Top 5 Places to Visit in and around Antalya, Turkey

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Today we welcome Aykut, a private guide with a degree in classical archaeology, from Antalya, Turkey. Antalya is an ancient coastal city and has become the gateway to the region now known as the “Turkish Riviera.” As Aykut explains, you won’t be short of things to do in this beautiful and fascinating part of the Mediterranean.


1. ANTALYA ARCHAEOLOGY MUSEUM: Antalya Archaeology Museum is one of the best museums in Turkey, and was once nominated the "Museum of the Year" by the Council of Europe. Located in the Konyaaltı disrict of Antalya, the museum consists of several sections and displays ancient objects which were discovered in nearby ancient cities. All sections of Antalya Museum are ranged in chronological order from the Paleolitihic Period to Modern Turkey. You will see the ancient marble statues of Gods and Goddesses and Roman Emperors. The Museum has got one of the biggest collections of ancient marble statues in the world.

2. PERGE ANCIENT CITY: Perge is the best preserved ancient city and located 17 km east of Antalya, within the borders of Aksu. Here you can see the Greco-Roman Theatre, Ancient Stadium, Roman Baths, Agora, and Marble Streets. Its sculpture is as popular as its architecture. The important monumental structures of the city have been discovered through excavations made by the University of Istanbul since 1946 and due to the finds of these sculptures, Antalya Museum has one of the richest collections of Roman sculpture anywhere. Historians once believed Perge was founded at the end of the Trojan wars (1275 B.C) but a Hittite tablet mentioning Perge was found in 1986 showing the city was established before the Trojan wars.

3. ASPENDOS THEATRE: Aspendos Theatre is one of the most elite representatives of Roman Age theatres in existence, with its unique architectural features and excellent state of preservation. The structure, dedicated to the Gods and the Emperors of the era, presents the latest end points of Roman Age architecture and construction practices. One of the most magnificent structures of its period, the theatre was able to hold 7000-8000 people. It was built by architecture Zeno, son of Theodoras, in the period of Emperor Marcus Aurelius (161-180 A.D). It is understood from the inscriptions at both sides of the entrance in Latin and Greek that it was made by two rich brothers named Curtius Crispinus and Curtius Auspicatus. Today Aspendos Theatre is used for festivals, operas and bales.

4. ANTALYA HARBOUR AND OLD TOWN: Antalya has one of the nicest harbours in all of Turkey. Antalya Harbour was used for more than 500 years by different cultures and today it is a great place for boat trips along the Turkish Coast. The Harbour is surrounded by the ancient city walls of Antalya and offers a great view for photographers. Behind the ancient walls of Antalya Harbour, you can also walk in the narrow streets of Old Town. There are restored Ottoman Houses which reflects the typical Turkish-Ottoman architecture. You can also find some of the best gift shops in Old Town which sell traditional objects from Antalya and Turkey. The view from Old Town to the Antalya Harbour is fantastic as you can see the entire Mediterranean Coast of the city.

5. SIDE: Side is located 40 km east of Antalya and today is a pretty resort town with hotels, restaurants, cafes and bars. Side is a peninsula and it was one of the biggest Roman cities in ancient times. You will be very surprised when you drive in Side to see the magnificent ancient ruins all over the Side peninsula. Side excavations are still going on today, and have been since 1946. You can visit the Ancient Theatre, Agora, Temple of Apollo and so many other ruins in Side. You can take a boat trip from the small and beautiful harbour Harbour.

If you’d like to learn more about Aykut and his well-researched tours of Antalya, visit: Private Antalya Tours.
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