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General Information About Kusadasi

A brief travel information about Kusadasi, online maps, videos, tourist attractions, museums,  mosques, historical sites, old churches, shopping guide, landmarks, sightseeing places and more...

Kusadasi is famous with its international port and for being a base for visiting the neighborhood historical sites, the most famous one being Ephesus. Kusadasi is officially a part of Aydin province and located at a distance of 90 km (56 mi) to the south from the region's largest metropolitan center of Izmir and a short distance from the Greek Island of Samos, connected with daily ferryboat service. The city stands on a bay in the Aegean with the peninsula of Guvercin Ada sticking out into the sea at one end, and the mountain of Kaz Dagi behind.

Besides being very close to many historical places Kusadasi also provides a colorful nightlife, all summer activities you can imagine and it has many beautiful beaches around it. This makes Kusadasi unique among the similar resort towns in Turkey. The town is also visited in winter season by many tourists because the daily tours to Ephesus, Pamukkale etc are available from Kusadasi almost everyday round the year.


Landmarks and Museums

PS: Please see below map to locate all these landmarks

Kaleiçi Camii - the mosque built in 1618 for Grand Vizier Öküz Kara Mehmed Pasha.

The Öküz Mehmet Pasha Caravanserai is is a caravanserai located in Kuşadası, built by Ottoman statesman and military commander "Öküz" Mehmed Pasha (died 1619). After its renovation, the building is being used as a hotel today

Guvercin  / Pigeon Island - Just off Kuşadası harbor, a 350-meter-long causeway leads out to charming Pigeon Island, where the remnants of a 13th-century Byzantine fortress (which later became a pirates' lair) sit on the cliff. The island rampart walls, which wrap partially around the island, are a later addition dating to the early 19th century. Pigeon Island is a favorite spot for a seaside walk, and there is a lovely café here as well. This is the place to come for an early evening promenade and to admire the sunset.

Dilek Peninsula 
26 kilometers south of Kuşadası is the Peninsula lying between Kusadasi and Aydin centre. It is in Western (Aegean) coast of Turkey and it has many many rare plant species.  Full of gorgeous mountain scenery and rugged coastline views, the Dilek Peninsula is a national park area that makes an excellent, easy day trip from Kuşadası, 26 kilometers away. There are many beaches for swimming and sunbathing - Aydınlık Beach and Karasu Köyü Beach are the picks of the bunch. The Cave of Zeus (Zeus Maǧarası) is a popular tourist attraction within the reserve, and excellent hiking opportunities await on the park's network of forest trails. This is top of the things to do list for nature-loving tourists who want to get away from town.

Old City / Harbor Area
Most of Kuşadası's tourist attractions are found in the harbor area. The Kervansaray (caravanserai) here was built by Öküz Mehmet Paşa in 1618. Its battlemented facade was restored in the 1960s, and it has served as the Club Caravanserail Hotel since 1967. Just to the southwest, you can still seek out some good examples of 19th-century half-timbered houses in the typical traditional style of the region. The old town wall southern gate still survives here as well. The bazaar area, full of Turkish souvenirs, begins directly in front of the harbor dock.

Ladies Beach (Kadınlar Denizi)
This beach, two kilometers from town, is the most popular strip of sand in the area directly surrounding Kuşadası. There are water sports galore to keep the active happy, plenty of cafés if you're feeling peckish, and you can rent sun loungers and umbrellas. Unsurprisingly, in summer it can be crowded with both local families and foreign tourists. Weekdays tend to be slightly less of a jam, but don't expect empty sand at any time during July and August. Come out of season, though, and you may get a sprawl of shore all to yourself.

Number one is the nearby and very impressive ruins of Ephesus, the second largest city of the Roman Empire. From the agora, to public toilets, Celsius library, large amphitheatre, and terraced houses, a guided tour will help you appreciate the extensive excavation work of which we see the results


House of Virgin Mary
Near Ephesus, in the green hills of Selcuk is the house of the Virgin Mary. Said to be her last resting place, monks and nuns operate the day-to-day running of the establishment including frequent services of worship. Regardless of whether you are religious or not, the house is worth a visit.
See guided tours for Ephesus and the Virgin Mary’s house

Hemmed in by mountain vistas, the ruins of the Hellenistic city of Priene are thoroughly photogenic. This ancient port had its heyday between 300 BC and 45 BC, when its harbors bustled with commerce. The silting-up of the Meander River caused the city's demise, and by the 2nd century AD, Priene was abandoned. The star attraction here is the Temple of Athena, with its classical Ionian design, while the 6,500-seat theater is exceptionally well-preserved. Priene makes an excellent day trip, particularly when combined with Miletus.

Like Priene, Miletus is another great harbor city of the Hellenistic period, though as its harbor did not silt up, occupation here continued right through to the Seljuk era of the 14th century. This means that that the ruins here are more of a mix of the different time periods. Not to be missed is the vast theater, with its 15,000 seats and excellent views from the top tiers. It dates from the Greek era but was thoroughly reconstructed by the Romans. Just above the theater are some Byzantine fortress walls, and just to the east are the remnants of the Temple of Apollo. The surprisingly well-preserved Baths of Faustina lie to the south, past a Seljuk Caravanserai and more ancient Greco-Roman city ruins. There is also a very good museum dedicated to the history of both Miletus and Priene on site.

