Your visit to Antalya should absolutely include a visit to one of the many ancient ruins near the city center. Many are still under ongoing excavation and restoration, but what you don’t often see amongst the vast amphitheaters, rows of columns and aqueduct remains are the small details lost in history. A visit to the exquisite Antalya Museum will help fill in some of the gaps with prehistoric remains discovered in the nearby Karain Cave, an extensive collection of sculptures from the ancient city of Perge as well as artifacts from a more recent era from St. Nicholas Church.
Conveniently located across the street from the Varyant Terrace overlook of Konyaaltı Beach, the museum is at the end of the Nostalgic Tram line. It is also easily reached by multiple buses stopping at Müze 1 or 2.
You begin by walking through time, first viewing the prehistoric remains and slowly working your way to the Emperor’s Hall, which features an extensive collection of ancient sculptures within arm’s reach (don’t touch.) The exhibit houses a broad collection of sarcophagi, reminding us of the incredible wealth and artistic ability that existed in the early centuries. Head up the stairs to view the impressive display of coins uncovered in nearby Elmalı, as well as the icons and other small artifacts found during the excavations. There is even more to see as you head outside into the museum’s garden area lined with various pieces of antiquity. Outside you can access the gift shop and café before heading back out the entrance through the free parking lot.
It should only take 1-2 hours to peruse the different exhibits, and the Antalya Museum might even be worth seeing before you head out to Perge, Aspendos or Karain Cave, as the pieces will enrich those visits. The museum was well maintained and overall a very enjoyable experience, even for our elementary and middle school-aged children. More detailed information about this museum can be found here.
Konyaaltı Cad. No 88
Tel: 0 242 238 5688
Entrance fee: 36TL (~6 Euro) (December 2019)