re visiting Antalya during the peak season, you should be ready for higher prices than most Turkish cities. Antalya is already an expensive city, and with the beginning of the tourism season, the prices always go up. Therefore, if you’re looking for a budget holiday, you might want to consider other options

Day Trips From Antalya

Antalya has a pristine sea and untouched coves, which you can reach by a short day trip from the city. Some of the day trip options from Antalya are:

Perge & Aspendos

Perge and Aspendos are ancient Roman cities near Antalya. Perge is famous for its well-preserved agora, while Aspendos is known for its impressive Roman theatre, which is still in use today. Visiting these ancient cities will help you understand the city’s past and explore daily life in ancient Anatolia.


How To Get From Pamukkale To Cappadocia - Sunset at Pamukkale

Pamukkale is a UNESCO World Heritage Site located about 200 kilometers from Antalya. It is famous for its white travertine terraces formed by mineral-rich thermal waters. If you’re into natural wonders, you should visit Pamukkale and get ready to be amazed.

Yacht Tour

Going over the turquoise waters while soaking up the warm Mediterranean sun is a unique feeling. And, when you’re in Antalya, you can experience this feeling. A yacht tour is the best way to explore nearby islands and hidden coves. You can see caves, beaches, and other natural wonders, as well as have the opportunity to swim in an untouched cove far from the crowds.


Marmaris, Türkiye

Things to do in Marmaris Turkey

Marmaris is a scenic coastal town in Türkiye’s southwestern area, located between the Mediterranean and Aegean seas. The town’s lovely setting and breathtaking natural beauty make it a popular tourist destination for visitors.

Marmaris is also home to myriads of picturesque beaches, crystal-clear waters, and spectacular sunsets. The long stretch of sandy beach runs along the town’s promenade and is perfect for sunbathing and swimming.

Another popular feature of Marmaris is its active nightlife, with a range of pubs, nightclubs, and restaurants offering something for everyone. You can enjoy traditional Turkish music at one of the town’s many taverns or sample local dishes at a seafood restaurant.

Why You Should Visit Marmaris

As we said, Marmaris is famous for its delicious cuisine and vibrant nightlife, yet these aren’t the only reasons you should visit this magnificent city. Here are some of the other reasons you should visit Marmaris:

  • Rich History: The town is full of history; its ancient ruins and historical monuments are a testament to its cultural heritage. The ancient city of Caunos, located just a few kilometers from Marmaris, is a must-see for history buffs
  • Water Sports: Marmaris offers its visitors a variety of activities, such as jet skiing, water skiing, parasailing, and windsurfing. The city is quite favored among water sports enthusiasts and one of the best choices if you’re seeking new experiences
  • Less Crowded: Despite being a famous tourist destination, Marmaris is less crowded than other Mediterranean towns, such as Bodrum and Antalya. So, it might be the perfect destination for those wanting a quiet holiday

Reasons Not To Visit Marmaris

Best beaches in Turkey - beach in Icmeler

Being a peaceful tourist town doesn’t mean Marmaris is perfect. Here are some of the reasons you might not want to visit Marmaris during the holiday season:

  • It’s a Noisy City: Marmaris is noisy, mainly because of its vibrant nightlife. Therefore, finding a quiet hotel will be one of your top priorities when visiting Marmaris
  • Pollution: Being a popular destination also has its cons; one is definitely pollution. While Marmaris has been developing throughout the past few decades, air and water pollution has become vital. As a result, if you have respiratory issues or allergies, you might want to choose a less polluted destination for your holidays
  • Annoying Vendors: Buying souvenirs for loved ones is always a great idea, but when it comes to Marmaris’ street vendors, you should be ready for the worst. Most vendors are persistent and can become aggressive, which can be an issue for people who don’t like to be bothered by a bunch of people trying to sell them stuff

Day Trips From Marmaris

Marmaris is home to some of the most scenic spots, magnificent ancient cities, and pristine coves. Of course, seeing all of Marmaris’ wonders in a limited time is difficult. Nevertheless, you can discover some of the most popular nearby destinations by taking a day trip from the town.


A beautiful town on the Dalyan River noted for its natural beauty, ancient ruins, and mud spas. The village, surrounded by lush woodlands, is home to the 7th century BC ancient city of Kaunos. Visitors can visit the city’s ruins, which include a theatre, an agora, and a bathhouse. The town is also famous for its mud baths, where visitors can relax and rejuvenate their skin.


Beaches in Fethiye - People at the Calis beach near center of Fethiye city in Mugla
Calis Beach, Fethiye

Fethiye is a picturesque town on Turkey’s southwestern coast, noted for its beaches, historical monuments, and stunning surroundings. Found in a beautiful bay bordered by the Taurus Mountains, Fethiye is a true heaven for beach-goers and nature enthusiasts.


Göçek is another charming hamlet on the Fethiye Gulf famed for its marina and sailing options. The town is a prominent yachting and sailing resort and home to one of the major marinas in Türkiye. Visitors can explore the local bays and islands by a boat trip around the gulf.

So, will you visit Antalya Or Marmaris? We trust that we have made it easier for you to weigh up Marmaris vs. Antalya for your Turkey vacation this year.

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