Side Antalya (2021 Holidays, Top Things to Do & See + Advice)

Last Updated on October 10, 2021

Side is a famous holiday resort of Antalya, famous for its great historical sites, its old town with pretty stone houses, ancient walls, Roman amphitheater and Temple of Apollo & Athena, lovely beaches, cafes and restaurants. The resort is situated about 72,5 km. on the east of Antalya city center, and 63,4 km. from Antalya Airport.


History

History of Side dates back to 8th century BC. The ancient city had its own language and its name means “pomegranate”.

The region was under the rule of the Lydians, Persians and finally Alexander the Great until the 7th century.

Later on, the city used to had pirate attacks for decades and finally has become a province of the Romans.

And after the 7th century, the city was weakened by the Arab attacks and crusades, and than completely abandoned from the beginning of the 12th century.


Things to Do & See

Side offers great attractions for every kid of traveler. From ancient city remnants, history and art attractions to lovely beaches and lively nights, choices are endless here.

The Ancient City of Side & the Old Town

The ancient city of Side is accepted as one of the most visited and best historical sights in the Antalya region. The site dates back to the 2nd century AD and situated on a very visible place, on the end of the peninsula of Side resort.

The site is situated on the Side peninsula just by the coast, and along a very well preserved Old Town, and consists of an Agora, a Roman Amphitheater, a Roman Bathhouse (now serving as Side Museum), a monumental fountain, and world famous Temple of Apollo & Athena.

The old town of Side is situated on a headland of the region, right by the sea. The region also houses several beautiful beaches, impressive beachfront and some high quality hotels.

You can start your day here by strolling along the narrow streets and head up to the Roman amphitheater that is a unique part of the ancient city of Side. The structure has a half moon shape and features good samples of the Roman architecture.

The Roman bathhouse is a 2nd century structure and comes next. It was converted into Side Museum in 1959-1961. The Museum exhibits variety of artifacts and findings from the excavations made on the archaeological site.


Following the road to the coast along the peninsula, you’ll reach to the world famous temple of Apollo & Athena.

The Temple of Apollo and Athena is the most visited and the most popular landmark here. It dates back to the 2nd century and has been dedicated to the Greek god of light and sun.

The area is also great place to watch the sunset. Many visit here, sit between the marble arches and watch the sunset in the company of scenic views of the Mediterranean and take photos.

The Roman bathhouse is a 2nd century structure and comes next. It was converted into Side Museum in 1959-1961. The Museum exhibits variety of artifacts and findings from the excavations made on the archaeological site.

The Three Beauties Sculpture dating back to 2nd century is a must see piece at the museum. It symbolizes the elegance, beauty and abundance, and represents Hera, Aphrodite and Athena.

After the museum visit, the road will take you back to the Roman amphitheater. Here, you can enjoy the beautiful views of the Mediterranean on one side and the view of the Old Town on the other.

When you’re done with exploring the historical sites here, you can reward yourself with a very nice meal with some authentic Turkish mezze, or have a resting drink in one of the beach cafes and restaurants around the old town.

Beaches & Water Sports

Besides its historical heritage and lively town center, Side has over 10 km. stretch of beautiful beaches, offer lots of water sports activities and boat excursions.

You can find about 6 beautiful beaches in Side and nearby districts. They include the Side Big and Small public beaches, Seaside Beach Lounge, Sorgun beach, Kumkoy beach, Evrenseki beach and Colakli beach.

Wanna read more on Side beaches?

Nearby Sights

Manavgat, Sorgun and Colakli are the nearby places to explore and admire, that are all situated close to Side.

Manavgat is a famous town with its world famous Manavgat Waterfall and natural parks. Sorgun is a lovely place with great natural beauties and pine forests. Colakli is a nice place where you can enjoy a good range of cafes, bars, restaurants and shops.

Manavgat Waterfall

Manavgat Waterfall is one of the most popular waterfalls in Turkey. Located in the pretty town of Manavgat in Antalya, here you can have a fantastic and fun day out with the spectacular views of waters cascading from a height of about 5 meters from the river bed.

Dine & Wine

You’ll find plenty of authentic and great restaurants and have excellent dining experiences in Side. Majority of the both authentic and modern cafes, bars and restaurants are situated around the old town with magnificent views of the Mediterranean.

Traditional Turkish cuisine is a must and are on offer with range of soups and dishes from fresh caught fish, meat, grilled kebabs, vegetable dishes, as well as fresh salads and delicious desserts.