While hearing of Turkey makes you think of Mughal emperors and the Ottoman Empire, the country is more than that. Antalya is a gorgeous part of this beautiful country; it is a must on every tourist’s itinerary. Thus, it is also known as the “Capital of Tourism in Turkey.” Most visitors want to know things to do in Antalya for free for the best experience without spending too much.
This article covers everything you can enjoy for free in Antalya during your trip.
Things to do in Antalya, Turkey – for FREE!
Antalya is one of the largest and most beautiful cities in Turkey. The city has high mountains at the boundary and experiences high rainfall in winter. However, summer days are quite hot. So, depending on the time you visit this stunning city, there’s a lot to do!
Start your trip at the Hadrian’s Gate and Historic District, followed by other locations in the Old Town. You can visit the Yivli Minaret Mosque, Tekeli Mehmet Pasa Mosque, and Ataturk House and Museum to learn more about Turkish culture. Moreover, the harbor, Lycian Way, and Konyaalti Beach are perfect for relaxing. The best part is that all of this is free!
But this is not all. This beautiful city has many more fun things to offer. Let’s tell you all about it.
Enjoy the Spectacular Views at Duden Waterfalls
Talking of Antalya, the first thing that comes to mind is Duden Waterfalls. This majestic wonder of nature awes you with its beauty and magnificence.
The gorgeous views of the waterfall over the Mediterranean Sea will make you fall in love instantly. The best part is that the waterfalls are within Antalya city; doesn’t that sound amazing?
Tourists can take a bus to the falls and see the water gushing down from the bridge. There’s also a park along the small river, around 20 feet from the waterfalls. Besides the transport, Duden Waterfalls has no entrance fee, so it doesn’t cost a penny. Hence, people find it among the best things to do in Antalya for free.
Visit the Historic District
Visiting the historic district is one of the top things to do in Antalya for free. Exploring the central or historic district helps you learn about the city and culture. Walking through Cesikas will give you a sneak peek into classic Ottoman architecture with 1800s vibes. The streets around these Ottoman buildings are lined with cobblestone. You will also find hotels, restaurants, cafés, bars, souvenir shops, and boutiques in the area.
If you do not plan to eat or purchase anything from the town, the activity is absolutely free.
Visit Antalya’s 2000-Year-old Boat Harbor
The King of Pergamon established a harbor on the coast around 2,000 years back that became the base of his fleet. Ruled by various emperors, the harbor has been in use throughout.
Visitors can enjoy views of the marina from the viewing platform on the cliffs around the harbor on both sides. You can also see the Konyaalti Beach from the cliffs. The view from each viewing point is different but equally amazing!
There are numerous cafes and small restaurants at the base of the marine. You can also visit the ‘40 stairs’ stone steps at the backside of Harborside Park. Despite the name, there are only 25 steps.
On the other side, there is another stone stairway that leads to a 2-tiered park. Locals and visitors typically use the free elevator to go up and down the clifftop. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience seeing the surrounding areas on the elevator.
See the Yivli Minaret Mosque
When visiting a Muslim country, you will come across beautiful mosques. And they are absolutely free to enter and explore. You must only take care of and respect religious customs.
Thus, the next on our list of things to do in Antalya for free is visiting the Yivli Minaret Mosque. This mosque is also in Antalya’s Old Town, making it easily accessible. The mosque has a fluted minaret, which is another iconic symbol of the city. Dating back to the 13th century, this mosque has a rich history that you can learn when visiting.
Pet Cats and Dogs in Antalya Street
If you’re going to Antalya for the first time, you might find stray cats in the streets, which may surprise you. At the same time, you might also be surprised by how well-fed and healthy they are. The locals in the area feed these cats all the time; you can do that too.
Feeding cats in the streets is among the best things to do in Antalya, Turkey, for free. You can feed anything, including bread, eggs, chicken, salmon, or turkey. While most cats are friendly and used to interacting with humans, some might not appreciate being touched. So, it’s always better to maintain a safe distance initially.
Observe Animals at Antalya Zoo
If you’re wondering about the things to do in Antalya with kids, visiting its Zoo is not a bad idea! Antalya Zoo is one of the best parks here in Turkey, with over 5000 animals, birds, and water creatures.
