You become a healthier version of yourself with delightful traveling, this is an approved and well-known concept which implies that the real evolution of one’s personality happens outside borders… walls, or even limits. However, regardless of wherever you plan to go, traveling without proper scheduling and preparation is not complete in any way.
This article wants to make you aware of some important things to know about Antalya to get ready for your adventure in Turkey! There are several crucial things that you, as a traveler, need to consider before planning the trip, including currency, means to travel, places to stay, and language, to mention just a few.
So read on and get ready to discover all those details you should know before visiting Antalya!
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Where to Stay in Antalya
We’re in the process of creating comprehensive guides on where to stay in various Turkish cities, but for now, we recommend checking out Booking.com as early as possible since many of the best hotels in Antalya sell out early (especially in the summer). If you’re in a rush and want to check our favorite places, check this selection.
Here are our top suggestions for where to stay in Antalya. In most cases, budget means hotel stays for around $35 a night, mid-range is from about $40 to $80 per night, and luxury will cost over $100 per night.
Budget: Visiting Antalya with a reduced budget doesn’t mean that you won’t have an ample choice when it comes to accommodation. There are many places you can book for a small fee that provide great services. We recommend you to check Antroyal Hotel, which guests love for its great breakfast selection, or Beyond OTEL.
Mid-range: If you can extend your budget a bit more, two places we recommend are Güden-Pearl and Old Town Deluxe Flats.
Luxury: There are many luxury hotels in Antalya and it’s not hard to find good fees when traveling off the high season. If that’s your case, you will want to check our favorite places, the first one is Nox Suite and the other one is AG Hotels Antalya, right in the city center.
10 Things You Should Know Before Visiting Antalya
Turkey was included in the top 10 international tourism destinations of 2018 in the World Tourism Ranking compiled by the United Nations World Tourism Organization.
Starting from its delightful food variety to an endless list of epic landscapes, such a Pamukkale, or the legendary Cappadoccia, but also considering its fantastic urban culture and values, and incredible history.
Turkey is famous for a set of European and oriental elements that define its character. Turkey is seen as a door between Asia and Europe, and it has always been included among the favorite destinations to travel and explore.
Antalya, known as the gateway of the Turkish Riviera, is a worth-visiting holiday utopia offering much more than one might expect. We are here to guide you through everything you need to know before visiting Antalya.
This stunning city offers over 300 days of sunshine, rich historical places, breath-taking beaches, remarkable natural beauties, and a myriad of restaurants and bars serving fantastic local cuisine. Here’s what you need to know to plan the perfect trip.
Turkey makes it easy for visitors to get a tourist visa. British citizens traveling to Turkey can wander around without a visa for visits lasting up to 90 days. However, ordinary passport holders must have a visa to enter. On the other side, US citizens, are required to have a visa to enter Turkey which they may obtain online through the official Turkish visa portal.
If you intend to stay for more than 90 days, you should get a residence permit from the local authorities or apply for a more extended visa before your trip.
If you plan to work in the country, make sure you have the correct permits or you may be deported, fined, and banned from re-entering. Get yourself an “official passport” from the Turkish Embassy if the purpose of your visit is to work or study.
The Turkish government advises that all visitors have with them a travel document or a passport valid for at least six months as from the date they enter Turkey.
How to Travel
Once you get your E-visa, book a flight to Antalya to go to Fraport TAV Antalya Airport or YDA Dalaman Airport in the region of Muğla, depending on where you want to travel in Antalya. The former is 13 km away from the city center, whereas the latter is closer to Kaş and Kalkan.
You can travel to your destination point with the available public bus. You can also use a private transfer service or the airport shuttle service.
- Public bus No 600 departs every 30 minutes from the airport to the bus terminal in Otogar.
- Public bus No 800 runs every 2 hours between the airport and Antalya’s bus terminal in the Lara district.
It doesn’t matter whether you’re visiting a foreign country for work or leisure, the first question that will always come first to your mind is if it’s possible to travel without knowing the language spoken at your destination.
Although Antalya is the fifth most populous city in Turkey and attracts thousands of tourists, not many locals speak foreign languages. Turkish is the primary language spoken by 85-90% of the population
However, locals are really helpful and hospitable and will go the extra mile to understand your requests and help you out. In case of extreme need, it can also be useful to download a good translation app. If possible, choose one that can be used also when you’re not online.
The Fun of Adventure
Antalya is a resort city with beautiful beaches, impressive hotels, historic sites, and a yacht-filled old Roman harbor. All reasons that make it a worth visiting destination.
This beautiful area of Turkey features plenty of historical places, important landmarks, sites, monuments, structures, and several appealing locations.
Couples looking to make romantic memories should keep Antalya in mind when planning a romantic vacation. But this also can apply to families, or groups of friends looking for unforgettable experiences.
All year round, there are several festivals that you can attend in Antalya, these combine tourism with cultural and traditional activities, no matter if it’s summer or winter.
