Alanya Vs. Antalya: Is It Best To Visit Antalya Or Alanya?

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Post author Nicky

Written by our local expert Nicky

Nicky, originally from the UK, is now a local in Turkey. She moved to Marmaris, Türkiye for love 12 years ago and is now your Turkey travel planner.

So, is Alanya or Antalya better? In this guide, we’ll pit Alanya against Antalya, helping you decide which is the ultimate Turkish destination for your summer vacation. Both cities, nestled in Türkiye’s stunning landscape, boast rich histories and breathtaking natural beauty. Imagine walking through the remnants of the Hellenistic period, where ancient stories come alive amidst ruins and relics.

Then, there’s the majestic Taurus Mountains, forming a dramatic backdrop to these coastal gems. In Alanya, the 13th-century castle stands as a testament to a bygone era, while Antalya’s vibrant streets echo with the echoes of Byzantine churches.

Don’t miss the awe-inspiring Süleymaniye Mosque, a jewel in Turkey’s architectural crown. Our journey is more than a comparison; it’s a deep dive into the heart of Turkey’s cultural and historical splendor.

Ready to explore? Let’s get started!

In a rush and want to know how to choose between Antalya or Alanya? Here is what we think you should know:

Antalya Alanya
A bustling city with LOADS to do Laid-back beach resort
Vibrant local life An ideal destination for families
Open year-round for visitors Caves, castles & sunsets

Keep reading below for our in-depth analysis on weighing up Antalya vs. Alanya.

If you research summer destinations in Turkey, you’ll see a long list of places to visit. But two that are highly recommended are both Alanya and Antalya.

Now to confuse matters a little, while both are separate destinations, Alanya is actually in Antalya. The province, that is. Antalya Province is huge and covers Antalya city, the resort town of Alanya, Lara, Side, Kas, Manavgat, Kemer, Demre, Belek, and Kalkan, to name a few. You will probably recognize many of those names, as they’re popular summer spots to soak up the sun.

But many people struggle to decide between staying in Antalya city, thanks to its proximity to the airport, or whether to venture to a more holiday vibe spot, such as Alanya.

If you have the same struggle ahead of this summer’s holiday, let’s compare Alanya and Antalya and help you decide which is best for you.

Antalya, Türkiye

Kas Ancient Amphitheater_Antalya - Turkey
The Theatre of Antiphellos Ancient City in Kas, Antalya

The city of Antalya is the capital city of Antalya province and is also home to many famous attractions. The plus point of visiting the city is that you’re only around 20-30 minutes away from the airport, which is ideal if you want to cut down on transfer time after a long journey.

Antalya is a historical city with an ancient castle and ruins from when it used to be a Roman port. You can check out Hadrian’s Gate, dating back to 130Ad, and Hidirlik Tower, from the 2nd century.

The city is also packed with nightlife, shopping opportunities, and beaches too.

Things To Do In Antalya

When choosing between Antalya or Alanya, the main thing to look at is, what there is to do in each location. 

1. Duden Waterfalls

What To See In Antalya - Waterfall Duden at Antalya, Turkey
Duden Waterfall

These rather stunning waterfalls are probably the easiest you’ll ever visit. On the road between Antalya and Lara Beach, you park up, walk to the cliff edge, and look down. There you will see a huge, thunderous waterfall with rainbows hitting the water. It’s pretty spectacular, and it’s free!

2. Karaalioglu Park

For a calm few hours and amazing views, this beautiful park is the ideal spot.

3. Hadrian’s Gate

A monument to Julius Caesar’s visit, this beautiful “gate” is located on the main road in the city center, and it’s super easy to visit.

4. Konyaalti Plaj

Where to stay in Antalya - Konyaalti beach, Antalya
Konyaalti beach, Antalya

This is a famous beach that goes on for miles! It’s also backed by huge mountains and an impossibly blue sea, which gives it a seriously tropical vibe. The size of the beach means you never feel too crowded in, and there are plenty of cafes and restaurants for refreshments.

5. Antalya Aquarium

Whether it’s a rainy day or you want to hide from the sun, this is a great place to head with the family and check out the countless species of marine life

6. Antalya Kaleici

Antalya castle is located in the Old Town, full of winding paths and cute cafes. The castle itself is slightly in ruin, but the views from the top are stunning, and there is a park you can walk through, which gives you coastal photo opportunities across the whole of Konyaalti Beach and beyond.