The zoo, spread over 1.6 km2, opened in 1989 for visitors. The zoo has over 250 different species in areas covered with trees and plants. Every section has a specific group of organisms. You will see deer, elephants, zebras, kangaroos, and bears in one section. The next corner has ostriches, peacocks, and Red Storks. Furthermore, you will observe lions, tigers, wolves, crocodiles, owls, eagles, falcons, goats, chickens, ducks, and many others.
A visit to the Antalya Zoo is undoubtedly one of the top things to do in this city. However, this activity is not entirely free, and you have to pay a small entrance fee; kids under 12 get free entry.
Immerse in the Beauty of Hadrian’s Gate
Talking further about what more to explore in Antalya for free, a visit to Hadrian’s Gats is unmissable. It is one of the most iconic landmarks in the city, dating to 130 AD. The gate was built to commemorate Emperor Handrian’s visit to Antalya. Yet it has stood strong over years and centuries and has become a prominent part of the city’s history.
You can easily walk to Hadrian’s Gate if you have accommodation near the city center. The gate on Atatürk Boulevard is also among the main entrances to the Old Town. It is a mesmerizing sight for history lovers who get to experience historical magnificence when they visit Hadrian’s Gate.
Go to Sandland
If you are a fan of art, especially sand art, you’ll definitely enjoy the next one on the list of things to do in Antalya.
Sandland is an open-air museum in Antalya along the main coast where artists make sand sculptures. They have been participating in this amazing display of sand art since 2016. Located on the Lara Coast, the museum displays hundreds of gigantic sand sculptures. Considering its location, it is easy to reach and see the magnificent exhibits of sand.
Every year, the artists use around ten thousand tons of sand from the coast to bring these sculptures to life. You can visit the museum throughout the year. Every year, Sandland has a different theme that you can check on their website.
Ride up the Mountains
If mountains call you, it’s time to go – especially if you’re exploring the city with your family.
The mountains around the city might fascinate you when you reach Antalya. And the best part is that you do not have to keep wondering. It is one of the most fascinating things to do in Antalya for free. You can reach the mountains simply by biking, driving, or hiking through the trails. Alternatively, you can take the bus KC06 to the valley’s edge.
It takes around half an hour to forty-five minutes from the city center by bike to reach the valley road. However, if you are in the Konyaalti beach area or closer, it won’t take more than twenty minutes. Furthermore, you can go as far as you want to and stop at the forest or stream to relax while moving up.
You can enjoy some alone time in the mountains if you plan your trip on the weekdays.
Relax at the Konyaalti Beach
Beaches are always free and perfect to relax and wind up after a busy day through the city. So, when looking for things to do in Antalya for free, add Konyaalti Beach to your list right away!
It is the most easily accessible beach in the city. The beach comprises small gray stones instead of sand, making the beach somewhat difficult to walk on. Yet, it does not stop visitors. Hundreds and thousands of visitors go to the beach during peak summer months. It is especially easier to visit if you are staying in the Konyaalti neighborhood.
Enjoy Views at the Lycian Way
If you are a fan of breathtaking views, the Lycian Way is one of the best things to do here for free.
You can see this picturesque pathway throughout the coast from Ölü Deniz to Antalya. This footpath gives you incredible views of the Lycian Coast and the Mediterranean Sea. You can walk through the path on foot or take a ride. Many people choose to cycle, while others prefer hiking.
It is the perfect choice for days you do not want to go out to bars or fancy places. Walk around, absorb the beauty of the sea and the coast, and call it a day!
See the Chimaera Flames
Chimaera Flames is a wonderful attraction in Antalya that you can explore without investing a lot of money. Thus, it is an amazing one among things to do in Antalya for free. You might have never seen anything like the Chimaera Flames on Mount Chimaera.
Move towards Çirali in the southwest, and you will see the mythical, magical mountain of Chimaera or Yanartaş. Walk a kilometer up the mountain to discover the fascinating flames from the rocks. They look magical, and there are many myths around these fires. Scientifically, the fire originates from the combination of methane and other gasses emerging from the rocks.
It looks absolutely amazing at night when the flames light up the dark surroundings. It is a difficult walk to the mountain, but it is worth every step.
Go to the Clock Tower
Clock towers are the most important part of any city that has them. Mostly, the tours in Antalya begin at the Clock Tower in the old town. Locally, it is called the Antalya Saat Kulesi.
