As different as chalk and cheese,it isn't really possible to compare them fairly.One is a small resort town on the Aegean the other,Antalya,a large city of the Mediteranean coast.
Bodrum and the Bodrum peninsula comprise a small area that is easily covered by local buses if you don't intend to rent a car but there are some very interesting places to visit not so far away which would be less easy to reach by bus.
Antalya has an excellent public transport infrastructure making it easier to get to points of interest(of which there are many) in the region.
If you are just wanting a chill out spot then Bodrum is as good as anywhere but if you are looking to do plenty of exploring then Antalya would offer you more scope.The length and purpose of your visit will be the deciding factors for you I think.
Thank you for your input; it is helpful.
here is some info about Antalya
the Kaleiçi. it can be a bit touristy but it reflects old selcuk and ottoman history.
Kaleiçi, has narrow, winding streets enclosed in ancient city walls, which now protect the peaceful quarter from the noise of the concrete metropolis of a million people. The northern part (Selçuk and Tuzcular sections) of Kaleiçi is mostly touristy shops and restaurants lining the narrow mazelike streets. The Kilinçarslan section is a little more quiet and still charming. Although there are other entrances, it is best to enter and exit the old quarter from charming Hadrianus Gate, built by the Roman emperor Hadrianus as the entrance arch to the city. Hadrian Gate will lead you to Kilinçarslan district.
Fluted Minaret Yivli Minare - In this area, you can see the famous 125 feet tall fluted minaret and the mosque. Nearby is an old market building with an interesting entrance, and a ruined gate or two.
Clock Tower area Saat Kulesi - Ottoman-era clock tower and 18th century Paşa Camii mosque.
Fortified Roman port Yat Limanı - A beautiful harbour surrounded by town walls built during the Roman Era. Nearby is the İskele Camii mosque.
Broken Mınaret Mosque Kesik Minare - beautiful ruins of an old Roman temple, which eventually was converted into a Christian church and finally a mosque.
Hıdırlık Tower Hıdırlık Kulesi - a tower on the edge of the town walls with scenic views of the marina and the harbour.
Atatürk's Home Atatürk Evi (just outside the Kilinçarslan district, walk to Karaalioglu Park along Atatürk Cd.) - house where the first president of Turkey stayed at during his visits in Antalya.
Come in late Sept and October, ( great time to visit as its not as hot as the summer months ), and the town makes a great base for excursions out to the surrounding attractions, including some of Turkey’s finest archaeological sites
the major attractions in the city are easily accessed by foot or tram..however for trips to perge, side and aspendos you are better off to join a group tour as public transport is more limiting..more so to the historical sites of Perge and Aspendos..but you can get buses to Side..
Most tours so all those three places in one day and are not that expensive..however book locally and you will find lots of travel acencies in the old city ( kaleiçi ) area
Historic sites in the city center
The Atatürk Monument at Cumhuriyet Meydanı (Republic Square.)
Kaleiçi: the historical center of the city.
Ancient monuments include the City Walls, Hıdırlık Tower, Hadrian's Gate (also known as Triple Gate), and the Clock Tower.
Hadrian's Gate: constructed in the 2nd century by the Romans in honor of the Emperor Hadrian.
İskele Mosque: A 19th century Mosque near the Marina.
Karatay Medrese: A Medrese (Islamic theological seminary) built in 1250 by Emir Celaleddin Karatay.
Kesik Minare (Broken Minaret) Mosque: Once a Roman temple then converted to a Byzantine Panaglia church and finally into a mosque.
Tekeli Mehmet Paşa Mosque: A 18th century Mosque built in honor of Tekeli Mehmet Paşa.
Yat Limanı: the harbour dating to Roman era.
Yivli Minare (Fluted Minaret) Mosque: Built by the Seljuks and decorated with dark blue and turquoise tiles, this minaret eventually became the symbol of the city.
Antalya Museum: Prize winning archaeology museum.
Kaleiçi Museum: Opened in 2007 by the Mediterranean Civilizations Research Center (Akdeniz Medeniyetleri Araştırma Merkezi)
Atatürk's House Museum
Antalya Toy Museum. The Antalya Metropolitan Municipality opened the exhibition facility in 2011.
