Romantic things to do in Antalya

Antalya for couples

The hub of Turkey’s Mediterranean coast is Antalya (ancient Attaleia). Although much of the city is now a jumble of high-rise apartment blocks, offices and hotels, its location - overlooking the startlingly blue waters of the Gulf of Antalya to the saw-tooth line of the misty purple Taurus Mountains - remains stunning and a perfectly romantic backdrop.

  1. Enjoy a romantic walk around the old quarter of the city
  2. Check out the most photographed site in Antalya
  3. Marvel at Hadrian's Gate
  4. Enjoy the Karaalioğlu Parkı and its surroundings
  5. Hit the beach!
  6. Make the most of Lara and its romantic accommodation

The central, walled old quarter is ranged prettily around a tiny harbour at the foot of the cliffs, and the city has several lovely park areas, bringing welcome relief in the long, hot summers. It’s even possible to swim and sunbathe right in the heart of the city. Despite its rapid development, the places of interest to a visitor are all very central, and it makes a great base to see the surrounding sights, amongst the finest in the country. Inspired? Take a look at our Antalya holidays.

In collaboration with
Rough Guides

1. Enjoy a romantic walk around the old quarter of the city

The heart of Antalya is the beautifully restored walled old quarter known as Kaleiçi (inside the castle). The harbour here is filled with wooden leisure craft which ferry tourists out along the foot of the pocked-limestone cliffs on which the city stands, while the alleyways radiating out from the water’s edge are lined with alfresco seafood restaurants and cafés along with a veritable swarm of souvenir shops, pensions and boutique hotels. Walking around the old town on a balmy summer’s evening is a delight, with bougainvillea spreading in a riot of purple over the stone and timber fronts of Ottoman-era town houses, and the scent of jasmine sweet in the air - a stroll around the area is one of the best romantic things to do in Antalya. Be warned, though: everyone wants to sell you something, whether it’s a boat tour or a carpet, a glass of freshly squeezed orange juice or a meerschaum pipe, so come prepared with your thickest skin.

Best for: A pretty stroll

Don’t forget: Head to the Güllük Dağı Termessos National Park for another romantic walk

2. Check out the most photographed site in Antalya

Just west of the Mehmet Paşa Camii is the Yivli Minare (Fluted Minaret). It stands as the most photographed building in Antalya and for good reason! It showcases a beautiful panorama which sprawls across the bay all the way to the mountains. Watching the sun set here is particularly romantic and is one of those perfect couply things to do in Antalya. What’s more, it’s the symbol of the city and is the oldest Seljuk monument. Pretty turquoise-and-blue tiles form the eight-metre high minaret. Find the pool in front, it’s made of marble.

Best for: One of the best attractions in Antalya

Don’t forget: If you’re a sporty couple: in the lofty mountains northeast of Antalya is a small ski resort, Saklıkent (Hidden City).

3. Marvel at Hadrian's Gate

Head to Hadrian’s Gate (known as Üçkapılar to Turks), a stately triple-arched structure of white marble, built in honour of the emperor’s visit in AD 130. Step through it to re-enter the modern world of Atatürk Caddesi. Here you will find a palm-tree-lined street which bursts with energy from the ringing bell of the period tram that trundles past - and an ever-changing collection of restaurants, cafés and clothes shops.

Best for: History

Don’t forget: For more history with your loved one, check out the Archaeological Museum.

4. Enjoy the Karaalioğlu Parkı and its surroundings

Head south down Atatürk Caddesi to Karaalioğlu Parkı, atop the cliffs to the east of the harbour, a peaceful shady park ideal for sitting out the heat of the day - and a romantic picnic. It’s one of the best things to do for couples in Antalya. On the cliff tops above the harbour stand the old city walls and ramparts built by the Greeks and restored by the Romans and Seljuks. Here, just outside the park and back in Kaleıçi, is the 13.5-metre (44ft) Hıdırlık Kulesi. The sombre lower square section is believed to have been a Hellenic tomb, while the tower itself was built by the Romans in the 2nd century AD, possibly as a lighthouse, and adapted by the Seljuks for defence.

Best for: Park

Don’t forget: Why not share some Turkish locum with your partner? Also known as Turkish Delight. Try the pistachio or orange flavour.

5. Hit the beach!

To the west of the city is the pebbly 3km (2-mile) -long Konyaaltı Beach, providing Antalya with an attractive seafront, with several of its finest hotels and a number of good restaurants. Beach Park, at the eastern end of the beach, is full of bars, nightclubs, restaurants and cafés. On the cliff top above is Antalya Aquarium - it claims itself to be the longest tunnel aquarium on the planet.

Best for: Beach fun

Don’t forget: Opposite, in the grounds of the AKM Culture Park, is a popular water park, equipped with various water slides and rides.

6. Make the most of Lara and its romantic accommodation

Many of Antalya’s mass-market hotels march in serried ranks along the cliff tops of Lara. This area, stretching for about 15km (9 miles) east of the city, has become an entire suburb of monolithic hotels and romantic holiday apartments. Many have steep staircases down the cliff to private swimming platforms. Beyond the cliffs is Lara beach, a moderately attractive public bathing strip which, unlike Konyaaltı, boasts a beach which is both sandy and shelves gently into the sea.

Best for: Romantic spot for your accommodation

Don’t forget: If you fancy a night of music with your loved one, head to the Cam Pyramit (Glass Pyramid) for a concert

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