Perfect 2 Days In Antalya Itinerary | 2023
Fast becoming one of the most popular cities in Turkey with summer visitors, Antalya has something for everyone.
Its old town is steeped in history, with many interesting landmarks to visit and lots of beautiful architecture to admire.
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There is much natural scenery to enjoy, too, from gorgeous sun-drenched beaches to awesome waterfalls.
2 days in Antalya is the perfect amount of time to see the very best of its attractions and get a little taste of local life.
But if you’re visiting for the first time, you might be wondering just what to include on your itinerary. This guide is designed to help!
Read on to discover what to do each morning, afternoon, and evening of your weekend in Antalya. You’ll also find some suggestions for the best places to eat and our favorite places to stay, with ideas for every budget.
Antalya covers a large area. We recommend renting a car, either for the duration of your stay or just for your second day, when you venture further afield.
This gives you a lot more freedom to see everything you want to. It also allows you to move quickly from one place to another – an important consideration when you are only visiting for 2 days.
On the first of your two days in Antalya, you’ll be exploring the fascinating streets and landmarks of the Old Town, then visiting the city’s world-class museum.
Kaleici – Antalya’s old town – is a charming maze of cobbled streets among which it’s easy to lose yourself for the entire morning!
The first main attraction you will encounter is Hadrian’s Gate. This triumphal arch made of white marble divides the modern city of Antalya from the Old Town.
Built in honor of the Roman Emperor Hadrian after his visit to the city in 130 AD, it is the only remaining gate in the city walls.
Yet it is in remarkably good condition, mainly because it wasn’t revealed until the collapse of the walls surrounding it.
Beyond the gate lie the ancient stone and wooden houses of the old town itself, along with many colorful souvenir shops.
In the heart of Kaleici, you’ll find the Broken Minaret Mosque (Kesik Minare Cami), which was originally a Roman temple and converted to a mosque early in the 13th century.
It was at this time its minaret was added – but, as you’ll soon see – both this and the mosque fell into ruin in later years.
A much better-preserved mosque – and one that’s well worth a visit – is the Yivliminare Mosque.
This was one of Antalya’s first Islamic buildings and is quite beautiful, its fluted minaret a symbol of the city. It is free to visit at any time, except during times of prayer.
From there stroll towards Karaalioglu Park. The scenery here is striking, with city, mountain, and sea views, along with verdant lawns and elegant statues.
At the point where the old town meets the park, you can also see the Hidirlik Tower. Standing 14 meters high, it dates back to the 2nd century and may have once served as a tomb for a great leader.
No doubt all that walking and sea air will have given you an appetite, so head to Börekçi Tevfik for lunch.
Here you can try börek – a traditional Turkish dish consisting of baked layers of dough with fillings such as cheese and minced meat. Börekçi Tevfik has been serving the best börek in Antalya since the 1930s!
Afterward, make your way to the incredible Antalya Museum – a ‘must see’ on any visit to the city. It is one of the largest archaeology museums in the country and also the most important, housing one of the best collections of Greco-Roman artifacts to be found in the world.
Covering 30,000 square meters, the museum has 2 floors and 14 exhibition halls.
There are both indoor and outdoor exhibits, including prehistoric items found in the Karain Cave (which you’ll be visiting tomorrow!), in situ archaeological excavations, carved sarcophagi, and stunning mosaics.
The most popular section is the Hall of Ceramics. It is particularly interesting and contains pieces from the Classical, Hellenistic, and Roman periods.
Here you can see for yourself the development of artistic techniques and styles over time.
A 30-minute drive from the city center will take you to Antalya Balık Evi, one of the best restaurants in the area for seafood.
Not only do you get to enjoy the day’s catch, but the restaurant also has lovely views over the Mediterranean. Don’t skip dessert – the pastries filled with fresh walnuts and figs are to die for!
On the second of your 2 days in Antalya, you’ll be visiting two archaeological sites, witnessing the natural beauty of the Duden Waterfalls, and relaxing on a popular family beach.
To start your day, take the 35-minute drive to Termessos, a superbly preserved ancient Pisidian city located 17 km northwest of Antalya, in the Mount Güllük-Termessos National Park.
Built 1,000 meters above sea level, it is fascinating to visit, filled with crumbling ruins that include a theater, temples, a fire lookout tower, and parts of the city walls. The area is also home to many rare plants and flowers.
