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Side ist ein beliebter Urlaubsort in der Türkei, Bild: YusufOzluk / shutterstock

Side – Beach holiday on the Turkish Riviera

One of the most popular holiday areas on the Turkish Riviera is Side. The town on the south coast of Turkey is located between Antalya and Alanya. The distance to the provincial capital Antalya is about 70 kilometers. Since a territorial reform, Side is no longer a municipality, but is a district of the city of Manavgat, which is one of the most important tourist regions in Turkey.

Side – Ideal holiday resort for swimming

Theatre Side
The ruins of the old theater, Image: Andrew Buckin / shutterstock

As a travel destination, Side is ideal for a beach holiday that can also be spent with the whole family. Thus, the beaches of the resort extend over several kilometers. Accommodation for a wide range of price ranges is also available. Of course, there are also many restaurants and cafés for the physical well-being and shopping enthusiasts also get their money’s worth.

The tourist centre of Side is formed by the village of Selimye in the southern part of a peninsula. This is also where most of the restaurants and bars are located. Part of the ancient city of Side lies under Selimye, so that the place is also characterized by ruins from antiquity that are worth seeing. Thus, some admirable ancient buildings have been preserved.

The best time to visit Side

The ideal time for a trip to Side stretches from May to October. This period offers the best conditions for a beach holiday. Between June and September, temperatures average 30 degrees Celsius and the water is wonderful for relaxing. In August, however, the thermometer can also climb above 40 degrees.

How to get to Side?

Side can be reached quickly via Antalya Airport, which is about 75 kilometres away. From there, the journey takes about 60 minutes. Alternatively, there is also Alanya-Gazipasa Airport. However, it is further away than Antalya Airport. In addition, only a few direct flights are offered there from Germany .

There is no train connection in Side, but there is a bus connection from Antalya. However, Side can also be reached by car or rental car. To move between the individual towns of Manavgat and Side, shared taxis are available, called dolmus , which run on average every 5 to 15 minutes. They have fixed stops, but can also be stopped by hand.

The best things to do

Manavgat Waterfall
The Manavgat waterfall is located about 8 kilometers from Side, Image: Nejdet Düzen / shutterstock

Side is mainly known and popular as a seaside resort. The beach is divided into two longer sections, which can be found on the west and east sides of the archaeological site of Side. The western section has a pure sandy beach. In the eastern part there are some pebble sections, but the east beach is less developed than the west beach. It also offers good opportunities to rest and sunbathe after a sightseeing tour.

There are a number of hotels on the west beach. Because the fine sandy beach slopes gently, it is particularly suitable for families with children.

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Other recommended beaches in the area are Kumköy Beach, Evrenseki Beach and Colakli Beach.

What to do in your free time in Side

A change from sunbathing is provided by the extensive opportunities for water sports. Riding a pedal boat or jet ski as well as parasailing exudes pleasure and mood. The hotels on the beaches also offer different offers. They offer many activities for families as well as wellness facilities.

Side also has a beach promenade that invites you to take a short walk. In the hinterland there are good opportunities for hiking or moving in nature. At Oymapinar Baraj there is a park for climbing called Adventure Park, which also meets German safety standards.

Sights of Side

Side is not only an attractive seaside resort, it also has some interesting sights to offer, which can be found primarily in Side and Manavgat. The ancient ruins of the ancient city of Side are particularly recommended.

The Temple of Apollo

Apollon Temple, Side
The Temple of Apollo, Image: S-F / shutterstock

One of the landmarks of Side is the Apollon Temple, which stands in the old town. This sight is particularly beautiful to look at in the evening, when the sun goes down. A wonderful play of colours can be experienced. In addition, the Apollon Temple is one of the most popular photo motifs.

The Nymphaeum

In ancient times, a nymphaeum was a nymph sanctuary, usually built over a spring or well. The fountain complex of Side was once one of the most magnificent ancient fountains. Twelve meters of the old facility are still preserved.

The City Gate

In the immediate vicinity of the nymphaeum are the remains of the old city gate, which belonged to the city wall. From the city gate there are two colonnade streets that lead to the sea.

The Side Museum

The Side Museum in the Agora-Therme invites you to visit. The thermal baths were built in the 5th century BC and later served as a burial house. The restoration of the building took place at the beginning of the 60s, so that a museum could be set up there. There you can visit the artifacts that are being excavated in Side. The museum is divided into four halls and a garden. For example, statues, sarcophagi, tablets and smaller finds can be admired there.

The Amphitheatre of Side

The ancient amphitheatre of Side is considered particularly impressive. It was built in the 2nd century AD and could accommodate up to 15,000 spectators. At the same time, it offers a fantastic overview of the surroundings. In addition to theatrical performances, gladiator fights were also held there. In addition, there were competitions between ships in an extensive water basin.

Other attractive sights in Side are the Byzantine hospital, the large bath from the 3rd century, the arched gate and the huge field of ruins.

Shopping in Side

Behind the hotels are several modern shopping streets. Some shopping centers are also covered. There is a wide range of spice and tea merchants, textile shops, opticians, jewellery dealers and bag dealers. If you love variety, you can take a detour to the side streets to escape the same monotony.

Food and drink

Side also has various culinary attractions to offer. There are many restaurants, cafés and bars. In addition to Mediterranean and European dishes, there are of course Turkish meat, fish and vegetable specialties. The dessert baklava is an indispensable highlight.

Particularly recommended are the restaurants Side Ocakbasi, Serenade, Q Beach and Liman, which stand for quality and variety.

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General information

Side is located in the province of Antalya in southwestern Turkey and was once an important port city in ancient times. Today, it is a popular tourist destination that combines history, culture and beach holidays.

Climate

Side enjoys a Mediterranean climate with long, hot summers and mild, humid winters. The best time to visit is from May to October, when the weather is ideal for beach activities and sightseeing.

Sights

  • Ancient Theatre of Side: An impressively preserved Roman theatre that could once hold up to 15,000 spectators.
  • Apollo Temple: Known for its picturesque location right by the sea, a popular photo opportunity, especially at sunset.
  • Museum of Side: Housed in the remains of the Roman bathhouse, it displays artifacts from the area and offers a glimpse into local history.
  • Ancient Agora: The city’s marketplace, surrounded by ruins of ancient columns and building structures.

Activities

  • Beach Activities: Side offers beautiful sandy beaches such as East Beach and West Beach, which are perfect for sunbathing, swimming and various water sports.
  • Boat trips: From Side, you can take various boat tours that explore the surrounding coast and nearby islands.
  • Hike and explore: Explore the surrounding natural areas and ancient sites on foot to gain a deeper insight into the region’s landscape and history.

Culture

Side is a melting pot of cultures with a history dating back to the 7th century BC. Goes. Today, this rich past is reflected in the architecture, festivals and cultural events that take place throughout the year.

Gastronomy

The cuisine in Side is typically Mediterranean, with a strong influence on fresh seafood, vegetables and olive oil. Typical dishes include meze (small appetizers), fresh fish and traditional Turkish sweets such as baklava.

Journey

Side can be reached via Antalya International Airport, which is about 60 kilometers away. From there, you can travel to Side by bus, private transfer, or rental car.

Experience the nightlife of Side

Side offers a diverse range of nightlife options, ranging from laid-back beach bars to energetic nightclubs. Here are some tips on how to get the most out of the nightlife in Side:

Visit beach bars

Side is known for its beautiful beaches, and many beach bars provide the perfect setting for a relaxing evening. Enjoy a sunset cocktail or listen to live music while enjoying the sea breeze. Popular spots include Kumköy Beach Club and Lighthouse Beach Bar, both of which offer a great atmosphere right on the water.

Explore the clubs and bars in the city center

The centre of Side is a hub for nightlife, with a good mix of local pubs, bars and nightclubs. Clubs like Oxyd and Apollo Nightclub are popular with locals and tourists alike for their lively atmosphere and regular DJ performances.

Enjoy live music and entertainment

Many bars and restaurants in Side offer live music, from traditional Turkish tunes to international hits. Some places also offer evening entertainment such as belly dancing shows and cultural performances that offer a glimpse into local culture.

Visit a Turkish Night

For an authentic experience, you should visit a “Turkish Night”, which is often offered in larger hotels or specialized venues. These evenings include traditional Turkish music, dancing, and often dinner. It is a great opportunity to experience Turkish culture in a festive atmosphere.

Taste the local specialties

In addition to drinks, don’t forget to try the local cuisine. Many bars and nightclubs in Side offer small plates or snacks that are perfect to enjoy with a glass of local wine or a cold beer.

Safety Tips

As in any tourist place, you should take care of your personal belongings in Side, especially at night. It’s safe to go out at night, but it’s always good to err on the side of caution and stay in groups or stay in areas that are well-lit and busy.

By keeping these tips in mind, you can ensure that your nights in Side will be both fun and memorable.