Side is a fascinating mix of old and new, where winding cobbled streets and ancient ruins sit alongside a stylish harbour and trendy bars. The old town hosts many of Side’s best restaurants, or you can head to the harbour for delicious fresh seafood. The main town, bursting with museums and traditional Turkish bazaars, is sandwiched between two beaches, making Side an ideal holiday resort for beach bums and culture vultures alike.
Things to Do
Close to Side is Manavgat, a lively town where the main draw is the scenic river and waterfalls. Visitors can take a bus to the falls, or book a boat tour from Side harbour that takes you on a relaxing journey to Manavgat along the river. It’s common to see markets in Side’s town centre selling all kinds of local crafts and produce, and nearby waterpark Water Planet is a great day out.
Side has two beautiful beaches, one on either side of the town, creatively named East Beach and West Beach. West Beach is more sheltered with shallow water, which makes it popular with families, and it has lots of watersports and activities on offer as well as sun loungers and umbrellas to rent. East Beach is more exposed and windy, but it’s the place to go to avoid the crowds.
Side still has a lot of well-preserved ruins that showcase the town’s ancient past! One of the most impressive is the theatre, built in the 2nd century AD with a capacity of 20,000 and still used for outdoor performances today. You’ll also want to visit the remains of the Temples of Athena and Apollo, which are particularly striking at sunset when the columns are soaked in soft pink and orange tones.