15 Unmissable Antalya Attractions: Things To Do In Antalya

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Post author Nicky

Written by our local expert Nicky

Nicky, originally from the UK, is now a local in Turkey. She moved to Marmaris, Türkiye for love 12 years ago and is now your Turkey travel planner.

Nestled on the stunning Turquoise Coast of Turkey, the province of Antalya is a true gem waiting to be explored. Turkey, as a country, is massive, and within its vast expanse, you’ll find countless natural wonders that never fail to amaze. However, when you venture to the Antalya region, known as the Turkish Riviera, you’ll discover a coastal paradise that truly stands out.

My guide shows you just what to see and do in Antalya.

Turkey Travel Blog_Things To Do In Antalya_Top Natural Wonders

Antalya isn’t just any coastal city; it’s a captivating blend of history, natural beauty, and beachfront bliss. With a longer summer season than some of its neighbors, like the Dalaman region, Antalya lures millions of visitors annually, drawn by its pristine beaches that are wonders in their own right. But if you’re eager to witness Mother Nature’s finest work, there’s a wealth of treasures to explore.

From ancient ruins and archaeological sites dating back to the Byzantine and Roman periods to the mesmerizing rock formations along its coast, Antalya is a perfect place for history buffs, nature enthusiasts, and beach lovers alike. Discover top tourist attractions like the ancient town of Phaselis, the historic center of Antalya Old Town, and the Roman ruins of Perge.

So, if you’re craving a destination where history meets coastal beauty, Antalya on the Turquoise Coast awaits your exploration.

By categorizing these attractions, you can better plan your visit to Antalya based on your interests, whether you’re drawn to natural beauty, historical sites, outdoor adventures, cultural experiences, or family-friendly activities.

Natural Antalya Attractions

So, what natural wonders are there to see in Antalya? What to do in Antalya beyond the urban attractions and busy beaches?


Here are some of the best places to visit near Antalya for nature lovers to put on your Antalya itinerary.

1. Stroll Among The Many Waterfalls

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

There are many beautiful waterfalls in and around Antalya, many of which are open to visitors all year long. If you only have two days in Antalya, or perhaps just one day in Antalya, seeing an Antalya waterfall or two should be a priority.

Kursunlu Waterfall

Kursunlu Waterfall is an excellent spot for bird lovers, as there are over 100 different species that call this area home. It’s almost like a tropical getaway!

Manavgat Waterfall

Manavgat Waterfall is another excellent place in Antalya, which is widely known to be one of the best in the region and is located around 3km out of central Antalya. At 3 meters high, the waterfall is a pretty powerful one, and the spray is very cool on a hot day! You can enjoy a picnic area, and there are restaurants around the waterfall, including a fantastic seafood restaurant.

Duden Waterfalls

A rainbow is shining over Duden waterfalls, Antalya

One of the most famous waterfalls in Antalya is Duden Waterfalls. Located just 15 minutes from Antalya Airport, you’ll find two attractive options to check out. The Upper Duden Waterfall and Lower Duden Waterfall are both open to visitors.

Upper Duden has a sheltered pool where you can swim and cool down under the shade of the trees, but Lower Duden is probably the most stunning in terms of raw power. The waterfall cascades down the 50-meter-high cliffs into the sea below, and you can hear the roaring as it does so. It’s genuinely one of the most remarkable things to see in Antalya.

2. Köprülü Canyon National Park

What To See In Antalya - What To See In AOluk Bridge across Kopru Irmagi creek in Koprulu Kanyon

Köprülü Canyon is a canyon and a national park in the Province of Antalya. It’s one of the top Antalya sightseeing places, especially among outdoorsy visitors and lovers of stunning natural scenery.

This vast national park is located in Manavgat, a short distance from central Antalya. To get from Antalya to the park, you’ll drive through the mountain passes, a road packed with jaw-dropping scenery. The canyon is enormous, around 14km long, and runs along the Koprucay River.

Within the canyon, you’ll find all manner of flora and fauna, wildlife, shady spots, and simply beautiful spots that you’ll definitely want to capture on camera. This area is also known to be a special spot for trees, with giant oak trees, red pine, cedar fir, and black pine. You’ll also find a beautiful cypress forest here.

Suppose you want to enjoy something a little wild and energetic. In that case, you can try white-water rafting within the canyon or wander around the many archaeological sites, including Roman bridges from back in the day. You can camp here, hike, and enjoy the chilled-out vibe.

3. Altinbesik Cave National Park

Altinbesik Cave National Park is home to the 3rd largest underground water cave in the world. However, it’s known for far more than that. You’ll find countless indigenous trees, flora and fauna, and plenty of wildlife, including wild goats, foxes, wolves, and wild boars.

The cave itself is the highlight, and when you enter, the first 200 meters are permanently submerged underwater. From there, you head down to a steep section which is arguably the most beautiful part, covered in white travertine.

The top section is always dry, but the rest is often wet, and you’ll find large ponds dotted around. As a result of the water, the cave is humid and never really dips below 16 C.

The park is located in a small village called Urunlu Village, which is downright beautiful in its own right. You’ll find many trips that head to the caves, but you can drive from the Antalya city center, which will take you around 2.5 hours.

4. Dim Cave

Underground lake in the Dim cave next to Antalya

While reading this guide on what to do in Antalya, Türkiye, you may be shocked to know we’ve added another cave.

Yes, another cave!

This one is located in Alanya, one of the beach resorts in the Antalya province, just under 2 hours from Antalya city center.

Dim Cave comprises limestone, and you’ll see erosion that has taken place over centuries, creating a fantastic shape and character. The complex has two caves, estimated to be over a million years old! You can walk through the caves, and they’re very well-lit. You’ll also be able to visit the small underground lake.

Remember to take a jacket or cardigan with you when you visit the caves, even if it’s the warmest month of the year – it is much cooler underground. The only downside is that the caves have many steps that lead down to them and within them, which could cause a problem for anyone with mobility issues.

5. Chimaera Tourist Attractions

What to see un Antalya - Flames of Mount Chimaera from the underground, Cirali

Around 1.5 hours away from Antalya city center, you’ll find Cirali. Not only is there a stunning beach here, but you can also visit a phenomenon that will have you shivering for all the right reasons!

Grab some comfortable walking shoes and head up the mountain to Cimaera, a spot where fire constantly jumps out from between the breaks in the rocks. The story is that Chimaera, a mythological Greek monster made up of a goat, lion, and snake hybrid, was fought and conquered here by Bellerophon, a hero of the time.

Of course, the legend is that the fire jumping up from the rocks is due to the monster’s lasting presence, but it’s actually because of methane trapped between the rocks!

On the way, you’ll also be able to visit a temple that is dedicated to the God of Fire from Greek mythology.

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Historical And Archaeological Sites In Antalya

6. Aspendos Ancient Theater

Best places to visit in Turkey - Aspendos

Prepare to be transported back in time as you step into the remarkable Aspendos Ancient Theater, a marvel of Roman engineering and architecture. With seating for up to 15,000 spectators, this is one of the best-preserved theaters and is renowned for its exceptional acoustics, making it an ideal spot for cultural performances.

History enthusiasts and theater buffs will find this a must-visit site. Located approximately 45 kilometers east of Antalya, you can easily reach Aspendos by car or on guided tours.

7. Perge Ancient City

History enthusiasts and archaeology buffs will delight in exploring the ruins of Perge, an ancient Roman city located just 18 kilometers east of Antalya.

Highlights include a well-preserved stadium, an impressive agora (marketplace), and Roman baths. Perge offers a captivating glimpse into the past and is suitable for those interested in ancient civilizations and architecture.

8. Hadrian’s Gate

Hadrian’s gate Antalya leading to a courtyard in a city.

Step through time at Hadrian’s Gate, an iconic Roman triumphal arch built in the 2nd century AD to honor Roman Emperor Hadrian. It’s a must-see landmark for history aficionados and casual tourists alike.

Located at the entrance to Antalya’s Old Town, Hadrian’s Gate is easily accessible and suitable for all types of travelers.

9. Phaselis Ancient City

Best Beaches in Antalya featuring Phaselis Beach and the ruins.

History buffs and adventure seekers alike will be captivated by the ruins of Phaselis, an ancient Lycian city. Explore the best preserved harbors, Roman baths, and an amphitheater with a stunning backdrop of the Mediterranean Sea.

It’s accessible by car or guided tours and offers a mix of history and natural beauty.

Outdoor Adventures And Nature Parks In Antalya

We’ve already highlighted a few attractions that also fit into this category:

  • Köprülü Canyon
  • Altinbesik Cave National Park
  • Chimaera 

In addition, add these stops to your outdoor adventure trek in Antalya:

10. Termessos National Park At The Taurus Mountains

What to see in Anyalya Turkey - Termessos Theatre

If you’re a fan of soaring mountains and the fantastic scenery that accompanies them, you have to head to Termessos National Park. Located around 34 kilometers northwest of Antalya, this park is right at the bottom of the imposing Taurus Mountains.

Gulluk Mountain is undoubtedly one of the highlights, along with Mecene Gorge. Check out the fragrant trees, beautiful flowers, and rocks that seem to have characters all of their own. This is also a spot for endangered wildlife, including roe deer, wild mountain goats, and the great black eagle.

The park is also located very close to Termessos Ancient City, and you can spot the ruins from the site itself. If you love walking in nature, this is easily one of the best places to visit in Antalya for you, and there is also a huge ancient amphitheater, dating back to Roman times, that you must check out.

Because it offers fascinating history and spectacular landscapes, this is easily one of the top Antalya Turkey tourist attractions you should visit.

11. Kekova Island

Best Islands In Turkey - Kekova Island and Kalekoy from Simena Castle, Kas Antalya Turkey

Embark on a boat trip to Kekova Island to witness the mesmerizing submerged ruins of ancient Simena. This adventure is perfect for those who appreciate history and scenic beauty. You can also swim in the crystal-clear waters of the Mediterranean.

To get there, join a boat tour departing from nearby towns like Demre or Kas, making it accessible for travelers of all types.

12. Olympus And Cirali Beaches

Sandy Beaches In Turkey - Aerial view of Cirali Beach from ancient Olympos ruins

For a tranquil beach escape, head to Olympos and Cirali, nestled along the Mediterranean coast. These serene beaches are perfect for couples and nature lovers seeking relaxation amidst lush greenery. Keep an eye out for the Chimaera phenomenon, where natural flames flicker from the rocks.

You can reach Olympos and Cirali by car or via guided tours departing from Antalya.

Cultural And Heritage Attractions In Antalya

We’ve already highlighted a few attractions that also fit into this category:

  • Aspendos Ancient Theater
  • Hadrian’s Gate

In addition, add this cultural stop in Antalya:

13. Antalya Old Town (Kaleiçi)

Antalya Guide - Hidirlik Tower in Antalya, Turkey
Hidirlik Tower in Antalya

Lose yourself in the winding streets and alleys of Antalya’s Old Town, also known as Kaleiçi. This charming historic district boasts well-preserved Ottoman-era buildings, boutique hotels, and quaint cafes.

Stroll along the ancient city walls, visit the historic clock tower, and explore the picturesque marina. It’s a perfect destination for solo travelers, couples, and families seeking a leisurely walk through history.

Accessible on foot from central Antalya or via public transportation.

Family-Friendly And Leisure Activities In Antalya

We’ve already highlighted a few attractions that also fit into this category:

  • Olympos and Cirali Beaches

In addition, add this family-friendly stop in Antalya:

14. Antalya Aquarium

Dive into the mesmerizing world of marine life at the Antalya Aquarium, a family-friendly attraction with a range of interactive exhibits. Ideal for kids and families, this aquarium showcases diverse aquatic species, including sharks and colorful coral reefs. Situated near Konyaaltı Beach, it’s easily reachable by public transport or a short drive.

Festivals & Events In Antalya

15. Kick back and get to know Turkish culture better with one of these many festivals. 

International Antalya Film Festival

This film festival showcases a wide range of international and Turkish films. It attracts filmmakers, actors, and cinema enthusiasts from around the world.

Antalya International Piano Festival

Music lovers can enjoy classical piano performances by renowned musicians during this annual festival, which takes place in various venues across Antalya.

Antalya International Jazz Festival

Jazz enthusiasts can groove to the rhythm of jazz music performed by both local and international artists. The festival offers a diverse lineup of jazz styles.

