Where to Stay in Antalya First Time: 6 Best areas

The best areas to stay in Antalya for first-timers are Kaleiçi, Konyaalti Beach, Lara Beach, Belek Beach, Olympos Beach, and Alanya. These are popular and safe neighborhoods for tourists that offer a wide variety of attractions and amenities.

In this post, I will be looking at where to stay in Antalya for the first time, for couples, families, and for nightlife.

Antalya was founded during the Hellenistic period, and later under the rule of Roman Empire, Byzantine, Seljuk, and Ottoman. Today, Antalya is a popular summer beach town on the  southwest coast of Turkey.

Kaleiçi, also known as Old Town, is the best place to stay in Antalya for first-timers due to its prime location. If you stay here, you will be located in the middle of everything, within walking distance to the top sights, as well as many choices of restaurants, bars, and shops. Famous beaches such as Konyaalti Beach, Lara Beach, Belek Beach are easy to reach from the Old Town.

Antalya is a great place for couples and families. Kaleiçi, Konyaalti Beach, Lara Beach, Belek Beach are the best places to stay in Antalya for couples and families due to its facilities, as well as its beautiful beaches and attractions on offer.

The International airport is Fraport TAV Antalya Airport, 13 km from the Antalya Old Town, as well as the YDA Dalaman Airport close to Kalkan and Kaş.

Antalya has all kinds of accommodation options from boutique hotels that have been converted from old Ottoman-era buildings in the historic center, to all-inclusive beachfront resorts, tree houses, and bungalows.

💖 Best Area for first-timers:Kaleiçi
💎 Best luxury hotel:Doubletree By Hilton Antalya City Centre
🏨 Best mid-range hotel:Old Town Point Hotel & Spa Antalya
💰 Best budget hotel:Bacchus Pension

6 Best areas to stay in Antalya for tourists

1. Kaleiçi, Old Town, where to stay in Antalya for first-timers

Kaleici is the best area to stay in Antalya for first-time travelers due to its prime location. If you stay here, you will be located in the middle of everything, with a great selection of restaurants, bars, and shops. It is an all-year around destination and the most central location to explore the attractions around.

Kaleici is the historic city center of Antalya, and the city was located within the walls, with many structures dating back to the Hellenistic, Roman, Byzantine, Seljuk, Ottoman eras.The city walls were built by Romans on the Hellenic remains, were expanded and repaired during the Seljuk period. The walls are shaped like a horseshoe.

If you stroll along its cobbled streets, you will see lots of old stone houses, parks, viewpoints, souvenir shops, bazaar, markets, restaurants, bars, and cafes. The wooden doors are a great place to take a photo. 

You can start exploring the Old Town from Old Town’s gateway, Hadrian’s Gate. Also known as  Üçkapılar in Turkish, the three gates is a stunning triumph arch dating back to the 130 AD, in honor of the arrival of Roman Emperor Hadrian in Antalya at the time. The gate is well preserved and the whole monument is made of white marble.

Hadrian’s Gate is located right on Ataturk Caddesi highway. The area around it is very busy, packed with bars, restaurants and shops.

After visiting the ancient gate, you can head toward Karaalioğlu Park to enter near Hidirlik Tower. Karaalioğlu Park offers beautiful views of the harbor, Konyaalti cliffs, and the Taurus mountains. You can grab a drink at a few cafes there

The 14-meter-high Hıdırlık Tower overlooking Antalya’s cliffs and the Roman Harbor. It was built under the Roman Empire in a square shape, and then turned into a circular tower, and used as a fortification or a lighthouse. The upper part was done in the Seljuk and Ottoman periods.

Kesik Minaret, now known as the Broken Minaret, has an interesting history. Originally built in the 2nd century AD, under Roman rule, as the temple, but it was rebuilt as a church dedicated to the Virgin Mary in the Byzantine era, damaged during the Arab invasions, and converted into a mosque in the 13th century, destroyed by fire in 1896 the mosque was by fire and has never been rebuilt.

Yivli Minare Mosque, also known as Alaaddin Mosque, is a special place to visit with its best examples of Seljuk art and architecture. It is one of the symbols of Antalya, built by Anatolian Seljuk Sultan Kayqubad I, at the highest point in Kaleiçi. It was one of the first Islamic buildings in Antalya.

The Saat Kulesi, or the Clock Tower, is a part of the historical city wall, built during the reign of Abdulhamid II in the 19th century. The clock can be seen on four sides, and the tower is lovely illuminated at night.

Antalya was one  the most popular port cities of the Mediterranean, and Kaleici marina played an important role during the Byzantine time.

