Alanya’s broad sandy beaches have seen the town on the Turkish Riviera expand from a modest resort into the popular summer playground it is today. With a large expat community drawn by the 300 or so days of sunshine each year – not to mention the relaxed lifestyle – there’s plenty going on even outside the busy summer season.

    Beyond the beach, cosmopolitan Alanya has a rich cultural heritage, with ancient fortifications, a historic shipyard and several compelling museums to visit. They’re a far cry from the noisy bars and packed restaurants of the waterfront but combined with the resort’s modern attractions, they form 1 well-rounded and irresistible package.

    What are the best things to do in Alanya?


    Alanya Castle

    The resort town’s coastal and historical landmark

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    Alanya Castle’s present incarnation is the remains of a Seljuk fortress, which was constructed after Alaeddin Keykubat I's conquest of Alanya in 1220. However, fortifications have stood on this site since the 3rd century BC. Thanks to its strategic position, it affords spectacular and far-reaching views of the city.

    Arrive in style by riding a gondola from the lower Damlataş Cable Car Station to the upper Kale Cable Car Station, located in the Ehmedek section of the castle. With a capacity of 1,100 people per hour, you shouldn’t have to wait long to make the 900-metre-long journey to the top. Once there, you can walk part of the 6.5-km-long walls or visit the open-air museum to see artefacts from Byzantine, Seljuk and Ottoman times.

    Konum: Hisariçi, 07400 Alanya, Antalya, Turkey

    Açık olduğu saatler: November–March: daily from 8.30am to 5pm. April–October: daily from 8.30am to 7pm

    Telefon: +90 (0)242 511 3304


    Kizilkule Fortress

    The Red Tower of Alanya

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    Kizilkule Fortress is also nicknamed the Red Tower, after the red bricks used to build the structure. This iconic landmark is easy to spot on the town’s skyline. Visitors from across Turkey recognise it as the image chosen for the country’s 250,000 lira banknote (1992 to 2005). 

    Construction of Kizilkule Fortress began in the 13th century, overseen by Syrian architect Ebu Ali Reha. It was intended to protect the Tersane, or shipyard, which dates from the same era. This substantial octagonal structure has a tower that's around 33 metres tall and 12 metres wide, with a crenellated top. The first floor is a museum, but the best reason to visit can be found at its highest level. Climb its winding stone steps to admire the panoramic views across Alanya and its bay. 

    Konum: Çarşı, İskele Cd. No. 102, 07400 Alanya, Antalya, Turkey

    Açık olduğu saatler: Daily from 9am to 7pm


    Alanya Shipyard

    Where Alanya’s historical and modern views blend

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    Alanya Limani (Shipyard) is the harbour area and top nightlife hub of Alanya. The shipyard – Tersane as locals call it – was built during the Seljuk reign, in the early part of the 13th century. Next to it is an arsenal. The shipyard consists of 5 arched docks, each interconnected by a series of passages – the only surviving example of its kind.

    You can read about the history of shipbuilding and maritime navigation inside the brick structure. One of Alanya Limani's greatest draws is the numerous bars and restaurants occupying the harbour area. It's the focus of Alanya after dark, with foam parties, chillout spaces and live DJs making this a fun place to hang out.

    Konum: 9 Tersane Sk, Tophane, 07400 Alanya, Antalya, Turkey


    Alanya Archaeological Museum

    Admire the historical treasures of Alanya

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    The Alanya Archaeological Museum has been around for over half a century, originally centred on the twin themes of archaeology and ethnography. Following a renovation, its sole focus is on archaeology. The oldest exhibit in its extensive collection dates from 625 BC, which is a stone inscribed with the Phoenician language.

    The Alanya Archaeological Museum displays pieces of marble, terracotta, bronze and mosaics. One of its most famous artefacts is a bronze statue of Heracles, dating from the 2nd century AD. Later works from the Seljuk and Ottoman periods are also worth seeing here. Don’t miss the beautiful museum garden, which occupies a former Ottoman graveyard.

    Konum: 2 İsmet Hilmi Balcı Cd, Saray, 07400 Alanya, Antalya, Turkey

    Açık olduğu saatler: October–mid-April: daily from 8.30am to 5.30pm. Mid-April–October: daily from 8.30am to 7.30pm

    Telefon: +90 (0)242 513 1228


    fotoğraf: Gmihail (CC BY-SA 3.0) değiştirildi


    Damlataş Caves

    A natural wonder with curative properties

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    The Damlataş Caves are believed to have health-enhancing properties. Health tourism centred around these caves is a buoyant sector of the local tourism economy. Some local doctors send patients with asthma to the caves as they’ll benefit from the 95% humidity, high levels of carbon dioxide, and even a little radioactivity.

