Side is a beautiful and historic town with modern architecture, chic boutiques and fashionable restaurants. The golden sands and sparkling Mediterranean waters have made Side popular for tourists and homebuyers looking for an idyllic escape to the sun.
Much of the ancient remains of Side are still in evidence today, giving the town a unique charm. Together with mile upon mile of golden sand, Side is a wonderful destination for families and retirees.
Sightseeing – you can’t miss the 15,000-seat Roman theatre and forum in Side that is located in the centre of the town. The original Bath House has now been turned into a museum, which tells you more about the area. The most famous landmark in Side is the Temple of Apollo. This 2,000 year-old Roman Temple is situated at the Eastern tip of the peninsula near the harbour. This is a spectacular spot to enjoy the sunset over the sea.
Beaches - Side boasts picture perfect soft golden sand. The West Beach is closer to the hotels and has calm water, perfect for watersports but if you want something more secluded, head to the East Beach. This is a bit rockier but will be less crowded and is where many of the locals go.
Shopping - Side's main streets are full of shops selling a tempting array of goods. From bespoke handicrafts, to jewellery and Turkish carpets, there are plenty of bargains to be had. Side also has a weekly market where you can have fun and haggle over prices.
Dining – fish restaurants are plentiful near the harbour in the old town. Opposite the Roman Baths in the Old Town, the family-run Ocakbasi restaurant offers good value Turkish food in a beautiful garden surrounded by ruins. For finer dining and to enjoy excellent views of the sea, try Aphrodite at the harbor, or Karma directly behind it. Many restaurants feature scattered stonework from the original temples and its cobbled streets so take a good look round.
Partying - Downtown Side is the place to go to enjoy the nightlife on offer. There’s even a nightclub in the middle of the ruins. The stone bar at the ancient harbour, just before the Apollo temple, is popular among locals and it's the perfect spot to watch the sunset. But Side is a peaceful town so the evenings tend to be laid back.
Need to know
- You will need a visa before entering Turkey. It’s very simple to do online and for a cost of $20 or equivalent currency you can get a 90 days multi entry visa. For more info visit https://www.evisa.gov.tr/en/
- Make sure you have comfortable shoes with you to explore the many ancient ruins in Side.
- At Side harbour, you can get boat trips to visit other places or go on the trail of dolphins.
- Mini busses called dolmus are a cheap and fun way of exploring. Taxis are available but set the price of your journey before getting in.
Side is just a 45-minute drive from Antalya, the second busiest airport in the Mediterranean. It is also one of the only Turkish airports to have year-round flights from the UK.