Why Antalya Is One of the Most Visited Cities in Europe

Stoic, misty mountains meet a blue and tranquil shoreline. The golden sun warms as you wander from the beach through a quaint little European town. You stop for a cup of tea and a piece of baklava and pay less than two GBP.

Why Antalya Is One of the Most Visited Cities in Europe

Where can you find such a picturesque yet affordable dream? Antalya, one of Turkey's most beautiful destinations makes this mirage a reality.

Situated on the Mediterranean Sea on what is known as the Turquoise Coast, Antalya is an affordable paradise with intriguing historic sites, legendary hikes and views, and high-end, yet affordable dental treatments. 

If you are planning to visit Europe, but don't want to return to the UK with an empty bank account, here are several reasons you should consider making your destination Antalya, Turkey.

Unbelievable Prices

In general, the cost of living in Turkey is less than in other European countries. Utilities are typically cheaper, making operating costs for businesses lower.

However, the main reason visiting Antalya is so cheap is because of the exchange rate from the British Pound to the Turkish Lira. One Pound Sterling is worth around 20 Turkish Lira. You'll only need about 6 quid to grab yourself a nice meal in Antalya. 

Historic Sites in and Around Antalya

Travel back to the ancient Roman Empire by visiting Hadrian's Gate, an architectural delight built by the Athenians in the second century in honor of the Roman emperor, Hadrian. The gateway is made predominantly of white marble and is decorated with reliefs of flora and fauna native to Antalya. 

Hadrian's Gate is a mere appetizer for even a casual history buff. From Antalya, you will also be able to visit the ancient city of Phaselis. This site makes for a perfect day trip, with a variety of incredible ruins, and a tranquil bay for swimming. 

Another ancient city with swimming opportunities, as well as a possibility of seeing some Caretta turtles, is Patara. According to myth, it is the birthplace of Apollo and Artemis. You'll be able to explore ancient baths, churches, and a granary. 

Perhaps the most visually perplexing set of ruins can be found in Myra. "The Place of the Supreme Mother Goddess" features awe-inspiring tombs cut into a rocky hillside. You can also visit one of the most well-preserved amphitheaters the Lycian region has to offer. 

From Myra's historically significant port, you can add on a boat trip, during which you will visit several smaller sites. The boat tours also allow you to swim around glittering coves. 

Beautiful Beaches

Antalya is a beach town, so you can guess that they are a key feature of what the city has to offer. It is said that queen Cleopatra fell in love with the crystalline waters the Antalya seaside offers. One of the most popular beaches is even named after her. 

Further down Cleopatra Beach, you will find Damlataş. This beach also has attractions to vary up your day, like the breathtaking Damlataş Cave. It is a natural 15,000-year-old formation featuring iconic stalactites and stalagmites, and its air is said to have healing properties.

If you are looking for a resort experience, popular amongst families with children, Lara Beach is perfect for your trip. There are many classy hotels along a sandy strip, and the water is calm and temperate. 

For those looking for the perfect Instagram or TikTok location, you will want to go to Kaputaş. This beach of soft, yellow sands is situated between vast cliffs and is a perfect spot for snapping decadent shots. There is also a pirate's grotto to visit for the more active beachgoer. 

These are but a mere sampling of the over 20 beaches you can choose from when visiting Antalya. 

Medical and Dental Treatments

One of the more surprising attractions of Antalya is the dental clinics. Dentists in the UK are expensive, and dealing with the NHS can be a hassle. In Antalya, dental clinics are luxurious and offer first-class services for a fraction of the price.

Dental clinics in Antalya are able to offer affordable prices due to low overhead costs and government support for medical tourism. Clinics utilize the latest technologies, and dental school in Turkey is incredibly competitive, meaning that only the brightest citizens are able to graduate and become dentists. 

From veneers to gum contouring, and implants to an entire smile makeover, you can find all of the most important and usually expensive treatments in Antalya. What's more, many clinics offer attractive discounts and packages, making it all the more affordable experience. 

