Alanya Castle

As you know, Turkey has been home to lots of different civilizations in different periods of history, and because of that historical characteristic, you can see historical castles, churches, statues, mosques in every different region of the country.

Alanya Castle is one of them. However, it is not an ordinary castle you can see in any city in Turkey. Alanya Castle is located in one of the most impressive places in Turkey.

It offers you a great landscape that you can not find anywhere else in the world. Beautiful, turquoise water of the Mediterranean and lush gardens will hypnotize you. We strongly advise visiting Alanya Castle to every traveler who visits the Mediterranean shores of Turkey. 

Places which offer you a natural beauty and historical atmosphere at the same time are very rare. In Alanya Castle, you can feel the ambiance of Medieval times while watching the fascinating landscape of Alanya, one of the most beautiful districts of Turkey.  If you start thinking about visiting Alanya Castle after reading these features, and curious about the details, I suggest you read the rest of the article. 

Visiting Alanya Castle

How do you get to Alanya Castle?

Reaching Alanya Castle from the city center is very easy. You can prefer public buses or cable car if you do not have your own car. Taxis are also available. However, if you do not mind walking about 40 minutes and reaching the hill on your feet, you can also walk to Alanya Castle from the center of Alanya.

It would be a good sightseeing activity for you. Let’s look at the means of transportations to get to Alanya Castle in details;

Public Bus

You can take a public bus to get to Alanya Castle from the Alanya center.  The first bus leaves Cuma Pazari (Friday Bazaar) at 07:30 every day. Then,  you can take a public bus from the Cuma Pazari bus stop every hour between 09:00 and 19:00. You should take bus number 4 to get to Alanya Castle.  The bus will take you to the gate of the castle.  You can reach the top of the castle by walking.

Cable Car

If you want to make your Alanya Castle trip more interesting, you can also reach the Castle by cable car. You can begin your journey on a cable car from the Damlatas station. The cable car will take you to the walking trail of the castle.  The trip will take about 10 minutes.

Cable car operates between Damlataş and Alanya Castle

If you want to see the wonderful landscape of Alanya from the skies on your journey to Alanya Castle, the cable car would be a good choice for you. Of course, you should not prefer the cable car option if you have acrophobia. 

The cable car service works between 10:00-18:00 on weekdays and 11:00-19:00 on the weekends.  You can see details about price tariff below(as of December 2020);

  • Round-Trip Ticket: 33 TL
  • One Way Ticket: 26 TL
  • Round-Trip Student Ticket: 20 TL
  • One Way Student Ticket: 17 TL

Taxi

If you do not have your own car and do not want to get to the castle by public transportation, a taxi would be a good choice. The city center of Alanya is not far away from the castle.  The distance between the city center and Alanya is 2 miles (3.5 km). Therefore, you will pay about 26.50 TL (3 USD, as of December 2020).

Private Car

You can get to Alanya Castle in your private car easily. The ride will take about 10 minutes. Keep in mind that you need to pay for parking if you want to get to the castle in your private car. 

Hours

Alanya Castle serves as an open-air museum today. Therefore, it is open to visitors at certain hours.  You can visit the castle on the weekdays. On the weekends the museum is closed. The visiting hours differ according to seasons.  Below, you can see details about visiting hours in different seasons.

  • Summer Season: April 1 – October 31

Opening Time: 08:00

Closing Time:  19:00

  • Winter Season: October 31 – April 1

  Opening Hour: 10:00

   Closing Hour:   16:00

Entrance fee 

The entrance fee is 30 TL. (3.93 USD, as of December 2020). People who have the museum card of the Culture and Tourism Mİnistry can visit the castle for free twice a year.

However, the museum card is only available for Turkish citizens and for foreigners who are settled in Turkey. If new regulations are made in the future, you can also visit Alanya castle or another museum in Turkey with a museum card, but you need to pay 30 Turkish Liras now.  

Best time to visit 

It is suitable to visit the castle at any time in the year.

Alanya is a district of Antalya as you probably know, and located in the Mediterranean region of Turkey.  Therefore, the climate of Alanya is a classical Mediterranean climate. Summers are hot and dry in Alanya. Winters are mild and rainy. So, we can say that you do not feel very cold even in the winter.

If you visit Alanya castle in the autumn and winter months, it would be a good idea to take a coat with you because most probably you will be rained out.

If you visit the castle during the summer, we recommend you to wear a hat, and put on sunscreen because of the burning Sun. In the hot summer months, visiting the castle early in the morning is a good idea to prevent sultry weather.

How long to spend

Spending half the day in the castle would be a good choice if you want to explore all sections of this fascinating castle.

