Anyone who knows me personally usually knows how I have a sweet spot when it comes to Turkey… So, I’m so excited to cover how you could explore Antalya under $10 USD this week!
Antalya is known as one of the cities with the lowest living cost in Europe. And thanks to Marco of Nomadic Fire, we’re going to explore the city this time!
Now, I’m not planning to visit Antalya just yet when I move back to Izmir shortly later this year, but maybe I will… 😉
So, what could you get in Antalya for $10 USD? Check this out!
The Cheapest Way to Explore Antalya for a Day
Antalya, Turkey is one of the cheapest cities in Europe. The low cost of living in Antalya allows a visitor to arrive at the airport, take public transportation the entire day, eat three delicious Turkish meals, spend a whole day sightseeing, and still not spend more than $10 for the ENTIRE day.
Suppose you can swing free accommodation through credit card points, hotel loyalty programs, or even go Couchsurfing. In that case, you can enjoy a vacation day in Antalya for less than the price of lunch in any major city in Western Europe or the United States.
NOTE: The local currency is the Turkish Lira (TRY). At the time of this writing, the exchange rate is 10 US Dollars = ~82 TRY.
Did you know?
Generally speaking, Antalya has been divided into two parts of the city: the Old and the New City. While there are many historical sights along with cozy family restaurants in the Old City area, the New City will offer you a modern metropolis that will be suitable for city travelers.
1. Light Rail From The Airport – $0.40 US cents
Obviously, our $10 budget doesn’t cover your flights, but it does cover our 40 minute light rail trip from the airport to Antalya’s Old Town. As a matter of fact, all public transportation tickets, regardless of length or distance, only cost 40 cents.
2. Simit Breakfast – $0.20 US cents
The Turkish version of a bagel is called a simit. Street vendors selling simits are ubiquitous. Look for a busy vendor to ensure you get the freshest simit for breakfast.
3. Join the Tour Around the Ancient Ruins – FREE
Spend the morning walking around Kaleici, Antalya’s Old Town, to see amazingly well preserved Roman and Ottoman ruins.
Enter Kaleici through the historical Hadrians Castle Gate. The gate, one of Turkey’s most famous ancient Roman structures, was built by the Roman Emperor Hadrian in 130 AD. In ancient times, the entrance arch was part of the walls that once guarded the city.
Continue walking the beautiful old town until you get to the southwest corner of the walls that border Karaalioglu Park. Here you can admire views of the harbor from Hıdırlık Tower, a fortification and lighthouse built in the 2nd century.
4. Have a Pide with Meat for Lunch – $1.50
More cheap eats. This time try the Turkish version of a pizza with ground beef called Kıymalı Pide.
5. Bus Ride to the Beach – $0.40 US cents
The closest beach to Kaleici is Mermerli Beach, but the entrance fee is between $2 to $5, depending on how busy they are. Instead, take advantage of the cheap public transportation and head to a better beach in Konyaaltı, which is free.
Konyaalti and Lara beach on the west and east sides of Antalya are the two main beaches. Konyaalti is Antalya’s largest and most popular beach. The views from the top of the hills overlooking the ocean are fantastic.
The beach itself is nice enough, with more pebbles than the sugar-white sands of Southeast Asia. The clear turquoise waters are the main selling point to me.
6. “Splurge” On Dinner – Around $7.50
After the bus ride back, you should still have $7.50 left in the $10 budget. That buys you several options in Antalya, which include:
- Light dinner – Durum Wrap with Fries for around $2
- Local dinner – Adana Kebab plate with salad and drink for around $4.5
- Sit down dinner – Grilled calamari with a side for around $8
Turkish food is not just all about lamb doner! The wide variety of different options available will satisfy any appetite and budget.
Antalya is quickly becoming one of Europe’s hot spots for travelers who want to get away from their daily lives without breaking their bank account. It is a cheap, beautiful city with amazing food, architecture, and culture. Visit Antalya, Turkey to live cheaply or enjoy a great vacation!
Contributor: Marco Sison of Nomadic Fire.
Marco Sison, a Retirement Coach for Nomadic FIRE, is a trusted source for living abroad and personal finance. He has been featured in USA Today, US News and World Reports, MSN Money, Yahoo Finance, Huffington Post, and many others. He writes about personal finance and early retirement overseas for Nomadic FIRE. He has traveled the last six years to over 40 countries to show the best ways to save, invest, and live in amazing countries for 70% less cost than the US.