In addition to dental treatments, many tourists come for other procedures such as hair transplants and cosmetic surgery. These are also far cheaper in Antalya than in the UK.


Outdoor Adrenaline and Adventure Sports


From ziplining and canyoning to scuba diving or horseback riding, there are many outdoor adventure sports that await you in Antalya. If you are on a family trip, you may enjoy a boat cruise. You will find ones that include snorkeling, as well as a pirate-themed one that will give your kids a magical experience. 

Have you ever fantasized about finding the lost city of Atlantis? A realizable version of this dream is to visit the sunken city of Kekova. You can do a boat tour, or get up close and personal with the ruins by kayaking out there. 

For those who love to be on the move, there are ATV quad bike tours, or you can pile the family into an open-air jeep for an off-road safari tour. For even more adrenaline, you have the option of parasailing and whitewater rafting.

Another activity is to walk through Sapadere Canyon. You will see beautiful plants and animals, and marvel at astounding rock formations. The tour ends at a stunning waterfall, where you can also swim to cool off and relax. 

You may also want to consider the Land of Legends theme park, which has a variety of rollercoasters, as well as tamer rides. There is even a shopping avenue that boasts a number of big-name brands like Armani, Lacoste, and Adidas, as well as many others. The avenue is open day and night and is a visually stunning outdoor shopping experience. 

Legendary Hiking


Perhaps the most famous thrill that awaits you is the Lycian Way hike. This 540-kilometer path extends from Antalya to Fethiye and will take you more or less 30 days to finish. Along the hike, you will see countless Greek and Roman ruins and historic sites, as well as amazing coastal views. 

You can start in Antalya or in Fethiye, although most prefer to end the hike in Antalya to relax in comfort on the seaside after such a long journey. There are several different routes you can take, so you can really tailor this action-adventure experience to your preferences. 

Vibrant City and Nightlife 


Antalya itself is a bustling yet charming city, with many activities for all types of visitors. You can join an electric bike or a scooter tour around the city, or get on your walking shoes and wander around by yourself.

There's an aquarium you can visit, which boasts the world's longest tunnel aquarium. It also offers four themed aquariums for you and your family to explore and enjoy. Additionally, the city has some very large waterfalls you can check out, which can be seen from a boat tour that you will often find as part of a packaged deal with a cable car tour. 

You will also want to check out the Antalya Bazaar, which offers a mix of both traditional and modern wares. Ataturk Boulevard, a pristine avenue lined with palm trees, provides many additional shopping opportunities for those with a keen sense of fashion.

If you lean more towards the traditional, you should also wander around Antalya's old town quarter, Kaleiçi. This quaint section has cobblestone streets, and some buildings date back to the Ottoman era. What's more, there are many antiques you can peruse, or you can stop for a tea at a calm café and enjoy the ambiance of this historic quarter. 

After all the activities you will be doing, you will want to enjoy quality food to recharge. Antalya offers everything from traditional Turkish cuisine to a variety of international foods. You will also have your pick from fine dining to street food, perfect for any budget or preference. 

Antalya also offers diverse and exciting nightlife. There's something for all people, including kids. You can take the family on a nighttime boat cruise, or to the Land of Legends' nightly show.

For those with friends or alone, there are many bars and clubs where you will be able to dance and enjoy Turkish alcoholic beverages, like raki. There are frequent concerts and events to look out for as well. 

Start Planning Your Trip to Antalya Today!


It's time to get out your planner and begin planning your dream vacation for the next holiday. Antalya is one of Turkey's top tourist destinations, so it will be easy for you to find and book flights to its very modern airport. With so many incredible activities, historic sites, and movie-ready beaches, you are sure to have the trip of a lifetime. 

If you are interested in learning about the many dental treatment options you can accomplish in luxury while visiting Antalya, get in touch with Smile Dental today!


DDS PhD Özkan Özkaynak
Article written by
DDS PhD Özkan Özkaynak

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