This also applies to many adventure sports such as scuba-diving, paragliding, sea kayaking, and skiing. So whatever you wish to try, Antalya is the right place for you.
Turkey is a vast country with diverse topography, and the climate you’ll find will largely depend on where you are visiting. The weather across the country ranges from hot to cold temperatures and from a desert-like dry climate to a mild-snowy winter.
Antalya, however, remains the gateway to Turkey’s southern Mediterranean region, so it’s known for its gorgeous climate all around the year.
Specifically, Antalya’s summers are humid, and hot, whereas winters are cold, wet, and somewhat cloudy. The area has an average temperature of 41°F to 94°F all year round and it rarely goes below 34°F or above 102°F.
The weather remains good with a pleasant average temperature during October, November, May, and April. From June to September, the climate is usually very hot and dry. From November to February, Antalya experiences a very rainy season.
Best Time to Visit
The Turkish Riviera, also known as the Turquoise Coast, is famous for its mild weather, which makes it a year-round tourist attraction. So there’s really never a bad time to explore this fascinating beauty.
Antalya is full of many charms, so you can choose any time for your visit, depending upon your priorities.
June – August: This is summer, the high season. The perfect time of the year to enjoy a vacation in Antalya. These months are ideal for enjoying the sun and the sea, swimming, and practicing outdoor sports and activities. Remember also that, as with any peak moment, prices tend to go up and places tend to be crowded.
September – November: If you’re not a fan of crowded areas, fall is the best time to visit. Tourism slows down, being November the least crowded month.
The dress code of a place matters a lot if you are going to visit as a foreigner. Once you have decided the time for your visit, it is best to know what you need to wear to packing accordingly not only to customs but to weather as well. Here’s a packing list on what to wear and pack for Turkey.
Currency exchange can be an additional expense to your travel budget, and with clever preparation and thinking, you can avoid this unnecessary expense. Antalya’s currency is the TL (Turkish Lira), and it makes perfect sense to have some local currency as soon as you land.
It is suggested to only exchange some currency needed when you arrive in the country, enough to pay for bus tickets or snacks. Since fees tend to be less convenient at the airport, just exchange a small amount, because airport fees are painfully high in most airports. You’ll discover better and affordable exchange places later on your trip.
However, if you’re a super savvy traveler, the best option you have is to contact your bank before the trip to obtain the best possible exchange rate. Sometimes, this exchange rate can be even lower for customers. So, go ahead and contact your bank first to figure out what rates they offer.
Another alternative is to use ATM as soon as you reach the center of the city. Usually, the currency exchange fees on ATMs are more convenient and affordable for travelers than the ones offered by currency exchange bureaus.
A Place to Stay
Antalya is fairly cheaper than the most visited city in Turkey, Istanbul. There are both affordable and luxurious accommodations but it can often be hard to find one that combines a good price with a top rating. So read as many reviews as you can before booking, or check our recommendations at the beginning of the post. The city offers warm hostels, wooden houses, fancy hotels, and camping areas to stay in, just choose wisely.
We are aware that it can be a tough choice to select a place to stay with so many options. If you don’ really mind the weather, then a trip to winter can certainly save you a few bucks. Besides, the place is less crowded, so you can easily find the best rates at luxurious accommodations.
These are some of the most popular neighborhoods in Antalya to look for accommodation.
Kaleici: The gateway to Kaleici is Kale Kapisi, the main square of Antalya. It features active nightlife as well as the historical architecture of Antalya. The clock tower, the statue of King Attalus II Philadelphus (the founder of the city), Hadrian’s Gate, and Suna-İnan Kıraç Kaleici Museum are some of the places worth visiting in Kaleici.
Lara: This is the place to stay if you want to enjoy a stress-free family vacation. There are many famous beaches in the area and boasts the highest number of luxury hotels. Lara Beach is one of most the beautiful beaches in Turkey and lies in the east of Antalya.
Belek: This resort town is famous for its golf courses, long sandy beaches, and thermal spas. It is one of Turkey’s best-known tourist centers, only 31 km from Antalya’s main city. Belek is also known as the Capital of Golf, with 16 high-end golf resorts. It is the ideal place to stay if you plan to make short trips to Antalya’s other areas of interest.
Konyaalti Beach: One of the two main beaches in Antalya. Konyaalti Beach is a place of relaxing vibes worth visiting. It is situated on the west side of the main city, making it a perfect place to stay if you’re on a budget.
Olympos Beach: This is a bohemian sanctuary with Lycian ruins and beautiful treehouse bungalows. It is situated in the west of Antalya’s city center. There are no showers and changing room facilities at the beach, allowing the water to remain clear all around the year. The ancient city of Olympos is one of the main attractions of the beach.
What to Eat
Antalya is the fastest-growing sun-drenched city in Turkey, and travelers visiting from all around the globe are discovering its heavenly mix of traditional and international cuisine, including Chinese, French, and Mediterranean.
Travelers with a sweet tooth will love to read that Antalya features an extensive variety of traditional and international sweets.
