This is part of the Been There, Done That series, where our expert globetrotters travel the world to get the insights and information you need to have a seamless travel experience.
Embarking on a journey through Antalya Airport (AYT) marks the beginning of an exciting adventure or the concluding chapter of a memorable escapade in the Mediterranean.
Welcoming almost 32 million passengers in 2022, it stands as Turkey's second-busiest airport, right after Istanbul Grand Airport.
The airport's architecture draws inspiration from the picturesque Mediterranean scenery, featuring verdant gardens, towering palm trees, and ornamental fountains. This tranquil oasis sets a soothing and inviting tone for travelers as they embark on their journey.
A breathtaking view of Antalya from above as we prepare to land.
Let me take you through my recent travel experience at Antalya Airport, a journey filled with small discoveries and helpful tips that might just make your next trip to Turkey a little smoother.
iVisa tip: Grab a window seat for an awe-inspiring treat! As you descend, you'll be greeted with mesmerizing views of the sparkling Mediterranean Sea and Turkey's gorgeous coastline.
Essential checklist: Before you depart
Before heading off for a well-deserved holiday or last-minute business trip to Antalya, Turkey, consider these essential tips to ensure a stress-free journey:
Arrive early: Following the advice of seasoned travelers, I arrived at the airport three hours before my scheduled flight, a decision that later proved invaluable.
Prepare your documents: Keep your passport, Turkey eVisa, and any other required travel documents handy. Check the expiration dates and any entry or transit visa requirements.
Know your baggage allowance: Familiarize yourself with your airline's baggage policy to avoid extra fees and repacking at the airport.
iVisa tip: Traveling with a partner or friend? Swap a few clothing items and essentials between your bags. That way, if one goes astray, you both still have some of your necessities!
Check in online: Whenever possible, check in online to save time at the airport. You can usually select your seat on your airline’s app, print the boarding passes, or send them to your phone.
Prepare for transportation: Decide in advance how you will get to and from the airport, whether it's driving and parking, taking public transit, or arranging a ride.
Arriving at Antalya Airport: From clouds to coast
I've passed through this airport a few times over the years, and I've got to say, it's typically a breeze! My last visit was no exception; our bags rolled out on the carousel in about 20 minutes, and before we knew it, we were stepping out into the fresh air.
- Airport code: IST
- Wi-Fi: Up to 30 minutes free of charge
- Languages: Turkish, English
- Fun fact: The airport utilizes solar panels to generate its energy needs, reducing its environmental impact!
Why, thank you!
Passport control: Go with the flow
Sure, some signs are only in Turkish, but once you’ve stepped off the airplane, just follow the flow of the crowd or the clear exit signs, and you'll be fine.
Antalya is a compact international airport, making navigation simple. If needed, don't hesitate to ask for assistance; the local tradition of misafirperverlik (hospitality) ensures that officials and locals are more than willing to help.
Passport control at Antalya airport is quick and easy. The immigration officer scans my passport, I look at a camera, and they verify my identity and visa status. No questions asked - but we still advise having your return flight confirmation and travel plans ready, just in case.
- For Turkish eVisa holders: Your eVisa status automatically appears on the screen when they scan your passport.
iVisa tip: Your Turkish eVisa is electronically linked to your passport, but we recommend always carrying a printed or digital copy as well– in case of any tech glitches.
- For Turkey Embassy Visa holders: The officer will verify the visa sticker in your passport, checking its validity and your travel dates.
All done? Move on to collect your baggage!
While many signs are in Turkish only, navigating the compact Antalya Airport is easy.
Documents and info needed for immigration
Keep the following info and documents on hand when going through immigration checks:
Your passport with a validity of at least 6 months beyond the date of your arrival in Turkey.
Ensure you have at least one blank page in your passport, especially if you're a frequent traveler, for entry and exit stamps.
Your valid visa or a copy of your eVisa downloaded on a mobile device (if you need one).
Details about where you'll be staying and the places you plan to visit during your trip.
Return or onward flight ticket within the validity period of your visa.
Baggage and beyond: Business as usual
Baggage claim is a breeze. Just check the screens for your flight's carousel number, and before you know it, your luggage will be right there rolling out to greet you.
Need a hand with your bags? Baggage trolleys are ready and waiting both inside and outside the terminals, handy in the departure and arrival halls, and even in the parking lot area.
And here's a tip for travelers visiting Antalya for a short stint or a quick layover. You can store your bags in the luggage lockers in the arrival hall of the domestic terminal.
Something to declare: Navigating customs
When you land at Antalya Airport, the customs process is an integral part of entering Turkey.
Upon arrival, after you've gathered your luggage from the baggage claim area, you'll find customs situated nearby. In Antalya Airport, the customs zone is clearly marked for goods to declare (red channel) and nothing to declare (green channel).
You'll see officers stationed at counters ready to inspect any declared items or answer any questions.