You can take a boat tour from Kaleici marina and go to the Konyaaltı Beach, Falezler, Katilacak, Lower Düden Waterfall, as well as other towns such as Kemer, Side, and Alanya. 

There is a small beach next to the harbor, behind the cliffs, called Mermerli Beach, where you can swim and it is packed with sunbeds during the summer. You can view the beach from a balcony made of glass on the observation terrace in Kecili Park.

There are plenty of shops inside old Ottoman-style houses, where you can buy  high-quality carpets, traditional textiles, fabrics, and embroidery.

The old town has many Meyhanesi taverns and restaurants where you can enjoy traditional Turkish drinks and food such as meze and rakı. There is a Antalya’s fish market near the harbor, where you can buy fresh seafood. The Old town also offers great nightlife with bars, clubs, and cafes.

If you are interested in the history of the Antalya region, check out the Kaleiçi Museum to learn more about the traditional Turkish culture. The Antalya Ethnography Museum consists of two

 historic villas. You can see general Turkish-Islamic cultural relics, and architecture from the Ottoman era. Antalya toy museum is worth a visit to see antique children’s toys if you travel as a family.

Kaleici is located on the cliff and Kaleici Panoramic Elevator connecting the harbor and the street are popular for tourists. This glass elevator offers stunning views of Antalya Bay.

There are great nightlife scenes around the harbor and in Kaleiçi with clubs and restaurants in the narrow street, as well as upscale restaurants along the clock tower. You can also enjoy a lovely view of the harbor and ocean in the restaurants above the marina by the old harbor wall.

Most of the houses inside the walls date back to the 18th and 19th centuries, as well as Roman, Byzantine, and Ottoman periods, and have been converted into boutique hotels, restaurants, and handicrafts shops.You can book a stay in a boutique hotel that offers a courtyard and charming  views of the marina and the city for a unique experience.

Best places to stay in Antalya Old Town:

2. Konyaalti Beach, where to stay in Antalya for families

Konyaalti Beach is one of the best places to stay in Antalya for families due to its close proximity to the old town, as well as its beautiful beach, safe for little ones, and lots of activities for children in Antalya Aqualand & Dolphinland, Antalya Aquarium, and Atatürk Park nearby.

Konyaalti Beach, also known as Konyaaltı Plajı in Turkish, is one of the popular beaches in Antalya along with Lara Beach. Due to its prime location, closest to the city center, Konyaalti is a perfect spot for sunbathers who stay in the old town. The entrance to Konyaaltı Beach is free.

Konyaalti Beach is easily reached from Old Town by tram to Antalya Archaeological Museum, as well as taking a rental car to the beach. Driving will take about  5-10 minutes, while walking will take around 30 minutes. At the beach, you can walk, or  rent a bike, and cycle along the beach.

Konyaalti Beach is a 13 km long beach, starting from the cliffs of the old town to the western outskirts. The beach offers amazing views of the Mediterranean sea, steep cliffs, and Taurus Mountains in the background.

Konyaalti Beach is a combination of fine pebbles and sand. It has been awarded “Blue Flag ” beach for its clean and clear water. 

There are sunbeds and umbrellas for rent, as well as facilities such as showers, toilets, and changing rooms. There are many beach bars, cafes, boutiques, and restaurants on the beachfront, and in the Beach Park with additional live music occasionally.

There are lots of shopping opportunities nearby including the Migros shopping center, located at walking distance from Konyaalti beach park. The mall offers a good selection of local and international brands.

On the beach promenade, you can find kid’s playgrounds, a basketball ground, and fitness equipment. There are water activities such as parasailing, jet skiing, and diving in shipwrecks. Konyaalti Beach Park is a great place for watersports.

With a selection of bars and beach clubs, Konyaaltı Beach, especially the eastern end of the beach, has vibrant nightlife scenes,  attracting lots of people to come to party.

There are numerous attractions near the beach. Antalya Aqualand & Dolphinland Waterpark, and Antalya Aquarium, are great places to visit if you are a family traveling with children of all ages. Atatürk Park is home to the largest ferris wheel in Turkey, and also a great place to picnic and relax.

At the west end of Konyaalti Beach, you can take a ride on the Tünektepe Teleferik cable car to the viewpoint on Tünektepe Hill, and enjoy the charming views of the mountains and the ocean.

Konyaalti offers plenty of accommodation options ranging from luxury brand hotels to budget guest houses. If you want quieter, head to the western end of the beach.

Best places to stay in Antalya in Konyaalti Beach:

3. Lara Beach, where to stay in Antalya for luxury

Lara Beach is the best area to stay in Antalya for luxury beach resorts because the beach is home to a range of upscale beachfront hotels, many of which are set in the Kundu area. The beach is a great place for an all inclusive beach holiday, as well as couples and families.

