Antakya City Guide
Hit the Road to Antakya
A Day in Antakya
Antakya has become one of the symbolic cities of multiculturalism with the people living together peacefully for many years. It was also awarded for having a rich architecture and cuisine. A magical journey awaits you in Antakya, one of the most impressive cities of the Middle East. Renting a car is the most comfortable and practical option to go on this journey. For this reason, we recommend you to rent an Antakya car at the beginning of the day. You can easily rent a car from Avis Antakya rent a car office. Be sure to check out the suggestions of locals of Antakya to help you plan your day! What to eat in Antakya? What are the historical places of Antakya? You can spend an unforgettable day by reading the guide we have prepared based on their answers to such questions.
Breakfast in Antakya
We strongly recommend you to have a full breakfast before you start touring this magnificent city. You can make a good start to the day by trying the flavors of Hatay cuisine. Karaksı Village, known for its breakfast shops in Antakya, is also a place you can choose to greet the day. In this village where you will be in touch with nature, you can have a great breakfast with olive salad, zahter, sac kavurma and salted yogurt. Katıklı bread, muhammara, Antakya kömbesi and kaytak pastry are some of the flavors you can experience at breakfast.
Historical Places of Antakya?
Let us say that a special journey awaits you after breakfast. When you realize the distance between these unique places, you will be very pleased that you rented a car. Our destination is Vakıflı Village, which is about 30 km away, but first you should take a break in two spots that people of Antakya recommend you see. 18 km to city center, the first stop is St. Simon Monastery. Let us remind you that the windmills will accompany you along the way to the monastery built in the 6th century. When you arrive at the monastery, a magnificent view will welcome you. After completing your trip, you can take a break in the café here and enjoy the view.
After St. Simon, you can see the city's Moses Tree which is 9 km away. The tree, which is older than 3 thousand years, has been the subject to many legends. The best known of these is about Prophet Moses. According to the legend, Prophet Moses sets out towards the Mount Moses. When he gets thirtsy, he takes a break in Hıdırbey Village, at the spot where the tree is located today. He thrusts his staff into the ground before going towards the stream. When he drinks water and returns, he sees that his staff has turned into a sprout of a plane tree and turned green. You should not leave the city without seeing the Moses Tree, which is one of the symbols of Antakya today. The last stop before dinner is Vakıflı. Vakıflı, the last Armenian village of Turkey, is a special place with orange trees, historical houses and local dishes. Do not forget to browse the small shops before leaving the village, which is famous for organic agricultural products, liquor, wine and honey. Titus Tunnel, which is about 8 km away from Vakıflı, can also be an interesting part of your trip.
A Delicious Break
We think it would be good to have a nice lunch break to continue the day after an interesting morning. The recommendations of locals for lunch include tray kebab, sac oruğu, oregano salad, pumpkin borani, mumbar and oruk.
Sultan Sofrası, famous for its local dishes, is the second option. The restaurant, which is 27 km away from Vakıflı, has many dishes of Antakya cuisine on the menu. The people of Antakya preferred pumpkin borani, mumbar and sweets from the menu for you. Affan Kahvesi, which is only 1 km away from Sultan Sofrası, can be considered for a dessert and coffee break. We especially recommend you to try the Haytalı dessert.
After your meal, you can start your return trip from St. Pierre Church. After seeing St. Pierre, one of the first cave churches in the world, you can continue your tour with St. Paul Orthodox Church.
According to the people of Antakya, Hatay Archeology Museum should be your next stop which attracts attention with its ancient artifacts and world-wide valuable mosaic collection. After the museum, which offers the opportunity to get to know the long-rooted history of the city closely, you can end your trip at Uzun Çarşı (Long Bazaar) because there is no better place to say goodbye to Antakya. The historical bazaar, where Antakya culture is kept alive, is an exotic place where local products such as spices, handicrafts, cheese, sweets and Samandağı silk are sold. Similar to the Grand Bazaar, the bazaar is one of the special corners where you can feel the spirit of Antakya.
Antakya has one of the richest cuisines of the Middle East. Antakya cuisine, which blends many flavors of the cultures that have lived or still living in this city, is one of the main reasons to visit the city. To discover this rich cuisine, locals of Antakya recommend sour cherry kebab, goose head, Sheikh Mualla, kepse pilaf, spinach borani, broad bean paste, hummus and mütebbel. The last star of the dinner should be the famous Antakya künefe.
Nightlife in Antakya
For those who do not want to end such a wonderful day early, there are many options in Antakya where you can sip your drink, relax after the tiring day and listen to good music with a nice coffee. It is also among the suggestions that visitors of city should try mulled wine during the winter. Bars of the hotels in the city are ideal for those who want to listen to live music or dance.