Located not far past the Antalya Airport, the ancient city of Perge is a fascinating place for both history lovers and families with children who love to explore. We have been to so many ancient ruins all over Turkey that it has become difficult to count them all, but we can honestly say Perge continues to be one of our favorites.
Perge is included in the UNESCO World Heritage temporary list largely because of the number of ancient artifacts and sculptures that have been uncovered there and also because of the huge amount of the city that has survived the centuries. Unlike some of the other ruins in the area, a vast amount of work has been done in Perge to restore and rebuild the ancient structures. There are multiple signs and maps that help visitors understand what you are seeing and give you a glimpse into what the city might have looked like during its Roman years.
Inside Perge you will find a fairly intact stadium, Roman and Hellenistic gates, Roman baths, houses, a gymnasium, an agora, and various other ruins of the city. Because it is more restored and protected than some other ancient sites, there are not as many random rocks scattered about for the kids to climb, but there are enough to keep them happy. Young adventurers will also enjoy running around the stadium, walking up the hill to the Acropolis to explore the bumpy field, and roaming the ancient colonnaded streets. Before you leave, be sure to check out the 15,000-seat theatre just past the stadium outside of the fenced in area.
There is a snack bar and gift shop just inside with a few reasonably priced snacks, drinks, and ice cream (in the summer), but once you pass the entrance there is no place to purchase water or food. So, bring a water bottle for hot summer days, and apply the sunscreen as you will find more sunshine than shade. Stop at the clean restrooms past the entrance, because you won’t find more of those farther into the ruins. Don’t plan on using a stroller on your tour of the ancient city; instead utilize a baby wrap or carrier. Lest you be surprised by your children begging you for a bracelet or toy when you leave, be aware that as you head back to the parking lot you have to walk through a mini pazar full of people selling souvenirs and gifts.
To make your history lesson complete after exploring the streets of Perge, you might want to visit the Antalya Archaeological Museum in the city center to see the extensive collection of statues, sculptures, and sarcophagi recovered from the site.
Location: Barbaros, Perge Yolu, 07112 Aksu/Antalya
Telephone: 0242 238 56 88
Hours: 1 April – 31 October: 8:00 – 19:00 Daily, 1 November – March 31: 8:30 – 17:30 Daily
(Entrance closes 30 minutes before site)
Entrance Fee: 42TL or Free with Museum Pass (January 2020)