Specifically, at Antalya Airport, you need to declare any items that exceed the duty-free allowance, which includes but is not limited to:
Tobacco products: If you're over 18, you can bring 200 cigarettes, 50 cigars, and 200g of tobacco or equivalents without duties.
Alcoholic beverages: Up to 1 liter of spirits or 2 bottles of wine (75cl or 70cl each) is allowed.
Perfumes and eau de cologne: Up to 120ml.
Gifts and personal belongings: Items up to the value of €300, or €150 for those under 15.
Cash: If you're carrying more than US$5,000 or equivalent, it needs to be declared.
Duty-free shopping at Antalya Airport: Enjoy shopping at the airport's duty-free shops. Keep your receipts handy, especially for high-value items, and remember the limits to ensure a hassle-free passage through customs.
Stay connected: Picking up a local SIM card
Touching down with the need to stay online for work across time zones, I always make it a point to pick up a local SIM card immediately.
At Antalya Airport, just past customs, you'll find a booth ready to serve you, nestled among other amenities like currency exchange offices, taxi stands, and car rental counters.
For me, Turk Telecom usually has the best deals. Just choose a plan that fits your needs and show your passport to register. The staff are super friendly and will even help you get the SIM card up and running on your phone.
It's a quick, easy way to ensure you're connected from the moment you start your journey.
Money matters: Currency exchange & ATMs
Exiting, you'll find an array of shops, a bank, and an ATM, convenient for any last-minute shopping or cash withdrawals/currency exchanges. But if you're not in urgent need of cash, consider waiting until you reach your destination, where you'll likely find more favorable exchange rates.
As for help, I found that some airport staff understand a bit of English and are quite willing to assist. If they can't, they usually point you to someone who can.
Departing from Antalya Airport: Smooth send-offs
Departing is a slightly different scene, typically busier, but nothing overwhelming. Check-in lines tend to move relatively quickly and, on average, take about 15 minutes.
Initial steps: Check-in and beyond
Unlike my chaotic experience at Istanbul Sabiha Gökçen Airport (SAW), here the check-in desks were clearly marked, open early and announced on the airport screens more than two hours in advance.
The line moved at a steady pace. I overheard a couple reminiscing about their ending holiday behind me - it's fascinating how an airport queue can become a hub of shared travel dreams!
Dropping off your luggage is a smooth part of your journey. Once you've checked in, the staff ensures your bags are tagged and sent off to your plane in no time.
iVisa tip: While it was relatively quiet when I was there, an airport assistant informed me that peak hours and summer could get very busy, so plan more time for potential waits.
Our more complex travel route (Antalya to Dublin via Munich) called for extra verifications and approvals as it was deemed an illogical route despite the airline selling it as a trip. Consider planning some extra time at the airport if this is the case. Luckily, I took fellow travelers' advice and arrived early at the airport!
Security procedures: Thorough but efficient process
At Antalya Airport, the security process is pretty streamlined, but like any airport, it's all about safety first. In Turkey's airports, always expect two security screenings: one at the entrance of the airport (this one includes the bags you’ll check in) and one after passport control. At each checkpoint, be ready to pass through metal detectors and x-ray machines.
Remember to put your electronics in a separate tray and keep those liquids in a clear bag and under the 100ml limit. The staff are there to guide you, so if you're ever in doubt, just flash a smile and ask for help.
Keep your boarding pass and ID handy, and maybe even brush up on a few Turkish greetings to charm the officers. 'Merhaba' (hello) goes a long way! All luggage, including larger bags, will be scanned.
Passport control: A quick check
Follow clear signage after obtaining your boarding pass—the area near Arby’s leads to escalators for passport control.
Follow the signs up to passport control.
Fun fact: Antalya Airport isn't just about departures and arrivals; it's a cultural hotspot too! Stroll through the rotating art gallery featuring Turkish artists' work and dive into local culture even before your trip has started.
A subsequent security screening awaits post-passport control, leading to the departure area.
Navigating the terminal: Services and amenities
A quick zip up the escalator, a left turn, and after a brief second security screening, I’m in the central area where all the shops and cafés are. A word of warning, though - they can be pricey!
The place feels modern and vibrant, with plenty of shops and dining options that kept me entertained and fed at any hour, with some spots open 24/7.
Information: Need help? Just look for the “Danışma” sign at information desks, scattered throughout the airport.
Wi-Fi: I was pleasantly surprised to find Wi-Fi available throughout – a real lifesaver for passing the time and catching up on emails or social media.
iVisa tip: A pro tip for fellow economy class travelers: you can actually access one of the airport's private lounges without an airline membership. It's a nice little escape from the hustle and bustle of the terminal.
Just check out the Airport Lounges section on the website for more details on accessing these little oases of calm.
Airport layout: Its modest size makes finding your way around straightforward. As mentioned, not all signs have English translations, but the most important ones do (gates, passport control, baggage claim, etc.).
Departure terminal insights: It's a “quiet terminal,” minimizing announcements. Stay alert to information boards instead for gate updates.
