Antalya is the biggest city in south-western Turkey with 1 million inhabitants and is hosting, according to the Turkish Ministry of Culture and Tourism, more than 10 million tourists every year mostly in the summer, ranking the city at the same level as Paris, London or Bangkok. It makes it an overcrowded and very touristy city in the summer (and very hot), and very quiet in the winter (with acceptable temperatures when not raining). The city center and the coast line is nice, but it is not very wide and the city inland is nothing special. Going more East and West of the city, it is a continuous line of hotels for several kilometers on each side.
However, once out of these new touristy constructions, mountains are great and sea side is beautiful and it seems to have been chosen by many nomads as temporary base.!
All public transport (buses, tramways and dolmushes) cost 2TL or 1TL if student per run (except to the airport, good location to hitch eastwards, that costs 4TL). For bus you don't need any card and can pay directly to the driver, though you must pay each time you jump in. For trams however you need to buy a 2TL-card which can be reused, and you can pay for several person with one.
Blackriding is not impossible, especially in the tram, but you should be careful that the security guard, who is there on each tram stop does not notice you.
- Airline: Norwegian
Hostels, hotels, pansyions
The old town is full of touristic options for accomodation, which in some cases might be also affordable, like dorms for 10€/night. There's not an actual youth hostel but several hotels providing hostel-like accommodation. One should open in March/April 2014 (will most likely be called Rules Street). If someone could confirm this once they opened!
Pansiyons will be usually cheaper than hostels, but this is only a general rule.
But otherwise you can try the Atatürk Park which is next to the coast on the West side of the city center (so facing the see on the right). In the summer it can be very crowded so have a look before putting your tent. In the winter however it should be very possible to sleep there. Keep in mind that rain can be very heavy in Antalya, and all the water from the city goes to the sea, so you might be wet-waken up during the night ;)
There are 2 beaches (Konyaaltı and Lara) where you can easily camp. I have seen some people live in a tent in the middle of the beach for several months, so it is quite accepted despite being surrounded by 5-star hotels).
Most places are quite loud due to the crazy amounts of cars in Turkey. If you prefer a more quiet place, pitch your tent in Konyaaltı Beach Park (if you go a bit away from the beach, you can find some bushes close to the cliffs where you can hide a tent well. Not sure for how long a visible tent would be accepted there, as cars have to pay to access the site.). If you want absolute privacy, no one will find you in [this wasteland http://www.openstreetmap.org/way/368649258].
There are also several squattable building under construction.
Usually very cheap seasonal fruits and veggies (1TL/kg) and a lot of left over to be dumpster dived.
- Locations in Antalya (Turkish)
(Choose: Antalya, Muratpaşa, Semt Pazarı and press red search button)
There are some Wifi access points with USB ports along Konyaalti beach, but you need a Turkish mobile number to sign in. After activation you get 10 hours of internet. It is rather slow in general, you have to search for a strong signal (it is not inside the shelters).
Many of the more expensive or tourist-oriented bars and restaurants have a wifi network, but quite frequently it doesn’t work or is extremely slow. It is advisable to test the connection before ordering something, as often even the staff are not aware that the network doesn’t work. It is usually acceptable to order something small (Çay (black tea) is usually the cheapest (2–3 TL), it is sold everywhere and is vegan) and sit there for hours. Be aware that many places don’t have sockets, even international chains like Starbucks.
The municipal library is open to the public (closed on Mondays) and has free Wifi and many workspaces, some with sockets. They have a new open WiFi now that has a strong signal throughout the whole library (DOGAN_HIZLAN and DOGAN_HIZLAN 2. After connecting, you will be redirected to a page where you should need to type in the password *doganhizlan*07). (There used to be a WiFi called TD854W_1, password *dogalhizlan*07, that only properly worked in the newspaper section close to the entrance.) Opposite of the library, on the other side of the stream, there are several shelters (with a roof and some half-destroyed red brick walls) that have sockets. Most of them are turned off most of the time, but if you search for a while, maybe you find one that works (last time I was lucky in the furthest down shelter with the socket that is the furthest away from the library. Remember to always turn up the switches!). This way you can have free electricity 24/7, and sometimes it is even in reaching distance of the library WiFi.
On the website of the library, some other library branches are also listed, but I couldn’t find any one of them (maybe the maps are inaccurate?), so I don’t know if they also have Wifi.
Another library by the ministry for culture and tourism (closed on Sundays) doesn’t have Wifi, but at least big working rooms with sockets. There is a big internet room with computers, but it is not always open. Some sockets have an Ethernet port, so there might be LAN access (I didn’t test it yet). This library is quite big, on one of the busiest junctions in Antalya, and plenty of young students are screaming around, so it is quite okay to make noise here (for example to make a Skype call). You might be asked to write your name in a form when entering the library, but they don’t check for ID or anything.
Also several internet cafes outside the old town.
Very active busking scene. Even in winter you have at least 2-3 bands playing day (afternoon) and night (evening) in several locations.
The most popular are: - Clocktower (saat kulesi) - Old town (various parts, broken minaret, corners, anywhere's passing somebody) - Cumhuriyet Meydan - Antalya lisesi (the pedestrian walk passing next to it. is free only in that point)
You can have free post cards at the yellow PTT Office (Post Office) at the beginning of the street Güllük Caddesi. When you are at the see side, it is almost in front of the Selekler Çarşısı shopping center, where the big letters "<3 Antalya" make the corner. They are not the most beautiful, but they are beautifully free. Then a stamp to EU costs 2,50₺ (about 0,90€)