Antalya is a historical city of ancient architecture and serene garden cafés. Backed by mountains and next to a harbour of sparkling blue waters, it's known as the gateway to the Turkish Riviera. There's a lovely, old-fashioned charm to this place – soak it up by wandering down by the water and stopping at a harbour bar. Packed with museums and historic remains, Antalya is also renowned for its arts and culture.
Stay in a hostel in Antalya with its own beer garden that also serves hot wine. The amazing free breakfast here includes local specialities, eggs and organic jams. Or choose a hostel set in an Antalya stone villa with street art on the walls and cool vintage furniture. Like to daydream? You'll also find a stay with tranquil sea views, plus air con and a fridge in your room. There are hostels in Antalya with a bar or restaurant, and most have a 24-hour reception desk.
For a glimpse of history, wander around the winding streets of Kaleiçi, the old town part of the city. You'll find it nestled inside Antalya's Roman walls. There's also a lovely harbour beneath these walls, filled with bobbing yachts. On chilled-out days, you can head to one of the city's two beaches. When night falls, the city centre is the place to go for lively clubs and bars, and the narrow street of Hesapçı Sok is home to laid-back beer gardens.
Antalya's architecture is one of its main attractions. There are many ancient structures, from Hadrian's Gate to Yivli Minare (an elegant minaret). There are also plenty of fascinating museums, such as the Archaeological Museum. After strolling round the sights, take a seat in one of the city's many garden cafés. There you can try a traditional sweet pastry washed down with refreshing mint tea. For an adrenaline hit, you could go river rafting or kayaking.
Antalya Airport is 10km from the city. If you're flying in, take the AntRay tram to the town centre (about a 40-minute journey). There's also an hourly shuttle. You can pick up rechargeable transport cards (AntalyaKarts) at the airport tram stop – you'll need one of these to use any public transport, like trams or buses, during your stay. The main bus station, Antalya Otogar is to the north of the city. Travelling from Ankara? It's an 8-hour bus journey.