The region of Antalya along Turkey’s Mediterranean coast is a tourist destination that is growing exponentially in popularity. Visitors come for the sun, beaches, culture, and friendly people, and they stay for its undeniable charm.
Choc-full of fascinating history and miles of sandy coastline, Antalya is also an incredibly affordable destination where tourists can enjoy a fulfilling vacation without breaking the bank.
But before setting off to Antalya, there are a few things you need to keep in mind. In this post, we’ll cover everything you need to know about traveling to Antalya, including:
- What are the costs for travelers?
- Things to know about culture and etiquette
- What are the top attractions?
- How safe is it?
- Local food and drinks
- How good is the WiFi?
- How long can you stay?
Ready? Here are the top 7 things you need to know before visiting Antalya:
Did you know… Antalya is much more liberal than other Turkish cities. While most of the population is Muslim and there are certain customs that need to be followed, in general rules are more relaxed than in places like Ankara, Istanbul, and Konya. The city has a thriving nightlife and party scene and welcomes all types of visitors from around the world. Everyone can have a great time in Antalya.
1) Antalya Affordability
The currency in Turkey is the Turkish Lira or TRY. The current exchange rate is ₺1 TRY = $0.05 USD or $1 USD = ₺18.97 TRY.
Here are the average costs for travelers in USD:
The peak tourist season in Antalya is in June-August, and hotel prices increase with the crowds.
- Average hotel price: One night at a 3-star hotel typically costs around $65/night, while a room at a 4-star hotel averages $95.
- Luxury 5-star hotels: Luxury 5-star hotels average $200 a night, although there are more expensive options, like the Lara Barut Collection All Inclusive where rooms start at $850/night/person but include all the comforts of an all-inclusive resort.
- If you’re on a budget: Antalya has plenty of hostels to choose from. While there are cheaper options available, a bed at a well-rated hostel in a good area will cost around $15 per night, or $25 – $35 for a private room.
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Visitors to Antalya will find incredible food at really affordable prices.
- A 3-course meal at a mid-range restaurant for two costs around $25.
- For a cheap meal at an inexpensive restaurant, expect to pay around $5
- A beer costs between $2.50-$3, while a cappuccino is about $2.
- Getting around Antalya’s city center is easiest and cheapest on public transportation. The city-operated buses and trams can both be used by purchasing an AntalyaKart for $0.77 and then loading money onto it. Bus and tram trips cost just $0.41. There is a useful AntalyaKart app where you can plan your journey and reload money on your card.
- Taxis in Antalya are safe and reliable; the base fee is typically $0.50 plus an additional $1 per mile traveled.
- Electric scooters are gaining popularity in Antalya; companies including Marti, BinBin, and Tornet have rentals throughout the city. Prices vary by company but on average it costs $0.10 to unlock the scooter, and an additional $0.13 per minute after.
- Antalya is also easy to get around on by bike. Antibis is the city’s bike share program with 9 stations in place around the city. A one-hour rental costs just $0.77.
- If you plan on exploring outside of the city, car rentals are a good option. Prices vary by car and company, but visitors can expect to pay around $40 a day.
2) Culture And Etiquette In Antalya
Check this list before your trip! Here are some of the major Dos and Don’ts in Antalya.
- DO dress appropriately: especially when visiting mosques – be sure to remove shoes, cover shoulders and knees, and women should use a scarf to cover their heads.
- DON’T visit mosques during prayer times: Muslims typically pray five times a day, and the specific times are posted outside each mosque
- DO leave a tip: 7% – 10% is customary at restaurants
- DO learn a bit of Turkish: While most locals will speak at least some English, it will be helpful to learn a few key Turkish phrases. “Teşekkür ederim” (thank you), and “Hoş geldiniz” (a common greeting), are good places to start.
3) Top Attractions in Antalya
If you can tear yourself away from the beautiful beaches, Antalya has loads of interesting cultural and natural sites to explore. Here are a few of the top things to see and do while exploring Antalya:
- Explore Kaleici – Antalya’s historic seafront neighborhood that dates back to Roman times. The area contains a labyrinth of streets where visitors can discover important landmarks like Hadrian’s Gate and the Tekeli Mehmet Paşa Cami mosque. There are also plenty of restaurants and shops to explore. Visitors can take a historic tour of Kaleici to learn about all the top sites.
- Ruins of Perge – The ancient city of Perge is just 15 minutes outside the center of Antalya. Perge is home to several notable ruins including the Great Theatre and a very well-preserved chariot racing stadium that once held up to 15,000 spectators.
- Duden Waterfalls – a beautiful cliffside cascade where the Dunden River reaches the sea. There are numerous tours from the city center to view the falls both from above or from a boat.
4) How Safe Is It For Tourists?
Antalya is a safe place for tourists. However, there are still some things that travelers should keep in mind to stay safe during their visit:
- Beware of pickpockets: Be especially vigilant in tourist sites and in crowds, as pickpocketing is the most common crime against tourists in Antalya.
- Watch out for scammers: Scammers have been known to befriend visitors, invite them to dinner, and then leave them will the bill. So be alert if you find anyone overly friendly.
- Know what to do in an emergency: Earthquakes and tremors are common in Antalya, so know the proper safety protocols and have an emergency plan. Dial 112 for emergency services.
- Women be aware: Avoid walking alone at night and don’t leave drinks unattended.
- Check for travel warnings: There have been terrorist attacks in Turkey, so stay up to date on government travel advisories.
- DO get travel insurance: Travel insurance can help in health emergencies as well as with covering the costs of any travel mishaps during your Antalya trip. For 5 great options, read more here.
5) Local Eats And Drinks
One of the best parts of travel is checking out the local cuisine, and Antalya is a fantastic place to try new, super-affordable foods. Don’t let yourself leave without trying at least one of the following:
- Piyaz – a tangy side dish of white beans and onions in a zesty tahini sauce and topped with tomatoes, hard-boiled eggs, and parsley.
- Hibeş – a popular dip made of tahini, garlic, and lemon juice, served with pita or vegetables.
- Aksu Köfte – a grilled ground meat patty made only with fresh beef, lamb, and salt.
- Serpme Börek – crispy layers of paper-thin dough filled with cheese, meat, or spinach
- Arap Kadayıfı – a deep-fried half-moon-shaped dough filled with walnuts and drenched in a lemony sugar syrup.
- Tea – you’ll be offered hot black tea sweetened with sugar at restaurants and cafes
- Turkish coffee – thick unfiltered coffee in a tiny cup, served with a cold glass of water
- Rakı – a popular alcoholic drink of twice distilled grapes and aniseed
- Efes Pilsen – a light lager and the most popular beer in Turkey
6) How’s the WiFi?
Using Ookla, an internet speed testing service, the average internet speeds in Antalya for March 2023 were 29.75mbps download and 13.77mbps upload.
7) How Long Can I Stay?
U.S. Citizens now obtain an e-visa via an online application. Travelers can stay up to 90 days within a 180-day period after paying the $50 e-visa fee. The application should be submitted at least 48 hours prior to arriving in Turkey. Visitors who wish to stay longer than 90 days will need to apply for a residency visa.
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com