Located on the Turkish Riviera, east of Antalya’s old town, Lara Beach is located further from the Antalya city center compared with Konyaalti Beach but it has more commercial development, and is calmer and warmer. 

Lara Beach is a popular destination for families with children due to its beautiful sandy, clear turquoise, calm waters beach, as well as many playgrounds for kids.

There is a free public beach area on the western beach with free showers, restrooms, changing rooms, sunbeds and umbrellas. Most of Lara Beach is private and owned by 5 star resorts. There are water activities such as swimming, paragliding, kitesurfing, windsurfing.

Lara Beach has a great nightlife with numerous beach clubs, restaurants, cafés, and shops, as well as a barbecue area along the beach promenade. 

You can also shop at the Lara Beach Shopping Centre, or Terra City Shopping Mall, as well as many leather shops, and Souvenir shops around the neighborhood.

There is a sand sculpture museum of Antalya, called Sandland, located in the Muratpasa district, right at the Lara Beach. It is an open air museum, where sand sculptures are created by international sculptors.

Lara is also a good base to visit natural wonders neary such as the Lower Düden Waterfall to learn about a unique water system falling into the Mediterranean Sea, as well as the Karian Cave, Koprulu Canyon, and Taurus Mountains.

From the Old Town, it takes a half an hour to get to the beach by bus. Antalya Airport is just ten minutes away by rental car, shuttle buses, public buses, and taxis.

Lara beach, also known as the Turkish version of Las Vegas, is home to many luxury resorts such as Aska, Liberty, Concorde, Delphin, Lara Barut,  Swandor, Titanic Mardan Palace, and IC Hotels Green Palace. But don’t worry if you are on a budget, there are plenty of mid-range, 3-star, 4-star hotels, and guest houses.

Best places to stay in Lara Beach:

4. Belek Beach, capital of golf of Turkey, lot of thermal spas, luxury hotels

Belek is a popular tourist destination in Antalya for couples and families due to its beautiful beaches, luxury beach resorts, theme parks, golf courses, and close proximity to tourist sights such as the Roman Theater, Aspendos, and Perge ancient city. 

Belek is a beach town located 30 kilometers on the east side of Antalya Old Town. Belek’s history dates back to the 4th century BC, under many rulers including the Hellenistic, Roman, Byzantine,and Seljuk influence. 

Belek public beach is 200 m of golden sand. There is also Kadriye Beach on the western side of Belek and the  Bogazkent Beach on the east of the Kopru River’s mouth, with a  stunning dune landscape. The Kumkoy beach resort is more exclusive with luxurious facilities, and sun loungers.

Belek is known as one of Turkey’s biggest golf destinations. With good weather condition, modern international facilities, it’s a paradise for golfers. Many resorts provide their own golf courses. Some of the golf courses are the Montgomerie Golf Complex, Carya Golf Club, Sueno Golf Club, Cornelia Golf Course, and Kaya Palazzo Golf Club.

Another must-see attraction near Belek is the 2nd century AD Aspendos Roman Theater.  You can visit the ruins of the antique basilica, agora, and grottoes. It is the venue for the International Opera and Ballet Festival each year.

Koprulu Canyon offers plenty of adventure in the great Turkish outdoors. You can go for its most popular activity – white-water rafting in the national park along Köprü River, passing magnificent greenery of the cypress-forested crags and under the ancient Oluk Bridge.

Adventure lovers can head to the Koprulu Canyon National Park for white water rafting. There are also trekkin, horseback riding, safaris, and camping. In the national park, you can see the amazing eucalyptus and cypress woods, as well as attractions such as Ancient City of Selge, Oluk Roman Bridge, Büğrüm bridge, and Köprüçay.

Families and children will have a fun day out at The Land of Legends Theme Park, which is a huge entertainment park. It is also called Disneyland of Antalya, with numerous attractions such as a fairy tale castle, water park, and adventure park.

Belek is a great place to tryTurkish cuisine and seafood such as crab, shrimp, octopus and calamari, and roasted bakra. There are plenty of bars and nightclubs which offer lively nightlife. 

You can relax at one of the Belek hammams or Turkish Baths. Belek Osmanli Hamam is one of the places to go for an authentic Turkish spa experience. The package includes body scrub, massage, skincare, and tea.

There are plenty of all-inclusive resorts, as well as budget hotels. Many luxury beachfront resorts offer a private beach with free parasols and sun loungers, as well as included daily breakfast, lunch and dinner. 