Suna & İnan Kıraç Kaleiçi Museum : A ethnographic museum run by the Suna and İnan Kıraç Foundation.
In the city of antalya there are 2 main beaches..Konyaalti beach and Lara beach...plus there is a very small beach inthe city center call mermerli beach.
but for one of the best uncrowded beaches in the area go to Cirali ( Olympos )..If you are looking for a small resort you could look at Cirali as a quiet alternative....stunning beach, lush forests..an idyllic, concrete-free paradise, and sparkling clear seas. The Cirali Beach is also a rare opportunity to visit one of the Med’s few remaining nesting sites for loggerhead turtles.
and yes if you get a good deal on a car take advantage and get out and do some sightseeing..there are many worthwhile places to visit
As for the amount of days it is up to you. One can easily spend 10 days just exploring the Antalya coastal areas ( Lycian coastline ) with the vast amount of historical and rural villages with lovely beaches..The entire coastline of Antalya is a wonderful way to spend a vacation. And some with spendid beaches and historical areas. Here are some great places to visit south west from Antalya - Phaselis, Cirali, Myra, Kekova, and Kas
On the other side of Antalya going east you have Perge, Aspendos, Side to explore
Stay perhaps 1 or 2 nights in the city center and then venture out to Say Cirali for a couple of nights to explore that area..Cirali is 30 minutes drive from the resort of Kemer
Also nearby to Çıralı is the Ulupınar region, which is rich in rivers and creeks. Cirali / Çıralı is one of the last unspoilt natural areas along the Antalya coastline.
You can see my photos and the historicals sights in and around Antalya plus other places in Turkey at these pages;
If you want to see a place were time has stood still in Turkey and experience what Turkey used to be like about 15 to 20 yrs ago before the influx of all-inclusive and package holidays of the last decade, then Cirali is the place for this..
Cirali is a great little village, nice clean beach and a mix of sand and pebbles, ruins of Olympos and the flames of "Chimaera" the world''s oldest and best-known natural "eternal flame".
This is the Chimaera or Yanartaş as it is know in Turkish .....Yanartaş - The mystical flames at the Chimaera. The Chimaera, a series of flames issuing out of cracks in the bare hillside, is one of the most unusual sites in the whole of Lycia.
check out these photos here; http://tinyurl.com/mo7fr6r
on another note; the Aegean sea will be cooler than the Mediteranean sea will be slightly warmer
there is more to antalya than just a city..plenty of other places to explore as well very close by
Antalya: (been there in 2008)
- immense resort city: high rise hotels, a huge and almost straight coastline with sandy beaches near Konyaalti aera (west) and cliffs near the Lara area (east)
- interesting but relatively small oldtown
- home of Atatürk, founder of the modern Republic of Turkey
- surrounded by the Taurus mountains: many roman ruins are found there (e.g. Termessos, Perge, Olympos, Kinik...)
- huge number of tourists (notably Germans and Russians)
- located in Turkey's warmest part: Antalya is indeed Turkey's warmest and sunniest city with more than 3,000 hours of sunshine per year!!
Bodrum: (been there in 2012)
- medium sized resort city, pretty much like Greek resort towns: small and condensed rather than spread out in area.
- relatively a big city center
- hilly and the nature is a bit arid (the hills are not really covered by trees rather by small shrubs)
- important nightlife: a lot of young people
- beautiful marina with many yachts
- St- Peters castle, Museum of underwater archeology...
- very warm temperatures (high average of 26C) but the sea water temperature might be a bit chilly compared to already warmed up waters in Antalya
In my opinion the atmosphere is the biggest difference between Antalya and Bodrum, the latter being more cozy for example. On the contrary, Antalya is immense and the surroundings have many sights, so if you are more interested into exploring rather than chilling and bathing, Antalya might be a small plus for you. Since you live in the US, you might find Bodrum really small though. I can't really say which is more beautiful, I like them both equally because they are so different. Try to do one this year and the other next year :)
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