6 Must Do’s in Antalya – incl. Hotel, Food and Attractions!

Coming to plan my trip to Antalya, I was looking for the perfect combination of relaxation in the sun, fantastic food and beautiful places to visit.

So with some research, positive thoughts and wandering around, I’m happy to say the trip was exactly that and much more 🙂

I’m excited to share all of these great recommendations with you and hope they will be useful and inspiring when you’re coming to plan your sunny gateway.

As always, I’m here for any questions!

# 1: STAY AT AKRA HOTEL

When researching for a hotel in Antalya, I wanted to find a pampering resort with good swimming pools and a Spa – however, I noticed that many of the resorts are located in the area of Belek – about 40 minutes drive from the city center.

Also, many of them were on an all-inclusive basis, which wasn’t really right for me, as I wanted to explore the local food scene.

Therefore in terms of location, Akra was really the perfect choice – it is located only 2 km from the city center, and you can get there by taxi which is about 10 minutes drive.

It is also not far from other attractions which I’ll write about later on.

Check if they have available rooms on your travel dates

As for pampering, it has 5 (!) swimming pools with stunning views and a very beautiful professional Spa.

On my last day there it was raining, so I booked a very enjoyable massage, and also took the time to enjoy the dry and wet saunas, as well as the traditional Turkish Hammam. BTW – there are separate facilities for women if you wish to use them, or also unisex.

Akra Hotel Pool

When it comes to the room, the best tip I can give you is to ask for a high floor, to enjoy the beautiful views of the bay 🙂 

The room was super clean, and the housekeeping staff was very welcoming and attentive. You can see my room in the video below –

Check if they have available rooms on your travel dates

As for my favorite topic – food, there are many options within the hotel walls.

The breakfast buffet is one of the largest I have seen, with an abundance of fruits, vegetables, cheese and sausage, an omelette station and other hot breakfast dishes, and a huge assortment of bread and Turkish pastries.

There’s even a healthy food station with fruit shakes and muesli, and of course hot and cold beverages with the traditional Çay 🙂

Check if they have available rooms on your travel dates

If you want to have lunch/dinner at the hotel, you have various options –

If you wish to spend a relaxing day in the sun, there are 2 pool restaurants and it’s very convenient to have a salad or a sandwich there.

Another option is Pablito Bistro – I tried the Salmon salad, tomato soup and the burger and everything was delicious 🙂

And if you’re looking for a fancy and romantic setting, definitely try Asmani Restaurant on the rooftop.

You can choose between the bar that serves drinks or the restaurant (note you may need to make a reservation at the reception), in any case, it’s worth to go there at least once and enjoy the incredible view.

I can recommend the Salmon dish below that was delicious 🙂


# 2: SPEND AN AFTERNOON AT THE AMUSEMENT PARK

We all want to channel our inner child from time to time, and there’s no better way to do so than spending an afternoon at the Luna Park (this is how it’s called in Turkish 🙂 )

Aktur Park reminded me a lot of the amusement parks I went to as a kid, a little bit old fashioned and with lots of charm. Getting here by taxi from the hotel will take about 20 minutes.

When you purchase a ticket, notice that you are actually paying by ride – so that’s convenient depending on the amount of time you wish to spend there.

I went specifically to ride the ‘Heart of Antalya‘ – which is Europe’s 2nd tallest Ferris wheel! the ride takes about 15 minutes or so, and you can see the beautiful views of Antalya from way up high 🙂

Other than that, there are lots of food stands, selling cotton candy, buttered corn, crepes and waffles and all kinds of treats – so if you get hungry, don’t worry – there are lots of options to choose from.

  • Heart of Antalya
  • Antalya Aktur Park

# 3: STROLL THROUGH THE OLD CITY

Antalya’s old city is gorgeous, and except for the beautiful stone streets, there are many lovely shops, cafes, parks and observatories. You can easily spend half a day here or even more, stroll and enjoy the atmosphere.

Hadrian’s Gate (or Hadrian Kale Kapısı) is a great starting point to touring the old city, and anyway it’s a beautiful landmark you just have to see if you’re in Antalya.

