The Complete Antalya Travel Guide for Hair Transplant Patients
So, you’ve decided to come to the DK Hair Klinik here in beautiful Antalya for your hair transplant – welcome! (Or maybe you’re still considering your options, but even so, welcome!) Aside from questions about your hair transplant, you’re probably wondering what you can do during your stay with us.
This handy guide on what to do, where to go and what to eat when you’re in Antalya will help make your trip go smoothly.
(For everything you need to know about having your hair transplant, our blog has a wealth of information and answers to the questions you may have about your procedure.)
Travelling abroad for medical treatment, so-called medical tourism, is an ever increasing way of getting top quality medical treatment, at a more cost effective price with the added bonus of being able to enjoy stunning surroundings.
And there’s no place more enjoyable, or stunning, than Antalya!
In Antalya, we have everything from ancient ruins and Turkish bath hammams to beautiful beaches and incredible restaurants.
There are many things you’re restricted from doing after a hair transplant. Your scalp will be very delicate and after all that time sitting in the hair transplant specialist’s chair, the last thing you’ll want to do is cause any damage to those newly transplanted hair follicles.
The biggest no-no is exposing your scalp to the sun, and as we have lots of it here in Turkey, we’ll equip you with all the advice you need about covering up. You’ll also need to stay away from swimming afterwards too.
Our patients are encouraged to stay with us for a few days after their surgery, and we include a three night stay in a nearby boutique hotel in our transparent package price. Just because you can’t swim or sunbathe, during those days there’s plenty of time for relaxing and enjoying restaurants whilst you recover!
But many of our patients still want to combine a trip to our hair transplant clinic with enjoying all that Antalya has to offer. So it’s for this reason that so many of our patients come to Antalya for a few days before their procedure to make the most of their trip.
So we’ve put together this guide to make it easy for you to see the best sights and sample some amazing food. (The only thing you need to remember is to make sure you still protect your scalp from sunburn prior to your hair transplant.)
So here we go, whatever you fancy doing in Antalya, whatever your budget, here’s your handy guide to our local surroundings…
A Brief History of Antalya
Antalya is the largest of all the Turkish cities on the coastline of the Mediterranean and is an important sea port hub – in fact, Antalya has the largest sea port and marina in Turkey.
It’s situated on the Turkish Riviera and is home to over a million people. This coastal resort is very popular with overseas tourists – we welcome more than 12.5 million tourists each year.
Antalya has always thrived, ever since it saw its first human settlers in the year 200 BC. It was quickly ruled by the Romans after this first settlement, who built many of the monuments, including Hadrian’s Gate and other ancient ruins and historical sites that still exist today.
In the late 14th Century, after many years of instability, Antalya began 500 years of settled rule under the Ottoman Empire. A great wall was built around the city to protect the port, which was fortified with lookout towers and heavily guarded gates.
Then, after the First World War, the city was ruled by the Italians. Finally, as Turkey won independence in 1923 after the Allies divided up the fallen Ottoman Empire, it officially became the modern nation we know now. Antalya has enjoyed being truly Turkish ever since.
The Turkish government has ploughed much money into Antalya since the 1970s, allowing it to become the bustling, affluent city we love, still with the port at the centre of it’s activity and trade links.
It’s this rich history, artefacts and culture, combined with stunning beaches, restaurants and weather, that keeps the tourists coming to our city, both to enjoy a holiday, and reap the rewards of Turkish hair transplant procedures.
Things to do in Antalya
Once you’re here, you won’t fall short of things to do. Of course, if you want to relax on the beach with a good book and amazing food and drink to occupy your time, we’re not going to spoil that.
But if you really want to see Antalya, here’s some attractions you might want to visit:
Kaleiçi is the city centre of Antalya and is steeped in history, with remnants of Roman, Byzantine, Seljuk and Ottoman rule to be seen in the buildings and architecture everywhere.
Most of the ancient buildings that are still habitable have been turned into boutique hotels and you’ll be able to pick up some traditional Turkish handmade crafts at the array of shops.
The word Kaleiçi means “inside the kale”. Not to be mistaken with the green, leafy vegetable of the same name favoured by health conscious diners, kale means castle, or fortress, in Turkish. The name derives from the fact that the whole of Kaleiçi used to be surrounded by fortressed walls.
