Antalya Attractions

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Antalya Attractions

Antalya Museum

If you're at all interested in Turkish history, don't miss this excellent museum. The dazzling exhibits here showcase all the best finds from excavation sites across the Turkish coast. Even better, the collection is displayed in exemplary fashion, making Turkey's rich (and rather complicated) history easy to understand. The large archaeological section offers displays from the Bronze Age to Byzantium, with a particular emphasis on ruins in the nearby area.

If you're short on time, make a beeline for the galleries containing the mosaics from Seleukeia, silver hoard display from Aspendos, and divinity statues from Perge.

Konyaaltı Beach

East of Antalya's town center, Konyaalti Beach is one of Antalya's two prime sweeps of sand, with a picturesque backing of mountains rolling down to the coastline beyond. During summer, this strip (which is more pebbly than sandy) is hugely popular with both local and foreign visitors, and lazy beach days are made simple with plenty of facilities provided. Sun loungers with umbrellas can be rented, there are good toilet and shower facilities, and the palm tree lined promenade behind the beach is rimmed with snack shops, cafés, and restaurants for when you get peckish.

Lara Beach

To the south of Antalya's center, Lara beach is popular for its soft white sand and good family-friendly facilities, backed by cafés and restaurants and with plenty of activities, from jet-ski rentals to stand up paddleboards for those who want to hit the water. Sun loungers and umbrellas can be easily rented for those who want to do nothing more strenuous than soak up the sun. This area is where the vast amount of Antalya's beach resorts are located so do be aware that during the peak summer months, this beach can get crammed

Karst Springs

The limestone countryside around Antalya is rich in karst springs, sinkholes, and waterfalls. The lime deposits from these springs have built up over a period of 1.5 to two million years into vast travertine terraces similar to the famed terraces at Pamukkale. Kirkgöz and Pinarbasi (just to the northwest of Antalya) have springs and sinkholes to see, while at Düdenbasi, a cascade of waterfalls tumbles down a narrow gorge. There are both upper falls (Düdenbasi Selalesi) and lower falls (Düden Çayi) to admire, and a trip here makes a nice nature break from Antalya's glut of historic attractions.

Karain Cave

The Karain Cave, about 27 kilometers northwest of Antalya, near Dösemalti, was inhabited by prehistoric man and has yielded finds from both the Lower and Middle Paleolithic eras. Excavated finds here include bones and teeth belonging to Neolithic man. Some of the finds are on show in the small but remarkably comprehensive museum on-site. The wide, arching caverns here are a good opportunity for some easy caving and are very popular with local families having a break from the city.

If you can, try to come on a weekday, when they're less busy. If you have a rental car, the cave and museum combined with the karst springs a little farther north make a good day trip.