It is also a popular photo destination, so don’t forget to take some memorable pictures when there 🙂

After passing the gate, take a left to Hesapçı Sk. and continue all the way down to the Hıdırlık Tower – on your way there, you can enjoy the beautiful and relaxed street, buy some souvenirs at the local shops, or stop for tea and a treat at Justacandy Sweet Factory

This magical place sells lots of homemade sweets, lollipops, wrapped candy and even homemade marshmallow – scroll below to see the video 🙂

From here you can continue to the Hıdırlık Tower as mentioned above.

Notice that there is an observatory point here, which is a little hidden from the eye, if you go further down towards the beach – just a few steps and you’re there, and the view is spectacular!

From here you can go on to the lovely Kecili Park which also has beautiful views of the marina.

There are benches with shade if you wish to have a bit of a rest before heading down to the marina. And yes, the gardens are very well maintained, so it’s time to get creative with photos 🙂

From here you can continue on to the Marina – I took the time to enjoy the Turkish ice cream called Maraş Dondurma – it’s stretchy, creamy, tasty and much needed on a hot day 🙂


To summarize, I put together my Google map with the entire route for your convenience! Save them to your favorites for easy access 🙂


# 4: VISIT THE SAND SCULPTURE MUSEUM 

Well, sometimes photos can describe experiences best, and I’m including some of mine below to inspire you 🙂

Sandland is a beautiful display of sand sculptures, made entirely of sand and water. If you like creative photography, or just wish to be impressed with these magnificent creations, it’s definitely worth coming here.

Try to come a little early or in the afternoon, it’s better for photos and you’ll feel less hot. Also, the sand here is very condensed, so don’t worry about getting it in your shoes.

Entrance fee for adults is 30 TL (5 EUR),  check out their website for detailed opening hours.


# 5: SEE DUDEN WATERFALLS 

There are actually two sites where you can see Düden waterfalls. The upper waterfalls are located north to Antalya and are about 30 minutes drive from the hotel.

I went to the lower waterfalls for 2 reasons – first, they are much more impressive, as this is the point where the Duden River spills off the city cliffs into the sea. Secondly, this is much closer to the sand sculpture museum, so in half a day trip you can combine both of these attractions.

The waterfalls area is very tourist-friendly. There are observatory points, places to eat, and a nice park nearby. The entrance is free of charge.

BTW – if you are looking for an extreme hiking experience – that’s definitely not the place 🙂 You can see the waterfalls from above, and that’s pretty much it – don’t expect a snake trail or a refreshing soak in the water.


# 6: INDULGE IN TRADITIONAL TURKISH DISHES 

I saved the best for last! There are many delicious Turkish dishes, so attempting to cover even a small part in a few days would be impossible. However, I did try to do my best and sample very classic Turkish dishes.

I’m including here 3 places I just loved and you should try too:

Chicken Döner at Önerim Döner

The ultimate Turkish street food! There’s nothing like hot rotisserie chicken shaved into flatbread, with chopped lettuce and yogurt sauce.

As it’s a very popular dish, there are döner stands everywhere – but I wanted to try a really great one 🙂

Önerim Döner is located in the old city center, a little further from the busy shops area, however, I recommend taking the extra 5 minutes walk here.

I got the chicken döner special, it was delicious and I could barely finish it – all for the incredible price of 11.5 TL!

Tip: get your döner to-go and eat at the Republic Square nearby – there are lots of benches and greenery and it’s very pleasant.


Börek at İnci Börek Salonu

Börek is essentially a layered pie, made of phyllo pastry and filled traditionally with cheese. So when in Turkey, you just have to try one of those 🙂

İnci Börek Salonu is a little far off the tourist’s area, but definitely worth coming to. After ordering, I suggest going to the kitchen and have a look at the very talented cook preparing the dish.

I ordered the cheese Börek for just 13 TL, once again it was a huge dish!
You can also try different flavor combinations, such as cheese-spinach, cheese- potatoes, or cheese and eggs.

While there, I also suggest going to the kitchen and have a look at the very talented cook preparing the dish – or swipe below to see the video 🙂


Künefe at Kunefeci Sami Usta

Kanafeh is a traditional dessert with thin noodles, soaked in sweet sugar syrup, layered with cheese and nuts. Here you can enjoy it with Kaymak ice cream – not too sweet and very refreshing.

The owner at Kunefeci Sami Usta is super nice and will prepare you the dish on the spot. With a hot cup of Çay – definitely come here to get your sweet fix 🙂 All for just 20 TL!

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