Kizil Kule (Red Tower) in Alanya

Page update - Apr 3, 2023

What is the Kizil Kule Tower of interest to tourists? What do tourists see there? How to get there by public transport? How much does it cost to get in? What are the opening hours? Which architectural details are must-see? Read the answers on our page.

Prices and other information on this page were updated in April 2023. Kizil Kule Tower is open to visitors.

Latest news

Since September 2022, most of the area, including the fortress walls, around Kizil Kule have been closed to visitors. Previously, the whole area around the fortress was open to all. But now it has been fenced off with a metal grid.

The reason is simple. At a certain point it turned out that the historic walls were spray-painted, there were mountains of rubbish everywhere, and even homeless people were living in the recesses of the walls. The authorities solved the problem radically. They closed the area to free access. A pity. Naturally, the tower itself remained open to visitors.

Brief description

Kizil Kule Tower (Turkish: "Kızıl Kule", "Red Tower") in Alanya town was built in the 13th century by the Seljuk Sultan Kayqubad the Great. The tower was the main protective structure for the harbor and the shipyard of Alanya during the Middle Ages.

Kizil Kule has survived magnificently until today and is now completely open for tourists. You can see it pictured in the Alanya flag and it is one of the town symbols.

Kizil Kule is considered one of the masterpieces of medieval fortification architecture. It is 33 meters (108 feet) high, 29 meters (95 feet) in diameter and 12.5 meters (41 feet) wide on each of its 8 sides. The capacity is up to 2,000 defenders (as described by the historian Evliya Celebi). However, it had a garrison of only 40 soldiers in peacetime. The tower has 5 floors and 85 steps leading to the top.

The tower offers tourists a unique view of the harbor and the eastern beach of Alanya. We will tell you all about it in detail in the second part of this page, but right now it's organizational issues.

How to get there

Taxi is the easiest and most comfortable way to get there. The ride cost depends on the distance. For example, it will cost 50 or more liras from hotels on the east or west beach in Alanya. Taxi drivers rarely agree to go for less for such a trip. For the current exchange rates of the Turkish currency, see our review "Turkish lira".

In the case of hotels in the resort areas of Ocuzhdalar or Gazipasa (farest resorts), the cab ride will cost 500-600 liras. See the distance and calculate the prices according to the official rates which we gave in the detailed review "Taxis in Turkey - fares and rules". Tell the driver the phrase "kizil kule" and he will understand.

You can walk from hotels on the west and east beaches of Alanya. The distance is within 5 kilometers (3 miles). Just walk along the coast in the direction of the peninsula.

By public transport. Catch a dolmus (shuttle bus) towards Alanya on the D400 highway. The fare ranges from 7 to 30 liras. You get on Ataturk Boulevard and walk one kilometer (0.6 mile) to Kizil Kule or take Dolmus 4 (shuttle bus) directly to Alanya Castle.

From hotels of other resorts of the Mediterranean Sea (Side, Belek, Antalya, Kemer), we do not see sense to go. It's far and tiring, and Kizil Kule is not a TOP-attraction in Turkey. You can buy a full day sightseeing tour in Alanya and see Kizil Kule. The price of such a tour is 40-50 dollars per person.

Opening hours

Summer season (April to October) - 8-30 am to 8-30 pm (8-30 to 20-30).

Winter season (November to March) - 8-30 am to 5-30 pm (8-30 to 17-30).

Admission price

15 Turkish liras.

A combo ticket to Kizil Kule Tower + Shipyard + Damlatas Cave is 30 liras.

For the current exchange rates of the Turkish currency, see our review "Turkish lira".

It is interesting to see Kizil Kule and the whole harbor of Alanya from the sea. You can buy a short tour by boat for 20 Euros (20 US dollars or 20 UK pounds).

A bit of history

In the early 13th century, most of Anatolia (present-day Turkey) belonged to the Seljuk Turks. In 1220, Kayqubad I became the Seljuk sultan. He expanded the borders of the Sultanate, conquered several Turkic neighbors, and began preparing to repel the Mongol threat. He went down in history as Kayqubad the Great. His images did not remain, but authors of computer game Civilization V represent him as shown in the screenshot below, click to enlarge.

Kayqubad the Great has made the port city Syedra as capital, having renamed it to Alanya. The city reconstructed its port and built a closed shipyard. Fortifications were required to protect the port.

