Information & Facts
There are several interesting sights to explore while on holiday
in Alanya, including the medieval Alanya Castle and remains of a
Seljuk village, the Red Tower, and nearby Damlatas Caves. A
favourite is also the Dim Valley and Dim Cave. Other than
sunbathing and good swimming, there is also a water park, golfing,
mountain biking, bungee jumping, river rafting on the Alara River,
and excellent diving on offer. You can also take boat trips to
explore nearby caves.
Turkish is the official language, but English is widely
understood in the main tourist areas.
The official currency is the New Turkish Lira (TRY), which was
introduced on 1 January 2005, whereby six zeros were dropped from
the TL and the sub-unit New Kurush was created. Currency can be
exchanged at banks, exchange booths, post offices, airports and
ferry ports; banks have the worst rates and highest commissions,
but will exchange lesser known foreign currencies. Banks open
mainly Monday to Friday, but some are open daily in tourist areas.
ATMs are widely available in major cities and tourist areas, but
Turkish ATM keypads usually do not have letters of the alphabet on
their keys. Most bank branches have ATMs which accept Cirrus and
Plus. Major credit cards are widely accepted; the most popular are
Visa or MasterCard, but American Express is accepted in many of the
more expensive places. Travellers cheques can be exchanged at some
banks and currency exchange offices, but are not as welcome as cash
or credit cards. US dollars or Euros are preferred. Some pensions
and hotels in the most popular destinations accept US dollars as
Alanya is a popular holiday resort and can get very noisy and
crowded. The busy main highway runs through the resort, and causes
pollution, noise and congestion. An ancient lava field just below
the water line can be hard to negotiate while swimming.
Much of Alanya's nightlife is centred on the harbour, but
several more locally frequented bars and clubs can be found tucked
away in the side streets. Many of the clubs close relatively early,
but a free shuttle ferries serious partiers to Auditorium, an
enormous venue that stays buzzing until the wee hours and is away
from the town centre. Other favourites include James Dean, Robin
Hood and Bistro Bellman. Several venues also provide more
traditional entertainment such as belly dancing, fire shows and
traditional music. Beers in Turkey can be expensive, especially in
nightclubs, which may charge up to EUR4.50.
Alanya has a large range of restaurants, catering for a variety
of tastes, from traditional Turkish food to McDonalds. Some
favourites include Memos, serving traditional Turkish dishes such
as a delicious Ottoman stew, and Big Ben's for more English-style
breakfasts and Sunday roasts. Try a kebab or mezze platter,
followed by a cold Efes beer for an authentic Turkish experience.
If you eat from street vendors, remember that you can haggle the
price of your meal; haggling is frowned upon in restaurants and
grocery stores, however. Try local specialties like baklava and
thick, sludgy Turkish coffee.
Alanya has a range of good shops, and part of the fun is
perfecting your haggling skills. Barring food items, bargaining on
everything is expected and patience is key; one can usually expect
to get prices marked down by 30 to 50 percent. Touts can get
annoying and it is best to avoid shops with aggressive salesman.
Alanya offers some excellent jewellery stores, as well as leather
goods and clothing stores, a local market, and the usual tourist
tat. Hookahs (water pipes) and tobacco are popular souvenirs from
Alanya, as well as Turkish tea sets.