*** all prices quoted below were valid in Sept 2012 ***
Antalya was short and sweet. I don’t have too much to say about this place, unfortunately, as we arrived late at night and left early in the morning the following day. If it hadn’t been for the fact that the flight was late, we would have made our way to our next destination, Kas. At 10 pm there was no cheap option to get there (we could pay between £40 to £50 p.p. for transfer), so obviously we preferred to stay one night in Antalya.
Some practicalities you might need to know if you find yourself in a similar situation:
16 hours is how long we were in Antalya, and it was hot and sweaty all this time. Temperatures reached about 35 Celsius degrees at day time, night was hot and humid as well. Take this into account if you want active holidays – from what I can say, this part of Turkey is really hot until early-mid October, so you can easily book your journey for this period of time. The only disadvantage of autum holidays in Antalya is that you are likely to experience more rain, than, say in September. If you’re ready to take this risk (and, quite frankly, I would be if I was to go to Turkey once again), you will save lots of money on flights and accommodation and will enjoy more relaxed atmosphere, without too many tourists.
Where to stay in Antalya?
You can choose to stay in a lovely old town called Kaleici, where you will find lots of hostels and pensions offering cheap accommodation, or head to the west of the town centre to taste some luxury in numerous hotels and resorts near the Konyaalti beach. We booked our hotel in Kaleici, as it was cheap and convenient to connect to the otogar for our journey to Kas the next day. At 5.40am though we discovered that the hotel was situated right next to a mosque, as the call to prayer successfully woke us up – if you want to stay in Antalya more than one night, and don’t like to be disturbed while you’re in bed, choose other location than Kaleici. I guess you will sleep all night undisturbed in Konyaalti beach, as there are hardly any mosques in tourist villages in Turkey. Bear this in mind if you decide to stay in Kaleici: it’s also highly popular among tourists, though as an old, authentic Turkish town, it has mosques on every corner. And they all call to prayer at dawn
How to get from the airport to the town?
1). The first option is to pre-book transfer and let transfer companies rip you off, considering the fact that one way public bus ticket will cost you under TL4, which is just above £1. You can expect to pay about £10 one way for a car with a private driver and door to door service. If you’re this type of traveller who wants peace of mind, you will find lots of transfer companies on the internet.
2). Another option is to do what we did: take public bus to the town centre and from there a taxi to your hotel (or try to find your hotel yourself). We took the bus 600, it costed TL 3.80 p.p. and took about 40- 50 mins to get to Antalya. It was especially convenient for us, as we stayed in the old town (the district is called Kaleici), and the bus stopped nearby this area. From there we paid TL5 for a taxi, and received a very warm welcome at the hotel, as the taxi driver of course knew the hotel’s owner very well and phoned him as we were approaching to tell him he’s got two people in his cab who are staying in the hotel tonight. The owner already knew our names by the time we got there.
3). So, if you stay in the old town bus 600 is a good connection. There is also a shuttle service run by Havaş buses, which costs TL10 and drops you off in the otogar – bus terminal slightly outside of the city centre. From there you can catch a tram to the old town, and you can read below how to do it. You can also get off at the Sheraton Voyager Hotel, which is the last stop – from Sheraton you can take taxi to get to your hotel if you stay near Konyaalti beach. Here you will find a map of the Havas bus route (you need to choose Antalya from the menu on the right) and some practical information.
*** Both bus 600 and Havas bus leave from outside the domestic terminal. If you arrive at international terminal, leave the building and head to your right all the way along the terminal building, and you will very soon arrive at the bus stop. ***
How to get from the old town (Kaleici) to the bus terminal (otogar)?
If you want to get from Kaleici to the bus terminal (otogar), the easiest option is to get a tram which is 8 stops and 20-30 mins away from the otogar. Single ticket costs about TL1.50, and you can get it in kiosks nearby tram stops. The stop from which you can take a tram to the bus terminal is marked C on the map; it only takes a short stroll to get there from Yivli Minaret Mosque (marked A), one of the landmarks in Kaleici. For this tram stop you can buy your ticket in a kiosk on the junction marked as B on the map. The last stop for the tram is Antalya otogar, and you will need to get out of underground stop and follow bus stop signs; it takes literally 2 mins to get from the tram stop to the otogar.
And here is where the otogar in Antalya is: