How to Spend 1 Day in Antalya
Whether you’re a cruise passenger with just one day in port or starting your tour of Turkey’s Turquoise Coast, there’s plenty to see and do in Antalya. If you’ve only got one day, advance planning is essential, in order to cover more sights in less time. Here’s how to see the best of Antalya in one day.
Morning: Explore the Old Town
A guided walking tour or bike tour of Antalya’s atmospheric Antalya Old Town (Kaleiçi) is a great way to kickstart your time in the city. Express tours, which are designed with time-pressed travelers in mind, tend to stop at Hadrian’s Gate, which dates back to Roman times; the 18th-century Mehmet Paşa mosque; the old Clock Tower; and the Selçuk-era Fluted Minaret.
Then, take a stroll through the old bazaar for a glimpse into local life in Turkey and admire the colourful boats fill Antalya Marina. For lunch, head to one of the many restaurants looking down over the marina, where you can sample the local seafood or tuck into a traditional Turkish kebab with a view across the Mediterranean.
Afternoon: Hit the Beach
Hailed as Antalya’s best beach, Konyaalti Beach stretches for several miles and has calm waters that are ideal for swimming and water sports; to get there, hop on the tram or grab a taxi from Kaleici. Avoid hitting the sands during the hottest part of the day and opt instead to explore nearby attractions such as Antalya Archeological Museum, which houses artefacts from the archeological sites of Perge and Termessos, and Antalya Aquarium, which is one of the largest in Turkey. For the best value, look out for Antalya city tours that include aquarium admission tickets tickets, or opt for a package that includes convenient round-trip transfers to avoid an expensive taxi ride.
Evening: Party along the Mediterranean
No visit to Antalya is complete without taking a cruise on the Mediterranean Sea. You can choose from a variety of options, which include a romantic sunset cruise, a family-friendly sail on a pirate boat, or a party cruise with an open bar. Most cruises stop at scenic spots such as the Duden Waterfalls and give you time to swim and snorkel in the Mediterranean Sea.
Another popular evening option—if your visit coincides with one of the twice weekly performances— is attending a Fire of Anatolia show at the Gloria Aspendos Arena, a dramatic performance that showcases Turkish music and dance.