Side Travel Guide

Discover the best places to visit, things to do, where to stay, local culture and customs, and more in Side, Turkey.

Comprehensive Travel Guide to Side, Turkey

Welcome to Side, a picturesque town located on the Mediterranean coast of Turkey. It’s a place where history and nature blend perfectly, offering visitors plenty of opportunities to explore its beautiful surroundings. Here, you can wander along ancient ruins, indulge in Turkish cuisine, stroll through beautiful gardens, and soak up the sun on stunning beaches. In this comprehensive travel guide to Side, Turkey, you’ll find everything you need to know to plan your visit.

Introduction to Side

Side is a beautiful coastal town located in the exotic Pamphylia region of Turkey. It was originally a Greek colony and later became a prosperous Roman city. The town is known for its stunning beaches, ancient ruins, and beautiful harbor. The town’s history is evident in the numerous historical landmarks that can be found in the area, including the ancient Roman theater, the Temple of Apollo, and the well-preserved city walls.

List of Places to Visit in Side

To help you make the most of your visit, here is a list of the must-visit attractions in Side:

Culturally Important Attractions: Museums and Historical Places

  • Temple of Apollo: One of the most famous landmarks in Side, this ancient temple is the perfect spot to catch a view of the Mediterranean Sea.
  • Roman Theater: This well-preserved Roman theater is a must-visit. It’s still used today for various events and concerts.
  • Side Museum: Located in the heart of the town, this museum showcases the rich history of Side.
  • Agora: The ancient marketplace of Side, where you can explore the ruins of the Roman and Byzantine structures.

Natural Attractions of Side: Outdoor Adventures and Scenic Views

  • Manavgat Waterfall: The waterfall is a short drive from Side and is a great spot for nature lovers.
  • Side Beach: A long stretch of sandy beach, perfect for swimming and sunbathing.
  • Koprulu Canyon National Park: A nature-lover’s dream destination with opportunities for adventure like river rafting and zip-lining.

Hiking/Biking Routes of Side

Side is a great place for hiking and biking enthusiasts. Here are some of the best routes:

  • Taurus Mountains Trail: A great route for those who love nature and want to explore the Taurus Mountains.
  • Side-Historic Peninsula Trail: This route takes you through the heart of Side, passing by many of the town’s famous historical sites.

Best Things to Do in Side: Activities and Tours

Here are some of the exciting things that you can do in Side:

  • Take a boat tour: Take a tour of the stunning coastline of Side and soak up the sun while taking in stunning views.
  • Visit a Turkish bath: Treat yourself to a traditional Turkish bath and relax in a centuries-old ritual.
  • Explore the Antalya Market: Experience a true Turkish market, selling souvenirs, spices and everything in between.
  • Go scuba diving: With the Mediterranean Sea, Side offers the perfect opportunity to explore the underwater world.

Week-Long Itinerary for Side

Are you planning to spend a week in Side? Here’s a guide to help you make the most of your visit.

Day Activity
1 Explore the ruins of the ancient city of Side
2 Take a boat tour along the coast and visit Aspendos Theatre
3 Explore the natural wonders of the area with a visit to Manavgat Waterfall and Koprulu Canyon National Park
4 Visit the Antalya Market and try some local food
5 Relax on the beach and soak up the sun
6 Go scuba diving and explore the underwater world of Side
7 Take a hot air balloon ride and see Side from the sky

Food and Drink Scene of Side

The food and drink scene in Side is a blend of Turkish and Mediterranean cuisine. Here are some of the must-try dishes and local beverages:

Must-Try Dishes

  • Lahmacun: A thin, crispy pizza-like dish topped with minced meat, vegetables, and herbs.
  • Kebab: This famous Turkish dish is made with grilled chunks of meat served with vegetables and rice.
  • Borek: A pastry filled with cheese, potato or meat, and a popular favorite.

Local Beverages

  • Ayran: A refreshing yogurt drink, perfect for a summer day.
  • Raki: A locally produced anise-flavored alcoholic drink that is usually consumed with mezze or seafood.

Where to Stay in Side: Hotels, Hostels, and Guesthouses

Side has plenty of accommodation options for visitors. Whether you’re looking for a luxury hotel, a budget-friendly hostel, or a charming guesthouse, the town has options for everyone. Here are some recommendations:

  • Barut Hemera Resort & Spa: A luxurious all-inclusive resort overlooking the beach.
  • Side La Grande Resort & Spa: A modern hotel located just minutes from the beach.
  • Harmony Side Hotel: A cozy guesthouse located close to the town center.

What to Buy in Side: Souvenirs and Local Products to Bring Home

Side is known for its markets and bazaars, where visitors can buy souvenirs and local products. Here are some of the best things to buy:

  • Turkish carpets and kilims: These traditionally hand-woven carpets are a popular souvenir.
  • Turkish Delight: A sweet Turkish candy, perfect for those with a sweet tooth.
  • Olive oil soap: Made with locally-produced olive oil, this soap is a great gift for friends and family.

Local Culture and Customs of Side

Turkish culture is deeply ingrained in Side’s society, and it is important to be respectful of their customs and traditions. Here are some things to keep in mind while visiting:

  • Dress modestly when visiting religious sites.
  • Shoes must be removed when entering mosques.
  • It’s customary to remove your shoes when entering a Turkish household.
  • Greetings are important and should be taken seriously

Best Time to Visit Side

The best time to visit Side is between May and September when the weather is warm and sunny. The town can get crowded during peak season, so consider visiting in the shoulder season (April, October) if you prefer a quieter environment.

Do’s and Don’ts of Side


  • Dress modestly when visiting religious sites.
  • Greet people with a smile and respect their customs and traditions.
  • Try the local food and drinks.
  • Learn a few Turkish phrases.


  • Enter a mosque without first removing your shoes.
  • Take photographs of people without their permission.
  • Discuss politics and religion with locals.
  • Bargain in shops where prices are fixed.

Safety and Health

Safety in Side

Side is a relatively safe town, but it is essential to take normal precautions when traveling. Some tips to keep in mind include:

  • Keep an eye on your belongings in crowded areas such as markets and beaches.
  • Be cautious when walking in poorly-lit areas.

Health in Side

Turkey has a national healthcare system, and visitors can avail themselves of the services if they have travel insurance that covers medical expenses. It’s also recommended that visitors ensure that their routine vaccinations are up to date.

Getting to Side: Transportation Options and Logistics

Airports Near Side

Antalya International Airport is the closest airport to Side, located approximately 65 km from the town. From the airport, visitors can take a taxi or a shuttle bus to Side.

Bus Stations Near Side

The Antalya Intercity Bus Terminal is the main bus station near Side. From there, visitors can take a dolmus (a shared taxi) to Side.

Other Options

Renting a car is also an excellent way to explore the area on your own.

How to Get Around in Side

Side is a small town, and most attractions are within walking distance. Visitors can also take taxis or rent bicycles to explore the area.

Where to Go Next from Side: Nearby Destinations and Excursions

After exploring Side, here are some nearby destinations that you can visit:

  • Antalya: A vibrant city located approximately 75 km from Side, known for its stunning beaches, historical monuments, and nightlife.
  • Alanya: A popular destination located approximately 60 km from Side, with stunning beaches, historical sites, and a majestic castle.


Side is an enchanting and welcoming town that offers visitors plenty of opportunities to explore its ancient past, emerald waters, and stunning landscapes. With its cultural attractions, outdoor adventures, and delicious food, Side is a perfect vacation destination for history buffs and nature lovers alike. Use this comprehensive travel guide to plan your visit and make unforgettable memories.