Welcome to Antalya
Antalya’s sandy beaches, Lara, Karpuzkaldıran and Knoyaalti are surrounded by crystal blue sea ideal for relaxing. The castle tower and its walls dominate the town and the historical centre, Kaleici, is well worth a visit, as are the numerous archaeological sites in the area. Antalya has a lively nightlife in summer with plenty of bars and restaurant to choose from. There are many festivals and events in the city such as film, music and opera festivals. Antalya has a Mediterranean climate with hot and dry summers while the winters are mild and rainy. It receives around 300 days of sunshine per year.
Antalya is the main city on the Mediterranean coast and one of the most popular holiday spots, with an attractive harbour setting and the picturesque old quarter of Kaleiçi enclosed within ancient Roman walls. Dominating the town is Antalya's symbol, the Yivli Minaret (Grooved Minaret) dating back to the 3rd century. The superb Archaeological Museum, housing one of the top collections in the country, is not to be missed.
Known as the Turkish Riviera, a holiday on the Antalya shoreline offers secluded coves, ancient cities and harbours, seaside towns, sparkling seas and soaring cliffs. The city provides an excellent base for exploring the small towns nearby, as well as caves, waterfalls and Roman ruins, including Perge and the mountain-top remains of Termessos.
A 30-minute drive east of Antalya is Aspendos, boasting the finest example of a Roman theatre in the world. Built in the 2nd century AD, it is remarkably intact. In addition to the vast number of archaeological wonders, the area also has a wealth of outdoor activities. Antalya, lying at the foot of the Taurus Mountain range, is host to numerous sporting events throughout the year, including international beach volleyball, triathlons and canoeing competitions.
Information & Facts
Turkish is the official language, but English is widely understood in the main tourist areas.
The official currency is the New Turkish Lira (TRY), which was introduced on 1 January 2005, whereby six zeros were dropped from the TL and the sub-unit New Kurush was created. Currency can be exchanged at banks, exchange booths, post offices, airports and ferry ports; banks have the worst rates and highest commissions, but will exchange lesser known foreign currencies. Banks open mainly Monday to Friday, but some are open daily in tourist areas. ATMs are widely available in major cities and tourist areas, but Turkish ATM keypads usually do not have letters of the alphabet on their keys. Most bank branches have ATMs which accept Cirrus and Plus. Major credit cards are widely accepted; the most popular are Visa or MasterCard, but American Express is accepted in many of the more expensive places. Travellers cheques can be exchanged at some banks and currency exchange offices, but are not as welcome as cash or credit cards. US dollars or Euros are preferred. Some pensions and hotels in the most popular destinations accept US dollars as payment.