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  • Admission: Free
Pre-Roman ancient ruins are just a day trip from Kusadasi in the ruined city of Sardis, the capital of the kingdom of Lydia from the 7th to 6th centuries BC.

For a time Sardis was renowned throughout classical antiquity as the richest city on the planet, known for its legendary supply of gold washed down from the Tumulus Mountains. The term ‘rich as Croesus’ refers to that gold and the last Lydian ruler, King Croesus, who is thought to have invented gold coins.

In fact, settlement here dates back to Paleolithic times, but most of that history lies underground, destroyed by millennia of earthquake activity. Nowadays, the site is famous for its impressive Roman ruins, built hundreds of years after the city’s initial burst of fame, in around the 2nd century AD.

On a visit to the site you’ll see a grand double-story framework of columns and architraves outlining the extent of the Roman-era gymnasium. The baths here date from the 3rd century AD, and shops once lined the nearby street of marble stone. Fine capitals carved with acanthus leaves and classical curlicues have survived, along with mosaic tiled floors and statues.

You’ll also see the Synagogue with its marble court and mosaics, the acropolis and the celebrated Temple of Artemis, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Don’t miss the example of the Romans’ communal toilets, with a shared row of seating suspended over a latrine. The town’s arena was destroyed by an earthquake nearly 2,000 years ago, and there are more recent ruins dating from the Byzantine period.

Practical Info

The Roman ruins of Sardis are 162 kilometers (100 miles) from Kusadasi, arranged along the highway connecting Ankara and Izmir. The best way to visit Sardis is on a guided tour.

Tours & Tickets

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Private Jewish Heritage Tour: Sardis and Imir Day Trip from Kusadasi

Combine a visit to the ancient ruins of Sardis with a tour of Izmir's Jewish neighborhoods on a full-day excursion from Kusadasi! While enjoying personalized ...  Read more

Location: Kusadasi, Turkey
Duration: 8 hours (approx.)

From USD $100.00

Jewish Sites in Sardis

Spend a day exploring the Jewish site in the ancient capital of Lydia - Sardis. You will visit the Marble Synagogue and Gymnasium, along with the Smyrna Market ...  Read more

Location: Izmir, Turkey
Duration: 9 hours (approx.)

From USD $165.00

Private Tour: Jewish Sites in Sardis

Your private tour will depart Izmir for Sardis, capital of ancient Lydia, where once the churches of St. John existed. Sardis is located at the foot of the ...  Read more

Location: Izmir, Turkey
Duration: 8 hours (approx.)

From USD $100.00

See all Sardis Tours & Tickets

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