In this study, the effects of convective, microwave and microwave–convective drying methods on the drying characteristics, colour, total phenolic content and antioxidant capacity of goldenberry fruits were investigated. To select the most appropriate thin-layer drying model for drying treatments, nine mathematical drying models were fitted to the experimental data. Based on the statistical tests used for evaluation, the Midilli et al. and Wang and Singh models were considered the best models to describe the drying behaviours of goldenberry fruits in all drying methods. The colour values (L*, a* and b*) of fresh fruit were decreased by drying. Compared with the fresh sample, the dried samples exhibited a 64–75% and 65–75% decrease in total phenolic content and antioxidant capacity, respectively. Among the different drying treatments, the values closest to those of fresh samples with respect to colour values, total phenolic content and antioxidant capacity were achieved with the 160 W microwave drying method.