Founded around 1000 BC, the ancient Greco-Roman city of Aspendos is best-known for its impressive Roman theater, one of the most remarkably preserved in the world. Designed by Greek architect Zeno and built in the second century AD, the theater seats up to 7,000 people and is still used as a venue today.The Basics
Day tours from Antalya often combine a visit to Aspendos with one of the region’s other ancient cities, such as nearby Perge or Side; a cruise along the Manavgat River; or a visit to the Manavgat or Kursunlu waterfall. The most atmospheric way to visit Aspendos is to attend a performance at the theater (only possible during the summer), while tickets to the popular Fire of Anatolia shows, held at the purpose-built Gloria Aspendos Arena nearby, often include a stop at the original theater along the way. Things to Know Before You Go
How to Get There
- There is an admission fee to visit Aspendos Theater.
- Wear comfortable shoes suitable for walking over uneven ground, especially if you want to explore the surrounding ruins.
- Some parts of the archaeological site are wheelchair-accessible, but steps and uneven ground mean that it’s not possible to fully explore the theater or the ruins.
Aspendos Theater is located around 25 miles (40 kilometers) east of Antalya, along route D400—about a 45-minute drive. Indirect buses run from Antalya, via Serick, to Termessos, but the easiest way to arrive is with your own transport or as part of a tour. When to Get There
The Aspendos ruins and theater are open all year round, but it can get busy in the summer months, when an early start is the best way to dodge the crowds and avoid the midday heat. For a rare opportunity to attend a concert in the original theater, visit Aspendos during the annual International Opera and Ballet Festival, held each June. Ancient Aspendos
The ruins of ancient Aspendos lie dotted around the theater and include a hilltop acropolis, where you can see the remains of the agora, nymphaeum, and basilica. The high vantage point also offers an expansive view of the city’s 9-mile-long (14.5-kilometer-long) aqueduct, as well as the Roman-era Eurymedon Bridge, which was rebuilt during medieval times.