Kaleiçi, the historic center of Antalya, is a beautiful port city on the Mediterranean. Pronounced Kah-Lay-Chi, the city has a rich history dating back to Ancient Greece and the Roman Empire, and until recently was entirely contained within the old walls.
My favorite thing to do in Kaleiçi, Antalya is to simply wander down the cobbled streets and get lost in the maze of stone houses, parks, cafes, and viewpoints. In fact, there really isn’t much to “do” in Antalya’s old town outside of wandering. However if you in Antalya for more than a day then you might be interested in What To Do In Kaleiçi, Turkey.
Hadrian’s Gate, called Üçkapılar in Turkish, is the only remaining entry gate to the ancient city of Antalya. It was named after the Roman emperor Hadrian (most famous for the wall) and is a beautiful piece of ancient architecture.
It does not cost anything to see the gate, and all day long people are bustling in and out of it. While it’s an important historical place to see, I recommend starting your walk of the old town there (if you are not lodging inside Kaleiçi to begin with).
This is one of my favorite places in the city. It’s a beautiful green space that runs along a cliffs edge. From many viewpoints you can see the the harbor, Konyaalti cliffs and beach, and in the distance the beautiful Taurus mountains.
There are a few cafes in which to get some refreshments, but I just like to do a loop around the walkway and then have a drink by the Hidirlik Tower.
Places with a view can be surprisingly affordable in Antalya’s old town, probably because there are so many of them. If you are in the area around sunset I highly recommend having a glass of wine (or something non-alcoholic) with a view of the harbor.
We chose Vista restaurant which has amazing views. While I cannot judge the food, the wine and beer were both surprisingly affordable for the view offered.
However, the best thing about this place isn’t what you buy, it’s what you do. Vista restaurant is situated in a part of the ancient city wall of Kaleiçi and you are actually able to go inside it. Just walk up some stairs that go directly into the wall and you can see the old passageway. You can also go on top of the wall for an even better view!
Okay, maybe great is an overstatement. However this is an awesome free thing offered by the city which really impressed me for some reason.
The glass elevator and viewpoint goes from one of the highest points in the city straight down to the marina. While there can be a line, we have never had to wait too long any of the times we took it.
Luckily for us it was directly across the street from our hotel (Sky Kamer Hotel) so if we didn’t feel like walking up through the winding streets of Kaleiçi we would just hop on the elevator.
Location: Selçuk, 07100 Muratpaşa/Antalya, Turkey
Yes, this is a bit of a touristy thing to do, but it’s not too expensive and an easy way to spend an afternoon. The prices do vary, but we were quoted at 150 Lira per person (less than $20) for the two hour tour.
I wouldn’t recommend it if you were only here for a day, but once you’re finish seeing everything else you might as well. We stayed in Kaleiçi for three days and if the weather was better on our last day we absolutely would have taken a boat tour.
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There are plenty of good hotels and B&Bs in Antalya’s Old Town of Kaleiçi so it’s really up to your budget. In fact, after walking around for a day I kind of wished we stayed in a different hotel so we found some good ones for you.
A three star hotel right off the main bar street of Kaleiçi with a pool. Well appointed rooms and breakfast included. A bit pricy, averaging about $70 a night.
A three star hotel in the heart of Kaleiçi with a pool. Rooms are sparse but large and the price is great. About $35 a night.
This is actually where we wanted to move to, but they only had one room available and we needed two. It is rated four stars (like ours) but actually deserves it (unlike ours). There is a large pool, comfortable sun loungers, and very comfortable bedding. Seriously, if it was just me and Cody on this trip we would have taken that last room in a heartbeat! Price averages $55 a night.
This hotel is located next to the glass elevator and has amazing views. The rooms are large and the bedding is comfortable. Breakfast is included which is always nice and the staff (when we inquired about the rooms at least) were pleasant and kind. Prices average $50 a night.
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Luckily Antalya has a nice international airport, so getting to the city center is not difficult at all. From the airport just hop in a taxi and they’ll take you to where you need to go. Or, you can take public transportation to save some Lira. However, if you are in a group and have luggage I do recommend the taxi as it is just so much more efficient and worth the extra cost. By meter it is about 50-60 Lira.
If you are coming to Antalya by bus then you will be dropped off at Antalya Otogari (bus terminal) the taxi from here is about 30-35 Lira so I think it’s also the smart choice.
Some streets in Kaleiçi do not allow cars so wherever you get dropped off you may have to walk a block to your hotel.
Overall Antalya’s old town is charming and frankly just beautiful. You can tell the city has put in a lot of effort to beautify the area for tourists. However I do want to reiterate that the things I recommended in this post are pretty much all their is (other than some museums and mosques) so you don’t need more than 2 days to see literally everything.
Plus, why not head out to Antalya’s Lara beach for some r&r before going to your next destination.
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