Antalya Introduction Walking Tour, Antalya

Antalya Introduction Walking Tour (Self Guided), Antalya

A gateway to Turkey's southern Mediterranean, Antalya was founded circa 150 BC by Hellenic King Attalus II of Pergamon, and was named Attaleia or Attalia in his honor. Today, this name is still used in Greek, whereas in Turkish it has evolved as Adalia and eventually Antalya.

Throughout its history, the city changed hands several times. Not long after its foundation – in 133 BC – it was taken over by the Romans, under whose rule Attalia thrived. Centuries later, it became a major city in the Byzantine Empire until, in 1207, it fell to the Seljuk Sultanate, and then to an expanding Ottoman Empire, in 1391. The latter brought relative peace and stability to the region for the next 500 years.

In the 20th century, the local population increased as the Turks from the Caucasus and the Balkans moved in. In the aftermath of World War I, from March 1919 to July 1921, the city was occupied by Italy, but was recaptured by a newly independent Turkey during the War of Independence. Large-scale development, started in the 1970s, transformed Antalya into one of Turkey's largest metropolitan areas.

Much of this has been due to tourism, which expanded in the 21st century to account for up to 30% of foreigners visiting the country. Divine beaches with turquoise waters flanked by comfortable hotels, mild weather, and soaring cliffs – all these have been like a siren call to Antalya. Also adding to its appeal are an array of famous attractions, such as Hadrian’s Gate, built to honor the Roman emperor’s visit in 130 AD, and 2nd-century Hidirlik Tower, plus a yacht-filled Old City Marina, Old Bazaar full of Oriental character, Atatürk Boulevard – one of the Old Town's main thoroughfares, and many others.

If you wish to acquaint yourself more fully with the popular attractions of this brilliant Turkish resort city and explore its sights that have caught visitor’s eye with their beauty for decades, if not centuries, take this self-guided introductory walk.
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Antalya Introduction Walking Tour Map

Guide Name: Antalya Introduction Walking Tour
Guide Location: Turkey » Antalya (See other walking tours in Antalya)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 12
Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.6 Km or 1.6 Miles
Author: valery
Sight(s) Featured in This Guide:
  • Atatürk Monument and Republic Square
  • Attalos II Monument
  • Old Bazaar
  • Saat Kulesi (Clock Tower)
  • Tekeli Mehmet Paşa Mosque
  • Yivli Minaret Mosque
  • Atatürk Street
  • Hadrian's Gate
  • Uzun Çarşı Sk. (Long Bazzar Street)
  • Old City Marina
  • Hidirlik Tower
  • Karaalioglu Park
Atatürk Monument and Republic Square

1) Atatürk Monument and Republic Square

The Atatürk Monument and Republic Square are among Antalya's most famous landmarks. This monument is also known as the National Ascension Monument. The monument and the square celebrate Atatürk's rise to power. Under his leadership, the Turkish Republic came into being, making it one of the first countries in this region to boast a republican form of government.

The monument features bronze handiwork and was created in 1964. Figures featured at the top include Ataturk mounted on a horse, along with a boy and girl representing the country's youth. When you look at the base, you'll see the dates for several important military victories listed.

Republic Square is the city's main square and one of the most popular attractions. One of the most appealing things about the square is its proximity to the harbor, offering excellent views. Because the square is one of the city's most popular gathering places, you'll have a perfect chance of encountering live bands.
Attalos II Monument

2) Attalos II Monument

The Attalos II Monument in Antalya stands as a tribute to King Attalos II of Pergamon, the esteemed ruler and founder of the city in the 2nd century BC. Situated on Republic Street, directly opposite the iconic Clock Tower, this ancient monument continues to captivate visitors with its well-preserved grandeur and strategic location, drawing thousands of tourists daily.

Attalos II Philadelphus, whose name translates to "Attalos the brother-loving," was born as the second son of Attalus I Soter and Queen Apollonius of Cyzicus. He ascended to the throne of the Attalid kingdom of Pergamon alongside his ailing brother, Eumenes II, in 160 BC. Following Eumenes' passing in 158 BC, Attalos married his brother's widow, Stratonice of Pergamon, thus solidifying his claim to power.

During his reign, Attalos II expanded his kingdom with the assistance of his close friend Ariarathes V of Cappadocia. He founded the cities of Philadelphia and Attalia (Antalya), showcasing his dedication to urban development and his role as a patron of the arts and sciences. Notably, Attalos II was also credited with inventing a new form of embroidery. In his later years, Attalos II relied heavily on his trusted chief minister, Philopoemen, to assist him in governing the kingdom. He successfully repelled a Persian raid, demonstrating his steadfast commitment to protecting his realm.

Right behind the statue one can find the famous pedestrians-only street Kazım Özalp Caddesi (formerly—and still sometimes nowadays—called Şarampol Caddesi) - the location of Antalya Central Bazaar.
Old Bazaar

3) Old Bazaar (must see)

As you walk from the Clock Tower to North, in the first block of Kazim Özalp Caddesi, more or less to the right (east) of the Attalos statue, is a warren of tiny lanes close-packed with little shops, mostly selling jewelry and souvenirs. Look for an arched entrance to access the city’s prime market for food and indeed for everything else as well.

Here visitors can buy local and international textile, gold and silver jewelry, carpets and much more. Once you have decided what you want to purchase, don't rush to pay the asking price, and don't reveal how much money you have. Do not forget that sellers expect bargaining in Turkey. There are those that say that “Negotiate” is their slogan.

The main bazaar is captivating to visit. Besides leather goods, carpets, clothes, and much more, you will be served with apple tea. Serving tea to visitors is a very pleasant tradition in Turkey. The market is open even on holidays.
Saat Kulesi (Clock Tower)

4) Saat Kulesi (Clock Tower)

The Clock Tower that dates to 1901 and features a unique square shape. The occasion for the tower's construction was the 25th year of Abdulhamit II's reign. This tower has been constructed of rough stone and has a foundation that incorporates the older part of the city's walls.

Each wall has a clock face, making it easy to tell the time when coming from any direction. There are arches and crenellations above the clock faces, done in beautiful Arabic style. If you should be in the area after nightfall, you'll find the tower beautifully illuminated. Visitors will quickly see why this area of town is so popular for photo opportunities.

Although visitors can only view the tower from outside, a visit will provide you with an excellent chance to appreciate the city center's history. Hadrian's Gate is only about 400 meters from the tower. You will also see a lot of activity near the clock tower that includes bazaars.
Tekeli Mehmet Paşa Mosque

5) Tekeli Mehmet Paşa Mosque

The Tekeli Mehmet Paşa Mosque, known as the Tekeli Mehmet Paşa Camii in Turkish, is a significant religious structure located in the captivating city of Antalya. This mosque owes its name to Lala Mehmed Pasa, a prominent figure of the time.

Constructed during the 17th century, the Tekeli Mehmet Paşa Mosque stands proudly in the Kalekapisi district and holds great historical and architectural importance as one of Antalya's most notable Ottoman mosques. Its design showcases the exquisite craftsmanship and artistic flair characteristic of the Ottoman Empire.

The mosque's most striking feature is its main dome, which gracefully ascends on a lofty rim. This central dome is supported by three semi-domes, positioned in the east, west, and south directions, as well as three smaller domes on the northern side. The arrangement of these domes creates an aesthetically pleasing and harmonious architectural composition.

Upon closer inspection, the intricate details of the mosque's embellishments become apparent. The pointed arch-formed lunettes of the windows, both on the northern facade and inside the mosque, are adorned with captivating tiled panels. These panels are meticulously crafted and adorned with verses from the Quran, written in the elegant taliq script. The combination of calligraphy and tile work creates a mesmerizing visual effect, showcasing the devotion and artistic mastery of the craftsmen of that era.