Among the things you should taste, check traditional things such as the traditional Turkish Doner Kebab, Gozleme, Baklava, and Locum. But there are many other fabulous things you can try in Antalya while exploring for the love of food.
Antalya has a well-developed transport system and it allows visitors to travel easily around the city. Antalya Trams (Nostalji Tramvay and AntRay), Dolmus, and Buses are extremely convenient and are usually on time.
Taxi stands are all over the city, but this can be quite expensive as it is compulsory to pay a fee for gas. The average fee of a 3-km distance covered by a taxi can cost you TL17.50 (which equals about $2.20).
It is advisable to get an Antalya kart transit card for transportation around Antalya which allows getting discounted and reasonable transport fees for travelers.
There are numerous options for a traveler to make the most and best from the trip to Antalya.
A peaceful walk around the ancient city, adventure sports, relaxing and beautiful beaches, various cuisines, soothing waterfalls, and historic sites are some of the few options that may inspire you to plan a vacation to this mesmerizing part of the world.
What to Pack for Antalya
We have a guide on what to pack for Turkey, but here are five things you definitely want to bring with you!
The Lonely Planet Turkey: a good guidebook that can help you with the kinds of safety tips you need if you’re out in the city and feel a bit lost, especially if you don’t have internet or a cell signal. These also have specific neighborhood information that will help you in different parts of the city, and it’s a great supplement to blog posts like this one!
Unlocked Cell Phone: Stephanie and I both have unlocked cell phones that we bought in Europe (Stephanie uses a Samsung and I use an iPhone). This allows up to get sim cards when we travel so that we always have the internet. This has gotten us out of so many jams! If you don’t have an unlocked cell phone that can use a Turkish sim card, you can buy a cheaper unlocked phone online and bring it with you!
Pacsafe Citysafe or Other Anti-Theft Bag: This is the bag both Stephanie and I use for all our travels. It has a pouch with RFID technology so our credit cards can’t get scanned from afar, interlocking zippers to make it harder to pickpocket, and it’s roomy enough to be a perfect sightseeing day bag, yet it’s still quite stylish for all of its security features. If you’d rather bring something smaller, you can pack a money belt instead.
Grayl Water Filter: While the water is *technically* safe to drink in much of Turkey, I would still avoid it. If you don’t want to be buying millions of plastic water bottles, you can get a reusable water bottle that comes with a water filter so that you can stick to the tap water and reduce your plastic waste. If you’ll be traveling outside of the major tourist centers, check if the water is potable locally.
Seabands: If you get seasick easily, pack some Sea bands or seasickness pills so you don’t miss out on the best parts of Turkey – being on the water! A trip to Turkey isn’t complete without a cruise or at least a quick boat trip, so make sure you’re prepared to enjoy it to the fullest!
Read More: Essential Turkey Packing List: What to Wear & Pack for Turkey
More Turkey Travel Resources
We have a ton of resources to help you plan your trip to Turkey!
If this will be your first time traveling to Turkey, check out this guide to planning a trip to Turkey (including visa information) and this guide of beautiful places to visit in Turkey. You can also check out our Balkan currency guide, which explains how the Turkish lira works and guidelines for tipping in Istanbul.
If you’re heading to Istanbul as well as Antalya, we have you covered. Start with our essential Istanbul Travel Tips and guide to staying safe in Istanbul
We’re working on our massive things to do in Istanbul post, plus you can check out our guide to the best Instagram spots around Istanbul, tips for shopping in Istanbul, the best Turkish food to eat, how to plan an Istanbul honeymoon, and what to do in Istanbul at night.
If you will be visiting in winter, we have a special winter in Istanbul guide plus an overview of Istanbul weather in January.
If you want to be in the city for just a few days (four or less), check out our Istanbul city break guide, which breaks down the best of the city so you won’t miss anything!
Headed to Cappadocia? If you’re curious about the most Instagrammable places in Cappadocia, we’ve got you covered. We also have posts on the best things to do in Cappadocia, and how to plan a perfect 3 day Cappadocia itinerary, plus how to get to Cappadocia from Istanbul.
We have tons more Turkey and Balkans resources, and we publish new content nearly daily. Bookmark our Turkey and Balkans travel pages so you can find any new resources that come out before your trip!
Don’t Forget About Travel Insurance!
If you’re planning a trip to Turkey, make sure to travel with a valid travel insurance policy. While we feel safe in Turkey, it’s a good idea to be covered in case of an emergency. Travel insurance covers you in case of theft or an accident, which can save your trip if there’s an incident.
For travel insurance, Allison and I use World Nomads. I’ve been a happy customer of theirs for almost three years, and I’ve never had an issue when making a claim. I’m happy to refer them to anyone I meet.
>> Get your free quote from World Nomads here <<
Pin These Helpful Things to Know About Antalya for Your Next Trip!
Stephanie has been living in and traveling around the Balkans for the past three years. She’s written for National Geographic Online, appeared on CNN Arabic and in the New York Times, and ridden more Balkan buses than is good for a person.