All cities have their own personality and, for us, sitting in bars and cafes allows a little peak into what makes the people of a particular city tick. Whenever we visit any new city, this activity is just as important to us as rushing around, doing all the sightseeing we feel we ought to do.
When we were in the Southern Turkish city of Antalya in March of this year, sightseeing was not top of our agenda. If you read this blog a lot, you'll know we were there for Runtalya and so after the run, our weary legs didn't feel up to clambering around the ancient sites and waterfalls that the Antalya region is famous for. Instead, we soaked up the atmosphere of the city centre by wandering around Kaleiçi and the coast, taking 'rest stops' at regular intervals.
Some tea gardens in Anyalya sit right on the beachIn a previous post, we mentioned that tea gardens (çay bahçesi) occupy many of the best spots along the coast in Antalya. Wherever you go in Turkey, the tea gardens are always busy with people from all sectors of society and so they're a perfect place for taking a break, whiling away the time, and indulging in a spot of people watching. If you're in an area of Turkey frequented by lots of tourists, a tea garden can also provide a bit of respite from all that goes with that. In a tea garden, you're just another customer. Bliss.
Our favourite tea garden was Yuvam Çay Bahçesi with it's views across Antalya harbour and Kaleiçi but others also provided us with some welcome Efes Pilsen refreshment as we trudged across the city to go and register for our run. By the time we hit the tea garden pictured above (unfortunately, I didn't get its name), we'd registered for the run, covering about 5 miles in the process and realised we had a long walk back along the coast to Kaleiçi. People were packed inside, but we rested outside, enjoying the view of Konyaaltı Beach.
Evren Büfe has beautiful views along Konyaaltı Beach and across to the mountainsEventually, it was time to start heading back towards Kaleiçi, so we set off along the path lining Konyaaltı Beach. We could have caught the bus back to the centre, but taking in a city on foot is more fun - and allows for more refreshment stops. At the end of the beach, there's a short, steep climb up to the coast road which comes out at Antalya Archaeological Museum, the tram terminus and Evren Büfe. Time for another rest.
This place was packed with local office workers and couples enjoying the views across Konyaaltı - and the bottled Efes was served in the tin cups, pictured above. A couple of drinks later, an Antalya tea garden had once again provided an opportunity for quenching of thirst, a good leg rest and some of the best views in the city. The tram waited at the stop to take people back to the city centre...but we walked.
Compare hotel prices in Antalya from multiple travel websites on Turkey's For Life.