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Side founded in 7th century BC has changed drastically due to its modern development and has the highest concentration of tourists than any other Turkish town, although it remains a very attractive resort. Approximately 15km east of Antalya and located on a small peninsula only 800m in length, the town offers modern architecture, chic boutiques and shops, late night bars and clubs along with the ruins of an ancient city. Side has two golden sand beaches and is one of the most popular resorts for holidaymakers everywhere.  

History of Side

 Side's natural geography made it one of the most important trade centres in the Pamphylian region and its name means “pomegranate” coming from its Anatolian origins.  At its peak, in the 7th century AD, it had an estimated population of 60,000.  Much of its wealth came from the slave trade where thousands of humans were bought and sold every day.  After being torched by the Arab invasion during the 7th century AD, Side remained abandoned until Muslim fishermen from Crete settled here and built a village known as Selimiye in the ruins.  

Beaches of Side

There are two beaches, one to the west, a 10km expanse of fine sand, lined with expensive hotels, beach clubs and has facilities for parasailing, waterskiing, diving, fishing and boat tours. And Sorgun beach, 3km on the east side, is much quieter, well maintained and also has water sport facilities.  There are hundreds of places to eat out offering every cuisine imaginable, with the restaurants at the harbour and along the shoreline being more expensive than those inland. There are good seafood restaurants offering a wide range of fish including the trout that is locally farmed from  Manavgat .  

Side Nightlife

Side comes alive at night and has a good variety of entertainment to suit everyone, such as the open air nightclubs with guest DJs, dance clubs in the town centre and along with Western beach.  There are many bars catering to all musical tastes, but if you are looking for a quieter time avoid the main part of town, harbour promenade and beachfront.

Transportation and Accommodation

The best accommodation is within the city walls and all amenities are within walking distance, including the beach.  Intercity buses take you to Sorgun otogar and from there the dolmus run every 20 minutes to Side’s small bus station that is only a few minute’s walk into town.  Side is great for pedestrians as cars can only enter the city at certain times.  

Places to Visit in Side

Agora, Temple of Fortuna and Roman Baths

On the road into Side you pass through the ancient city gate and there are a number of well preserved towers still in place along the city walls.  A colonnaded street runs to the agora, where the slave market was held, and the foundations of a Temple of Fortuna can be seen at its centre.  
Opposite the agora are the restored Roman baths now home to a museum.  

Side Theatre and Fountain Memorial

Next to the Monumental Gate at the entrance to the town’s resort, is an excavated fountain memorial built in 74 AD to Vespasian.  Inside the gate is Side’s spectacular theatre, the largest in Pamphylia seating 20,000, with its surrounding 2m wall to protect the audience from the wild animals during the gladiatorial shows.  

Temple of Apollo and Athena

Leading down to the old harbour are the Temples of Apollo and Athena.  The partly re-erected Athena temple with its white portico, has become Side’s trademark.

Antique Baths

The remains of the antique baths behind the Nilgin Market are said to have been where Cleopatra once bathed.  


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Turkish Minced Beef Pide - Red Meat Courses

Main Course

Meatballs in Egg Sauce - Main Course

Celeriac Soup - Soup

Fish Cooked in Milk - Other Main Courses

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Main Course

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