Antalya is an incredible city, with so much to see and do. To get from the port to the city takes around 25 minutes by car. If you want to make the most of your time there it might be worth taking a taxi. Start with a visit to the historical city centre – Kaleiçi. The narrow, cobbled streets and beautifully preserved buildings are full of character and make for a pleasant place to explore as you’re greeted by the friendly locals.
If historical sites are of particular interest to you, then made Hadrian’s Gate one of your stops whilst in the city. It’s said that the Queen of Sheba once passed through the gates and enjoyed a day at the palace in Aspendos whilst on her way to visit King Solomon.
If you feel like enjoying the sunshine but stretching your legs at the time, a walk around Karaalioglu Park is a great i dea. The beautiful park is scattered with works of art such as sculptures, water fountains and a wealth of colourful flowers and trees. As you walk through the park, you’ll see the ocean on one side, set against the backdrop of the hazy Taurus mountains. The park is a 30 minute walk from Antalya city centre.
Despite there being many sites of interest to see in the centre of Antalya, one of the most beautiful spots and main attractions of this port is the Old Harbour. These days it’s used by charming, colourful fishing boats as well as several ships which wouldn’t look out of place in the movie ‘Pirate of the Caribbean’. Around the harbour you can find a handful of dining spots to sit and enjoy the view whilst you tuck into some tasty local cuisine.
From colourful, bustling Bazaars to architecture that looks almost magical, this is a fascinating destination which is fast-paced and full of life.
Istanbul has many accolades to its name, it’s one of the world’s most populous cities, it’s the largest city in Europe, it’s named as the European Capital of Culture and in 2012 it welcomed over 11 million visitors – making it the 5th most popular tourist destination in the world at the time.
Istanbul is home to two impressive works of architecture; the Hagia Sophia and the Blue Mosque. Each of the structures are truly works of art within their own right. The Hagia Sophia is considered the finest example of Byzantine architecture and the Blue Mosque certainly isn’t lacking either. Featuring 6 slender minarets (the most ever at the time of building) the mosque is perfectly proportioned and has the biggest courtyard of all Ottoman mosques.
One of the most authentic experiences you can have in Istanbul is a visit to the Grand Bazaar, it’s one of the oldest and biggest in Europe. There’s an astounding 3,000 shops spread across 61 streets selling a variety of trinkets, homewares and aromatic spices.
This ancient city has almost 4,000 years of recorded urban history. With a diverse heritage from Greek, Jewish, Armenian and Levantine cultures it’s quite evident that Izmir is different from other cities in Turkey. Although the city has much to offer, why not take this opportunity to get out into the Turkish countryside and tour some of the smaller villages and towns.
One of the key sites of the city is Izmir Clock Tower. Here you can sit and admire the sights of this bustling city whilst enjoying traditional Turkish food such as a Kebab or Borek (a pie which is normally filled with meat, cheese, potatoes or spinach). It might interest you to know that the Clock Tower was a gift from the German Emperor Wilhelm II to mark the 25th anniversary of Abdülhamid II’s accession to the throne.
In Izmir you’ll find that many parts are largely urbanized with much construction work being carried out in a bid to modernise and develop the city. However there are some areas which are untouched by this, the Agora being one of them. This fascinating site is over 2,000 years old and it once housed a traditional produce market where farmers would sell cotton, olive oil and fruit.
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