Antalya Travel Guide: Vacation on the Mediterranean in Turkey

Our Antalya Travel Guide provides all the details you need from when to go, family-friendly activities, where to stay, and favorite local foods to try when you are there.

Antalya is the largest city along the Mediterranean coast with all kinds of fun activities for younger and older kids alike. There are many options for spending time in the water, hiking, or for adventure seekers, paragliding, or parasailing.

If this is just one of your stops in your Antalya trip itinerary while you are in Turkey, we recommend 2 – 4 days depending on how much time you have what you want to do while you’re here. After visiting Antalya, you can head down the coast to other beach towns like Kas or Alanya, or head to the Aegean region of Turkey.

Some links on this page are affiliate links—that means that at no extra cost to you, we earn a small commission if you book through these links, and that helps keep this blog running.

When to Go to the Antalya Coast

Summer: June to August

The peak season for visiting the Antalya coast is from June to August when the weather is hot and humid. The water in the sea or rivers are perfect for taking a swim. You’ll find lots of tourists in the city and on the local beaches. To find less crowed areas, you’ll need to venture outside of the city for the day to Cirali, Kas or head out on a group or private boat trip.

Fall: September to November

When the peak tourist season is winding down, from September to early November, you’ll still have warm weather without the intense heat and humidity of the summer months. This is our favorite time of the year to be outside with our family. Spend the day hiking and exploring, visit a local café patio to people watch or visit the ancient ruins in the city.

Spring: March to May

As Spring arrives, locals are anxious to get outside from being indoors from the cold rainy winter months. The flowers are blooming, the weather is still cool but beginning to warm up as you get closer to the summer months.  While the weather may be warmer, the sea and the local rivers are still quite cold and not ideal for swimming. If hiking and outdoor adventures in the sunshine with less crowds is what you are looking for, this is a great time of the year to be here!

How to Get to Antalya from Istanbul

Airlines

To travel to the Antalya coast from Istanbul or any other major city in Turkey, you can fly one of the smaller airlines such as Pegasus, SunExpress or Onur Air during the high season. There will be less flights available in the low season. Turkish Airlines flies to Antalya, but typically you will pay more to fly.

Antayla Old Town Harbor

Getting Around Antalya

By Foot

If you’re staying in or near Old Town| Kaleici or Konyaalti, you will want to plan on walking. There are so many options of things do within walking distance and you can always jump on the trolley or catch a taxi as needed.

Tram

There are 2 trams lines in the city that can be used with the pre-paid Antalya Kart. You can pick one up at any tram stop. You need a minimum of 15 Lira to get the card and can refill at any stop.  Antray connects the town center with the airport and bus station.

The nostalgic tram line runs in the town center along the coastline. Its fun ride for the kids to see a bit more of Antalya without having to walk through the entire city. You can use the tram to get to the Antalya Museum and Konyaalti Beach.

Taxi

If you’re going somewhere further than walking distance in the city, you can take a taxi.  You can expect around 60 TL from the airport to the town center. Ask your driver to use the meter before you go anywhere.

Travel Tip: We don’t recommend driving in the city unless you have nerves of steel and an adventurous spirit. Road trips to smaller locations are doable. You can rent a car at the airport. 

Kale Ici Old Town Antalya

Best Places to Stay in Antalya

Looking for the best places to stay in the Mediterranean city of Antalya with kids?  There are many types of accommodation options as well as different areas of the city you can stay, and it can get overwhelming.  In this guide we tell you the best areas to stay depending on your type of travel, who you are traveling with and the length of your trip.

A bonus, we’ll share the best all-inclusive resorts, hotels, boutique hotels, pensions, and Airbnb’s for each area.

City Center

Staying in the city center is a great option if this is your first trip to Antalya. You’ll have quick access to get to the Old Town, visit local attractions or head to the beach for the day.

Kaleici

Within the city center, you’ll find Kaleici or Old Town is a buzz with shops, cafes, coffee shops, restaurants which makes a great option for enjoying the local night life. You’ll find boutique hotels, pensions and Airbnbs in this area that are great for couples and singles looking enjoy Antalya anytime day or night.

