The historic town of Kaleici is one of Antalya’s greatest tourist attractions in Turkey. With the city being surrounded by pine forests leading to the sea and one of the world’s most beautiful beaches, Antalya is one of the most beautiful cities in the world attracting a lot of tourists to the city every year, this is only some of Antalya’s charms, one of the most charming parts of Antalya is the old town of Kaleici and today we are gonna introduce that.
A History and Introduction to the old town of Kaleici, Antalya
Kaleici is one of Antalya’s oldest regions. Kaleici, which is also known as the old town, was surrounded by walls around the whole area until modern times. It might be interesting to know that Kaleici also means “in castle/fort” in Turkish. The old town of Kaleici has a very long history and some of its buildings go as far back as Ottoman and Saljoughi times. This city was built by Romans for the export and import of goods and was surrounded by walls to protect the city from attacks. To this day some people still live in some of the houses in the city but most of the buildings have been transformed into hotels, restaurants, and art shops.
Architecture of Kaleici, Antalya
Kaleici has a very unique and interesting architecture and most of its charm is due to the combination of ancient and modern designs. Although the town was built by Romans most of the buildings belong to the Ottoman era, in fact, most of the buildings in the old town of Kaleici is from the 18th and 19th century. This city was built on hills so that’s why the streets and alleys in this city are built narrow and spiral.
- Hadrian’s gate: Kaleici’s most beautiful and important site is Hadrian’s gate. Hadrian’s gate is part of the big wall built by Romans surrounding the city. This gate is a reminder of ancient times and is built with white marble.
- Antalya’s clock tower: Antalya’s clock tower is placed at the entry of the old town of Kaleici and is the only remaining of the towers that used to surround the city. This tower is built with rocks and there are ancient writings on the walls of it.
- Tekeli Mehmet Pasa mosque: this mosque is one of Kaleici’s greatest tourist attractions. This beautiful mosque was built by Tekeli Mehmet Pasa in the 18th century. Some of the signature aspects of this mosque are its main dome and colorful tilings.
- Mermerli beach: Mermerli beach is not so far from kaleici and you can get there by walking for a short while. This beach is one of Antalya’s most beautiful coasts. The beach has good facilities and you can rent swimming pieces of equipment there, it’s hard to say no to swimming in the beautiful sea there if you are a swimmer.
The culture of Kaleici, Antalya
In the old town of Kaleici, the houses are built with rocks, wood, and thatch. As we said most of the houses are now transformed into shops and restaurants but there are still people living in some areas and the people there are very respectful and considerate of their history and are very considerate about following rules and taking care of their houses to preserve their culture and history. Most of the people in Antalya are Muslims and Christians like the rest of Turkey and they speak Turkish so it’s good to know a little Turkish or have a translator if you are visiting there. You can try delicious Turkish meals in most of the restaurants around this area.
The weather of Kaleici, Antalya
The old town of Kaleici has a weather climate like the rest of Antalya and the city is surrounded by mountains that are covered with snow most of the year which means it will get very cold and dry in the winter but the Mediterranean sea that is very close to the city makes the weather more humid and warmer than the rest of Turkey. Considering all this, the best time to visit the old city of Kaleici would be from the middle of spring when the weather starts to get warm until the end of autumn. Although visiting Antalya in winter could have some advantages like the city being quieter and seeing fewer tourists and you can also cut down on some expenses since some services tend to be cheaper in this season.
How to get to the old town of Kaleici
There are three general ways to get to the old town of Kaleici from Antalya. The first one is that you can take a taxi from anywhere around the city and ask them to take you there with online applications. The second way is that you can go to the central city square, Kale Kapisi, and use the public transportation system, the good thing about this way is that you can visit a lot of historic sites on your way, like the Antalya clock tower. The third way is that since there are a lot of hotels near this area if you stay in one of these hotels, you can get to the old town of Kaleici by walking a short distance.
The old city of Kaleici is a historic site and walking in it is like going back in time. You can enjoy watching the combination of modern and ancient art and architecture while walking in the city. You have to keep in mind that most of these buildings are very old and preserved very carefully so you have to be cautious not to harm them. The cafes and restaurants are also very nice for resting and having a nice conversation with your friends and companions.
The best souvenir you can buy from the old town of Kaleici is handmade handicrafts you can find hanging in most of the shops around the city.
Other charming spots you can visit near the old town of Kaleici
- Hadrian’s gate: 350 meters away
- Karaalioglu park: 1200 meters away
- Yivliminare mosque: 600 meters away
- Murad pasa mosque: 3600 meters away
- Old City Marina: 5300 meters away
- Antalya Museum: 6400 meters away