Although Antalya has only come to international attention over the last few decades thanks to its position on the cusp of Turkey's hottest tourist coast, it has its roots in centuries of development and settlement, allowing it to retain a distinctly Turkish outlook despite the boom in visitor numbers.
It takes between three and a half and four hours for a typical flight to Antalya to arrive after leaving the UK, with many airports and operators providing cheap flights to Antalya for those looking for bargain sunny holidays. Antalya Airport is eight miles from the city so those who are planning to stop over in cheap Antalya hotels before heading on to their resort will find transfers to be brief and good value, just like Antalya flights.
You can hire a vehicle with car rental in Antalya Airport, which might be sensible if you are heading off to another destination after visiting the city. Or there is a tram service which bisects Antalya and will help you hop on and off from one place to another to save you the hassle of navigating its streets and working out the rules of the road.
The Kaleici, or Old Antalya showcases the historic side of the city, with Roman and Ottoman influence clear in the buildings and street layout. The Bey Mountains can also be seen from this area and a wander down to the harbour, also of Roman origin, is a must for any new arrival after Antalya flights.
With plenty of airports offering flights to Antalya and some budget lines running the route there's lots of options for getting there quickly and cheaply. Flight times from the UK are around four and a half hours.
Firstly, it's worth checking whether you have a transfer included in your Antalya holiday, either with your accommodation, flight or a whole holiday package as this is by far the easiest way of getting to Antalya from the airport. The only public transport available from the airport is a shuttle bus that goes to a couple of locations in the town, or a couple of local bus services. The other alternatives are taxis, which are regulated but still quite expensive, or organising car hire at Antalya Airport.
There are quite a lot of buses with routes all over Antalya, although schedules are hard to come by. For outlying destinations heading to the bus terminal is the best bet. Dolmus (collective) buses are popular, and they can be hailed anywhere along the route. Antalya also has a tram, which runs from the Antalya Museum to the east of the city, and is excellent for sightseeing. The town also has quite a number of cycle-only roads near the sea front so why not hire a bike and explore for a day? Taxis and rental cars are alternative options.
The bus station offers fairly comprehensive and low-cost intercity travel in Turkey, with many routes operating overnight too. It is probably best to consider flying to other destinations if you'd rather not rent a car in Antalya because there are few alternatives that don't involve extensive road travel to begin with.
The climate in Antalya is Mediterranean with hot dry summers and mild wet winters, and an average of 300 days of sun per year. Typical summer temperatures are around 33°C with warmer weather possible, but the cooling sea breezes stop this heat becoming stifling. Winter temperatures are around 15°C, the rainy season can be anytime between November and March but rarely lasts more than a couple of weeks, so it's still a reasonable time of year to visit if you're after a sightseeing experience rather than sunbathing.
The height of the tourist season coincides with the best of the weather, running from May to October, but with low-cost airlines flying there, and numerous tour operators there are still deals to be had even on high summer Antalya holidays, especially when combining flights with accommodation. Prices are generally lower outside these months and an increasing number of tourists are visiting the town in the off-peak months to enjoy its archaeological wonders in the milder weather.
Turkish Lira TL, although many larger places will also accept Euros €, US Dollars $ and Pounds Sterling £. The exchange rate is normally terrible Antalya Airport, but you can use the ATMs there to get instant cash. The best rates are in banks and exchange offices in the town centre just north of Kalekapisi.
Turkish is the official language, but a good level of English and German is spoken at most Antalya holiday hotspots. Some Russian, French and Arabic are also spoken but not the same extent.
+90 for Turkey, followed by 242 for Antalya.
Holidaymakers from the UK need a valid passport and an entry visa to enter Turkey. Visas are bought on arrival for £10 sterling, so make sure you take some cash with you. Your passport should be valid for six months from the time you are entering Turkey.
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