A booming clifftop resort
This booming clifftop resort town on the South-Western Turkish coast keeps its good looks and fine weather well into October. It’s even said that the original Saint Nicholas – aka Santa Claus – was from around here. That comes as no surprise from an ancient city steeped in history, courtesy of its Lycian, Pamphylian, Hellenistic, Roman, Byzantine, Seljuk and Ottoman influences. For a lesson in ancient civilisation, just take your pick.
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If you're after a special Turkish souvenir, Hesapçı Sokak in the Kaleiçi is where you should begin your shopping hunt. This narrow alley is lined with shops selling hand-painted ceramic work, copperware and lushly coloured carpets. For cheaper trinkets, check out the parade of dinky stalls which line the road leading down to the Roman Harbour. Full of shops selling Turkish delight, spice and halva, the Doğu Garajı Market in the centre of Antalya (off Cebasoy Caddesi) is a vibrant, local affair. Dive into the chaos to search out your treasure.
Food & Drink
The Kaleiçi area is home to the finest restaurants in Antalya. Seraser (Karanlık Sokak 18) dishes up Mediterranean-fusion dishes with stylish flair. Overlooking the harbour, Club Arma (Yatlımanı 42) has views to die for and a seafood menu to savour. If you're looking for a good value kebab meal, head outside of the old city walls to Atatürk Caddesi and its surrounding streets. There are plenty of places for a drink in Antalya, but the perfect place to sip a beer as sunset sinks over the sea is the Terrace Bar (Hıdırlık Sokak) with its dazzling cliff-side position.
This laid-back, boutique music festival takes place right on the beachfront and features top club DJs from across the world.
International Antalya Sand Sculpture Festival
The world's biggest sand art event takes place at Antalya's Lara Beach annually. Artists from across the world create mammoth sand sculptures to a specific theme which are then exhibited throughout the summer months. An average 20 million people visit every year.
Heralding the end of the summer holiday season, this 18-day extravaganza pulls together art workshops, folk music and dancing, a range of music concerts and lots of family-friendly activities in venues across the city.
International Antalya Golden Orange Film Festival
One of the most important film festivals in Turkey with the coveted Golden Orange awards for both drama and documentary films. Most screenings and events are held at the Antalya Culture Center while the glitzy closing night award ceremony takes place at the dramatic Roman amphitheatre at the nearby Aspendos ruins.
International Antalya Piano Festival
This celebration of piano music pulls together a programme of performances from rising stars as well as recognised names, taking place at the Antalya Culture Center.
With its traffic-free cobblestone alleys lined by a plethora of finely restored old stone buildings, Antalya’s Kaleiçi (Old Town) is the best area to lay your head if you want to soak up the atmosphere of this ancient town. Restoring a row of Ottoman houses to their previous grandeur, the Tuvana Hotel (Karanlık Sokak 18) is an intimate boutique-style treat. A step down in price but still dripping with old-world charm are Villa Perla (Hesapçı Sokak 26) and Mediterra Art Hotel (Zafer Sokak 5). Both have swimming pools to cool off in after a hard day spent strolling the alleys. For something cheaper, White Garden Pansion (Hesapçı Geçidi 9) is a smart deal with oodles of character.