Alanya is a very popular resort town on the Turkish Riviera.
The town is 120 km from the center of Antalya and has its own airport. Well known for its beautiful beaches, resorts, nightlife, and nature, Alanya welcomes millions of visitors from all over the world every year.
To help you get maximum enjoyment from the city, we have prepared this guide to the best things to do in Alanya.
Below you will find ideas about popular attractions to visit, ancient ruins to to see, and unique experiences in the region.
Let's start with the best things to do in the city of Alanya and nearby districts!
1. Alanya's Landmark Red Tower (Kızıl Kule)
The iconic Red Tower, where you can see traces of Seljuk Architecture, has been the symbol of Alanya for centuries. It's located in the historical city center, right near the Seljuk Shipyard (Tersane).
The octagonal building was built in the 13th century by Seljuk Sultan, Alaeddin Keykubad. When you look around from the top floor of the tower, the view encompasses the walls, towers and the harbor that surround the peninsula.
- Read More about the tower: Kızıl Kule (Red Tower) in Alanya
2. Cable Car to the Castle
Alanya Castle was built in 1221 by the Seljuk Sultan, Alaaddin Keykubat, who captured the city and had it rebuilt.
You can take the cable car to go up to the castle. The cable car station is near Atatürk Park. You will need to walk uphill another 1 km to reach the entrance of the castle after exiting the cable car.
İçkale (Inner castle) is the top sight up there. It's an open air museum at the summit of the peninsula. Byzantine, Seljuk, and Ottoman artifacts can be found in the inner castle.
When you go to Alanya Castle by cable car, you will come across the Süleymaniye Mosque, a Seljuk work renovated during the Ottoman period. There is also a covered bazaar (bedesten) behind the mosque.
- Read this detailed article about a visit to the Alanya Castle
3. Damlataş Cave
The Damlataş Cave is a 15,000 year old natural formation and is one of the mysterious beauties in Alanya located in the very center of the town just below the Alanya Castle.
The cave is fascinatingly beautiful with its very impressive illuminated stalactites and stalagmites. It has a constant temperature around 22-23 degrees. The section, which has wide columns with stalactites and stalagmites, is 13/14 meters wide and 15 meters high.
- Read More about Damlataş Cave in Alanya
4. Cleopatra and Damlataş Beach
Both Damlataş and Cleopatra Beaches are blue flag beaches, located side by side on the west side of the historical peninsula.
Damlataş Beach is on the shore in front of Damlataş Cave. As the name suggests, Cleopatra Beach is famous because of the legend that Egyptian Queen, Cleopatra and Roman Emperor, Antonius are said to have swam here.
The legendary Cleopatra Beach is one of the most beautiful beaches in Turkey, clearly worth visiting during your trip to Antalya. With its crystal-clear water and numerous water sport activities, it attracts about 2 million tourists a year and gets more and more popular every year.
5. Alanya Archaeological Museum
The Alanya Archeology Museum is located in the very center of Alanya, on Ismet Hilmi Balcı Street behind Alanya Castle and Damlataş Cave.
Alanya is a city with a very rich historical heritage in every aspect. However, you don't have a lot of chances to visit a cultural places in Alanya.
Although the best cultural museum in the region is the Antalya Museum, followed by the Side Archaeology Museum, the Alanya Archaeology Museum is the best witness of the area's heritage. It's located in the heart of the city.
The Archaeology Museum in Alanya exhibits bronze, marble, terra-cotta, and glass artifacts, mosaics and coin collections belonging to the Archaic and Classical periods, and also Turkish Islamic works of art from the Seljuk and Ottoman Periods.
- Read more about the Alanya Archaeology Museum, including tickets, collections, and history
6. Seljuk Shipyard (Tersane)
The Alanya Seljuk Shipyard stands south of the Red Tower. You can easily reach it on foot by following the 300 meter path.
The Alanya Seljuk Shipyard was built by the Seljuks in 13th century. If you are into maritime history and medieval buildings, make time to visit the only remaining shipyard in Turkey from the Seljuk Period.
The Alanya Seljuk Shipyard (Tersane) has been used for trade and protection purposes throughout history. Today, it stands upright back to back with Red Tower. The Alanya shipyard is the only shipyard that remains from the Seljuk reign, built in the first half of 13th century.
