Best Things to Do in Alanya

This content was last updated on 24.01.2024 22:20

Alanya is a great holiday destination and offers a variety of activities - whether it's a beach holiday, adventure trip, party holiday or a nice mix of everything, nobody will be bored in Alanya.

Where is Alanya and what are the best Alanya attractions? Alanya is located in the center of the Turkish Riviera and about 2 hours drive from Antalya. The nearest airport is in Gazipasa, about 30 minutes from the center of Alanya.

In this post I have put together favorite sights and activities in Alanya for you.

How about a cable car ride up to the castle hill of Alanya?

Just enjoy the beautiful view, climb a mountain without any effort and combine the trip with a few sights! The cable car has been around since 2017, is about 900 meters long and takes you from the beach to the castle hill (Alanya Castle) and back. The cost for adults round trip is 20 Turkish Lira, for children 10 Turkish Lira. Alanya cable car opening times: daily from 10:30 - 20:30.

Places to Visit in Alanya

1. Alanya Castle

Alanya Castle

When it comes to Alanya attractions, Alanya Castle (Alanya Kalesi) is at the top of our list. The fortress with its towers is on top of the mountain and was built in the 13th century. At the top, history buffs will get their money's worth and you will be rewarded with breathtaking views of the city, the Mediterranean Sea, Cleopatra Beach and the Taurus Mountains.

One of the most renowned sights at the castle is the old church, or rather mosque, which dates back to the 11th century. By the way, Alanya Castle is on a preliminary list for designation as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. 

Information about Ic Kale Castle;

  • Admission: 65 Turkish Lira
  • Opening hours: In summer from 09:00 - 19:30, In winter from 08:30 - 17:00

Note: Admission to the castle or to state museums can only be paid in the Turkish national currency, the lira.

2. The Red Tower

The Red Tower

As a landmark of Alanya, the Red Tower, is of course at the top of our list. It too was built in the 13th century and served to protect the port and shipyard. Incidentally, the tower offers a good opportunity to hike to the "Ehmedek area" and take a look at the next point along the way. Provided you didn't take the cable car all the way up.

3. Suleymaniye Mosque

Suleymaniye Mosque

Suleymaniye Mosque is located between Alanya Castle and Ehmedek. The mosque was built in the 13th century by the Seljuk Sultan Alâeddin Keykubad I. Even if the mosque does not offer the most spectacular and beautiful sight from the outside, it can still convince inside and should not be missing from your Alanya activities.

Entry to the mosque is free.

4. Cleopatra Beach

Cleopatra Beach

With its clear, turquoise water and fine sand, Cleopatra Beach is one of the most beautiful and well-known beaches in this region. It is located on the western side of Alanya and its castle hill.

On the beach itself there are a few restaurants, cafes and the great promenade with a beautiful park. Action lovers have the opportunity to take a look at what the local water sports operator has to offer.

Incidentally, the promenade leads directly to the east end below the castle hill. This is also the starting point to Damlatas Cave and from here the cable car hovers up Castle Hill. 

But why is Cleopatra Beach actually called Cleopatra Beach? Well, Cleopatra is said to have received Alanya as a wedding present from her husband Marcus Antonius and enjoyed staying on this beach during her lifetime.

5. Damlataş Cave

Damlataş Cave

As an Alanya travel tip, we really like to recommend the Damlatas Cave. As mentioned above, the cave is located right on the western part of the peninsula and in close proximity to Cleopatra Beach .

With its pleasant 22 degrees inside, this cave is a popular destination, especially on hot summer days. Why then? Another question, how is the weather in Alanya ? In short, just hot in summer. That's exactly why one of the best trips to Alanya.

The cave was discovered in 1948 during mining work in a quarry that was then used for the construction of the port of Alanya.

From the entrance you go down into the cave through a 50 meter long and approx. 15 meter high cylindrical cavity. You can marvel at the many stalactites and stalagmites that have formed over thousands of years.

In addition to these fascinating formations, the cave is also famous for its good air. Researchers have found that the air in the cave has a relatively high percentage of carbon dioxide, about 10-12 times more than normal air. This is said to have a healing effect on asthma.

That is why more than 2000 people visit Alanya Damlataş Cave every year to cure asthma.

Information about Damlataş Cave;

  • Admission: 12,5 Turkish Lira
  • Opening hours: 09:00 - 19:00

If you are arriving by car, there is a paid parking lot below the cave near Cleopatra Beach.

6. Alanya Port and Shipyard

Alanya Port and Shipyard

The harbor is located below the castle hill and directly at the Red Tower. In my opinion he just has to be on the list because he has a lot to offer historically.

Alanya Shipyard was built by Sultan Alâeddin Keykubad I in the Seljuk period in 1228, and at that time it was not only a place for shipbuilding or winter quarters, but also served as a shipyard where repairs of all kinds were carried out.

The shipyard, which was still active until 1960, now serves as a shipping and ship museum and reports on the interesting history of the port and the shipyard. By the way, the port of Alanya is also the starting point for the pirate boat Alanya.

7. The Ataturk House

The Ataturk House

This house is now a museum and was built in the 19th century in Ottoman style. Probably the most important man, the founder of the republic, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk lived here during his stay in Alanya .

Today you can look at photographs and personal belongings of Atatürk spread over several floors and get an insight into the different customs and traditions of this epoch.

Information about the Ataturk House;

  • Admission: Free
  • Opening hours: In summer from 08:30 - 19:00, In winter from 08:00 - 18:00

8. Dim Cave

Dim Cave

It is about 11 km outside of Alanya and is the second largest stalactite cave accessible to visitors in Turkey. It is 232 meters above sea level.

The route from Alanya passes through the village of Kestel, along the Dim River valley and through the village of Tosmur. The first inspection of the cave by researchers took place in 1986, and in 1998 it was opened to tourism.

The cave is 360 meters long and 10-15 meters wide as high. There is also a small lake inside the cave. With a pleasant air temperature of 18 degrees and a humidity of a good 90%, it is a great destination all year round.

After an exciting cave tour, you can end the day in the Dim Valley. There, great restaurants along the river invite you to linger.

Information about the Dim Cave;

  • Admission: Adults 60 Turkish Lira, Children 30 Turkish Lira
  • Opening hours: In summer from 09:00 - 19:00, In winter from 09:00 - 17:00

9. Sapadere Canyon

Sapadere Canyon

Sapadere Canyon, 40 kilometers from Alanya, is 750 meters long and about 400 meters high. For us one of the most beautiful Alanya insider tips. It is a true natural wonder.

The canyon has become a popular destination for those who want to escape Alanya's summer heat. After a short hike at the canyon, the path rewards you with a beautiful waterfall and a natural pool.

You can also swim in this one. So be sure to pack your bathing suit! 

In the immediate vicinity of the canyon is the village of Sapadere. The village is one of the oldest villages in this region. The main source of livelihood of this village is agriculture, animal husbandry and silk farming.

What do silkworms or silk cocoons actually look like? If you don't know, then go to Sapadere. The village awaits you with all its beauties and a wonderful hospitality.

About the Sapadere Canyon;

  • How to get there: There are two options. Either you book a guided tour without hassle or you rent a car/jeep. You really can spend all day there. A hike in the canyon followed by cooling off in the natural pool right by the waterfall, a refreshment in one of the nearby restaurants, a visit to the village of Sapadere and if all that is not enough, you could then visit the "Cüceler Mağarası", the Dwarf Cave.

10. Alanya City Center

Alanya City Center

Alanya is not only a tourist destination but also a thriving city. Walking around Alanya Old Town is a great way to feel the local life in Alanya.

For all those who like to spend the mild summer nights in a bar or don't want to miss one or the other party, the city of Alanya naturally has a lot to offer.

There is a farmers market in town every day, but the most popular is on Fridays. Alanya Bazar is called Cuma Bazaar (Cuma means Friday). There are lots of spices as well as fresh orange and pomegranate juice.

Although you don't need anything, it's a great place to watch locals go about their daily lives and absorb the atmosphere of a large fruit and vegetable market. 

Aside from the incredibly delicious food, Turkey is known for its textiles, so there are plenty of places to shop for clothes both in the city and in the surrounding area.

If you don't go to a shopping center, but rather buy from small shops or bazaars, then again, don't accept the first price. Negotiating is just part of the culture! You can of course score here with a few words in Turkish.

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