Konyaalti

This is our one of our favorite areas for families that is still close to the city center. If you’re heading to the Antalya coast to enjoy the beach this is the area for you. Konyaalti Beach is just west of the City Center. You can find a hotel right across the street from the pebble beach or a view select 5-star options a stone’s throw away. You can head to Kaleici by taxi and be there between 5-10 minutes.

Lara

Lara is located east of Antalya’s Old Town approximately a 30 minute car ride from the city center. Lara boasts 5 start hotels and sandy Lara Beach. This is a great area for an all inclusive beach holiday scheduling excursions from your hotel.

Belek

Belek is another beach location a good 45-minute car ride from the city center, hosts high-class all-inclusive 5 star hotel complexes on its beach. This is a favorite for families wanting to enjoy an all inclusive vacation on the beach. You can even enjoy a few golf games too. You can hire a driver to take you in to the Antalya City Center for the day to enjoy shopping, local sites and activities and restaurants.

Luxury Hotels

Alp Pasa Boutique Hotel

Location: Old Town | Kaleici

Alp Pasa is a luxury boutique hotel located in the Old Town close to the harbor. It has high end amenities and has a nice pool to sit and relax at in between outings.

Mediterra Art Hotel

Location: Old Town | Kaleici

Mediterra Art Hotel is an Ottoman style house in historical Kaleici. You can easily access local shops and cafes in the Old Town. The hotel hosts art exhibitions, an indoor restaurant, a courtyard, and a pool.

Ramada Plaza by Wyndham

Location: Antalya | City Center

Ramada Plaza is located in the city center just outside of Kaleici. If you’re looking for a place that is has a little more privacy and quiet but still close to the buzz of Old Town, this is a great option for you.

Porto Bello Hotel & Spa

Location: Konyaalti Beach

If you’re looking for a terrific family friendly beach hotel, this is it! Porto Bello is located right across the street from Konyaalti beach and a short tram ride to the city center.

Rixos Downtown Antalya

Location: Close to Konyaalti Beach

A five-star experience overlooking the sea and the Taurus Mountains.  Easily enjoy a day at the beach or take a short 5-10 minute ride on the tram to check out the Old Town, shopping or arrange day tours from the hotel. 

Turkey Travel Planning Guide

Budget Hotels

Hotel La Paloma

Location: Kaleici

Hotel La Paloma is a cute little boutique hotel located in the heart of Kaleici. I’ve stayed here multiple times when visiting Antalya. It has simple amenities and the perfect location to enjoy the local cafes and shops and easily get to the tram for a trip to the Antalya Museum or Konyaalti beach.

Vintage Family Villa in Oldtown via Airbnb

Location: Kaleici

I’ve stayed in this little gem in the old town. It is a private villa great for couples or a family. It has a private garden and will sleep up to 4 people. You can walk or easily access the tram to the beach, cafes, shops, restaurants and local sites.

Villa Tulipan

Location: Kaleici

Located in historical Kaleici, you’ll be close to the harbor, shopping, tea gardens and café. Enjoy the view from the rooftop terrace of the Mediterranean Sea and the Taurus mountains.

Pacco Sea & City Hotel Spa

Location: Konyaalti

This little beach hotel is located right across from Konyaalti beach, one of the longest stretches of beach in the region. With personal service and a family friendly atmosphere, you’ll enjoy your beach holiday stay.

What to Do in Antalya

Antalya is a great location for a beach vacation, water activities in the sea or in nearby canyons, hiking, or exploring ancient ruins in and near the city. Below is a list of our favorite family friendly things to do in Antalya:

antalya museum with kids

Antalya Museum

Visit the area’s largest museum with the most important artifacts found in the Antalya Province. The Antalya Museum is a great stop to learn the history of the area before heading out to explore.

Konyaalti Beach Antalya Mountains

Local Beaches

The most popular beach along the Antalya coast is Konyaalti Beach, the longest stretch of pebble beach in the region. Be sure to take sandals to walk on the pebbles with as they can hurt your feet a bit to walk on. This is a fun beach with lots of activities in and out of the water. In the evening, you can visit a local café for drinks, tea, and playing a few games of okey.