    However, you don’t have to have a medical condition to visit this extraordinary place. The name translates to ‘dripping stone’, which provides a clue to what you might expect to find there: stalactites, stalagmites and mineral-rich water dripping through the rock make the Damlataş Caves a subterranean wonder in Alanya.

    Konum: 81 Damlataş Cd, Çarşı, 07400 Alanya, Antalya, Turkey

    Açık olduğu saatler: Daily from 10am to 7.30pm

    Telefon: +90 (0)242 513 0508


    Alanya Lighthouse and marina

    A beacon of the resort town

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    Alanya Lighthouse perches at the end of a pathway which partially encloses Alanya’s marina. A stroll out to this historic structure rewards with views of boats on 1 side and the open sea to the other.

    The marina itself was built over a decade ago. Over 280 berths are occupied with a mix of liveaboards and luxury yachts. Even if you can’t afford your own boat, it’s fun to stroll along the boardwalk and dream. For a taste of the high life, book an excursion with a professional crew who’ll take you out to snorkel, swim and unwind.

    Konum: Çarşı, 07400 Alanya, Antalya, Turkey


    Alanya Lunapark

    For family fun and thrills in Alanya

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    Lunapark Alanya contains all the classic rides, including a Ferris wheel that offers a bird’s-eye view of the town and its beaches, as well as high swings for those brave enough to keep their eyes open throughout the ride. 

    Alanya’s centrally-located funfair is a must-visit for families staying in the resort. Younger kids will love the carousel, while the park’s thrill rides will satisfy teens. A spin on the bumper cars at this popular amusement park will get you laughing.

    Konum: Kızlar Pınarı, 07400 Alanya, Antalya, Turkey

    Açık olduğu saatler: Daily from 11am to 1.30am

    Telefon: +90 (0)532 375 1675


    Alanyum Centrum

    The resort town’s largest mall

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    Alanyum Centrum is Alanya’s largest shopping mall. Anchored by the Carrefour supermarket, this modern complex contains plenty of stores selling everything from clothing to electronics, leather goods to jewellery. You’ll also find a cinema showing the latest movie releases.

    For many, a trip to the market is a must-do. Alanya’s main produce market is located close to the Dolmus station just north of Ataturk Boulevard, the town’s busiest shopping street. This bazaar sells an array of fresh fruit, vegetables and heaps of exotic spices. Even if you don’t intend to buy, it’s worth a visit just for the colourful scene.

    Konum: 219 Keykubat Blv., Cumhuriyet, Keykubat Blv. No. 219, 07400 Alanya, Antalya, Turkey

    Açık olduğu saatler: Daily from 10am to 10pm

    Telefon: +90 (0)242 515 1134


    Alanya Open Air Theatre

    For sunsets and spectacles

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    The Alanya Open Air Theatre was an important addition to Alanya’s event space when it opened in 2013. Theatregoers can enjoy live performances in the open air, a pleasure in Turkey’s warm climate.

    With a capacity of just over 3000 people, the Alanya Open Air Theatre hosts occasional concerts and plays but it’s worth keeping an eye out for local listings during your holiday. Visit before nightfall to catch the sun setting into the sea in the distance behind the stage. 

    Konum: Çarşı, 1519 No 8. Sk., 07400 Alanya, Antalya, Turkey

    Açık olduğu saatler: Performance times vary

    Telefon: +90 (0)242 510 2000


    Alanya Ataturk House Museum

    Memorabilia of the founding founder

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    Alanya Ataturk House Museum offers some insight into Kemal Atatürk, the founder of the Turkish Republic who visited Alanya in 1935. A varied collection of memorabilia is on display here, including photographs, a telegraph to the people of Alanya, and other historical documents.

    Alanya Ataturk House Museum has a space exhibiting ethnographic items, some of which were previously displayed at the Alanya Archaeological Museum. Period furniture and other household items show how a wealthy Alanya family would have lived back in the 1930s.

    Konum: Şekerhane Mah., Anzaklar Sok., 07400 Alanya, Antalya, Turkey

    Açık olduğu saatler: Hours vary by season

    Telefon: +90 (0)242 513 3254

    Julia Hammond |Katkı Sunan Yazar

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