Besides viewing it from the outside, you can also step in and enjoy the views from the top of the tower. Sounds great, right?
Walk up to the top of the clock tower and enjoy the mesmerizing views. Take some pictures and then head out on your tour around the city.
Visit the Ataturk Hotel and Museum
How could we forget the Ataturk Hotel and Museum on the list of the top things to do in Antalya, Turkey, for free?
The Ataturk Hotel and Museum is a must-visit for anyone interested in the region’s political history. This museum is a replica of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk’s mansion, where he lived between 1923 and 1938. It was reconstructed in 1982 and opened for visitors.
You can visit the museum for free to learn more about its history. The museum has furniture, photos, and personal items on display with English translations. The visit to the museum is free. However, you can support them by buying a souvenir from the vending machine. It is good for a short visit if you enjoy local culture.
Visit the Tekeli Mehmet Pasa Mosque
The Tekeli Mehmet Pasa Mosque is another gorgeous piece of architecture in Antalya. It is named after Lala Mehmed Pasa.
The mosque was constructed in the 17th century and holds great architectural importance. This mosque is among the most notable craftsmanship exhibits during the Ottoman Empire.
The Tekeli Mehmet Pasa Mosque has one main dome and three semi-domes in East, West, and South. Moreover, you will see three smaller domes on the northern side. The inside of the mosque is adorned with tiled panels with Quranic verses.
The illumination through the stained glass windows combines grandeur and serenity. Walk around the mosque to appreciate the beautiful architecture or sit and take in the serenity.
Buy Souvenirs at Antalya Bazaar
Whenever you search for Turkish things online, the colorful glass lamps make you want to buy them right away!
So, your visit to Antalya would not be complete without visiting the Antalya bazaar. They are perfect to buy something to take back home. However, you can roam around for free even if you don’t plan on buying anything.
The bazaars or markets let you dive into the local culture deeper. Also, the food stalls make you want to eat everything. Do not miss out on this experience during your Antalya visit.
Best Time to Visit Turkey
Besides things to do in Antalya for free, knowing the right time to visit the region is important. You can enjoy your trip to the fullest when you plan it right, so when is the best time to visit Turkey?
Most people visit Antalya from June to September as they get holidays around this time. Despite the hot weather and humidity, you will see tourists on all the streets during this period. Most people from cold European countries enjoy this weather.
But if you can adjust your timeline, it is best to visit Antalya from late September to October. By this time, tourists are gone. So you do not have to push yourself through crowds everywhere. Also, the weather is slightly better and transitioning towards cold.
The Bottom Line
Antalya is a gorgeous city in Turkey, also nicknamed “The Capital of Tourism.” The city is filled with activities that you can enjoy without spending money. Visiting the historical buildings and mosques, including the clock tower and Ataturk house, is absolutely free. Furthermore, you can hike or ride up the mountains to see the Chimaera Flames. Many tourists also add Duden Waterfalls and Lycian Way to their list of things to do in Antalya for free. Enjoy your time in this splendid city without worrying about overspending.
What is special in Antalya?
Chimaera Flames are among the most unique attractions in Antalya you might not see anywhere else. Moreover, Antalya’s 2000-year-old Boat Harbor and the Lycian Way are spectacular locations you would not want to miss.
Does Antalya have nightlife?
Yes, Antalya has an entertaining nightlife with something for everyone. You can find the best things of adventure in Antalya at night. There is clubbing, live music, a walk beside the beach, and late-night cocktails with a sea view. In short, you can enjoy the way you want to the fullest!
What is the cheapest city to fly to in Turkey?
Antalya is the most affordable city in Turkey right now, offering affordable accommodation and food options. Antalya airport is the cheapest airport right now in the city.
What is the cheapest month to fly to Antalya, Turkey?
December is usually cold in Antalya, and many people do not fly to Turkey during the season. Thus, you can find cheap round-trip tickets in December. At the same time, one-way tickets are seen to be more economical in November.
Diana was an active fitness model in the past. She has had numerous shoots done at different locations and found out that her true interest was in exploring the world! Later on, this passion motivated her to write multiple tarvel blogs about whatever place she visited and discovered, and here it is! Enjoy reading a variety of blogs by Diana to get a lively experience of several places.