Best places to stay in Antalya in Belek:

5. Olympos Beach, popular place for nature lovers

The ancient city of Olympos is one of the popular places to visit in Antalya for nature lovers, attracting lots of backpackers, couples, families, and hippies, because it has wonderful nature, beautiful beaches, as well as the historical site and ruins. 

Located in the Kumluca district, close to Çiralı and Kemer, Olympos Beach is a natural pebble beach with crystal clear blue water. It is the place to see the loggerhead, caretta caretta turtles lay their eggs on the beach. 

Olympos Beach is a protected beach, no cars allowed to enter the beach, as well as no beach facilities such as sunbeds, umbrellas, changing rooms and showers. Within a 5-10 minute walk from the beach, you will find restaurants, and accommodations.

Adrasan Beach is located within a short drive away that offers plenty of hotels, cafes, water sports and beach activities for beach goers.

Aside from the beach, you can visit the ancient city of Olympos. Originally one of the most important harbors and cities of the ancient Lycian League, it also belongs to the Hellenistic, Roman and Byzantine eras.

In the Olympos archaeological site, you can visit the temple gate, Acropolis hill, Necropolis church, and Olympos theater. Other activities such as trekking, canyoning, climbing.

There is the Eternal Flame of Chimaera, known as Yanartas in Turkish, on the Lycian way hike near Olympos, 3 km from Cirali. Yanartaş flame burns on its own and never dies. Yanartaş flame burns on its own and never dies. Renting a car or hiring a driver is the easiest way to get  to Yanartaş/Chimera.

Another thing to do in Olympia is to take an Olympos Cable Car Kemer to Tahtali Mountain and enjoy stunning views of surrounding mountains and valleys.

Other places of interest nearby are the ancient city of Phaselis, icy cold waters of Ulupınar, ocky island of Kekova (Sunken Civilization), Suluada, and Lycian Way. 

Olympos offers all kinds of accommodation, mostly mid-range and budget hotels, as well as tree houses, bungalows, and camping sites. Many guest houses can help to organize activities such as mountain biking, hiking, yoga, scuba diving, paragliding, boat tours, and ATV tours.

Best places to stay in Olympos Beach:

6. Alanya, smaller, a bit quieter the Antalya

Alanya, known as Turkey’s south, is situated 100 km east of Antalya, between the Mediterranean Sea and Taurus Mountains. With beautiful beaches, impressive 13th-century castle, Red Tower, and the historic fortified harbor, Alanya attracts tourists from Germany, Holland, Scandinavia, and Russia. 

Cleopatra Beach is one of the most beautiful beaches in Turkey, that has crystal-clear water and numerous water sport activities. It is a Blue Flag with shallow water and numerous snack bars nearby.

Alanya Fortress was built by the Seljuk sultan Alaeddin Keykubad in the 13th century on the foundation of the Hellenistic period.  The Ehmedek neighborhood in the lower part of the castle is packed with Ottoman houses.

Kizil Kule, also known as Red Tower, is one of Seljuk’s most prominent monuments. It served as the defense tower of the harbor at the time. There are exhibitions on the lowest floor of the tower. Seljuk Shipyard (Tersane) is also a fine example of the Seljuk era.

You can take a boat tour to the Pirate Cave, Damlatas Cave, Lovers’ Cave, and Fosforlu Cave. Damlatas Cave was found during the Alanya Harbor’s construction in 1948.

It is easy to take a day trip to Side from Alanya to see ancient ruins such as the Roman Theater, and the Side Museum in a Roman bathhouse, Agora, and Temple of Tyche.

There are plenty of shops around the old town, as well as the Alanyum Mall in Oba district, a farmer’s market, and Cuma Bazaar. There is also a good selection of restaurants and cafes. With its many disco bars, and nightclubs, Alanya has a lively nightlife scene.

Alanya has plenty of budget hotels, you will easily find guesthouses, B&B. Be sure to check the rating of the hotels before booking it.

Best places to stay in Alanya:

Where should I stay in Antalya for the first time?

Kaleiçi, also known as Old Town, is the best area to stay in Antalya for first-timers due to its prime location. If you stay here, you will be located in the middle of everything, within easy access to major sights, as well as many restaurants, bars, and shops.

What are the best areas to stay in Antalya?

Kaleiçi, Konyaalti Beach, Lara Beach, Belek Beach, Olympos Beach, and Alanya are the best areas to stay in Antalya because they are the most popular neighborhoods for tourists that offer a wide range of attractions and amenities.

See more:

Overall, Kaleici, or Old town, is the best area to stay in Antalya for first-timers due to its close proximity to top tourist attractions, as well as many choices of hotels, restaurants, bars, and shops. So there you have it, where to stay in Antalya for the first time, all you need to do now is to book your hotels, and get ready to go!

Leave a Comment