Antalya, Turkey’s principal holiday resort in the Mediterranean region (ancient Pamphylia), is an attractive city with shady palm-lined boulevards, a prize-winning marina on the Mediterranean. In the picturesque old quarter, Kaleici, narrow winding streets and old wooden houses abut the ancient city walls. Lately, many foreigners have bought (and continue to buy) property in and around Antalya for their holidays or for the retirement. It became a popular area especially for the German and Russian nationals.
Since its founding in the second century B.C. by Attalus II, a king of Pergamon, who named the city Attaleai after himself, Antalya has been continuously inhabited. The Romans, Byzantines and Seljuks in turn occupied the city before it came under Ottoman rule. The elegant fluted minaret of the Yivli Minareli Mosque in the center of the city built by the Seljuk sultan Alaeddin Keykubat in the 13th century has become the Antalya’s symbol. The Karatay Medrese (theological college) in the Kaleici district, from the same period, exemplifies the best of Seljuk stone carvings. The two most important Ottoman mosques in the city are the 16th century Murat Pasa Mosque, remarkable for its tile decoration, the 18th century Tekeli Mehmet Pasa Mosque. Neighboring the marina, the attractive late 19th century Iskele Mosque is built of cut stone and set on four pillars over a natural spring. The Hidirlik Kulesi (tower) was probably originally constructed as a lighthouse in the second century. Today a church, the Kesik Minaret Mosque attests to the city’s long history in its succession of Roman, Byzantine, Seljuk and Ottoman renovations. When Emperor Hadrian visited Antalya in 130 A.D. a beautifully decorated three arched gate was built into the city walls in his honor.
Near the marina the two towers flanking the gate and other sections of the walls still stand. The clock tower in Kalekapisi Square was also part of the old city’s fortifications.
Kursunlu waterfalls near AntalyaThe region around Antalya offers sights of astonishing natural beauty as well as awesome historical remains. You can walk behind the cascade, a thrilling experience, at the Upper Duden Waterfalls, 14 km northeast of Antalya. On the way to Lara Beach, the Lower Düden Waterfalls plunge straight into the sea. The nearby rest area offers an excellent view of the falls; the view is even more spectacular from the sea. Kursunlu Waterfalls and Nilüfer Lake, both 18 km from Antalya are two more places of superb natural beauty and many more historical places and natural beauties to discover ...
English, German, Russian, Italian and Spanish are widely spoken foreign languages in Antalya.
The monetary unit is the Turkish lira (TL), which comes in bank notes of 5, 10, 20, 50, 100 and 200. In Istanbul, traveler checks are rarely accepted. ATMs can be found in even the smallest Turkish towns. Most international credit cards or bank cards are accepted (a strip of logos is usually displayed above the ATM). ATMs have a language key to enable you to read the instructions in English.
The electrical current in Turkey is 220 volts, 50 cycles alternating current (AC); wall outlets take Continental-type plugs, with two round prongs.
Weight & Measures
Turkey uses the metric system for weight and measures.
Most international driver's licenses are recognized in Turkey. Car rental companies require for a valid national or international license. Remember to keep to the right-hand side of the road and wear your seat belt at all times.
The value-added tax, here called KDV is almost always included in quoted prices. Certain shops are authorized to refund the tax (ask).
There is no serious health risks associated with travel to Antalya and to Turkey. No vaccinations are required for your travels to Turkey.
Safety & Security
Turkey is a safe and secure country. The streets of Antalya are considerably safer than many of its counterparts in the world.