Exploring Side Ancient City

Exploring Side Ancient City

The ancient city of Side, located in the Side region, is full of history and culture. It attracts tourists from all over the world. The beauty of nature around it is stunning, but what makes Side special is its history. It has been an important place for many old civilizations.

Side has old streets and ruins from long ago. It has seen many powerful groups come and go, leaving behind beautiful buildings and stories. You can see old Greek temples, Roman theaters, and churches from the Byzantine era here. Side lets you walk through history and see how different people lived and built things.

Now, Side shows its history to visitors. You can see old ruins, historical sites, and amazing buildings from the past. Exploring Side is a must if you're in the area. It teaches you a lot about how people lived long ago and leaves you amazed.

Side is great for anyone who loves history, culture, or beautiful places. It feels like you're traveling back in time. Every old stone and building has its own story. It is a place where the past is still alive, waiting for people to explore and learn about the ancient world.

Side Ancient City's History

Side is a very interesting town in the Manavgat district of Antalya province, known for its old and rich history. The old city of Side, built on a peninsula about 400 square kilometers big, shows the great buildings and culture of ancient people. The city's name comes from the 8th century BC and means “pomegranate” in the language of the Luvians, who were some of the first people to live in Anatolia. This shows how old and culturally rich the area is.

Side was an important harbor city and also a big center for culture and business. It even had its own language, used until the 2nd century, and its own money, showing it was independent and important in the old times. Over time, different groups controlled Side, including the Lydians, Persians, various Hellenistic kingdoms, Romans, Seljuks, and Ottomans. Each group added something to the city's culture and development.

Starting from the 7th century B.C., there were many invasions and changes in who ruled Side. This was a hard time, but the city still did well as a place for trade, culture, and learning until the 12th century. Then, attacks and plundering by nearby kingdoms made many people leave the city for safer places like Antalya.

In the late 19th century, immigrants from Crete moved into the old ruins of Side. They made the Selimiye neighborhood, bringing new life to the area and keeping Side's history alive. Today, Side is a unique mix of old history and modern life, drawing in tourists from around the world to see its old ruins, beautiful views, and the lasting spirit of its old civilizations.

Remains of The City

In Side ancient city today, you can see remains from the Roman and Byzantine times. These include the city's walls and gate, a big church called a basilica, a marketplace, a public bath now used as the Side Museum, a palace for church leaders, a big arch for celebrating victories, a fountain named after Vespasian, another big decorative fountain called the Nymphaeum, an ancient theater, and temples dedicated to Apollo and Athena. You can visit all these places for free, except for the ancient theater and the museum.

Side Ancient Theater

The ancient theater in the middle of the old city of Side welcomes visitors with open arms, asking them to travel back in time and see its beauty. Built in the 2nd century A.D., this big and impressive theater is the largest one from ancient times in Anatolia. It has a big stage building with three levels and can fit 17,000 people. It looks a bit like the famous Roman Colosseum and shows us how smart and skilled the people who built it were.

In the Roman times, the theater was used for two main things. People came here to watch plays, listen to poetry, and enjoy music that entertained them. But the theater was also used for fights. Gladiators fought each other or wild animals, and these events attracted lots of people.

Later, in the Byzantine Period, the theater changed again. It became an open-air church, showing how the use of the theater changed with the changing times, including the different cultural and religious beliefs.

Nymphaeum Monumental Fountain

This big fountain was built in the 2nd century and is the largest and most beautiful one from ancient times in Anatolia. It shows off the great building and art skills of that time. It has three parts carved into the stone walls, each part showing stories from the past with detailed designs. In front of these parts, there's a calm pool that makes the fountain look even more impressive by reflecting its beauty.

Next to the pool, there's a big square where people can come, see the fountain's beauty, and maybe feel peaceful among these old pieces of history. There are stone benches around the square for people to sit, rest, and enjoy the quiet feeling the place offers.

The fountain is decorated with many fancy columns and decorations, making it look very special. These details show the amazing art and care in building from that time. The fountain is not just beautiful but also functional, making it an important place to visit. It stands out and catches the eye of everyone who comes.

This beautiful place, with its long history and stunning look, is definitely a must-visit in Side. It gives you a chance to see into the past and witness the greatness of ancient Anatolian civilizations. Whether you love history or just like seeing old beautiful buildings, this big fountain is something you'd want to see and remember.

Side Museum

The Side Museum is an important cultural and historical place that has been open to the public since 1962. It was first built as a public bath in the 5th century A.D., which is a big deal because it's very old. Now, it shows the area's rich history with five different parts inside. Visitors can see many old things from the time of the Greeks and Romans, and each item has its own story from the past. The museum also has three special writings in the Side language, an old and rare language, from the 2nd century. These writings help us understand the language and culture of that time better. If you like history, the Side Museum is a great place to visit.

Athena and Apollon Temple

The old temple ruins, dedicated to Athena and Apollon who were very important gods for the city, are found east of Side Harbor, at the southern end of the Side peninsula. This important old place goes back to the 2nd century AD, showing Side's long history and cultural background. Over time, some of the temple's big stone pillars have been fixed up and put back where they originally were, letting us see a bit of how these important buildings used to look.

People who visit this place often love watching the sunset with its amazing colors. This is a must-do for anyone coming to this beautiful spot, offering a special experience that makes you feel connected to the old times.

How To Get There?

Getting to Side Ancient City is easy, making it a good place for people from all over to visit. The closest airport to Side is Antalya Airport, about 65 kilometers away. After you land, you can choose to rent a car, take a taxi, or use a shuttle service. These options are all available at the airport. If you prefer to use public transport, there are buses that go from Antalya to Side often. This is a cheaper option. The ride gives you nice views and shows you a bit of Turkish countryside. This is a good start before you explore Side. When you're in Side, you can walk to the ancient city from most places you might stay. This makes it easy to see the old ruins and historical spots in Side.

What To Do There?

When you get to Side Ancient City, you'll find lots of old places to see. Start by walking through the big gates from Hellenistic times and feel the busy vibe of the old Roman marketplace. There's a huge theater that could fit thousands of people, showing how lively the city was long ago. Make sure to see the Temple of Apollo. It has detailed pillars with the sea in the background, making it a great place for taking photos, especially when the sun sets.

If you like history, you should go to the Side Museum. It's in an old Roman bath and has a lot of objects found in the area. These items tell us about how people lived and their customs back then. Walk around the small streets full of old ruins. You can buy gifts or take a break in a small cafe, trying out local food while enjoying the old-world feel. Side Ancient City offers a deep look into the past and lets you get up close with old buildings, giving you a clear picture of history.


Side is a very old city in Turkey by the southern Mediterranean sea. It is more than 2800 years old and is very beautiful and interesting for people who visit. Side has many old buildings that are still standing. These include big outdoor theaters where many people could sit, beautiful temples built for gods and goddesses, and old streets lined with columns that tell stories from long ago. Side welcomes people from all over the world to come and see what life was like in the past. The beauty of Side is not just in its history. It's also in the nature around it, like the clear blue sea and green plants, which makes it a special place where history and nature come together. Whether you love learning about history, enjoying different cultures, or just want to see amazing views, Side offers an experience where you can see and feel the greatness of the past in a beautiful setting.


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