Antalya Festival

Celebrated during the summer months, this festival features a variety of cultural events, including music concerts, dance performances, and art exhibitions. It’s a vibrant celebration of the city’s culture.

Aspendos Opera and Ballet Festival

Held at the ancient Aspendos Theater, this festival presents spectacular opera and ballet performances against the backdrop of a historic Roman theater.

Antalya Sand Sculpture Festival

Talented artists from around the world create intricate sand sculptures on Lara Beach. This unique festival allows visitors to admire impressive sand artistry.

Antalya Carnival

A lively and colorful event, the Antalya Carnival includes parades, costumes, music, and dancing. It’s a festive occasion that brings the community together.

Antalya International Folk Music and Dance Festival

Folk groups from various countries come to Antalya to share their traditional music and dance performances, offering a glimpse into diverse global cultures.

Antalya Piano Festival

This festival features piano recitals and performances by both local and international pianists. It’s a treat for classical music enthusiasts

Antalya Orchid Exhibition

Orchid lovers can admire a stunning display of these beautiful flowers at the annual Orchid Exhibition, where rare and exotic orchid varieties are showcased.

Best Time To Visit The Top Attractions In Antalya

A collection of boats parked on one of the best beaches in Antalya - Suluada Beach

So, when is the best time to visit Antalya?

Well, many people don’t realize that Antalya is a year-round destination. Sure, you’re not going to be swimming on the Antalya coast in January, but the winters here are very mild compared to the rest of Europe and also compared to much of the country.

That means you can have delightful days during the winter, allowing you to walk around in a t-shirt and cardigan or light jacket and enjoy what the greater Antalya region has to offer. Some of the best things to do in Antalya Türkiye are available throughout winter, too.

From June to September, all Antalya attractions are bustling. This is the peak summer season, and you can expect crowds in abundance. While you can certainly head out to see some of the natural places to visit in Antalya, including a famous Antalya waterfall or two, during this time, there is a downside, too. Actually, there are two – firstly, crowds.

People will be jostling for space, which doesn’t make for the most relaxing day—secondly, the weather. Antalya during the summer can easily hit 40 degrees C, and you’re very unlikely to see rain.

Many of the natural gems have some amount of natural shade, but not all of them, which means you will be exposed to the sun for most of the day when exploring these Antalya tourist attractions.

For that reason, the shoulder seasons of April to June and late September to mid-November are ideal for exploring the numerous natural activities in Antalya. If you’re planning a holiday in Antalya, Turkey, these are the months we recommend visiting.

Between mid-November and the end of March, the availability of hotels in the Antalya city center and along the coast does drop a little. However, there is plenty to choose from, including Lara Beach’s seriously upmarket 5-star options. Many of the Antalya Old Town hotels and beachside restaurants will still be open at that time. Winter is also a great time to visit if you prefer a more authentic vibe.

When visiting during these times, you’ll be able to explore with a greater degree of comfort in terms of space and weather. However, it all comes down to your general availability and preferences – we’re all different!

How To Get Around Antalya

Antalya International Airport (AYT)


Distances between the best places to visit in Antalya can be large, but the good news is that getting around isn’t difficult.

The main natural attractions can all be reached on an Antalya excursion from the main resorts in and around the city, which are usually exceptionally well-priced. You typically get your lunch within your tour price, admission to the attraction, and return transport.

If you prefer to do things independently, you can hire a car and drive to different attractions very quickly. Overall, the roads in Türkiye are very high quality, but if you are going somewhere a little off the beaten track, i.e., an Antalya waterfall or a cave, you may find that the final section of your drive is full of twists and turns. Take your time and drive slowly.

The other option is public transport, which often means catching a dolmus (a small minibus). These can become quite crowded, especially during the summer, and tend to go “around the houses,” as locals use them to get to and from towns and villages. However, by doing that, you’ll see beautiful scenery and get an authentic experience.

Final Thoughts On Antalya, Turkey

The entire Antalya Province is packed with beautiful natural areas to check out, and during one visit, you’ll never make it around them. There are plenty of things to do surrounding Antalya.

Distances around the Province are relatively large, but by knowing the best places to visit in Antalya for nature, you can direct your time and attention towards the area that will open your eyes to the beauty and wonder of Antalya in Türkiye.

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