Lara Beach is all sand and  is popular among Turks and foreigners alike.  It’s farther away from the city center but is still a nice beach buzzing with activity in the summer months.

See the Best Beaches in Antalya for more details on our favorite beaches in the area.

Antalya Old Town Kaleici

Kaleici

Take a stroll through the streets of Kaleici or Old Town Antalya, down to the harbor. Hadrian’s Gate is one of the entrances into Kaleici that you can’t miss. You’ll see Ottoman style houses, cafés, shops and terrific views the closer you get the water. Once you arrive at the harbor, you can start your boat trip from there.

Hike Termessos Antalya

Termessos

This is a favorite activity for us! For hiking enthusiasts, hike up to the mountain top ancient city of Termessos. There are amazing views and some a spectacular theater to see. It’s fairly strenuous getting up to the top of the mountain, but there is a well marked trail to get there. Termessos has a fascinating history as being one of the only cities that Alexander the Great couldn’t conquer because of its city walls and mountain top location.

Aspendos Turkey

Perge & Aspendos

Take a morning or afternoon and explore the ancient city of Perge and the Roman amphitheater in Aspendos, one of the best preserved architectural sites in the area. Take your time exploring the ancient ruins, mostly dating back to the Roman period.

koprulu canyon antalya

Rafting & Canyoning at Koprulu Canyon

Go to Koprulu Canyon National Park and raft and swim in the turquoise blue water of the Kopru River. This is a fun all day activity where you’ll enjoy the cool water, 2000 year old Roman Oluklu Bridge, and get your blood pumping in the rapids, rappelling, and natural water slides.

boat trip on the Antalya coast

Gulet Boat Trip

Depending on how much time you have, you can take a boat trip sailing along the Antalya Coast for a few hours up to all day. Enjoy lunch, swimming, waterfalls and some magnificent views sailing on the Mediterranean.

tunek tepe antalya

Tunek Tepe Mountain

Take a ride in a cable car up to the top of Tunek Tepe Mountain for some breathtaking views of Antalya and the Mediterranean coast.

You can start planning your Antalya travel and find out what to pack in our guides. Our Mediterranean Travel Guide gives you more information on day trips from Antalya or having a more extended stay.

day trip to cirali and olympos beach from antalya

Best 4 day Antalya Trip Itinerary

Day 1

  • Tunek Tepe
  • Antalya Museum
  • Old Town Kaleici & the Harbor

Day 2

Day 3

  • Boat Trip: Demre & Sunken city of Kekova
  • Trip to Cirali & Olympos Beach

Day 4 – Day Trips

  • Water Day at Konyaalti Beach

Adventure Seekers:

If you’re up for a drive down the Turkish coast, don’t miss our route guides from Antalya to Kas, Antalya to Cappadocia and Antalya to Alanya for all our tips for the best road trip. Finally, don’t forget to plan what you’re going to wear during your Antalya trip. Our packing guide will keep you in the loop of all the must-haves for your time on the Mediterranean.

Some links on this page are affiliate links—that means that at no extra cost to you, we earn a small commission if you book through these links, and that helps keep this blog running.

Antalya Travel Guide

Join the Conversation

9 Comments

  1. Antalya looks absolutely gorgeous! Just about any spot on the Mediterranean would be lovely versus home this winter! 😉

  2. Antalya has a lot to offer! Beaches and Roman ruins, canyons and mountains. And it on the Mediterranean!

    1. So true – you can cover so many different aspects of travel in one location. Antalya has it all!

  3. How on earth did those guys climb to the top of the ruins? This detailed guide will be very helpful in planning a trip to the area.

  4. Wonderful city! I visit Antalya several times but here see that there is a lot more to see. Thanks for the detailed guide.

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Family Travel to Turkey: Enes and Dania

Hi, we're Dania & Enes

We’re an American Turkish couple who’ve worked in the tourism industry and traveled extensively in Turkey. We understand that it can be overwhelming to plan a trip to Turkey when you don’t know where to go, where to stay and the best way to get there. We’re dedicated to helping you confidently plan a trip to Turkey and have a more authentic experience when you get there.

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