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BLOG A Guide to Getting Around in Antalya

27 July 2020 / Lifestyle



Wherever you are staying, the time will come when you want to go further afield. Perhaps you’d like to explore the Antalya area or, if you’re living here, there will inevitably be the need to shop for groceries and household supplies.

How you do it will depend on several factors. Most holidaymakers, for example, tend to hire a car or take a taxi, or use public transport for local travel. But if you buy property in Antalya with a view to staying for extended periods of time or living here permanently, it makes sense to consider your long-term options. Location, budget and lifestyle will all play a part in your decision.

The public transport system

As with most of Turkey, one of the easiest ways to get around Antalya province is by taking the bus, or dolmuş (doll-mush). They are inexpensive, run just about everywhere, and certainly in the busier areas are frequent and reliable. If you live near a town centre, the dolmuş will likely meet your needs – especially if on-street parking is at a premium. For longer journeys, inter-province bus services are easily accessible at your local otogar (otto-gar).

If you’re in Antalya city, you’ve also got the option of the local tram service. It’s a modern, two-way route that takes in the airport, so convenient for international trips. It also stops at several beaches, landmarks and local amenities.

However, in some places, public transport might not be the best option. If you have a hillside villa in Kalkan, it’s unlikely you’ll have a dolmuş route running past your door. Or if you live in a remote village, the winter timetable is usually reduced – and it’s no fun waiting in the February rain with your groceries for an hour. In some cases, they might even stop running early if the weather is bad or there are too few passengers to make it worthwhile.

Buying a car

For the majority of people, a private car is the most convenient solution. Buying a car in Turkey doesn’t need to be a complicated process, but you might prefer to find someone to help you negotiate the various stages. As a foreigner your car will have an ‘M’ plate rather than a standard Turkish number plate, and there are strict rules about who is allowed to drive it. You may drive any Turkish registered car with the correct paperwork, as long as you have a Turkish licence or a translated and notarised foreign licence, but it is illegal for a Turkish citizen to drive an ‘M’ plate vehicle.

It's also worth noting you can only legally drive on your foreign licence for six months after entering Turkey. If you visit your property in Antalya on holiday or for extended periods, this is unlikely to pose a problem. However, if you are living in Turkey permanently you will need to either apply for a Turkish driving licence or leave the country every six months to get a new date stamp in your passport. This can be as simple as taking a trip to one of the Greek islands; ferries run between Kaş and Meis daily during the summer, for example.

Driving in Turkey

If you do plan to drive regularly while you are in Antalya, it’s worth being aware of some of the ‘rules of the road’ – both official and unofficial.

- Parking fees are a relaxed affair. In most town centres, a parking attendant will leave a ticket on your windscreen. On your return, you take the ticket to him and he tells you how much is owed. However, if you can’t find an attendant, don’t worry. Tickets for each vehicle are logged on a central system and added to the next time you pay. This can be the next day, the next week or even the next month!

- Always carry your paperwork. Traffic checkpoints are part of motoring in Turkey. The police may want to see your insurance, your passport, your licence, or any combination of documentation, so make sure you always have it handy.

- Who will ‘give way’? If you’re driving along a narrow street and encounter a vehicle coming the other way, don’t be surprised if they expect you to back up. Although there are rules over who has right of way, they are often ignored. Often, he who sits and stares the longest is the winner. Similarly, if you do the nice thing and let someone into traffic ahead of you, or pull over to make another driver’s life easier, don’t expect any gesture of acknowledgement.

- Start your engines… At traffic lights, you’ll have approximately 0.1 seconds after the lights go green to start moving or face a cacophony of tooting horns behind you. For this reason, it makes sense not to pull right up to the junction – make sure you can see the lights, so you can pull away quickly.

- Give them a toot! In many countries, the car horn is used sparingly. When we hear it, we assume we are unwittingly in someone’s way or perhaps got too close. In Turkey, you’ll be tooted at by every vehicle that comes up behind you, that overtakes you, that passes your gate, that is coming towards you…. Let’s just say you’ll get used to it!

Thinking of making the move?

If you’re considering a permanent move to beautiful Antalya province, or buying a holiday home you can rent out, we’d love to help make your dream come true. Take a look at our website for our current portfolio and information about the area and get in touch if you have any questions.

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