- Read about the Alanya Seljuk Shipyard (Tersane)
7. Culture House on Castle Hill
This structure serves as Alanya Municipality Culture and Social Affairs Department and the Alanya Castle Site Management Office. It's also known as Hamamlı Ev (Bath House) due to the historical bath on the ground floor.
This traditional Alanya house was built with quarry stone and a lathing wood system. It used grog and haired plaster, specific to the region in the early 20th century. It was restored according to its original form after it was assigned to the Alanya Municipality by its owners.
- Check our complete guide to culture in Antalya to learn more.
8. Jeep-Safari in the Taurus Mountains
Alanya is the Jeep Safari city in Turkey. There are more than five different tours available: Oba Çay Jeep, Sapadere Jeep, Dimçay Jeep, Taurus Mountains Jeep, and Jeep with Rafting...
In add addition to the adventurous and fun part of safari, you'll get to know the marvelous nature in the region.
- Read our complete guide to sports in Antalya
9. Spend the Day at Dim Çayı
Let's take a break from the hot beach and go somewhere that looks like a beach, but is more refreshing. Here is a place that gives you the opportunity to chill while spending a nice time playing or just enjoying nature and artificial pools. How does that sound?
Dim River is one of the most visited natural beauties in Alanya with its refreshing air and water in all seasons. It is located 15 kms from Alanya and accessible by different paths.
10. Dim Cave
Dim Cave is 145 km from Antalya and 11 km from Alanya, in the town of Kestel.
Dim Cave stands out as a karst formation and creates a mysterious atmosphere. It's one of the countless natural beauties around Alanya. This place attracts a lot of attention from tourists who want to discover beauties around Alanya.
The cave is located in the perfect place for nature walks, in the upper part of Dim valley. You can hike the valley, absorbing the fresh smell of pine trees and marvelous scenery on your way to Dim Cave.
Dim Cave is one of the most beautiful caves in Turkey. Its total length is 410 meters and a 360 meter section is open to visitors. The lightning system inside makes the stalactites and stalagmites very delightful all along the way. The colorful lighting creates a fabulous atmosphere inside the cave.
11. Stay at a Beach Resort
Alanya is a worldwide center of attention with a large number of beach resorts.
The İncekum region is sought by those who do not like the crowd of Alanya city center and want to have a relaxing holiday. Here, facilities are lined up along the beach like a set.
Avsallar has a unique 10 km long sandy beach where you can find various forms of accommodation, from all inclusive hotels to boutique hotels and homestays.
Konaklı and Türkler (Fuğla) are some of the places close to entertainment and are the liveliest spots in Alanya.
12. Pirate Boat Tour
Alanya was once a famous pirate harbor in antiquity. Pompeius, the enemy of Julius Ceasar, in the Roman Civil war defeated the pirates. Nowadays, pirate themed boats in Alanya's harbor are a reminder of these times long gone.
There is non-stop entertainment on the cruises with music and animations, as well as many swimming breaks in the blue waters of the Turkish Riviera.
13. Visit Alara Han and Castle
Alara Han is on the Antalya-Alanya route, in Çakallar village in the town of Okurcalar .
Alara Han is a historical caravanserai built in the 13th century by the Seljuks. It's an exceptional masterpiece awaiting visitors seeking discoveries about the cultural heritage of Alanya.
The nearby Alara Castle was once a majestic fortress along the southern silk road in Turkey.
You can book your trip to visit Alara Han and Castle, which is highly popular stop, from nearby resorts towns such as Konaklı, Avsallar, and Okurcalar in Alanya.
14. Day trip to Myra, Kekova, and St. Nicholas Church
Myra is an ancient city located in the Kale (Demre) district in Antalya. It is especially famous for the Lycian Period rock tombs, the Roman Period theater, and the Byzantine Period St. Nicholas (Santa Claus) Church.
Saint Nicholas was a bishop in Myra, so the city maintained its reputation throughout the Middle Ages.
Kekova is a small rocky island in Kaleköy and Üçağız near the Demre district in Antalya. It's the largest island in the Turkish Mediterrenean.
The Island of Kekova and the Sunken City, are some of the most visited places in the Mediterranean. They are unique historical places both underwater and on land.
15. Side, Aspendos, and Manavgat Waterfall Excursions
You can plan a full day trip to see the ancient city of Side with the temples of Athena and Apollo, and the magnificent theater of Aspendos. The theater is one of the most distinguished representatives of Roman Age theaters today, with its well-preserved condition and architectural features.