The Sultan of Kayqubad invited the architect Ebu Ali Reh El-Kettani from Aleppo, Syria, to build a large defensive tower. He also built the Sinop Fortress for the sultan. The lower part of the tower was built of stone. When it became too difficult to lift the large stones upwards, they continued to build it in red brick, hence the name. By 1226, the octagonal tower was completed.

The tower did not encounter big misfortunes and never suffered serious sieges. That is why it is so well preserved in its original state.

The Kizil Kule tower was extensively reconstructed in 1951-53. The Ethnographic Museum of Alanya was established there in 1979.

What to see - architecture

The tower is 30 to 33 meters (98 to 108) high. The tower is on a slope, with a height of 33 meters (108 feet) on the east wall and 30 meters (98 feet) on the west wall. The diameter is 29 meters (95 feet), each of the 8 faces is 12.5 meters (41 feet) wide. The capacity is up to 2,000 defenders (as described by the historian Evliya Celebi). However, a garrison of only 40 soldiers was kept in peacetime.

The tower has 5 floors and 85 steps leading to the top. There are 56 embrasures in the walls and some of them can be used for artillery. There are 22 openings for boiling water or tar.

At the first look, Kizil Kule appears to be a simple building but this impression is wrong. There is a supporting column in the center of the structure, which holds the floors. The cavity in this column was used as a reservoir for water. You will see a gutter and an opening to collect rainwater on the upper terrace.

Each floor has its own design according to its military purpose. The top floor is a terrace with a circular walkway and three levels for the defenders.

Note the front door. It is very small, with a narrow corridor behind it, easily defended by a small force. Guides tell tourists that the door is low so that whoever enters (except children) cannot pass without reverence. But this is rather a beautiful legend, and the small door was needed for easy defense of the entrance. And who is there to reverence? After all, the sultan did not live in the Kizil Kule tower, but he lived in the castle.

The guides also say that criminals and unfaithful wives were thrown from the top of the tower in the Middle Ages. Is it true or not? It is difficult to say, as written sources do not mention anything about it. Probably not, as this method of execution is very impractical.

What to see - The Ethnographic Museum

Located just outside the front door, this museum takes up the entire ground floor. Models of ships from the Seljuk Sultanate and Ottoman eras are on display there. The exhibition is interesting but not very large. There are also temporary exhibitions. There is no extra charge for the temporary exhibitions.

What to see - views from the top floor

To see the best views and take the best photos, go up to the top floor-terrace and then ascend to the third level. The stairs are quite steep, so be careful. As the staircase looks like, see the photo near, click on the photo to enlarge it.

At the top, look between the teeth, a 360 degree view. To the north and east, you will see the harbor, the beach to the south, the old town to the west. Note the long wall that leads from Alanya Castle to Kizil Kule.

Salutations to the Kizil Kule administration. There are fences everywhere and you don't have to worry much about the children. It's rare to find such a responsible approach in Turkey.

What to see - commemorative inscriptions

There are two commemorative inscriptions on the walls. The first one at the entrance gate is a small inscription about the architect Ebu Ali Reh. Two more inscriptions on the southern and northern sides praise the Sultan Kayqubad the Great and say the year of construction is 632 according to the Islamic lunar calendar (year 1226) in the 4th lunar month.

The inscriptions are beautiful, but they are in ancient Arabic script, and it is difficult to understand them, even if you can read Arabic.

What to see - night lighting

Kizil Kule tower is illuminated with yellow lanterns at night. It is very beautiful and at those moments one wants to call it "Altyn Kule" ("The Golden Tower"). The best thing is to have dinner in one of the neighboring restaurants with a view of the spectacle.

Top tips

- If you get hungry, there are plenty of cafes and restaurants around Kizil Kule. The prices there are a little higher than the resort average. But the food there is excellent, too;

- Tickets are sold for Turkish liras at the ticket office. It is cheaper to pay for public transport in liras. Exchange your money beforehand. Read our in-depth review "How and where to change money in Turkey";

- It can be very hot at the top, especially after climbing the stairs of the tower (33 meters, 108 feet high). Shelter from the sun can be found on the lower level of the top floor. We strongly recommend that you wear a hat and cover your shoulders against the sun during the summer months. For safety precautions, see our review "What to take to Turkey".

We wish you a great experience in Kizil Kul, and read our interesting pages about Turkey (find the pages list below). © 2020-2024