Narrow street in Antalya old town, Kaleici.

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Top choice in Antalya

Antalya's historic district is a sight in itself and you could happily spend half a day strolling the narrow lanes here while admiring the mix of finely restored and creakily dilapidated Ottoman-era architecture.

The district begins at the main gate, Kale Kapısı, which is marked by the old stone Saat Kulesi and statue of Attalus II, the city's founder. To the north is the İki Kapılar Hanı, a sprawling covered bazaar dating to the late 15th century. Walk south along Uzun Çarşi Sokak, the street that starts opposite the clock tower. Immediately on the left is the 18th-century Tekeli Mehmet Paşa Camii, a mosque built by the Beylerbey (Governor of Governors), Tekeli Mehmet Paşa, and repaired extensively in 1886 and 1926. It's currently being renovated but note the beautiful Arabic calligraphy in the coloured tiles above the windows and along the base of the dome.

Wander further into this protected zone, where many of the gracious old Ottoman houses have been restored and converted into pensions, boutique hotels and shops. To the east, at the top of Hesapçi Sokak, is the monumental Hadrian's Gate, also known as Üçkapılar or the 'Three Gates', erected for the Roman emperor's visit to Antalya in 130 AD.

The Roman Harbour at the base of the slope was Antalya's lifeline from the 2nd century BC until late in the 20th century, when a new port was constructed about 12km to the west, at the far end of Konyaaltı Plajı. The harbour was restored during the 1980s and is now a marina for yachts and excursion boats. An elevator descends the cliff to the harbour from the western end of Cumhuriyet Meydanı.

At the southwestern edge of Kaleiçi, on the corner of large, attractive, flower-filled Karaalioğlu Parkı rises Hıdırlık Kalesi, a 14m-high tower dating to the 1st or 2nd century AD. It was built as a mausoleum and later, due to its excellent position above the bay, played an important role in the city's defences as a watchtower and lighthouse.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Antalya attractions

1. Tekeli Mehmet Paşa Camii

0.05 MILES

The Tekeli Mehmet Paşa Camii was built by the Beylerbey (Governor of Governors) Tekeli Mehmet Paşa. The building was repaired extensively in 1886 and 1926…

2. Yivli Minare

0.08 MILES

This handsome and distinctive 'fluted' minaret, erected by Seljuk Sultan Aladdin Keykubad I in the early 13th century, is Antalya's symbol. The adjacent…

3. Saat Kulesi

0.08 MILES

Built under the reign of Sultan Abdül Hamid II (r 1876–1909), Antalya's clock tower marks the Kale Kapısı entrance to Kaleiçi.

4. Tombs

0.09 MILES

Just to the west of the Yivli Minare are two türbe (tombs), one from the late 14th century and the other from 1502.

5. Kale Kapısı

0.09 MILES

This gate into the old town is marked by a square with the old stone Saat Kulesi and statue of Attalus II, the city's founder.

6. Mawlawi Lodge Museum


Tucked away within the Yivli Minare complex, this fascinating domed structure dates back to 1377 and was beautifully restored in 2018. Its original use is…

7. Suna & İnan Kıraç Kaleiçi Museum

0.15 MILES

This small ethnography museum is housed in a lovingly restored Antalya mansion. The 2nd floor contains a series of life-size dioramas depicting some of…

8. Hadrian's Gate

0.16 MILES

Commonly known as Üçkapılar (the 'Three Gates') in Antalya, the monumental Hadrian's Gate was erected for the Roman emperor's visit to Antalya in AD 130…