Exploring the airport: Discover duty-free shops and various eateries. Recommendations include the authentic Italian-style pizza at Sbarro.
Gate area: Once your gate is displayed, head there early, as changes can happen instantly. Utilize nearby restrooms and seating areas for comfort. All gates are within a short walk, even those downstairs.
*Accessibility and assistance: Wheelchair services and staff assistance are readily available. The airport is known for its accommodating staff.
*Spiritual spaces: Prayer rooms offer spaces for relaxation and reflection.
Wrap it up: If you're looking to wrap up your luggage securely, a 24/7 baggage wrapping service is available at the departure halls of Terminal 1 and Terminal 2, provided by an external company for a small fee.
Collecting memories and stamps at Antalya Airport.
Traffic tales: Getting to and from Antalya Airport
Antalya International Airport is just a hop, skip, and 13 km (ca. 8 mi) from the city center. Whether you're zipping down the D400 highway or using public transport, getting there is a breeze from any part of the city - be it Konyaalti, Lara Beach, or the charming Old Town.
And if you're off to bask in the sun at nearby resorts like Side or Alanya, the airport's shuttle services have you covered. It's so convenient, you'll practically start your holiday the moment you leave your door!
Antalya, with its sun-soaked beaches and luxurious resorts, beckons summer visitors with the promise of a perfect holiday package. Most come ready to bask in the sun and don't have to worry about a thing, as transfers to and from hotels are typically included.
If you're eager to explore beyond the beach and dive into sightseeing, remember, your hotel might just have the perfect deal for you. They offer the convenience of organizing everything, making your adventures as seamless as your suntan.
If your hotel doesn’t offer a transfer, Antalya Hermes Transfer offers a well-reviewed and affordable deal to any nearby destination.
The iconic bright yellow cabs, adorned with a “Taksi” sign, are ready 24/7 to whisk you away to your destination. Here are the approximate taxi driving times from Antalya Airport to various destinations around the Antalya region:
- Antalya City Centre: 10 minutes
- Side: 70 minutes
- Belek: 45 minutes
- Kumkoy: 30 minutes
- Cirali: 110 minutes
Only use vehicles with the official “TAKSi” sign.
iVisa tip: Keep in mind that traffic can be a real party pooper, especially during the sizzling summer peak season! Learn from my oops moment and don't rock up just 20 minutes before boarding – unless you fancy a mad dash to the gate!
Always add a bit of extra time to your planned schedule. Trust me, your nerves (and the fellow passengers you won't be bulldozing through) will thank you!
Fare-wise, taxis operate on a meter, so you'll pay based on time and distance, usually around €5 (₺51 TL or $6) under typical traffic conditions.
iVisa tip: If a taxi driver refuses to show you their meter, refuse the ride. It's illegal and a common way tourists are conned. In Turkey, Uber drivers must enter the metered fare into the Uber app after the journey.
Taxis offer a seamless blend of convenience, safety, and value, especially if you're laden with luggage or navigating with family. Find them poised at the official ranks right outside the arrival exits of all terminals.
Enjoy modern, air-conditioned, spacious carriages by overland tramway to take you to Antalya city. It's a safe and timely ride, dropping you in the city center, where you can hop onto other lines, like the one at the renowned Antalya Archeological Museum.
Spot the tram stop opposite Terminal 2—it's hard to miss the elevated white structure. Running from 6:00 am to midnight, departing every 10–20 minutes, you'll be downtown in about 40 minutes.
Grab an Antalya Metro Card (antalyakart) at the ticket booth near the entry turnstiles for multiple trips. The trip costs about €1.60, so it’s definitely one of the cheapest ways to get to and from the airport!
Whether you're a one-time visitor or planning more extensive travels, getting from the airport to the city center is a breeze.
Navigating from Antalya Airport to the city center by bus is a savvy choice for those who prefer a budget-friendly route and aren't in a hurry. Catch the number 600 bus, which shuttles passengers between AYT Airport and Antalya Bus Terminal (Otogar), the nerve center of all bus travel just 5 kilometers northwest of downtown Antalya.
Aim for the 'Yener Ulusoy' stop if you're city center-bound, which will take you about 45 minutes to an hour, traffic permitting. A one-way ticket on the 600 line costs a mere €0.70 (₺7.30 TL). You can buy your ticket from the machines at the bus station, easy-peasy.
The 600 bus service is pretty regular, running daily from 06:35 to 23:35. Hop on at the designated stops in front of Terminal 2 or Terminal 1 at the Domestic Terminal.
A note on convenience: While your wallet will love the bus, be prepared for a crowded journey during peak times. And remember, the downtown drop-off is about 1.5 km from the heart of Antalya. So, you might end up grabbing a quick taxi to your final spot anyway.
More airport guides for Turkey
Experience an unforgettable adventure in Turkey! And don't forget to explore our comprehensive airport guides for more travel insights: