Side – one of the oldest inhabited cities in the world!

the walk through Side main alley
Side Introduction:

One of the ancient city ruins that we have visited in Antalya region – the city of Side. It has a combination of modern infrastructure while enjoying its glorious past. The city itself is of enormous landscape that contains, amphitheater, various temples as well as various sites with statues. It takes over an hour drive from Antalya city. In comparison to all of the ancient cities (Phalesis, Olympus, Termessos) that we have visited this far, the Side city is by far the biggest. Rather than boring you with all of the extra information that is available on google, lets just quickly see what we have experienced.

the alley of old house in the city of Side
Historical overview:

Like many of the other ancient cities in Anatolia, Side was a fortified trading city. It sits on the coast and has a direct access to the Aegean sea. When arriving at the touristic bus stop, you wont realize the magnificence of the city architecture. Once you start walking through you will feel that you are part of the historical past. At its peak, Side had a population of over 20,000 people. However, due to war and natural disasters, the city has declined in size and today only has a population of around 1,500. Despite this decline, Side remains an important archaeological site as it is home to several well-preserved Hittite temples.

the ancient shopping district in the Side city
the alley that comes out to the sea in Side city
Side today:

Side is one of the oldest inhabited cities in the world. It was founded by the Canaanites in about 4000 BC and has been continuously inhabited since then. Today, it is a small city on the Mediterranean Sea with a population of about 2,000. The city has been through a lot over its history; from being part of the Roman Empire to being occupied by the Byzantines, Arabs, and Crusaders. Side is now a peaceful city that is known for its seafood restaurants and beautiful beaches.

Museum in Side
Museum in Side
How to get there:
gigantic gates at Side city
gigantic doors at Side city

You have a combination of the buses and public transfers. The most convenient of course is to rent your own car. This will provide you with the flexibility of stopping whenever you want. However, if you do take a transfer make sure that the company have their appropriate licenses in place. Also, when travelling with others you may make yourself new friends and acquaintances. So, to get to Side city pretty simple, google it. As for us, it is a lot easier now to travel with an established group that we know. Here you can find a summary of the groups that we use.

coffee shop in the Side next to Athena temple
What to see and do in Side:

The greatest benefit of Side it has civilization. You can easily find a number of restaurants, hotels, and other amenities. Main activity is the walk around museums. The entry with the museum card is free. The usual price to enter is 60 lira per adult and 45 per child as of March 2022. However, with ikamet you can buy museum card which will allow you to enter it for free. Other activities includes the browsing around ancient ruins and various sites. You can enjoy the amazing views at the cafes on top of the hill. Lastly, you can take a quick boat ride, since we came in during the low season the price person worked out at 150 lira to go on a boat.

Athena temple in Side City
Athena temple in Side City
Final Thoughts

We have really enjoyed the trip to Side. We have also taken an opportunity to have a boat ride. The one point that is frustrating is the prices are all in Euros. When you get to the cafe’s or other shops make sure to ask for the local menu as the prices completely different. Expect to spend above average on your meals and drinks. Enjoy the walk and hike around the city of Side. Probably would be best to come for a few days rather than a day trip.

views of Athena temple from the sea

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