Take a wander around and see what you can find, there are photo opportunities on every street corner!
Become a Culture Vulture in the Antalya Museum
If you’re keen to learn more about the history of Antalya and Turkey, the Antalya Museum is a must. It’s also perfect for something to do inside away from the sun after your hair transplant (although watch out, there is an open air gallery).
The museum has 13 exhibition halls and is curated with artefacts dating from prehistoric times, through the history of the city and beyond, to modern day times.
There’s beautiful, hand made mosaics from the Byzantine period, sarcophagi from the Roman period and important sacred religious relics depicting the life of Jesus Christ all on display.
It’s considered one of the most important historical collections in the whole of Turkey and is well worth a visit.
Relax in the Erdal İnönü Kent Park
Enjoy some of the most stunning views Antalya has to offer for free from the Erdal İnönü Kent Park.
Located right next to the beach, this beautiful and peaceful green space offers views of the Mediterranean, landscaped gardens, waterfalls, cafes and bistros making it the perfect, relaxed day out.
Wander Around the Old Town District of Kaleiçi
The old town of Kaleiçi is the epicentre of Kaleiçi and Antalya itself. Until the end of the Second World War, Antalya was pretty much confined to this area. It’s full of beautiful old buildings and as you wander around the narrow cobbled streets, you’ll get a real sense of how life was centuries ago.
Browse the array of boutique hotels, souvenir shops, art galleries and restaurants.
To visit Antalya and not visit this historic old town would be such a shame. Without the old town, the hustle and bustle of the harbour area and the peacefulness of the beaches and parks wouldn’t exist. We all owe something to the old town!
Explore the Historic Hadrian’s Gate
Hadrian’s Gate was named after the Roman Emperor Hadrian after he visited Antalya in the year 130 AD. During the Roman rule of Antalya, the entire city was surrounded by a wall, and Hadrian’s Gate is the only original entry point that still remains to this day.
It’s a beautiful structure, and despite it dating back to Roman times, make sure you look out for the part of the gate that was added in the 13th Century during the Seljuk rule, that has an Arabic inscription.
Amazingly, the gate was only revealed to us modern humans in the 1950s, after the walls covering it up crumbled away. It was lovingly restored in 1959 and now visitors can view the original Roman road and walkway that leads up to the gate, including the well-trodden and grooved path used by the horse and carts of days long gone by.
Visit the Antalya Aquarium
Home to the world’s largest tunnel aquarium, the Antalya Aquarium is a fantastic place to visit, and it’s not just for kids! The curious and inquisitive of all ages can enjoy a day here.
There are 40 different aquariums, each housing a different array of fish, with lots to learn about each one. And if you don’t fancy learning, just look back in peaceful awe at the different species just calmly going about their day.
It’s not just fish either, stop by the tropical reptile house and see some of the most poisonous species in the world! If you need to cool off after that, go to the snow world and ice museum where there’s plenty more to feast your eyes on.
Sunbathe on Konyaalti Beach
According to the Telegraph newspaper, Konyaalti beach is one of the best beaches in Turkey. And rightly so. This natural beauty sits proudly on the Med with gorgeous white sands and plenty of places to eat and drink in the nearby upmarket Antalya Beach Park.
It’s very popular with locals, and does have a bit of a reputation as a rich and decadent playground. But don’t be put off if rich and decadent isn’t your thing, you can still enjoy a day at the beach, and soak up the glorious scenery.
If beaches make you bored, Konyaalti beach is set right bedside the city landscape, that’s full of things to see and do. Although with the dramatic backdrop of the Bey Mountains off to the west, you may just want to sit on the beach and gaze…
Marvel at the Aspendos Amphitheatre
The Aspendos Amphitheatre was originally built by the Romans to seat 8,000 bloodthirsty spectators eager to watch gory Gladiator fights.
Nowadays, thankfully things are a lot more refined, and it now puts on ballets and operas. If they’re not your thing, simply take a guided tour and climb to the top for a spectacular view!
Olympos was a city near to Antalya and it’s ancient ruins are now a beautifully historic site to visit during a trip to Antalya. It’s not known when the city was first built but historians think it dates back to the end of the 4th Century BC.
Tourists flock to see this historic city, and take a moment to reflect on what life would’ve been like so many years ago. It’s amazing that structures from this city still exist now and is testament to the building methods, materials (and brute strength) of the time.
