5 Must-See Museums In Antalya

Pearl of Mediterranean region with the lands, which have well preserved the ancient ruins, and the magnificent Taurus Mountains, the vast sea and the warm climate, Antalya always stands out with its orange and natural beauties. Is it possible to compare Antalya, which is beyond a vacation paradise having extremely rich history and tourism resources and efficiency, with a blonde haired and blue-eyed woman looking deeply? Founded by Attalos II, the King of Pergamon, the city was first named Attaleia, which is the name of the founder, and the name became Adalya and finally Antalya over time. With warm winter, rainy and temperate climate, streets smelling like orange blossoms, deep blue sea hitting the cliffs, hot summer and nature full of history and culture in every inch, Antalya is justifiably proud of being the most popular tourist destination and most visited city in Turkey. As a city full of traces of history, Antalya hosts museums, where historical documents and evidences are stored. There are many must-see museums in Antalya. We have listed 5 of them. The cultural locations that come to mind when it comes to must-see spots in Antalya…

Side Underwater Museum

The underwater world has always been mysterious to people. The treasures covered by the sea and hidden in the depths are also among the cultural richnesses of a geographical region. Underwater museums also bring diving enthusiasts together with the treasures in the depths of blue water. Side Underwater Museum, the first underwater museum in Turkey, preserves a dazzling history with a collection consisting of 117 sculptures. It is an amazing experience for those who love both diving and history to dive into deep blue water and view these artifacts. Opened on October 31, 2015, Side Underwater Museum has been visited by thousands of people so far. At the museum, the soldier standing and staying in the trench, gun carriage and cannon, approximately 30 sculptures consisting of Mevlana and whirling dervishes, camel train, Poseidon sculpture, Independence War, the map of Turkey, sculpture of Turkish flag and a flower garden in the memory of children who lost their lives at sea while fleeing from the war in Syria are worth to see. 

Marine Biology Museum

Founded by the Metropolitan Municipality of Antalya to make people get better acquainted with the marine species and the species, which are in danger of extinction, Marine Biology Museum aims at protection of the heritage and familiarizing everyone at all ages with the story contained in the seas, being a wholly different world. Dried and preserved intact in special solutions, the marine species and skeletons of larger marine mammals are displayed. Founded on an area of 100 square meters at the old Post Office building at Antalya Marina, the museum hosts about 500 species including 9 different shark species, 10 flat shark species, 150 bony fish species, coral, sponges, lobsters, crabs, shrimps, crustaceans, squid, octopus, ink fish, starfish and sea-urchin living in the seas of Turkey.

Antalya Ethnographic Museum

Displaying cultural values specific to Antalya and being like a valuable family album that reflects the memories and spirit of this city, Ethnographic Museum is also among the must-see spots. If you regard the vacation as not just swimming in the sea, then here is another amazing spot that smells of history... The Ministry of Culture and Tourism has restored two historic mansions located next to Ahi Yusuf Mosque on Mermerli Beach, and turned them into Antalya Ethnographic Museum. Consisting of two separate sections as Lower and Upper Mansion, the museum reflects the Ottoman architecture. Turkish-Islamic works are exhibited at the first mansion, while home life and room arrangements in Antalya, and furniture and architectural elements of Ottoman period are displayed at the second mansion. Antalya Ethnographic Museum, where tile pieces, tiles dating back to Ottoman period, ceramics, gas lamps made of glass, tulip vases (laledan), rose vases (guldan), sorbet (sherbet) pitchers, objects found during the excavations at Kaleici, excavations, Ottoman weapons, bows and arrows, archers rings called zihgir, swords, pistols and rifles, powder flasks, oil bottles, medals, seals, chain watches, examples of calligraphy and many other similar works are displayed, shows that Antalya is not only a city made up of sea, sun and sand, but also a city that well preserves a valuable cultural heritage.

Antalya Toy Museum

Are toys only for children or do the toys only make the little hearts happy? For sure, no. Toys are objects that excite everyone at all ages, make them happy and give pleasure. Another must-see spot for those visiting Antalya is Antalya Toy Museum. Put into service on April 23, 2011, the National Sovereignty and Children's Day, under the leadership of by Sunay Akin, the poet, writer and researcher, the Toy Museum offers fairytale-like moments to the visitors by the fascinating atmosphere, where almost 3 thousands toys are exhibited.  Located at Kaleici Marina in Antalya, the museum is the third toy museum in Turkey. In the Toy Museum, which hosts nearly 3.000 toys with antique value that date back to a period from 1860s to 1980s, toys manufactured both in Turkey and abroad are displayed.

Antalya Toy Museum is situated within an inn, and welcomes the guests with a ship made of paper. This ship is also the symbol of the museum. This ship, which fits meaningfully the fact that the civilization rose from water, i.e. the sea, welcomes its guests into a dazzling world. Cartoon characters such as Mickey Mouse, Red Kit, Keloglan, Smurfs, Cinderella and her pumpkin car, Nasreddin Hodja and his donkey, and Popeye, who are all known and loved by everyone, accompany the visitors during their visit in the museum.

It is a great visit spot for those who wish to have good time with their children and return to their childhood.

Suna - Inan Kırac Kaleici Museum

Another must-see spot during your vacation in Antalya is this amazing foundation museum. With a deep-rooted history and multi-layered cultural texture, Antalya keeps in its territory the traces and remains of several civilizations and periods. Many of the valuable unearthed artifacts are displayed in the museums in various locations of the city. Suna-Inan Kirac Mediterranean Civilizations Museum at Kaleici is one of these museums. Serving at a historical building that was purchased by Suna and Inan Kirac and turned into a museum, the museum is one of the most beautiful examples to two-storey Turkish houses.

The other building in the yard of the museum is the Orthodox Church that was built in the name of Aya Yorgi (Agios Georgios) and restored in 1800s. After being restored, it was designed as an exhibition hall. Here, conferences and cultural organizations are held.

These are 5 of the most important cultural spots in Antalya. Antalya is a fully-packed and rich city both in its districts and city center. These 5 spots to be included in your travel destinations will take you on a dazzling journey to past. The presence of these museums will likely to make you better realize that Antalya is not only a hotel paradise, but it also has a rich cultural texture.

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  • Brenda P. Reyna
  • 27-01-2020

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