There is no public transport that goes to Termessos, so if you didn’t hire a car then the best way to visit is with a group tour. This one, for example, also takes in the Duden waterfalls – our next stop of the day.
Lower Duden waterfall is one of Antalya’s most popular attractions as it is where the water cascades down from the mountains directly into the Mediterranean Sea.
You can view it from a path within Duden Park or – if you are on a boat tour – see it from the front. It looks spectacular and you can often spot rainbows above the tumbling water – an unforgettable sight!
After lunch at one of the eateries in Duden Park, it’s time to head to Karain Cave.
This Paleolithic archaeological site has UNESCO World Heritage status and is a must-see, comprising a network of caves with multiple chambers.
It is not easy to get to – indeed, there is a challenging climb of over 400 steps to reach the entrance and very little shade. But it is captivating to see and definitely worth the effort!
The largest cave in Turkey to have been previously inhabited, it was home to the first Anatolians and contains their ancient drawings and tools, along with fossilized human and animal bones.
At the foot of the mountainside is the Karain museum and here you can see even more of the incredible artifacts that were discovered in the cave.
After all that sightseeing you’ll be ready to relax – so drive south now to Konyaalti Beach.
Starting at the cliffs of the old town, the shoreline is a mixture of pebbles and sand, with crystal-clear pristine waters.
Popular with families, it has all the facilities you’ll need for the rest of the afternoon, including sunbeds, umbrellas, showers, and toilets. There are also playgrounds for the kids and a range of places to eat and drink.
When seeing Antalya in 2 days, The Tunektepe Cable Car simply has to be on your itinerary. It gives you some of the best aerial views in the city but is particularly spectacular as the sun goes down.
It starts at the Sarısu station on Konyaalti Beach. The 1,706-meter journey to the top at Tünektepe takes about 9 minutes and the panoramic views as the sun sets are simply breathtaking.
There are restaurants and cafes at the top which serve good food at very reasonable prices.
There is also a hotel with a nightclub, but you should check ahead to see if it is open as it is often used for private events.
Are 2 Days In Antalya Enough?
Two days in Antalya is just the right amount of time to see all of the region’s best attractions.
Bear in mind, though, that you will find it a lot easier to see the sights if you hire a car, as some of the highlights are inaccessible by public transport and are relatively far apart.
You will also need to take into account your arrival and departure times when deciding how long in Antalya you’ll need.
This itinerary requires two full days, so if you arrive late in the city or have an early departure time, we would recommend adding an extra night to your stay.
Read our guide to find out how many days in Antalya in enough.
Where To Stay In Antalya
Here are some of our favorite places to stay in Antalya, with a suggestion to suit every budget!
Best Budget Accommodation
Located just under 2 miles from Antalya Museum and yards away from Hadrian’s Gate, Flaneur Hostel is clean, bright, and comfortable.
Offering a friendly welcome to its visitors, it features a shared lounge, shared kitchen, plus a relaxing garden and garden views.
The rooftop terrace is a great place to mingle with other travelers and free wifi is available throughout. You can choose from a selection of private rooms or dormitories, either female-only or mixed.
Best Mid-Range Accommodation
The Leslion Luxury Hotel provides great value for money and is located close to the attractions of the old town. Offering a selection of rooms and suites (including family rooms), it has a shared lounge and terrace, along with free wifi and air-conditioned rooms.
All rooms have city views and guests have access to a restaurant and bar.
Buffet, continental, and kosher breakfast options are available daily. There is even the option to take your breakfast away if you are leaving early!
Best Luxury Accommodation
If money is no object and you want to feel pampered throughout your weekend in Antalya, then book a room at the 5-star Akra Hotel.
It is located directly on the seafront, its balconies providing exceptional views of the Mediterranean or the Taurus Mountains.
Yet you also have convenient access to the city, and all of the main attractions are within a 2 to 3-mile radius.
The facilities are exceptional, with multiple restaurants and bars, plus a wellness center with a sauna, Turkish bath, and a range of massages. There are also tennis courts and a fully-equipped gym.
Final Thoughts On Two Days In Antalya
Whether you enjoy history, architecture, stunning natural landscapes, or good food, you’ll find something you love in this exciting city or along its coastline.
If you have been wondering what to do in Antalya in 2 days, we hope that you have found this itinerary useful in planning your stay.
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