Where to Eat in Antalya
Whether you have spare time in Antalya before or after your hair transplant, you’re going to need to eat! After your procedure, you might be stuck for things to do aside from relaxing, so eating out may well become your favourite pastime whilst you’re with us.
Whatever your tastes, whatever your budget, you’ll find tasty food and drink to suit.
Here’s some of our favourites, which will you love the most?
There’s plenty of reasons that both locals and tourists visit 7 Mehmet, not least because of the amazing, traditional Turkish food. But also the stunning views (make sure you arrive in time to get the best seats in the house for the legendary sunsets), top quality ingredients and historical décor.
The famous Turkish food critic, Vedat Milor, says that 7 Mehmet is the best restaurant in not just Antalya, but the whole of Turkey.
Expect excellent seafood, local dishes and a blend of Mediterranean and Turkish cuisines. It’s also very accommodating to vegetarians, with a large veggie menu. The prices are very reasonable, so remember to book early.
It’s also great for large groups as much as it is for couples and solo diners. So if you’ve got a group of friends together to travel to us to all have hair transplants, this restaurant must be your local go to.
Meat eaters rejoice, for this place is a traditional kebab lovers paradise. Sultanyar Kebapcisi is a great place to chill and eat simple, but expertly cooked, local food at a great price. From kebabs, to lamb chops, to meat skewers and koftas, everything is cooked from fresh, to perfection.
Here you’ll also find an authentic local dish called lahmacun. Lahmacun is a traditional Turkish flat bread pizza style dish, comprising of a thin dough base, topped with a spicy minced beef or lamb mixture.
This is a family run restaurant which began in the 1980s. To this day, it’s a very popular place for lunch and dinner. There’s also a vibrant after hours scene too…
There’s been lots of famous diners here too, so look out for which celebrities you can spot, either in real life or of their photographs adorning the walls of this gem of a restaurant.
Sari Demlik is the perfect place for breakfast if you don’t have it included in your hotel room rate during your add on stay. In fact, breakfast is so good here, that it’s a real shame to miss out, so even if you do have breakfast at your hotel, either miss it one day, or go for a second breakfast here. (You can order breakfast all day up until 5pm, so you should find time to fit in two!)
For as little as a few pounds, you’ll get a breakfast of champions, and what’s more, included in the price is unlimited Turkish tea.
Breakfast spreads include a range of cheeses, olives, fresh salads and Turkish sausage. And we must give special mention to the bazlama (a Turkish leavened circular bread) and gözleme (a traditional Turkish unleavened bread often eaten with a savoury filling).
This place is cosy, welcoming and vibrant – the perfect place to while away a morning, eating delicious food. And you probably won’t need lunch until very late either!
Piyaz is a traditional food of Turkey, and this restaurant is famed for making the best piyaz in the whole of the country. Piyaz is a bean salad made with cooked northern beans, onions, parsley and sliced hard boiled eggs.
Each region of Turkey has it’s own local version of piyaz and Antalya is no exception. In Antalya, it’s made creamier with the addition of chopped garlic and tahini, a sesame seed paste. It’s also sometimes topped with a generous sprinkling of sumac, a Middle Eastern citrussy spice.
Piyaz can be eaten on its own with some traditional Turkish flatbreads as part of a meze, or alongside a meat dish, such as meatballs. It’s perfect for sharing.
Piyazci Ahmet is the place in Antalya to try piyaz. It’s a relaxed restaurant, with super friendly staff and delicious, fresh food. It’s very popular with locals, which is always the best endorsement for a good place to eat!
Dönerci Hakkı Baba
Dönerci Hakkı Baba is the oldest döner restaurant in Antalya, so they’re definitely doing something right. Döner is a traditional sliced meat dish from Turkey, usually served with flat breads and fresh salad.
You may know doner kebabs from restaurants serving them at home in the UK, but until you’ve tried a döner in Turkey, you haven’t really tried one at all.
Dönerci Hakkı Baba is a friendly, clean and welcoming restaurant serving one of the best döner kebabs in Antalya. It’s well worth a visit if you’re looking for something freshly made, that’s quick and tasty.
Fantasia Döner is in the city centre, in the Işıklar district of Kaleiçi. It too serves amazing döner kebabs, but this time the setting is less restaurant like Dönerci Hakkı Baba, more street food, takeaway style.
