Information & Facts
Side is full of antique ruins, but the Aspendos theatre and
Apollon Temple are the most popular. The harbour is full of
interesting boat tours and activities, including trips around Side
or to neighbouring towns. The turtles can be visited on a daily
tour, and the white sand beaches provide activities like scuba
diving, parasailing, horse riding, and swimming. Nearby Manavgat
has some beautiful natural sights, including a beautiful
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
Side can be very crowded on weekends, when many local tourists
Most of Side's nightlife is concentrated along the beachfront.
There are a few lively bars and clubs, but they don't stay open
Side has a variety of restaurants, ranging from Western style
food to local delicacies like dolmades and kebabs. Anatolia Cafe is
a popular place for English breakfasts and roasts.
The shopkeepers in Side have a reputation for pestering
tourists, especially in the city centre. Many shops will not
display prices, so be prepared to ask and haggle. Busy streets that
lead down to the sea are lined with souvenir shops selling typical
Turkish handicrafts like carpets, jewellery and leather goods. You
can take a bus to the Manavgat market on Thursdays, which has the
usual souvenir options like t-shirts and leather goods. The main
markets are fun and have a lively atmosphere, but the best deals
can usually be found in quieter areas.