The Side region, which dates back to the Hittites, is one of the oldest settlements in Anatolia. Side, which has been under the rule of different dominations over the centuries, has been under the rule of the Turks since the 15th century.
Side, a district of Antalya’s Manavgat district, is one of the most visited holiday resorts by domestic and foreign tourists coming to Turkey.
Places to Visit in Side
Side Ancient City
The Ancient City of Side, where many civilizations lived on its territory, continued its existence between Lycia and Cilicia, and became a trade and port city connected to Old Pamphylia in the ancient period. The entrance fee to this city, which contains many important buildings, is 70 TL.
Side, which was attached to Pamphylia until the 3rd century BC, was harassed by the tribes, and the people found the solution to build these walls. That’s why they had to sacrifice the northeast of the city, which brought them great losses.
Great City Gate
The Great City Gate, guarded by two towers, was once the main gate of the city. Then, when you enter through the door supported by other columns, a courtyard and a room greet you. Next to the gate, there is the Side Museum, which was used as a bath before, and a monument.
The East Gate, where the main entrances are made, has this name because it is located in the northeast of the city. This door, which opens to a courtyard again, welcomes the visitors this time like a Hellenistic Period souvenir. It welcomes you to a city that will draw you in with the delicious smell of that beautiful history.
The Side Museum, which was created in the bath located opposite the historical Agora in Side Antique City, has been serving here since 1961 from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. in the summer season and from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the winter season, except for Mondays. gives. The entrance fee of this museum, where you can find artifacts from civilizations such as Rome and Byzantium, is 40 TL.
The agora, which is square in shape and still bears the traces of the bazaar around it, has entrances from four directions.
The building on one corner is the Latrina, a public toilet that has managed to protect itself until today.
The podium you will notice during your visit is the Tykhe Temple.
If you walk along the street in the south, you will come across the State Agora.
This square is known as the State Agora, probably because of the structure that was thought to be the imperial palace in the examinations made in this very devastated region. It is estimated that there was a slave sale in a high place here.
You will be amazed at the care and effort put into the marble library of the Ancient City of Side, which is decorated with Roman craftsmanship. They arranged the books with certain techniques in order to protect them from mishaps caused by moisture and insects. Moreover, they used some plants from special regions that smelled good for the protection of the books.
Side Theatre, which is located in the Ancient City of Side, and Side Antique Theater, which winks at both the Hellenistic structure and the Roman Period, has a highly decorated, three-storey stage building. In this building, there is a frieze depicting the life of Dionysus.
If you do not have a MuseumCard, the entrance fee to this ancient theater is 55 TL. Side Antique Theater is open to visitors between 08.00 – 19.00 in summer and 08.00 – 17.00 in winter.
The street, also known as the Colonnaded Street, stretches from the Great City Gate towards the Agora. When you follow this 250 meters long street, you will meet all the important buildings of the city in order.
There is another Colonnaded Street in the ancient city, which is used as a driveway.
Side Apollon Temple
The Temple of Apollo, built in the 2nd century, is located in the middle of the basilica as the ruins of the Ancient City of Side, dedicated to Apollo, the god of art, sun and fire.
The temple hours are between 08.00-17.00 in winter and 08.00-19.00 in summer. The temple, which has free entrance, is currently partially closed to visitors.
Temple of Athena
You won’t find many things standing from the Temple of Athena, which is understood from the ruins to have been formed in the form of a plan called a peripteros.
However, you can get an idea about the beliefs of the period from the remains of this temple on the coast, which you can visit for free.
Temple of Men
Dedicated to the Moon God, this temple has survived as a work of the 5th century BC.
You do not have to pay a fee to visit the temple, which seems to have undergone restorations over time.
The Temple of Men is located in the Ancient City of Side, near the Great Harbor Bath.
The Great Bath of Side Antique City is located close to where restaurants and hotels are located.
It is believed that this bath, which is thought to belong to the 4th century, was affected by the fire in Side.
During your visit to Side Antique City, you should definitely see the Great Bath.
The Agora Bath, which was converted into the Side Museum between 1960 and 1961, salutes the Roman Period with its ruins that have survived until today.
Do not forget to examine the historical texture of the bath in the museum, which you can visit for 10 TL.
The Harbor Bath, which has about 10 sections and is located in the northern part of Side, is one of the must-see places.
You can see the ruins of this bath in the bazaar.
This structure, which you can see for free, adds a different atmosphere to the ancient city with the remains of the Vepasianus Monument and the arch that feeds the fountain.
You can get an idea about the structures from the tablets on the Vepasianus Fountain and Monument in Side.
The fountain with twenty-one columns that will greet you when you enter the Side Ancient City is known as the Nymphaeum. This monumental fountain takes its name from the mountain, forest and water nymphs to which it is dedicated. The decorations and sculptures in the fountain, of which only one of its three floors is still standing, have been moved to the Side Museum.