As it’s not a ‘sit down’ restaurant, the décor here isn’t as chic as some of our other restaurant and eatery recommendations, but don’t let that put you off - the food here more than makes up for the decoration.
It’s ideal for eating on the go, and still getting an authentic taste of Turkey.
Il Vicino Pizzeria
If you’re looking for something a little less traditional, and you don’t mind searching for the best pizza in Antalya, then Il Vicino Pizzeria is the perfect place for you.
Off the beaten track in the city centre of Kaleiçi, this place is well worth it when you get there, and you’ll be greeted by the friendliest of staff. It’s a peaceful, relaxed Italian style pizzeria serving a taste of Italy with each bite. The wines are exceptional too.
Each pizza is hand made and cooked in the wood fired oven, to give it authenticity. There’s also seafood pasta dishes, bruschetta and plenty of Italian desserts to choose from too.
Once you visit, you’ll find it difficult to eat pizza anywhere else in Antalya.
If you’re vegetarian or vegan, or you’re looking for a break from eating meat, Rokka is a fantastic place to go to. Rokka is in the city centre, in the Üçkapılar District, near to Kaleiçi. Even if you can’t go a day without eating meat, you’ll still love the famlous falafel here!
The falafel, hummus, olives, breads and fresh salads on offer are spectacular and are all served up by friendly waiting staff. Their pizzas are also well worth a try.
Rokka food is simple, fresh and tasty. It’s all very reasonably priced and the portion sizes are very favourable. If you do fancy meat, this restaurant isn’t just for vegetarians and vegans, there’s plenty of meat dishes on the menu too.
So for good food, in great surroundings with a superb atmosphere, that suits everyone, definitely make a trip to Rokka.
Located inside the Akra Barat Hotel that neighbours our hair restoration clinic, the Paplito Bistro is open to residents and non-residents alike. It’s super stylish and as it’s located on one of the top floors of the hotel, the views whilst you eat here are stunning (and are among the best in Antalya).
This is a European style bistro, serving a range of Neapolitan pizzas, Greek souvlaki, seafood, pasta dishes and freshly grilled meats. Plus, apparently, the best schnitzel in Turkey!
You can choose to visit here for breakfast, lunch, dinner or a relaxed drink. Their desserts are not to be missed either.
Where to Shop in Antalya
If shopping is your thing, you have a choice of modern shopping centres, or traditional local bazaars:
Terra City AVM Shopping Centre
The largest shopping centre in Antalya, Terra City has a wide range of international shops and places to eat – more than 150 to be exact! If designer brands are your bag, then you’ll bag a lot of them here. Fill your suitcase and come home with a new wardrobe to match your new hair!
Migros AVM Supermarket
A large and convenient supermarket filled with international and local foods is the Migros supermarket. Ideal if you want to take a packed lunch on any of your exciting Antalya tours, or you’re staying is self-catering accommodation.
With local delicacies and hand crafted gifts and trinkets the Kaleiçi Bazaar is the place to go. Be prepared to barter and come home with lots of bargains!
Where to Stay in Antalya
Our package prices include a three night stay at our partner hotel, the Ramada Plaza where you’ll enjoy comfortable surroundings and half board accommodation as standard. Your recovery after your hair transplant is important to us, so we just know you’ll relax knowing you don’t have far to travel between our clinic and the hotel.
But if you want to extend your stay, either before or after your procedure, why not sample some of the other hotels in our area?
There are plenty of boutique hotels, and the Akra Barat is a large, modern hotel with deluxe sea view rooms and four outdoor pools, just metres from our door.
If you need any other information on where to stay, our reception staff will be more than willing to help. Trip Advisor and Booking.com are also good sources of information.
Your Hair Transplant, Your Trip
There’s only one thing left for us to do, and that’s wish you a safe flight and to enjoy your time exploring our beloved Antalya.
Our hair transplant experts and friendly staff are looking forward to welcoming you to our state of the art hair clinic soon.
We love hearing from our patients, and talking about what they’ve been up to. If you find a hidden gem of a restaurant or an amazing place to have fun or relax that even we don’t know about, don’t hesitate to let us know.
(Unless you want to return and keep it a secret, and we wouldn’t blame you…)