If you choose to make this trip with an organized tour, it will be either combined with the famous Manavgat bazaar where you can find many things such as souveneirs, clothes, spices, fresh fruits, and vegetables, or the marvelous Manavgat Waterfall.
The itinerary depends on which excursion you book. Some have Side, Aspendos, and the waterfall, some have Side, Aspendos, and the bazaar. The weekly market days of the Manavgat Bazaar also make a difference.
- Read more about the ancient city of Aspendos
- Check out our shop for tickets to the best attractions in the Antalya region.
16. Nightlife at the Harbor
Alanya is a center of attraction for many local and foreign people; everything is shaped according to tourism.
The bars around the harbor become lively after 21:00 in the evening with crowds and rising music volumes until the late hours of the night. Robin Hood Night Club, Havana Club Bar, and Bistro Bellman Club are some of the popular entertainment venues in Alanya.
Check out our nightlife guide in Antalya and spend memorable nights in the best clubs, bars, and restaurants in the region.
17. Visit a Bazaar
There are farmers markets and weekly organized marketplaces in almost every neighborhood in Alanya. Apart from fresh fruits and vegetables, you can find many things from clothing to spices, and bags to towels in these stalls.
Check out some of the famous bazaars:
Oba Bazaar: It's set up every Monday in the Oba district on Hacıkadıroğlu Street.
Friday Bazaar: It's set up every Friday in the Şekerhane District on Sinanoğlu Street. As the biggest market place in Alanya, it's possible to find fruits and vegetables, as well as clothing, shoes, glassware, and souvenirs.
Kestel Bazaar: It's set up every Friday in the town of Kestel in the Cumhuriyet district.
Hacet Bazaar: It's set up every Sunday in the Hacet district near the Hacet Mosque on Saraclar Street. There are mainly fruits and vegetables but you can also find various other things like clothing and souvenirs.
- Read our guide to the best markets and bazaars in Antalya
18. Local Food
Blend in with the city's crowds and hunt for fresh delicacies brought to the market by local farmers. Many products grown in the region are sold in the local markets in their freshest and most natural form, mostly directly from their producers.
Many products, from avocados to bananas, from oranges to strawberries, depending on the season, are displayed in the stalls with their vibrant fragrances.
19. Shopping in Alanya
It is possible to find any item you might need during your stay in Alanya. Even if you just want to check out the local brands and escape from the heatwave, you can visit a shopping mall in Alanya.
Alanyum Shopping Mall is located in the Cumhuriyet district on Keykuybad Boulevard and has many local and international brands. Another big mall is the Time Center in Konaklı.
You can also check out the shopping streets close to the harbor in the center of Alanya to find different souvenirs.
- Check the best shopping malls in the Antalya Region
20. Tandem Paragliding
The idea of sleeping a lot and sunbathing calmly to have a good rest on holiday has become obsolete by many people. There are many exciting activities that you can try in Alanya.
One of the popular activities you should try is tandem paragliding. Don't worry, this activity does not need any skills or experience as the professional pilots control everything.
All you have to do is enjoy the stunning view of Mediterranean Sea from above.
- Read our guide to tandem paragliding in Antalya for a fun and exciting adventure.
21. Atatürk House
The house where Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the founder of the Republic and the first president of Turkey, stayed during his visit to Alanya in 1935, is open to visitors today as a museum. It's located in the Şekerhane neighborhood in Alanya.
Atatürk's personal belongings and photographs brought from the Anıtkabir Museum and Atatürk's telegram to the people of Alanya are exhibited on the first floor of the museum.
The second floor has rooms decorated with furniture reflecting the characteristics of the period. There are many ethnographic items that shed light on the daily life of the locals that lived in the region.
22. Visit the Harbor
You can start exploring the old city from the famous Red Tower and the Seljuk Shipyard right beside it. Discover the narrow streets where you can find cafes, restaurants, and many shops around the harbor.
Alanya Castle is located on a high peninsula, overlooking the sea. Above the shipyard is the historical Tophane neighborhood.
Apart from that, you can book a boat trip to take pictures of the Alanya panorama from the sea and explore many extraordinary caves, like Lover's Cave, Pirates Cave, and Phosphorus Cave.
23. Visit Sapadere Canyon
The 750 m long Sapadere Canyon in the middle of the Taurus Mountains will enchant you with its untouched nature.
Sapadere Canyon is located in the village of Sapadere, about 40 km from Alanya. It's not possible to get here by public transport. You can explore Sapadere Canyon either on a guided day trip, for example a jeep safari, or drive there with a rental car and visit the valley at your own pace.
