Antalya isn’t just a city – it’s a region along most of Turkey’s Mediterranean coast that is quickly becoming everyone’s favorite playground. For starters, the region’s seaside location makes for mild winters (but expect lots of rain) and warm, balmy summers.
With Antalya’s (relatively) lower cost of living and lots to see and do, now is the time to consider booking a trip here. Plus, it’s much easier to visit since Turkey removed all of its Covid-related entry requirements last month. Want to find out more about visiting Antalya? This guide will cover all of the important topics for travelers, such as:
- Must-know culture and customs in Antalya
- The costs and budget for travelers
- How the WiFi is in Antalya
- Top things to do for travelers
Here are the top 10 things you need to know before visiting Antalya, Turkey.
How Hard Is It on the Wallet?
The latest stats show that Antalya, Turkey is currently in the top 7% of the cheapest places to live. Salaries average at less than $400 per month after taxes, so prices at the local level will still be cheap.
A big reason for this is that the Turkish lira, the local currency, is currently at an all-time low. Here’s a little breakdown of the costs you can expect on a visit to Antalya:
Housing: Cheapest place to rent out of the places we’ve covered so far. Ready for this? A one-bedroom rental costs go for less than $200 USD (around 3,400 Turkish lira) per month! If you really look around, you can maybe get even cheaper. Staying at a hotel along the coast will be a little higher, especially if it’s only a one or two-day stay. According to Nomadlist, hotels cost an average of $50 per night.
Food: Coffee for less than $1, beer for less than $2, and you can get a delicious meal at a sit-down restaurant for less than $5 easily. A romantic dinner out will set you back about $10 (or less). Tipping is a little less too, and you should add about 7% of the total bill for a tip. So if it’s a 50 lira bill, throw a few extra lira in there.
Transportation: Public transportation is cheap in Antalya! To use public transport, you can buy a AntalyaKart card for 11.50 tl ($0.66). A single ride on the bus or tram is about 5 tl (30 cents!).
How Friendly Are the Locals?
Turkish people are notoriously friendly, hospitable, and helpful to strangers.
Antalya is a pretty international city and while some places throughout the country are more conservative than others, Antalya definitely leans on the more progressive side.
Because of the big international scene, you’ll find that the locals are even more welcoming to foreigners here in Antalya. Turks are also very curious, so don’t get offended if you’re asked more personal questions about your salary, job, and age.
Customs And Culture: Do’s and Don’ts
This part of the list is an important one! There are a lot of little local quirks to be aware of before visiting Turkey, so here’s a little breakdown of the top do’s and don’ts in Antalya:
- The cheek kiss: it’s common for people to kiss on each cheek when greeting each other. If you’re not comfortable, it’s okay to go with a handshake.
- Always accept food if you’re at a locals house.
- Dress modestly, especially in temples (women must cover their heads when visiting a mosque).
- Respect the traditional culture and don’t overdo it with the PDA.
- Respect the elders.
- Take off your shoes before entering a local’s house (same goes for all temples).
You really don’t want to do these. Here’s a list of things that are illegal in Turkey. Also please know that while Turkey is a predominantly Muslim country, women don’t need to cover their hair in most situations except when in a mosque.
Top Trending Things to Do in Antalya
Here are the hottest things to do right now in Antalya, Turkey.
A walking tour of the Old Town, visiting the ancient Roman ruins (some of the best in the country!) and exploring beautiful canyons and caves nearby are some of the top things to do in Antalya right now. You can book a tour with an experienced local guide (all guides must be certified in Turkey) and have an unforgettable day immersed in the region’s history and nature.
Highlights are definitely the Damlatas cave, the ancient Greco-Roman city of Perge that dates back to 3000 BCE, and a tour of this natural pool which you can find on AirBnB.
And did we mention that Antalya is home to some amazing beaches? Don’t forget to plan a few beach days on your trip here. Some of the top spots are Konyaalti Plahari beach, Cleopatra, Lara, and Patara (just to name a few).
How Safe Is It?
Safety is relative, and we are giving Antalya a 4/5 rating because it depends on who you’re talking to. In general, Antalya is safe for travelers, as locals are very welcoming and eager to show foreigners their country. There are still some things to be aware of, however, just like when traveling anywhere else in the world.
Some websites for nomads have reported lots of political conflict in recent years, so always be careful when traveling here in Antalya. The same goes for women and LGBTQ travelers.
While homosexuality isn’t illegal in Turkey (in fact, it was one of the first countries to legalize it back in 1858), it’s still super important that you are aware of the traditions here. The party areas like in Kaleiçi (Antalya’s Old Town district) is the place to go if you want to find more diverse groups of people but it’s still important to keep your wits about you throughout your trip.
Numbeo has reported that overall crime in Antalya (more petty crime) has increased over the past 3 years, and Antalya also ranks low when it comes to freedom of speech.
Travel Insurance Tips for Your Trip:
Travel insurance is always a good idea when going on any type of trip. Get yourself covered (at a super low cost) with the right health insurance in case you can really sick or if your belongings get stolen or lost at some point.
Local Eats and Drink
Indulging in delicious and unique Turkish food is another reason why travelers love Antalya. Start your day with a Turkish coffee with some coastal views, a tea in the afternoon (and into the evening). For a nightcap, test your tastebuds with a shot of raki, the local Turkish drink made with distilled aniseed and grapes.
Because Antalya is a seaside destination, be sure to samples lots of fish dishes during your trip. Fried fish is typically served with a tahini paste, lemon, oil, salt, and garlic. For lunch, try a Turkish piyaz salad (like a pilaf) and a warm slice of börek (cheesy bread) in the mornings.
What Are the Top Apps to Use in Antalya?
To make things easier for you on your trip, here’s a list of the best apps to use in Antalya, Turkey.
- Uber and the local BiTaksi app, popular for ride shares to get around the region.
- WhatsApp for all types of communication.
- Sesli Sözlük: Learn some basic Turkish phrases with this handy language app.
- Yemeksepeti is currently the most popular food delivery app in Turkey and Cyprus.
How’s The WiFi?
The WiFi situation in Antalya is good but not great. Make sure to get a local SIM card and consider booking a few days at a co-working space if you’ll be needing more dependable internet, but people are able to get by on Antalya’s 4G WiFi.
The average speed in Antalya is currently 7 Mbps, and there’s lots of free WiFi in the city.
What Are the Best Cultural Experiences?
Looking for the ultimate cultural experience? There are so many in Antalya. Start by heading to one of the famous Turkish baths for a day of relaxation, book a cooking class and learn how to cook some delicious dishes with the pros, and get outdoorsy on one of Antalya’s most epic hike – the Lycian Way. Pilgrims from all over the world head here to conquer this hike, so it’s definitely a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
How Long Can I Stay?
Most travelers will need to apply for an eVisa before traveling to Turkey. You can apply online to get your tourist visa that will give you up to 90 days in the country. The process is super easy and it only takes a few minutes to fill out the form online.
While some countries only get 30 days, passport holders from the US, Canada, the UK, and a number of other countries get 90 days. If you want to stay longer in Turkey, you can inquire at a local immigration office upon arrival.
So there you have it, a rundown of what to know before visiting Antalya. This region has so much to offer travelers, so if you’re looking for a change from Europe, consider a trip here and you won’t be disappointed.
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com