Are you planning to visit the Turkish Riviera soon and trying to choose between Alanya and Antalya? Both places offer unique attractions and you can easily visit both in a day trip. Alanya and Antalya are located on the Mediterranean coast of Turkey and are known for their beautiful beaches, clear waters, and warm climate. Antalya is a larger city with more things to do, while Alanya has a relaxed and family-friendly atmosphere. This guide will help you decide which destination is better for beaches, history, attractions, food, families, hotels, nightlife, and modern conveniences to make your vacation enjoyable.
Beaches in Alanya and Antalya
Antalya and Alanya are both located on the Turkish Riviera, known for their blue flag beaches. These cities offer easy access to beautiful beaches outside the city center. The beaches are well-maintained with facilities like loungers, lifeguards, and restaurants. In Alanya, Cleopatra Beach is famous and within walking distance from the city center. Antalya is known for Lara Beach, which is lined with beach resorts. Konyaalti Beach in Antalya is family-friendly with gentle waves. Both cities are close to Side, known for its ancient ruins and coastline.
Histories of Alanya and Antalya
Antalya has a long history, starting from 200 BCE when it was founded by the Attalid dynasty. The Old Town and ancient port were built around 150 BCE. The Romans took over the city and built Hadrian's Gate and other towns. Later, the Ottomans ruled for 500 years until the early 20th century. Antalya still has many historical sites like the Old Town, Roman Harbor, and Hidirlik Tower. You can also visit the Termessos Ruins and nearby Demre for more ancient history.
Alanya is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, settled since 1820 BCE after the Trojan War. They built castles in the 7th century for defense. The city was prosperous under Sultan Alaaddin Keykubad's rule, and you can still see castles and docks from that time. After Sultan Alaaddin, Alanya was sold to the Egyptians and later became part of Cyprus. It became part of the Antalya province in 1871. Both Alanya and Antalya have interesting histories with many remains to explore.
Attractions Of Alanya and Antalya
Both Antalya and Alanya have great attractions to keep you busy. Whether you're visiting Turkey with your family or on a backpacking adventure, both areas offer many suitable attractions. Antalya makes it easy to take day trips to famous sites like Pamukkale, Lycian Rock Tombs, and the Ancient City of Perge. You can also explore nearby mountains and national parks for hiking and canyon adventures.
In Alanya, you can find historical attractions like Alanya Castle, Red Tower, and Alanya Archaeological Museum. There's also the Damlatas Cave network to explore, and Aquapark for some water fun. Alanya is known for scuba diving and offers boat trips to nearby bays. You can also take day trips from Alanya to places like the Taurus Mountains and Koprulu Canyon, which are great for hiking and whitewater rafting.
Foods of Alanya and Antalya
Antalya and Alanya both have great food. In Alanya, you can get traditional Turkish food in most restaurants. They make it fresh. They also have street food like Simit, grilled corn, and fresh juices. You can find these traditional dishes all over Turkey, but they're just as good in Alanya. If you're not feeling adventurous, there are also restaurants with Western food.
In Alanya, they have local dishes like Stuffed Zucchini Flowers and a special version of İçli Bazlama (Gozleme) with onion, cottage cheese, parsley, and black pepper in the dough. Antalya also has good restaurants with fresh Turkish food. But they have unique dishes like burned ice cream, lentil ice cream, and meals with tahini. Bergamot is grown in Antalya, and they like to eat bergamot jam with Turkish breakfast. Hibes is popular in both Antalya and Alanya. And almonds are used in a lot of desserts in both places. Since both areas have a Mediterranean climate and similar history, the food is similar too.
Alanya or Antalya For Families
If you're visiting Turkey with your family, you'll want to choose a safe and fun place for kids. Luckily, both Antalya and Alanya have lots of things to do for children and are safe to visit. Antalya is generally safe, but some neighborhoods outside the city center can be a bit unsafe at night. However, as a family, you'll probably avoid those areas. The resorts are usually located on the coast or in the city center, which is a safe part of the city.
The beaches in Antalya are great for families, with gentle waves and lifeguards. Besides the beach, there are family-friendly attractions like Antalya's Toy Museum, Sandland, and waterparks. If you want to explore outside the city, there are beautiful waterfalls to visit. Alanya is also safe to visit, but be careful of bag snatching on the beaches. Like Antalya, Alanya has gentle waves and lifeguards on the beaches. There are attractions like exploring caves, tandem paragliding, and a funfair. Alanya has one waterpark called Alanya Aquapark. You'll also find all-inclusive family-friendly resorts in Alanya with waterslides and entertainment for kids.
Hotels and Resorts in Alanya and Antalya
For hotels and resorts, you can choose between Antalya and Alanya. Both places have amazing beach options with world-class resorts. These resorts are usually all-inclusive and offer lots of entertainment for families. During the summer, both cities are very popular, so it's best to book in advance.
Alanya has more all-inclusive resorts compared to Antalya. The resorts in Alanya are known for their luxury and are great for couples and adults. In Antalya, you'll find resorts that are more family-friendly with water slides and kids' clubs. However, luxury resorts in Antalya are harder to find. The hotels in Alanya have better luxury amenities compared to Antalya, but they are located outside the city center.
Night Life of Alanya and Antalya
The nightlife in Alanya is lively. It has many places to party in the downtown area, with lots of bars, nightclubs, and live music venues. There's a street called Bar Street, which is all about bars and clubs.
Alanya also has a lively nightlife scene, but it's smaller. Most bars and clubs are on Bar Street in Alanya, where tourists go to dance and drink all night. Outside of this area, there isn't much happening.
Alanya and Antalya as Prices
When comparing prices, Antalya is generally cheaper. Since Antalya is a bigger city with many locals, the prices reflect the cost of living there. On the other hand, Alanya is where most people are visitors from other cities, whether they are from abroad or within the country.
This doesn't mean you won't find affordable options in Alanya, but it might take longer to find cheaper places to stay, eat, and so on. However, overall, the price difference is small, so don't let that discourage you from visiting the beautiful city of Alanya.
Alanya vs Antalya Comparison Table
FAQ About Alanya vs Antalya
Which is better, Alanya or Antalya?
Both Alanya and Antalya have different things to offer, so it's not as simple as one being better than the other. If you want a quiet vacation at an all-inclusive beach resort, go for Alanya. If you prefer history and culture, then choose Antalya.
Is it worth visiting Alanya, Turkey?
Yes, Alanya has stunning beaches and beautiful nature spots. If you like beaches and nature, Alanya is definitely worth a visit.
Is Alanya in Antalya?
Yes, Alanya is part of the Antalya Province. However, it's important to note that when people mention Antalya, they usually mean Antalya city, which is different from Alanya. Alanya and Antalya are two separate cities in the Antalya Province.
Is Alanya, Turkey safe?
Yes, Alanya in Turkey is generally considered safe for tourists. It is one of the most popular resort towns in Turkey for families and has a low crime rate.