Guided day tours to Sapadere Canyon are one of the most comfortable ways to explore the impressive canyon. They usually include transfers, guide assistance, and lunch. Day tours to Sapadere Canyon can be found in our store.
On a Jeep-Safari excursion you get the chance to see the sights around, such as the old silk factory and Dwarfs Cave, according to the schedule.
24. Spend a Day at the Beach
Here, in Alanya are many marvelous beaches. A relaxing day on the beach is the time we all have been dreaming about for the whole year.
Damlataş Beach is located on the shore in front of Damlataş Cave. Along with Damlataş Beach, Cleopatra Beach is also highly preferred with its 2 km long, blue flag beach and location in the center of Alanya.
If you are looking for a sandy beach, you can go to Ulaş Beach, which is five kilometers from the center. The beach on the roadside is especially preferred by many holidaymakers because of its picnic spot located on the rocky cape.
İncekum beach is mostly preferred by families with children and new swimmers, as it does not get deep very quickly. It's also known for golden sand that doesn't stick to body.
Oba Beach is approximately 1 kilometer long and is located on the east coast of the city center. The imposing slopes of the Taurus Mountains rise just behind this blue flag beach.
25. Rafting in Köprülü Canyon
Spend a day at Turkey's largest rafting center in Köprülü Canyon. Köprülü Canyon National Park is 80 km from Antalya city center and 92 km from Avsallar.
Have you ever tried rafting on a boat that drifts along in ice-cold waters? If you haven't tried it yet, turn your attention to Köprülü Canyon. You will have the most amazing and refreshing experience available.
Köprülü Canyon is one of the popular attractions in Antalya and gathers hundreds of tourists every day in the summer.
- Read more about Köprülü Canyon in Antalya
26. Manavgat River Cruise and Bazaar
Witness the unique beauty of the region by taking a cruise on the Manavgat River. You can book a full-day tour that includes the famous Grand Bazaar in Manavgat and an amazing cruise along the Manavgat River.
You can enjoy the sun and cool off by swimming in the spot where the river pours into the sea. A barbecue lunch is usually served on board. You will be given about 1.5 hours free time in the center of Manavgat to visit the Blue Mosque and find various souvenirs from the Manavgat Grand Bazaar.
27. Quad Safari in the Taurus Mountains
Those who want to add a little extra fun to your holiday with extraordinary activities, get together around Quad Safari tours. All you do is wear your most comfortable clothes and show up.
Everything will be covered in mud in a flash anyway, during the ride. Running through water and mud is part of the fun.
Tour operators offer pick-up from hotels in all regions of Alanya to take you to explore the magnificent nature in the Taurus Mountains on 4 wheels.
28. Diving and Snorkeling in Alanya
If your interest in the mysterious underwater world has just begun, don't worry, there are many boats that organize diving tours in Alanya every day.
Join these tours accompanied by experts that provide the necessary equipment, so you have a great experience. Journey to a mysterious and fascinating world, where colorful underwater creatures roam around you.
- Learn more about diving in Antalya
29. Horseback Riding and Hiking
Enjoy an unforgettable experience in nature in Alanya with horses, one of the oldest companions of mankind. It's an enjoyable and entertaining adventure tour with a small group, through the pine forests on the slopes of the Taurus Mountains with docile horses that move in the company of experts.
Many hiking tours can be found for those who find happiness in the greenery. Fill your lungs with fresh air while exploring many magnificent routes in untouched nature in Alanya.
- Read more about hiking in Antalya
30. Visit the Ancient City of Syedra
Syedra is one of the ancient cities worth seeing around Alanya. It's located in Seki village. At this site, you will see the remains of a typical ancient Roman settlement.
Syedra was a typical Roman settlement with a lot of remains that have survived until today.
Among them, there are quite large rows of plastered cisterns fed by a natural water source, a baptismal cave, a magnificent bath with mosaic remains on the floor, a gymnasium, a colonnaded street and shops, a temple, a theater, churches, administrative buildings, an acropolis, and a necropolis.
- Read more about the ancient city of Syedra in Antalya
Here's a map to locate these things to do in Alanya.
Now, you are set to discover Alanya in the best way possible. What are some things you have already done or things you want to do in Alanya? Let us know in the comments below.
If you liked this article, mention it in the comments below and make sure to check out other towns and things to do in the Antalya Province: