Historical Sites in Antalya (What to Expect? Insider Guide Advice)

Last Updated on October 9, 2021

If you are history and art lover, or want to do something different during your lazy hotel stay in Antalya, you can simply visit the world-famous historical sites along the Antalya region and explore the ancient ruins, temples, theaters and experience the traditional side of Turkey.

Antalya region is also home to many ancient cities and archaeological sites. Some of them dates back to 2nd century Roman times. The whole region can be considered as a paradise of ancient cities and historical sites.

Top Historical Sites in Antalya to Explore

From the old towns of the several resorts, ancient cities of Aspendos, Perge, Phaselis, Olympos to the Temple of Apollo in Side, you’ll find lots of impressive sites to explore in Antalya region.

Kaleici: The Old Town of Antalya

Kaleici, which means inner castle in Turkish, is the pretty old town of the city. It is the historic center of the city surrounded by a Roman wall. A must see place.

You can start your Antalya city center day out with a nice stroll along the old town. Here, you’ll explore and enjoy the pretty narrow streets and the old stone houses. Many of these houses have been converted into boutique hotels and trendy shops.

Antalya old town harbor

When you continue wandering through the shore, you’ll come up to a slope of the cliffs and witness the famous Roman harbor. The harbor is now serving as a marina for yachts and daily excursion boats.

Here you can enjoy the amazing panoramic views, take photos and enjoy your drink or meal in one of the surrounding tea gardens, cafes, bars and restaurants. Continue reading…

Ancient city of Aspendos & the Roman Theater

Location: Belkis village, Serik town (about 45 km. on the east of the Antalya city center)

Aspendos can be considered as the best and the most visited sights in the Antalya region. The ancient city of Aspendos is known for its Roman theater dating back to around 161-180 AD. It is also one of the best preserved Roman theater in the World.

Here you’ll explore the Roman Amphitheater at first sight. Other points of interest and architectural structures include the Stadion, aqueducts, baths, temples, city walls and many other remains. Continue reading…

Ancient City of Side, the Old Town & Temple of Apollo

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. The structure has a half moon shape and features good samples of the Roman architecture.

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. Continue reading…

Ancient City of Perge

Location: Aksu town (about 17 km. on the east of the Antalya city center)

Perge is one of the most popular historical sites along the Antalya region. Being an ancient Greek city, Perge is famous for its Roman ruins dating back to 1300 BC and its big amphitheater with a capacity of 15,000 people.

Here, you’ll explore and admire the ruins of the Roman temple, old school buildings, baths and the impressive entrance. Continue reading…

Ancient City of Phaselis

Location: Kemer (about 11,5 km. from Kemer, 55 km. from central Antalya, between Camyuva and Tekirova resorts)

Phaselis is the ancient Lycian city, archaeological site and open-air museum set in a very impressive natural environment by the coast and Taurus Mountain range at the background.

The archaeological site is very famous and attracts hundred thousands of visitors every year for its historical remains, amphitheater, wonderful beaches and picnic areas.

Ancient City of Termessos

Location: Gulluk mountain (about 30 km. on the north-east of the Antalya city center)

The ancient Pisidian site of Termessos is situated on a hillside at an altitude of 1,050 meters, on the Gulluk Mountain National Park. The its geographical location of the ancient city make it one the best-preserved ancient cities in Turkey.

The city used to have a strategic location that the Alexander the Great couldn’t be able to conquer the city. The city also used to survive independently during the Roman era and had its own laws and affairs.

Alanya Castle

Alanya Castle is the famous landmark of the Alanya resort. A must see place. The castle is situated on a hill-top overlooking the beautiful Mediterranean coast. You can access there by a 3,5 km. long road that is also a very ideal for hiking and trekking lovers.

When you reach the castle, you’ll definitely admire the panoramic views of Alanya, as well as the well-preserved ruins and the shell of Byzantine church dating back to 11th century.

Karain Cave

The Karain Cave is a fantastic cave and historical sight in the Antalya region. It is carved in a Cratese period limestone, which is the largest one in Turkey to have been inhabited.

The Cave is also a UNESCO World Heritage site due to its archaeological value. You can see some of the findings at the museum on the site, and some others are at the Antalya Museum.