Whether you’re a fan of art or not, a visit to Sandland should be on your bucket list. Sandland is an open-air sand sculpture exhibition located in Antalya, Turkey. The Antalya sand sculpture museum is a unique place and is one of the biggest sand events in the world. This incredible open-air museum is the first and only that can be visited year round. Sandland is also the best attraction in Antalya.
My boyfriend surprised me by taking me to Sandland for my birthday. And it was a fantastic present! I really enjoyed my time in this incredible museum. Sandland is a really unique activity, and you’ll have an unforgettable experience. Every piece is a work of art, and it truly is spectacular to watch all these beautiful sand statues.
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What is Sandland
Sandland is an amazing open-air sand sculpture exhibition and is one of the best attractions in Antalya. In fact, it’s probably Antalya’s best-kept secret. I found out about Sandland weeks after we arrived in the city. If we had stayed only a few days, I would have missed this awesome attraction!
Not only a visit to Sandland is entertaining, but it’s also very interesting. I didn’t know anything about sand sculpting before I visited this stunning museum. The first thing I wondered is how they could make the statues last an entire year considering that it’s an open air museum. Well, the sand sculptures are made of sand, but not sea sand. The artists use sand mixed with clay from riversides. This way, the sand sculptures can remain intact for at least a year, depending on the weather conditions of course. They are also sprayed with a special water-based solution that creates a layer so the sand doesn’t dry out.
The weather in Antalya is pretty good most of the year, which is why the exhibition is open all year long. Drizzle doesn’t affect the sculptures. However, winter storms and long-lasting rain can damage them. We went to Sandland in January (right in the middle of winter) and you could see that some sculptures were damaged, but they still looked pretty good.
The sand statues are made by the world’s best sculptors. Every year, around 25 sand sculptors from all over the world create huge size sand sculptures using over 10,000 tons of sand. The museum’s theme changes every year in April. When I visited, in 2018, the theme was ‘Legends’. So you could see sculptures of well-known monuments such as the Pyramids, Taj Mahal, Petra, the Coliseum and more. Honestly, I wish I could go back every year to see the exhibition!
In the evening, the sculptures are illuminated with LED Lights which gives the venue a fabulous atmosphere. If you can, visit Sandland in the late afternoon/early evening so you can see the sculptures both with and without the lighting system. The museum also has a video showcasing the making of the sculptures.
Visiting times and tickets
Sandland is open every day between 09.30am and 11.00pm from May to November and between 09.00am and 7.00pm from November to May. Tickets cost 25 Turkish Lira for adults ($7) and 10 Turkish Lira for kids from 3-12 ($3) so it’s pretty cheap and totally worth it!
Visitors usually stay around 30 minutes, but Robin and I stayed over an hour! We were just looking at all the details, and we just found the whole experience fascinating. The museum also has a small snack/cafeteria where they sell drinks and sandwiches. If you are visiting Sandland in the summer, try not to go in the morning or afternoon but right before sunset. The museum is completely exposed to sunshine with almost no shade so it will be far too hot to visit during the day.
How to get to Sandland
Sandland is located on Lara beach in Antalya. Lara beach is quite away from the city center, but it’s one of the most popular beaches of Antalya. Going to Sandland is a great opportunity to enjoy a nice day out.
As I said, Lara beach is quite far from the city center so you definitely can’t walk there. If you are staying in a hotel in the center, you can catch the bus KC08 that goes to Lara beach. The bus stop is on Atatürk street which is right in front of Hadrian’s gate. Lara beach is the last stop. It takes around 45 minutes to get to Sandland with the bus. Once you are in Lara, it’s just 5 minutes walk to Sandland. The entrance is at the front, on the road side not on the beach side. You can’t miss it!
What to pack for a visit to Sandland
The sand sculptures are really photogenic, and I really enjoyed taking pictures of them. Don’t forget your camera because the photo opportunities in Sandland are endless.
Sunglasses and sun hat
Like I said there is no shade in Sandland, so if you go in summer or spring don’t forget your sunglasses and a sun hat or the visit will be unbearable. Turkey’s summer is really hot and harsh. Try to visit Sandland in the late afternoon or evening if you can, it’ll be a lot more enjoyable.
It is better to pay cash in Turkey, especially if you have a foreign credit card. Don’t forget to take some cash in local currency to be able to pay the entrance fee and snacks if you need. You can also buy your tickets in advance on Sandland’s website.
Sandland is definitely one of the best attractions I’ve ever visited. If you’re planning a visit to Antalya, don’t miss this spectacular exhibition. Have you ever seen sand statues before? Let me know in the comments below.
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Travel insurance is the only thing I don’t go anywhere without. Your travel insurance covers you against travel risks such as lost or stolen luggage, trip cancellation, and most importantly, unexpected medical costs abroad. I like WorldNomads because they are backed by reputable insurers, have 24h assistance providers, and are affordable. Get a quote and read the policy details to ensure that it’s right for you. For more information, read my travel insurance page.
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