This Hellenistic religious center was home to the fabled Oracle of Didyma and the ancient world's second-largest temple. The Temple of Apollo still boasts its towering columns (which once numbered 122) and is one of the best-preserved examples of Greek temples in Turkey. The Oracle of Didyma was considered of high importance in the classical ancient world, only second in authority to the Oracle of Delphi. It was only under the rule of Constantine the Great and his conversion to Christianity that the Oracle's influenced waned.

Sirince Village
Also in the hills of Selcuk, is the small but charming village of Sirince. Known for their fruit based wines, they also specialise in homemade olive oil and local crafts and art. Wear your good walking shoes because the village is hilly but also lends to some remarkable landscape views.

Kirazli Village
The quaint village of Kirazli, surrounded by orchards and vine-covered fields, has a timeless feel. This is the perfect place for an afternoon of meandering through alleyways lined by traditional whitewashed village houses and soaking up the peaceful pulse of Turkish village life. There are some lovely restaurants and cafés here to while away a few hours of tranquil contemplation. If you're a foodie tourist, come here on a Saturday for the farmers market, which specializes in local organic produce. Kirazli is 10 kilometers east of Kuşadası.

Selcuk Town
Spend one full day in the nearby and traditional town of Selcuk. It has a museum as well as the ruins of the temple of Artemis, although not much of it remains. This excursion is more about delving into the culture and traditions of daily Turkish life.

Love Beach / Sevgi Plajı
Beach lovers are in their elements when visiting Kusadasi. Within the resort is the Long beach and Ladies beach, which also has a wide variety of water sports on offer. Head to the outskirts to discover beaches such as Pamuk in Selcuk or Love beach in nearby Davutlar.


Shopping in Kusadasi

Kusadasi Grand Bazaar is the biggest shopping center , situated near the Kusadasi Harbour, one of the largest shopping bazaar in Turkey, with well over 1000 Jewelry, Leather, Carpet and Souvenir shops. Shops in Kusadasi are open 7 days a week from 9 in the morning till midnight ! Bargaining during shopping is a must and having an offered drink (tea/coffee) while bargaining is a tradition.

Hand made Turkish Carpets, soft leather jackets and exquisite jewels are among the most desired items by visitors. The main reason for such trend is the low price and high quality of these items. Almost all of the shops accept credit cards, travelers checks and any major currencies. Most products come with manufacturer's warranty and you may return them within a certain time period. Salesmen and saleswomen are very friendly and speak most of the major languages.

The Kusadasi Market is held every Friday, where you can find anything you desire. It starts at the bottom of a hill and winds its way up hill passing fruit and vegetables, olives, cheeses, honey, live stock spices, jeweler and clothing stalls. There is the Orient Bazaar, with the wild bargaining for rugs. The downtown streets are filled with vendors and the delicious local candy, the Turkish delights. Anything leather: jackets, purses, gloves - or oriental rugs available with very steep prices but they last a lifetime. Jewelry is also a major business in Kusadasi and many jewelers line the street Barbaros.

The "downtown" area near the waterfront is quite modern, with many stores and an open air bazaar. Offerings range from typical souvenirs to fine jewelry and Turkish rugs. Hawkers frequently implore passersby to come inside, but with patience, visitors can find quality items at prices often somewhat better than in large cities. Bargaining is expected, and essential in the bazaar.

There are many showrooms displaying traditional Turkish handmade silk and wool carpets where staff happily explain the rug making process. Learn about silk production, natural color dyes and the art of traditional carpet weaving. There will be some pressure to buy, but should you wish to purchase a traditional Turkish rug, it will be sent to your home by world wide delivery if its available.



Kusadasi Transportation

There are scheduled bus connections to Kusadasi from all major cities and towns of Turkey. Izmir is the nearest airport to Kusadasi, (about 70 km) and there are frequent flights from Istanbul Ataturk Airport to Izmir. Hotels and travel agencies provide private airport transfers to Kusadasi hotels from Izmir airport, with extra payment. There are also plenty of public buses to Kusadasi from Izmir bus terminal.  If you are starting from Izmir Adnan Menderes airport, take the ESHOT 204 bus to the Izmir otogar. On the ground floor of the Izmir otogar there will be tickets stands for the various bus companies, e.g. Metro, Pamukkale. Bus tickets cost around 4-5 US Dollars and will drop you off at the Kusadasi otogar.


Visitors arriving with their rental cars can also arrive by highway (from north, south, and east); the city is linked by a modern six-lane highway to İzmir's Adnan Menderes Airport.

There are daily ferry services to and from the nearby Greek island of Samos.

The city is a port of call for cruise ships plying the Eastern Mediterranean. In a controversial deal in 2003, the previously public-owned port was leased to a private company and renovated to attract luxury cruise liners. Today, Kuşadası is the second busiest cruise port in Turkey, after Istanbul, mainly due to the archaeological attractions at Ephesus. The Kuşadası docks are right downtown, and terminals offer a good selection of stores including a duty-free shop.

To get around within the city there are 2 major ways. The first and the most common way is by minibus service (called dolmuş), which is available between 7:30 AM and 12:00 AM during the high season from May to October. Minibus routes and stops within town are shown by minibus signs by the roads.

The second way to get around in town is by taxi. To find a taxi, you’d rather go to their office or call one of the taxi companies than waiting on the street. Taxis are yellow with company names on side; and fees are paid according to taximeters : distance calculater which the driver switches on when you get in the taxi.