As visitors enter the Tekeli Mehmet Paşa Mosque, they are welcomed by an atmosphere of serenity and tranquility. The interior space exudes a sense of grandeur, with its impressive architectural elements and the soft illumination filtering through the stained glass windows. The beauty and spiritual ambiance of the mosque make it an ideal place for prayer and contemplation.
Yivli Minaret Mosque

6) Yivli Minaret Mosque (must see)

Yivli Minaret Mosque is a historical mosque in Antalya. The mosque's fluted minaret, which is decorated with dark blue tiles, is a landmark and symbol of the city. The mosque is located in the Antalya old town.

The mosque was first built in 1230 and fully reconstructed in 1373. The first building may have been a Byzantine church originally and may have been converted into a mosque around 1225-1227, during the reign of the Seljuk sultan Ala ad-Din Kay Qubadh I. The original mosque was destroyed in the 14th century and a new mosque was built which, with its six domes, is one of the oldest examples of multi-dome construction in Antalya.

Yivli Minaret is located behind the mosque of the same name and is a separate structure. A four-sided base supports a minaret composed of eight fluted sections, which enclose a series of 90 steps leading to the top. Its very beautiful blue and dark blue tiles draw one's attention to this landmark. The minaret was constructed between 1219 and 1236.

Today the building houses the Antalya Ethnographic Museum and contains clothing, kitchen utensils, embroidery, tapestries and looms, socks, sacks, kilims, ornaments, and nomadic tents.

Besides the famous minaret and mosque, the Yivli Minaret complex includes other notable structures, such as a building once used as a lodge for the Mevlevi Dervishes. Two domed tombs are also located on the grounds: the tomb of Zincirkıran Mehmet Bey was built in 1377, and another was built in 1502 as a memorial for Ayşe Hatun who was the consort of Sultan Bayezid II, and mother of the next sultan Selim I. A former Islamic seminary, Atabey Aramgan Medresseh has been restored to function as a bazaar.
Atatürk Street

7) Atatürk Street

Ataturk Street is one of the most important streets in the old part of town. The street has benches along its length, giving visitors plenty of places to sit and watch passers-by. Tall palm trees help add to the seaside air of this part of Antalya. When you decide to take a stroll down this street, you'll be in for a fun experience.

There are many stores selling fashion products. Less-expensive knockoffs of designer bags are popular in many of the local stores. You will also find a selection of craft stores here that will appeal to your creative side.

You'll enjoy seeing the bronze statues that line this street. These statues are excellent examples of what the local art scene is capable of producing. When you go down this street, you might be able to see some street performers at work. Regardless of what you're seeking, you'll find something interesting here.
Hadrian's Gate

8) Hadrian's Gate (must see)

The Hadrian's Gate is a triumphal arch which was built in the name of the Roman emperor Hadrian, who visited Antalya in the year 130. It has three arched gates. According to the legend, Sultan Belkis, the Queen of Sheba, is said to have passed under those gates and enjoyed a happy day in the palace in Aspendos on her way to visit King Solomon.

The gate was formerly enclosed by the city walls so it was not used for centuries. This may be the reason why there was little wear and tear to the gate, and it was only revealed when the city walls collapsed. It is considered as Pamphylia's most beautiful gate. The upper part has three apertures in the shape of a cupola, and except for the pillars is built entirely of white marble. The ornamentation is very striking.

On both sides of the gate are towers, which were not built at the same time. The southern tower is known as the Julia Sancta tower and is a work of the Hadrian era. It was constructed of plain stone blocks. The northern tower is much older. The base of the northern tower belongs to antiquity, the upper part is likely built by the Seljuks.
Uzun Çarşı Sk. (Long Bazzar Street)

9) Uzun Çarşı Sk. (Long Bazzar Street)

Antalya's historic bazaar is situated along Uzun Çarşı Sk. (Long Bazzar Street) beginning at Tekeli Mehmet Paşa Mosque then going South. The large array of shops and boutiques offer traditional carpets, textiles, old and modern jewelry, souvenirs, leather clothes and shoes, a large assortment of accessories, unique handcrafted items, and more.

The street is packed with eateries of all kind as well. Historical architecture and old houses line the street, keeping the local identity. During the hot seasons, it is advised to carry a bottle of water to keep you hydrated as you explore the street.
Old City Marina

10) Old City Marina (must see)

The Old City Marina was the site of the first harbor in Antalya. Today, it is still an active marina with fishing boats and yachts alike moored here. You'll enjoy being able to watch the fishing boat owners bringing their catch in for all to enjoy. Some of the yachts include impressive luxury vessels.

There are cafes on the marina that serve coffee and tea in an authentic Turkish atmosphere. You can also purchase fish fresh from the fishing boats, prepared as you like. The restaurants that offer fresh seafood also sell traditional Turkish cuisine that you won't want to miss.

You'll enjoy the souvenir shops here, which allow you to select fun trinkets for yourself or as gifts. Traditional Turkish crafts are also popular items to find here. You can also buy traditional spices that form the basis of some of the most popular Turkish cuisine. Don't leave this area empty-handed.
Hidirlik Tower

11) Hidirlik Tower

Situated in Antalya, where the old town converges with Karaalioglu Park, stands the remarkable Hidirlik Tower. Constructed by the ruling Roman Empire during the second century CE, this tower was originally built in a square shape. However, it underwent a transformation in the same century, emerging as a circular tower. Throughout its history, the tower has served as both a fortification and a lighthouse.

Located on the southern side of the city, Hidirlik Tower resides at the intersection of the city's land walls and sea walls. This 14-meter-high (46 feet) structure consists of a circular tower that ascends from a quadrilateral pedestal. An entrance gate on the eastern side of the tower leads to a small room, from which a narrow staircase spirals upward. Evident traces of restoration work can be observed on the upper portion, reflecting interventions made during the Seljuk and Ottoman eras.

The present name of the tower, Hidirlik, which translates to "a place of Khidr," references its association with the Hidirellez festival. Hidirellez is a spring festival celebrated in various Muslim cultures, symbolizing the annual meeting of Khidr and Elijah. It is during this time that the vibrant Hidirellez festival takes place.
Karaalioglu Park

12) Karaalioglu Park (must see)

Karaalioglu Park is one of Antalya's most noteworthy attractions. The Gulf of Antalya, as well as the cliffs that overlook the harbor, are some of the most popular sights. One of the things that visitors enjoy the most about this park is the wealth of photo opportunities that are available.

One of the most noteworthy highlights is Hıdırlık Tower, which dates to the second century. There are sculptures here that visitors enjoy the chance to photograph and take selfies with. These sculptures include the Worker and Son, the monument to poet Nâzım Hikmet, the famous Frog and Hand sculptures, and the statue of Don Quixote.

The entrances to the park have a few places where you can get drinks or snacks. A pub that serves burgers and a beer is one of the more popular places to visit. You can also try a coffee shop near the main park entrance that serves tasty snacks, in addition to great coffee.

Walking Tours in Antalya, Turkey

Create Your Own Walk in Antalya

Create Your Own Walk in Antalya

Creating your own self-guided walk in Antalya is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Old Antalya (Kaleici) Walking Tour

Old Antalya (Kaleici) Walking Tour

Centrally located along the Mediterranean coastline, adjoining the yacht harbor with origins dating back to the Roman era, Kaleiçi is the historical core of Antalya. The name itself translates to "Inside the Kale" or "Inner Kale," in which "Kale" means castle or fortress. Indeed, in earlier times, the majority of the city was encompassed by protective walls.

The...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.8 Km or 1.7 Miles
Bazaars & Shopping Streets Tour

Bazaars & Shopping Streets Tour

Shopping in Antalya can be both a peaceful therapy session or an exhilarating adrenaline rush, depending on where you go. Either way, it is quite enjoyable, given an amazing range of retail offerings, which, apart from a few striking photo opportunities, provide setting for an ideal shopaholic's paradise.

Some of the best shopping in town is found in the old district of Kaleiçi replete...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.1 Km or 0.7 Miles