Antalya Harbour & The Lift – Practical Beauty

Such a simple idea, yet so practical, so useful…and also so beautiful. But then aren’t the simplest ideas supposed to be the best ideas? And, inevitably, this much needed practical solution is also going to be a great tourist attraction for Antalya. We’re talking about the lift down to the old Antalya Harbour.

Antalya Harbour Lift

Entrance to the lift from city centre level

Antalya Harbour Lift

There’s a heck of a lot of work going on around Antalya’s harbour district at the moment – and this lift had been started last year when we were there, so we were curious to see if it was ready when we visited again earlier this month. It was! Full working order, sleek glass walls so you can see all around you as the lift takes you down to harbour level (or brings you back up, as the case may be).

And you can’t really see from the photo above but it’s not just a lift. It’s a viewing platform, too. You can stride out along the walkway, pass the left hand side of the lift and walk slightly beyond it to take in the views. That’s what we did on our last day in the city while we were there for Runatolia.

Antalya Views From The Harbour Lift Platform

View of the mountains & Konyaaltı in the distance from the viewing platform

That morning, we had been blessed with clear weather and had been able to take photos of the mountains from the window of Hotel Twenty where we stayed. By the time we were out and about, the clouds had begun to gather to hide the mountains and keep them all to themselves. We still managed to catch them from the viewing platform of the lift, however, along with a short stretch of the far end of Konyaaltı Beach.

Looking Down On Antalya Harbour

Looking down on Antalya harbour from the lift’s viewing platform

And it is pretty high, up here. You can see why a lift is so useful. An area that was inaccessible to so many can now be easily reached – and, from our little vantage point, we could see that landscaping has taken place and restaurants have been spruced up. It’s pretty smart down here now, and lively.

In years gone by, we’d walk around here and feel a bit sad as we looked into empty restaurants; waiters sat around waiting for any stray passerby to enter. Granted, it was out of season when we were there, but, up above, daily city life was taking place. Along the harbour, apart from the lonely waiters, the odd smattering of tourists hopping on a boat, or those who had ventured down the steps from Kaleiçi, not much was happening. From our own point of view, it felt a bit neglected.

Antalya Harbour, Turkey

Antalya harbour and a boat returning in the distance

But all that’s changed, now. People were not only queueing up to use the lift; they were taking photos of the lift and were doing what we did – taking photos of Antalya harbour from the viewing platform. Now this Roman harbour is linked to the rest of the city – and it shows. Lots of people were milling about down below us, strolling along newer sections of the harbour wall and out towards the lighthouse. Not all of them will have used the lift – but at least now, if you do follow the steep road and steps down to the harbour from Kaleiçi, you don’t have to psyche yourself up for that haul back up to civilisation.

And the old harbour is where many of the Antalya boat trips leave from, too. Streams of boats were toing and froing, all the time we were in the city, taking sightseers out to Düden Waterfalls. Me not being too brave on choppy waters (and to me, the sea always looks a bit ‘open’ and choppy in Antalya), we are yet to do this particular boat trip. Maybe one day…

But, for those who do make the trip, if they’ve not got the luxury of a tour bus waiting for them in the car park, at least now they can jump in the lift to take them back up to the centre of the city…or even hang around in the harbour for a while and enjoy its new lease of life.

Restoration work, repairs and landscaping is taking place all around the Antalya harbour district and beyond, towards Antalya Archaeological Museum, so no doubt the city will look different again next time we visit. We look forward to it!

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  1. . . it has to be one of the prettiest city harbours in the world. Remember sitting and watch Kurdish folk dancers performing in the little amphitheatre more than 20 years ago – the audience were outnumbered three to one by the ploice!

    • Wow, that’s surprised us that you think it’s pretty. Thought it would be too busy for you…but is so lovely isn’t it and there is a lot of history there. Shamefully, aside from the generals, we know little of the details of its ancient past.

  2. Time to revisit.

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