7. Hidirlik Tower

Antalya Guide - Hidirlik Tower in Antalya, Turkey

Located in the Old Town, you’ll find this huge tower that was built in the 2nd century. There are also fantastic views to be seen.

8. Antalya Migros Shopping Centre & Mall Of Antalya

Just outside of the city center, you’ll find two HUGE shopping centers where you can pick up some big brand-named items. There are also cinemas inside, bars, cafes, and restaurants.

9. Antalya Zoo

If the kids love to check out different species of animals, this is a great day out during your holiday. It’s also set in some pretty gardens, which are great for photos.

10. The Land Of Legends Kingdom

The Land of Legends Theme Park

If you or your kids love theme parks, this is the place to go. Packed with rides, entertainment, and water-based fun, it’s a fantastic day or two during your holiday. There are also huge hotels in and around the park, so you can stay over if you choose.

Reasons Not To Visit Antalya

Antalya is pretty great, and there’s not a lot you can’t find there. However, it is a city at the same time as a beach spot, and if you prefer somewhere a little less frantic, perhaps Antalya isn’t the place for you.

Getting to and from places in the city requires a car or a taxi. You can use buses and tram service, but they’re not easy to navigate if you don’t speak the language or are unsure where you’re going. The city is also circled by HUGE motorways, which can be noisy or just something you don’t want to deal with on your holiday.

If you want to hire a car and venture out to other destinations around Antalya, you’ll find that the journey is a little boring. Each destination is fantastic, especially the waterfalls at Manavgat or the old city of Side, but there isn’t a lot to look at between them – it’s just fields and roads.

So, while Antalya is excellent for many reasons, it doesn’t give you those chilled-out beach vibes you might be looking for.

Where Is Antalya

There are direct flights to Antalya from most European cities throughout the year, with more frequent flights during the summer months. The airport is between 20-30 minutes’ drive away from the city center, depending on traffic. You can quickly get to the city center by taxi, private transfer, or public bus.

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Alanya Türkiye

Aerial view resort city Alanya in southern coast of Turkey

Alanya is the quintessential choice of beach holiday destination. It’s got everything you could possibly need for a chilled-out time by the sea, including stunning sunset views, an amazingly clear sea, soft golden sand, and great restaurants thrown in for good measure.

Alanya is located on the Mediterranean coast and has wide beaches that are ideal for families, and is also home to Cleopatra Beach, where Cleopatra herself visited and enjoyed swimming. But it’s not all beach time, as Alanya is also home to a huge castle on a rocky cliff edge, with the Red Tower dating back to 1226. This is you’ll catch the best of the sunsets.

Compared to Antalya, Alanya is a lot more laid-back; it’s more of a beach resort than a city.

Things To Do in Alanya, Türkiye

To keep weighing up Alanya over Antalya, let’s see what Alanya has to offer.

1. Alanya Castle & The Red Tower

Castle of Alanya Turkey - Kizil Kule (Red Tower) in Alanya, Antalya, Turkey

Dating back to the Seljuk period, this castle overlooks the sea and the whole of the town. The views are simply jaw-dropping, and the Red Tower is located here. Insiyou’llu’ll find a museum.

2. Alanya Archaeological Museum

A great spot to escape from the heat and learn about the history of the local area.

3. Kleopatra Beach

Sandy Beaches In Turkey - Cleopatra beach

This is the main beach in Alanya. It’s long, has golden sand, and extremely clear water. This is where the Egyptian Queen is said to have visited and loved.

4. Alanya Teleferik

This is a cable car that runs from the beach up to the castle, with the opportunity to take some stunning photographs as you go.

5. Damlatas Cave

Underground lake in the Dim cave next to Antalya

Located just outside of Alanyou’llu’ll find these caves, which are said to have therapeutic effects for people with asthma. The cave has around 8-10 times more CO2 than other caves, and the humidity inside is high, which helps those with the condition.

6. Boat Trips

Head down to the harbor and enjoy a lazy day trip. If you go for an all-inclusive trip, lunch and some drinks are included as you sail around the beautiful coastline.

