Is Alanya Better than Antalya?

9 mins read

Those lucky enough to visit Antalya and Alanya agree that deciding which is better is nearly impossible. Both destinations offer unique things with stunning weather, world-class beaches, and cultural delights. Both also compete for high-ranking tourism markets and as ideal destinations to buy summer homes or retire permanently in the sun.

Sitting in the far east of the Antalya province, Alanya has grown over the last ten years to become a standalone destination, taking on Antalya as the place to holiday and buy summer homes. This is credited to local councils who promoted Alanya in international circles. Once a small fishing village, Alanya is becoming similar to a city, with much development in outskirt resorts like Mahmutlar. This means that tourists and holidaymakers can either choose the heart of Alanya to be where the action is or head outwards for quieter experiences.

Antalya city ranks as the top destination in Turkey for beach holidays. Additionally, it often appears in lists as favourite places where foreigners buy property. Antalya is known for the hospitality industry, where many five-star hotels have gained international recognition. Additionally, the city centre links to surrounding resorts as the main D400 highway runs directly through it. The beaches are famous, as is the old town. In fact, Antalya is an all-rounder. The Lara beach district is where the all-inclusive hotels are, while Konyaalti is the beachside neighbourhood in high demand.

So, that is a brief introduction to both towns, but let’s look more in-depth to find out whether Alanya or Antalya will suit you better.

Alanya Versus Antalya

1: Sandy Beaches

Alanya: Step foot onto the legendary Cleopatra Beach, also called Kleopatra Beach, where history and beauty intertwine. According to legends, this beach captivated Cleopatra and she often bathed in the idyllic waters. Otherwise, embark on beach escapes with fun at Keykubat Beach. Named after the Seljuk Sultan Keykubat I, this lively beach attracts many water sports enthusiasts.

Situated near the renowned Damlataş Cave, Damlatas Beach is unique. With therapeutic properties, the cave lends a mystical ambience to Damlatas Beach. But also find paradise at Portakal Beach, aptly named for fragrant orange trees adorning the surroundings. Lastly, venture further from the city centre to the inviting beauty of Incekum Beach. The name translates to “fine sand.” Backed by dense forests, this beach attracts nature lovers and families.

Antalya: Step into postcard-perfect scenes on Lara Beach, renowned for velvety golden sands that stretch as far as the eye can see. Just a stone’s throw away from Antalya’s city centre, Konyaaltı Beach awaits with pebbly shores and stunning backdrops of the Beydağları Mountains. Along the promenade, many shops and restaurants add to the vibrant atmosphere. Embrace history and nature at Phaselis Beach, a short drive away, where ancient ruins stand alongside azure waters. The beach belongs to the Phaselis Archaeological Site. After delving into history, relax on the pebbly beach.

The Winner: Alanya certainly has many beaches to choose from, but Antalya is within driving distance of many choices. We vote for Antalya because Lara Beach and Konyaalti rank among Turkey’s best beaches. In contrast, in Alanya, only Cleopatras Beach does.

2: Diving into the Interesting History

Alanya: Dominating the city’s skyline, Alanya Castle testifies to the city’s rich history. Perched atop a rocky hill, this medieval fortress offers panoramic views. Step inside the ancient walls of Alanya castle and meander through narrow alleys, hidden passageways, and old towers. The castle’s well-preserved fortifications provide glimpses into Alanya’s importance throughout the ages.

Also, dive into history at the Alanya Archaeological Museum, where many artefacts await. The museum showcases diverse collections of archaeological findings from prehistoric times to the Byzantine and Ottoman eras. After, encounter the iconic Red Tower, symbolising Alanya’s maritime heritage. Built-in the 13th century by the Seljuk Sultan Alaaddin Keykubat, this cylindrical tower was once a crucial defence fortification. Today, the tower houses exhibition spaces featuring the city’s maritime history, and a rooftop terrace offers mesmerizing views.

castle of alanya

Explore the ancient Shipyard, an impressive structure, once a naval base during the Seljuk period. This historical site showcases the city’s nautical heritage, with grand archways and vaulted ceilings. Venture outside the city to Alara Castle, another magnificent fortress steeped in history. Located in natural settings, the castle offers breathtaking views of the Alara River and surrounding countrysides.

Antalya: Step back into the 2nd century AD through the grand Hadrian’s Gate. This entrance once marked the boundary between ancient Attaleia and the Roman Empire. This monumental arch, adorned with intricate reliefs and marble columns, pays homage to the Roman Emperor Hadrian’s visit. The arch leads to Kaleici, the old quarter of Antalya city and where it all began. Prepare to be enchanted by the graceful beauty of Kaleici’s Ottoman houses, some of which date back centuries. Admire intricately carved wooden balconies, elegant bay windows, and colourful facades that tell the tales of Antalya’s rich heritage.

view of hadrian's gate in old city of antalya

Also Marvel at the iconic Yivli Minare Mosque, a masterpiece of Seljuk architecture that graces Antalya’s skyline with the distinctive fluted minaret. Built-in the 13th century, the mosque boasts intricate tilework, elegant calligraphy, and a serene courtyard. Venture to Hıdırlık Tower, dating from the Roman era. Once part of the ancient city walls, this watchtower overlooks the harbour. Today, this picturesque vantage point provides breathtaking views.

Immerse yourself in antiquities at the Antalya Archaeological Museum, where thousands of artefacts tell the stories of ancient civilizations. From Roman sculptures to Hellenistic jewellery, the museum’s impressive collections showcase Antalya’s culture. Lastly, transport yourself to old performances at the Aspendos Ancient Theatre, one of the world’s best-preserved Roman theatres. With seating for over 15,000 spectators, the theatre showcases extraordinary acoustics and hosts various cultural events and concerts.

Also, venture to ancient Perge nearby, wander through well-preserved ruins and uncover remnants of a once-thriving Greco-Roman settlement. Admire the magnificent Roman Gate, grand Agora, and impressive Roman baths, among other fascinating structures.

The Winner: Overall, Antalya and Alanya have historical merits, but we prefer Antalya. There seems to be history on every corner, and there are more hidden surprises every time we visit places like the old town of Kaleici. Kaleici also ranks as one of the top visited attractions of the Antalya region.

3: Attractions and Activities

Introduction: Get ready for many activities and things to do. The significant aspect is that the drive between the two resorts is just 2 hours; hence, get a bus up the highway for those one-off activities. You will find the standard jeep safaris, water sports like Scuba diving, and daily boat trips in both alternatives. However, there are some specific activities for each region.


  • Dim Cave and Dim River: Discover the underground wonder of Dim Cave, with impressive stalactites and stalagmites. After exploring the cave, take relaxing boat trips or swim in the refreshing waters of the Dim River.
  • Alanya Harbor: Stroll along the lively harbour area, known for its bustling atmosphere, restaurants, cafes, and bars.
  • Alanya Aqua Park: Have fun-filled days at the Alanya Aqua Park, featuring water slides, pools, and entertainment for the whole family.
  • Alanya Ataturk House and Museum: Explore the former residence of Turkey’s founder, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, which is now a museum showcasing his life and accomplishments.
  • Alanya has a marina called Alanya Marina (Alanya Setur Marina). This modern and well-equipped marina offers berthing and facilities for local and visiting yachts and boats. The marina provides easy access to the coastline and beautiful beaches of Alanya.

tourist boats in the port of alanya, turkey


  • Duden Waterfalls: Experience Duden Waterfalls, just a short distance from the city centre. Enjoy scenic walks along the park and witness cascading waterfalls pouring into the Mediterranean Sea.
  • Antalya Aquarium: Discover marine life from around the world at the Antalya Aquarium. The largest tunnel aquarium in Europe offers captivating underwater experiences.
  • Manavgat Waterfall: Take day trips to Manavgat Waterfall, on the Manavgat River. Enjoy the scenic beauty and surrounding nature.
  • Antalya Cable Car: Ascend to the top of Tahtali Mountain with the Olympos Cable Car for breathtaking views of the Mediterranean coastline and the Taurus Mountains.
  • Aqualand Water Park: Have fun-filled days with family and friends at Aqualand Water Park, offering several water slides and pools.

Winner: Alanya and Antalya both win since both offer a high range of things to do. One thing is sure, and that is you will never be bored.

4: Nightlife and Dining Out

Naturally, outside nightlife and dining scenes are famous because both resorts sit on the Turkish Mediterranean. Mediterranean cuisine from Spring through to Autumn revolves around seaside and rooftop dining. Diners generally feast on mezes and fish dishes. However, both resorts also offer restaurants that serve international menus like Chinese, steal, pasta and Indian. Alanya does have decent nightlife scenes. There is a whole street dedicated to bars. However, Antalya wins because it has more places to party the night away and feast on sumptuous food.

aerial sunset view of antalya, turkey

5: Shopping Delights

Alanya: Alanya is known for lively bazaars and markets selling various products. Near the harbour, the Alanya Bazaar is famous for shopping for clothing, accessories, souvenirs, spices, and more. The weekly Tuesday market in Alanya sells fresh produce, textiles, and local goods. But Alanya has numerous shops catering to visitors. You’ll find abundant beachwear, accessories, and souvenirs along the beachfront and in the city centre.

Antalya: Antalya offers modern shopping malls catering to diverse tastes and preferences. TerraCity, Mall of Antalya, and Mark Antalya are popular malls featuring international brands, fashion boutiques, electronics stores, and entertainment options. Antalya’s shopping malls and city centre also boast luxurious boutiques and high-end fashion stores offering designer clothing, accessories, and upscale goods. Otherwise, Antalya’s Old Town (Kaleici) is great for finding antiques, traditional Turkish carpets, and local art galleries, providing glimpses into the city’s rich cultural heritage.

Winner: We much prefer the shopping scene in Antalya. The large shopping malls top it off, but the individual boutique shops also enhance our shopping experiences.

6: Turkish Real Estate

The choice between Alanya and Antalya for real estate investment depends on various factors, including personal preferences, investment goals, and budget. Both cities have unique advantages, so consider these factors before deciding.

Alanya: Alanya generally offers lower living costs than Antalya, making the area attractive for budget-conscious investors. Alanya is a popular tourist destination, attracting many visitors throughout the year. This creates potential for rental income if you plan to invest in properties for vacation rentals or long-term leasing. Alanya’s laid-back and relaxed lifestyle makes the place ideal for more tranquil atmospheres. See property in Alanya.

Antalya: Antalya has more amenities, including shopping malls, entertainment options, international schools, and healthcare facilities. Antalya’s economy is more diverse, offering broader employment opportunities, which can benefit those looking to work or start a business. As a larger city, Antalya generally has more developed infrastructure and better transportation connections, providing convenience and easy access to various areas. See property in Antalya.

Ultimately, the “better” choice between Alanya and Antalya for real estate investment depend on your specific needs and preferences. Conduct thorough research, visit both cities, and consult with us to gain deeper understanding of property markets, potential returns on investment, and the lifestyle each town offers.

antalya harbor. turkey

Which Is Easier To Get To?

Antalya, because the region has its own airport. Granted, Alanya sits near Gazipasa Airport, but the flight schedule is limited. The transfer time from Antalya airport to Alanya is roughly two hours. In contrast, it is just 30 minutes from Antalya city centre. Antalya Airport is 13 kilometres (8 miles) northeast of Antalya city centre, making it easily accessible to both the city and popular coastal resorts along the Turkish Riviera.

Antalya Airport has two main terminals. The Domestic Terminal serves flights within Turkey, while the International Terminal handles incoming and outgoing international flights. The airport services several Turkish airlines and hosts many international carriers. It operates flights to numerous destinations across Europe, Asia, and the Middle East, especially during the peak tourist season. Antalya Airport is well-connected to the city and surrounding areas. Travellers easily access taxis, private shuttles, and public buses from the airport to their desired destinations.

Which Is Cheaper?

Generally, if you are talking about rent, house prices, cost of living, and shopping, then Alanya is cheaper. This is because Antalya city centre is the Mediterranean hub. However, there are ways to save money and cut costs in both places.


Ultimately, the “better” choice between Alanya and Antalya depends on what you value most in a destination. If you prefer quieter, beach-focused lifestyles with a lower cost of living, Alanya might be the better choice. On the other hand, if you seek rich cultural scenes, historical attractions, and more amenities, Antalya might be the preferred option. Visit both places, explore their unique offerings, and consider your preferences before deciding.

Further Reading About Antalya and Alanya

Antalya Province: Antalya city centre and Alanya belong to the larger Antalya province. Beyond the vibrant city of Antalya, the region is dotted with charming towns and villages. Visit the idyllic town of Side, whose ancient ruins merge seamlessly with the modern-day ambience, or go golfing in Belek. Enjoy the beaches of Kemer or indulge in the luxury of Kalkan. The choice is there!

About Natalie

Natalie is a dedicated real estate professional currently working at Spot Blue International Property. With over a decade of experience in the industry, she has acquired a wealth of knowledge and expertise regarding global properties.

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