Old Antalya (Kaleici) Walking Tour, Antalya

Old Antalya (Kaleici) Walking Tour (Self Guided), Antalya

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 area boasts a rich tapestry of architectural influences spanning from the Roman, Byzantine, Seljuk, Ottoman, and modern Turkish Republican periods. Still, the majority of local structures date back to the late 18th and 19th centuries. While some of the traditional Turkish residences are still inhabited, many have been transformed into boutique hotels, eateries, and shops that showcase handicrafts and other forms of folkloric art.

Wandering through the charming streets of Old Antalya, you'll encounter various notable landmarks that tell the story of this ancient city.

One of the first things you may come across is the Atatürk Monument in Republic Square, paying homage to the founding father of modern Turkey, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk.

The heart of Kaleiçi is the Old City Marina. Here, you can witness a beautiful mix of traditional wooden boats called "gulets" sharing space with modern yachts. Nearby, İskele Mosque stands as a testament to the city's long religious history.

As you stroll through the narrow streets, you will find Long Bazaar Street, a bustling market where you can shop for souvenirs, antiques, and local crafts. The Yivli Minaret Mosque, with its unique fluted minaret, is another architectural gem worth visiting.

The Clock Tower (Saat Kulesi) is an iconic landmark in Kaleiçi and provides a great vantage point to soak in the Old Town's atmosphere. Nearby, you can admire the Attalos II Monument, a symbol of Antalya's ancient history.

Exploring further, you'll encounter the Old Bazaar, a vibrant market where you can haggle for spices, textiles, and more. Hadrian's Gate, a beautifully preserved Roman triumphal arch, serves as a gateway to Kaleiçi's historic center.

For a peaceful escape from the city's hustle and bustle, visit Karaalioglu Park. This lush green space offers stunning views of the Mediterranean Sea and is a perfect spot for a leisurely stroll.

If you love ancient sites, shopping for unique souvenirs, or simply enjoying scenic views, Kaleiçi, Antalya will give you all that and more. Just dedicate a few hours of your time to this self-guided excursion and let the charm of this historic district carry you away.
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Old Antalya (Kaleici) Walking Tour Map

Guide Name: Old Antalya (Kaleici) Walking Tour
Guide Location: Turkey » Antalya (See other walking tours in Antalya)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 11
Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.8 Km or 1.7 Miles
Author: valery
Sight(s) Featured in This Guide:
  • Atatürk Monument and Republic Square
  • Kaleici
  • İskele Mosque
  • Old City Marina
  • Uzun Çarşı Sk. (Long Bazzar Street)
  • Yivli Minaret Mosque
  • Saat Kulesi (Clock Tower)
  • Attalos II Monument
  • Old Bazaar
  • Hadrian's Gate
  • 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.

2) Kaleici

Old Town Kaleici, situated in the heart of Antalya, is a historic neighborhood that attracts numerous tourists. Renowned for its Ottoman architecture, intricate narrow streets, and authentic mosques, it also offers a vibrant atmosphere with its abundance of restaurants, cafes, and bars featuring concert halls. Visitors can explore the neighborhood's rich historical heritage, which includes monuments from various periods and eras, making it an ideal destination for history enthusiasts and admirers of ancient architecture.

Having stood the test of time, Kaleici has been a witness to countless significant historical events throughout the centuries. The site's first settlement dates back to the 4th century BC, when Attalus II, the ruler of the Kingdom of Pergamum, ordered the construction of a city named Attalia in his honor over two thousand years ago.

In 133 BC, the Romans took control of the port city, and during their rule, the area became known as Kaleici, meaning "inside the fortress." The outpost, enclosed by towering walls featuring 80 towers and numerous cannons, held strategic importance as a crucial point along the route from Europe to Asia. In the 15th century, the Ottoman Empire gained control of Antalya and the Old City. Alongside the Roman and Byzantine structures, traditional Islamic buildings adorned the area.

Modern Kaleici extends across an area of more than 35 hectares and encompasses four districts. Despite enduring several earthquakes, most of the buildings have been meticulously restored, with some preserved in their original form. Notable landmarks that have withstood the test of time include Hadrian's Gate, Hıdırlık Tower, and Yivli Minaret.
İskele Mosque

3) İskele Mosque

İskele Mosque, situated in Antalya, is a charming place of worship that can be found by strolling along Mermerli Street, which runs adjacent to the old beach of Antalya. Nestled on the vintage background breakwater, the mosque beckons visitors to descend the stone steps that lead to the Old Port. As you make your way downstairs, you'll discover the modest İskele Mosque, perched on the banks of the picturesque yacht harbor, just a short distance from the glistening water.

Compared to other notable attractions in Antalya, İskele Mosque is relatively young, having been constructed in the late nineteenth century. The entire mosque is crafted from stone, lending it a unique sense of harmony amidst the lush vegetation that surrounds it. The mosque's architectural design revolves around a central spring that emerges from the ground, with the mosque itself supported by four pillars that tower above the natural water source.
Old City Marina

4) 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.
Uzun Çarşı Sk. (Long Bazzar Street)

5) 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.
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.
Saat Kulesi (Clock Tower)

7) 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.
Attalos II Monument

8) 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

9) 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.
Hadrian's Gate

10) 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.
Karaalioglu Park

11) 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.
Antalya Introduction Walking Tour

Antalya Introduction Walking Tour

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...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.6 Km or 1.6 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