Reasons Not To Visit Alanya, Türkiye

Compared to Antalya, Alanya has less to see and do, that’sat’s because its main feature is the beach. This is more of a beach resort than a large town or city, and if you’re someone who likes a lot of different activities don’ton’t like sitting on the beach, then you may find Alanya a little slow-paced.

Alanya is also entirely geared towards tourism and doesn’t have much authentic local life to it, unlike Antalya city. However, if you’re looking for a beach resort with some fantastic hotels, that might not matter to you.

Alanya is mainly closed during the winter, between the end of November to April, whereas Antalya is open all year around.

The other downside is that Alanya is just 2 hours away from Antalya Airport. If you have already had a long day of travel, another 2 hours by bus may be a deal breaker for you.

Turkey Travel Blog_Alanya Vs Antalya_How To Choose Between Alanya Or Antalya Turkey

How To Get To Alanya, Türkiye

Flights are plentiful throughout the summer months from many European destinations and beyond. However, they are a little less plentiful during the winter months. To visit Alanya, you will fly into Antalya Airport, take a shuttle or private transfer, hire a car, and drive to the resort.

How Far Is Antalya From Alanya – How Far Is Alanya To Antalya

The distance between Antalya and Alanya is 123 km (76 miles). The bus from Antalya to Alanya takes two hours and departs every 30 minutes. If you drive, the driving distance between Antalya to Alanya takes around 1 hour and 30 minutes.



Which destination is better for a beach holiday: Antalya or Alanya?

Both Antalya and Alanya offer beautiful beaches and a variety of beach resorts. Antalya has a more cosmopolitan vibe with a wide range of luxury resorts, while Alanya is known for its vibrant nightlife and more budget-friendly options.

What are the main attractions in Antalya?

Antalya is famous for its historic old town, known as Kaleici, where you can explore ancient ruins and Ottoman-era architecture. It’s also a gateway to the stunning Antalya coastline and nearby attractions like the Duden Waterfalls.

What are the main attractions in Alanya?

Alanya is renowned for its impressive Alanya Castle and the Red Tower, both offering panoramic views of the city and coastline. You can also enjoy relaxing boat trips along the coast and visit the Damlatas Caves.

Which destination is more family-friendly: Antalya or Alanya?

Both Antalya and Alanya can be great for families, but Antalya might have a slight advantage with its larger selection of family-oriented resorts and attractions.

Is Alanya more suitable for budget travelers compared to Antalya?

Yes, Alanya is generally considered more budget-friendly than Antalya, with more affordable accommodation options and dining choices.

Is it easy to travel between Antalya and Alanya?

Yes, there are regular bus services and taxis that connect Antalya and Alanya, making it easy to travel between the two destinations.

Which city offers a better nightlife scene: Antalya or Alanya?

Alanya is known for its lively nightlife with numerous bars, clubs, and beach parties, making it a popular choice for those seeking a vibrant nightlife experience.

Are there historical sites to explore in both Antalya and Alanya?

Yes, both Antalya and Alanya have rich histories, and you can find ancient ruins, castles, and historical landmarks to explore in both cities.

So, which is better, Alanya or Antalya? Now you know the low-down, which one will you choose Alanya versus Antalya?


  1. Last week, I had the chance to go scuba diving in Alanya, and it was undoubtedly one of the most unforgettable experiences of my life! The team at the diving center was incredibly professional and friendly. The training and information provided before the dive made me feel very comfortable, especially as a first-timer.

    I had no concerns about the quality and cleanliness of the equipment; everything was top-notch. The underwater scenery and marine life I saw while diving were absolutely breathtaking. The colorful fish, magnificent coral reefs, and underwater caves made this experience memorable for me.

    Our diving instructor was always by our side during the dive, helping us navigate safely under the water and guiding us as we explored the mysteries of the underwater world. Thanks to our instructor’s professionalism and expertise, I felt completely safe throughout the dive.

    The refreshments and warm welcome provided by the team after the dive were also very much appreciated. This experience was one of the highlights of my time in Alanya. I would recommend everyone to try this amazing experience at least once in their lives.

    Scuba diving in Alanya is not just about discovering the beauties of the underwater world; it also offers the opportunity to meet wonderful people and learn a new skill. I am grateful to the diving center and its team for this experience. I will definitely come back!

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