As you plan a visit to Antalya, you might be wondering what methods of transportation are available. From taxi or car rental to buses and trams, there is no shortage of easily accessible options. This post gives detailed information about each option, as well as our recommendations, to help as you formulate your itinerary.
City Center Travel
With a population of around 1.2 million people, the Antalya city center has reliable and economical public transportation that can take you just about anywhere you might want to go. For this reason, you shouldn’t need to rent a car to see places within the city. Car rentals are helpful if you plan on visiting some of the fantastic ruins or beaches outside of the city center. (For a run-down on the best beaches to visit, read this post.)
Public transportation consists of two options here: buses or trams. In a post-Covid age, traveling by public transport is a bit more complicated, but it can be done.
Step One: Acquire a HES (Hayat Eve Sığar) code.
Now that everyone has to get a HES code before traveling to Turkey, this initial step is already completed if you recently arrived. This code is basically your personal tracking number issued specifically to you before traveling. The health form on the government website that you had to fill out and present when you checked in to your flight to come here generated the number for you.
Step Two: Purchase a plastic AntalyaKart for a one-time fee of 11.50TL (as of November 2021) and load money on it.
This can be done at authorized points of sale throughout the city. If you are coming into the airport, there are two places to purchase cards that are open 24 hours a day. There are also kiosks all around the city or vending machines close to tramway stops and major bus stations. These card centers are open between 08:30-12:30 and 13:00-18:00 on weekdays, and between 08:30-12:00 on Saturday.
A bus or tram trip costs 5.20TL, with a 1.50TL transfer fee. Students pay 2.40TL. (as of January 2022)
You can load or reload your card at any sales point or kiosk, or at www.antalyakart.com.tr.
Step Three: Connect your HES code with your AntalyaKart.
You cannot ride on any public transportation without first connecting your HES code with your bus card. To link your HES code to your Antalya Kart, visit this website: https://hes.antalyakart.com.tr/
A screen will open with three fields to fill out: your HES code, your passport number, and the number on your AntalyaKart. After giving consent to proceed, click “Define.” This should complete the process and you will be ready to go. This website is available in English if you click on “EN” at the top.
Step Four: Download the AntalyaKart app so you can figure out what buses or trams you need to take, where the stops and stations are, and roughly when they might arrive. You can also load more money on your card with the app.
New to Antalya in the last couple of years are the cute, electric scooters that can be seen tied to fences and poles in random places all over the city. For short distances around the city center, especially around Kaleiçi or along the Konyaaltı beach, these scooters seem super convenient. To our knowledge, there are three short-term scooter rental options in Antalya: the green Marti scooter, the turquoise BinBin scooter, and the brand-new-to-the-scene turqouise Tornet scooter.
To use any of these scooters, you simply need to download the appropriate app on your smart phone, enter your cell number to receive a confirmation text, find a scooter near you, scan the QR code, and unlock your ride. When finished, follow the instructions on the app to make sure you lock it up correctly.
Rental rates are similar for each company. You start with a one-time fee per use of around 1.99TL, and then per minute charges range from .50TL to .99TL per minute. These are automatically charged to your credit card.
We have not personally tried to rent from each Scooter company. But we read in the app reviews that BinBin only takes Turkish phone numbers and credit cards; this might make it difficult for tourists to use. Keep that in mind.
If public transportation makes you nervous, taxis are a safe and reliable way to move throughout the city. Our experience here has never been bad, and taxi drivers are usually professional. In other cities we have heard of foreigners being taken advantage of or receiving “foreigner” rates, but here they have always started the meter immediately or agreed upon a price before we began the drive. There are taxi stands throughout the city, as well as taxi buttons scattered about in convenient and random locations that you can push and just wait for a taxi to arrive without having to place a phone call.
Antbis (Antalya bicycle sharing) is another lovely and inexpensive option if the weather is nice and you want to experience Antalya like a local.
You have to be 18 years of age to rent a bicycle. With 90 bikes scattered around nine stations along the coast, it is a perfect way to explore the city near the sea at your own pace. We especially recommend seeing Sahil Antalya and both Konyaaltı Beach and Lara Beach this way.
Renting the bikes is relatively easy and can be done several ways:
- Obtain a member card at the İşıklar Station for 5TL by presenting your ID and cell number, along with a credit card. After receiving the card, you can load money onto it with your credit card. You will then receive a password at the station kiosk that will unlock a bicycle for you.
- Without a member card you can use your credit card at the kiosk, but your bank will put a freeze for 24TL on your card. Your hourly charges will be taken from that amount, and whatever you don’t use will be refunded within 1-30 days of returning the bicycle (depending on your bank).
- Download the Antbis mobile app onto your smart phone and follow the directions. You will be asked to enter your cell number and sent a verification code. Next, it asks for your name, email, passport number, and birthday, followed by your credit card information. If you have a membership number, it can be entered in the app. If you don’t have a membership, the 24TL freeze on your credit card will be applied. The app can be used in either Turkish or English by clicking on the globe icon at the top right corner in the opening screen.
For a one hour bike rental you will pay 1.50TL. For two hours you will pay 2.50TL. For each additional hour after two, you will pay 2TL an hour.
To see a map of bicycle stations and a live update of the bikes available, as well as spaces to park bicycles, go here.
Travel Outside City Center
We highly recommend traveling outside of the city center for an extended amount of time. To do so, we think renting a car is the way to go. It is affordable and allows you to travel on your own schedule and at your own pace. Traffic in Antalya is nothing like the rat race in Istanbul and is manageable if you have experience driving and are comfortable exploring on your own. SIM cards are easy and affordable to acquire so you can use your cell phone, and GPS works well here. We have had great luck with Garenta and recommend just picking up your car rental right from the airport.