As we said, Alanya Castle serves as an open-air museum today. There are old castles in different places in the world today. However, most of them only offer you a good landscape and old city walls. Alanya Castle is not one of them. Most parts of the castle are preserved in the best possible way. Therefore, we advise you to allocate time for Alanya Castle.

Notable parts that you must visit

Red Tower

The red tower could be the most fabulous part of the castle. The tower was built in 1226 as a watchtower according to historical sources.

View of Red tower from the sea

It is 108 feet (33 meters) tall.  There are five different floors in the tower. If you want to enjoy a great landscape of Alanya from the top of the castle you should reach the top floor.  The name of the tower comes from the color of bricks which were used in the interior of the tower. 

Inner Castle

The inner castle is another section of the Alanya castle which you must see. It is at the highest point of the Western side of the castle. Strong fortification walls of the inner castle were built to protect the castle. According to estimates of archaeologists the inner castle was built in the 3rd Century BCE. Historians believe that there were a church and cemetery in different periods of history in the castle. However, they were destroyed or converted into different buildings in time. Structures you can see in the inner castle today were generally built in the Seljuk era. 

The Shipyard

The shipyard is another important section of the Alanya Castle. It was also built in the time of the Seljuk Empire. The walls of the shipyard are really impressive. As you can guess, the Seljuk Empire used this shipyard to construct ships or repair the old ships. A surprising fact about this shipyard is that it was being used actively until the 1960s.

Shipyard

History of Alanya Castle

Alanya Castle has been used by different civilizations such as the Roman Empire, Byzantine Empire, Seljuk Empire, and the Ottoman Empire throughout history. We do not have specific information on the time of the building. However, we can say that the history of the castle dates back to the 4th century BCE according to notes of Scylax, a Greek geographer who lived in the 6th century BCE.

According to texts from the old centuries, it became a very important port in the 2nd century BCE. In the 2nd century BCE, the castle was a commonplace among pirates. After the Roman conquest of the city, fortification works for the walls accelerated. 

In the Byzantine Era, the castle was a very important point for the Empire. It was perhaps the most active port of all Mediterranean sea.  In this period, churches and monasteries were built in the castle. 

In the Seljuk period, the castle maintained its important role. In the Seljuk Era, the walls of the castle were restored, and new walls were added to the castle for protection. Moreover, most of the significant parts of the building such as the Red Tower and the shipyard were also built in the time of the Seljuk Empire.  Alanya Castle was very important for the Seljuk Empire because they wanted to be a major power in the Mediterranean Sea. 

A map of Alanya in 16th century by famous Turkish admiral Piri Reis

After the fall of the Seljuk Empire,  the castle was controlled by the Cyprus Kingdom for a short time. Then, it came under the rule of the Ottoman Empire until the 1920s and had always been an important castle. 

Until 1960, the shipyard of the castle was actively used by the Turkish Republic. After that year, the castle turned into a museum.  You can see the remnants from different civilizations in the castle today.

Alanya Castle is waiting for you if you want to explore the Mediterranean culture in different periods of history while watching the great landscape of Alanya.

Further Information and Tips 

Our first tip for your Alanya castle visit is about transportation. As we said in the first parts, there are different means of transportation you can choose for your Alanya Castle visit. If you ask my opinion, I advise you to choose the cable car option to reach the castle if you do not have acrophobia. Watching the natural beauty of Alanya from the cable car would be a unique experience for you.  However, for the return path I advise you to walk to the city center. Alanya is a district of Antalya and it is not very large in terms of area. Therefore, you can complete the sightseeing while walking from the castle to the city center. It would take about 40 minutes, but it is absolutely worth it.

Another tip about the Alanya castle’s visit is about transportation again. As I said, the castle is not far away from the city center, and you can reach the castle in about 10 minutes by car. However, I do not recommend reaching the castle by car even if you use your own car. First of all, you will probably miss some beauty of Alanya while driving the car. You come here to explore new places, new cultures. So, there is no need to rush. Take your time and enjoy the beauty of Alanya. Moreover, you need to pay for the parking and especially in the summer parking places would be full. You may need to leave your car in a remote area. 

My last tip comes for the lovers of culinary tourism. I advise you to taste local Turkish food in the restaurants around the Alanya Castle. As you probably know, Turkey is famous for its rich cuisine. Alanya is a perfect place to try different fish and seafood dinners. You can also try different kebabs or olive oil dishes. After a long walk in the castle, most probably you will feel hungry and tired. Having dinner in a good Turkish restaurant will make you feel good. Do not forget that you should not consider a trip to Turkey as ‘finished’’ until you taste traditional Turkish food.  

İsmail Çamönü

Hi! I am Ismail. I am a digital nomad from Turkey. I lived in many cities around Turkey during my life and I am passionate about traveling. At Nomad's Guide to Turkey, I share travel tips for nomads, expats, and tourists who would like to visit Turkey.

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