Jub Bryant is a cat cuddling, sports-loving guy from New Zealand. After University he moved to Melbourne for a couple years. Not a fan of the office life, he stumbled into a love of travel. Now he finds himself scrapping funds together as he bounces from place to place. With minimal planning in advance ever happening, he never expected to spend a month in Antalya.
The Impressive Lower Duden Waterfall
Turkey has several waterfalls easily accessible by transport, but the Lower Duden Waterfall is by far the most impressive to watch. The coastline along Antalya is made up of both beaches and cliffs, but it’s not often you get to see a powerful waterfall going straight into the ocean.
You can reach Duden Park by bus number KL08 that goes straight through the city. As you enter the park, nothing seems too out of the norm, with the river looking uneventful. Eventually, you start to hear the waterfall, and if you approach the cliff from the western edge of the park, you are suddenly blown away by the waterfall that comes out of nowhere. You aren’t going to cliff dive off this spot anytime soon, but with the gorgeous views all around, this is a very good looking waterfall.
If you’d like to get up close and personal, you can do so via a boat ride from the marina in the Old Town.
Taste everything at Rokka
Turkey is a foodie haven, but as a vegan, the majority of the options at restaurants are out. Thankfully simmets (bread rolls) are vegan and plentiful.
When I was on the search for falafel, Rokka was mentioned by a few people as the only place with falafel in the city. On arrival, you’ll be greeted by staff who can speak both English and Turkey which isn’t common, and they have menus in both languages. This feels like a cafe more than a restaurant that wouldn’t look out of place in hipster Melbourne.
There are plenty of options to choose from, and all taste delicious. I was disappointed by how small the hummus was when ordering the combo, but the value is great.
You can relax here for a couple hours after you eat, drinking tea, or if you’re feeling up for it, take a piece of cake. I found this was a good place to ask for some insider tips as well with the English speaking staff, a nice bonus.
Tasting Tea in Turkey with Jub Bryant
Turkey is famous for its bazaars, and Antalya has several you can explore. I like the stalls around the location on the Google map in the old town best of all. The stalls here are larger than most, and the area is just far enough away from the main walking street that you don’t see intense amounts of foot traffic.
The shop-owners here are going to try and sell you something, but they don’t always go for the hard sell. Instead, many invite you to enjoy a free cup of tea, which I must say is delicious (the kiwi flavour is my favourite but I’m biased). The level of English varies, but you can make small talk with them. But go in with a game plan as once you get close to finishing your cup of tea, they’ll start showing you their goods. They aren’t going to give in easily, and if you’re just a little bit interested they can smell blood and before you know it you’re handing over your Turkish Lira. Always be willing to haggle with them as their initial price is usually about twice as high as what you’ll pay in the end. If need be, you can play the shop owners off each other. I come here every few days mainly just to hang out, have a chat, a bit of a laugh and normally pick up a tea or two.
Antalya is a cat lovers paradise
Istanbul was my favourite city in the world for cats, but Antalya might well have taken over that title. Just as you’re about to enter the Old Town, there is a little green space which you would walk past if you were daydreaming without a second thought. But turns out, there are ~50 cat houses lined up next to each other giving the street cats of Antalya a place to come and go as they please.
There’s a small shop where the shopkeeper sells a variety of souvenirs, as well as cat food, and you can donate while you’re here too. I’ve been here a couple times and haven’t been interrupted, but am not 100% sure how many cats call this place ‘home’. Each cat house has a name on the front, but there has definitely not been more than a dozen cats on each visit (they probably are all hiding in the old town). Some of the cats are friendly, it’s like an outdoor cat cafe really. You might go and not have one come up close at all, other times you feel all the love. This little spot in the heart of the city is a cat lovers paradise.
The Amazing View from Konyaalti Beach Terrace
There are lots of good sunset spots along the Antalya coastline, but the view from the Konyaalti Beach Terrace is my favourite. Located on the outskirts of the city, I found locals often coming here in the even to hang out for one another either at the nearby cafe or sitting along the terrace to watch the sun go down.
The beach below is made of pebbles, and is a good spot to hang out for a while too as it’s a lot less busy (and there’s way more space) than the beach in the Old Town. Bonus points: cats hang out around here in the evening too, looking to pinch a feed from the locals.
Lower Duden Waterfall
Sponge Pub Tea
Konyaalti Beach Terrace
Going Local is a series of interviews that we are doing with people that live and enjoy the city they live. You can read more interviews filled with tips here. And if you want to be featured here, this link will tell you how. We're always looking for more locals to share their favorite spots!