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Antalya is a historical city with a rich past. The city was named after king Attalos II, who founded the city in the second century AD. The center (Kaleiçi) has been beautifully restored, including a 13th century minaret. Not far from Antalya there are ancient Roman ruins. The amphitheatre has been preserved exceptionally well. It still houses cultural events, for instance during the annual festivals. Of course there are also beautiful beaches near Antalya.
The city has over 600,000 inhabitants, but it is an important tourist attraction, so the number of people actually staying in the city may double during the Summer.
Tourism is the backbone of the city's economy. Every year seven million tourists visit the region and their numbers are still rising. Antalya tries to benefit from international exhibitions and conferences with the opening of a conference center and the Antalya Expo Center.
Historically, Antalya has always been an agricultural region and it continues to be so. Vegetables, grains and fruit are not only cultivated, but also exported via the port and the airport. There is some industry, especially small factories processing agricultural products.
Ten kilometers from the city lies Antalya International Airport, a large and modern airport. It is the gateway to the seaside resorts on the Turkish Mediterranean coast. The airport is very busy because of the large numbers of holiday flights, but there are also regular flights to Istanbul, Ankara, the Turkish part of Cyprus and various European and Middle Eastern destinations. There is a shuttle bus connection with the airport, but it is not a frequent one and it only connects to domestic flights from Turkish Airlines.
Antalya has a tram, which is intended especially for tourists. The tram drives from the Antalya Museum in the west, via a few attractions to the Lara Plaj beach in the east. The only real city transport is provided by the so-called Dolmus minivans, which follow regular routes. To the east of the center there is a dolmus station from where the minivans depart for destinations to the east of the city.
Regional buses depart from the large bus station (Otogar) to the north side of the city. All places along the Turkish Riviera can be reached by bus from this station.
The center of Antalya is old, with narrow winding streets. Use your rental car above all to explore the surrounding area, but keep in mind the Turkish style of driving, which is somewhat different from ours. Drive carefully and expect the unexpected. Sudden lane changes are very common and, although it is forbidden, Turkish drivers will overtake you on the right when they have the opportunity. On country roads cars may be parked in awkward places, preferably after a blind curve. Also, you may encounter herds of cattle that occupy the entire road. Avoid driving in the dark. In addition to the dangers mentioned above, many Turkish cars drive with their lights off(!) to save energy. Observe the speed limits (50 km/h in urban areas, 90 km/h outside urban areas and 120 km/h on motorways). The Turkish police is very alert, especially on the edge of cities.
As an important tourist destination, Antalya has plenty of hotels. In the old city center, there are small boarding houses and so-called 'boutique' hotels, with Ottoman style rooms. Modern and luxurious hotels are located outside the city center, on the Cumhuriyet Cadddesi and to the south of the harbor. Antalya attracts tourist all year round, so we recommend booking in advance.
For more information about Antalya, we recommend Google, and the following sources: