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With its popular beaches and European-style shops and restaurants along the waterfront, Kusadasi is primarily regarded as a resort town frequented by cruise ships and populated by European holiday-goers. But this city on the west coast of Turkey (officially the Republic of Türkiye) offers the seasoned global traveler plenty to love, including a stunning example of 17th-century Ottoman architecture at Okuz Mehmed Pasha Caravanserai. Apart from the attractions, however, the city’s most enticing appeal is its prime location with easy access to some of Turkey’s most popular historic and natural attractions. Take a short ferry ride to the Greek island of Samos, home to Pythagoras and Epicurus, or spend the day lounging aboard the deck of a boat on the Mediterranean Sea. The large set of Aegean ruins at Ephesus—including the House of Virgin Mary, Basilica of St. John, and Temple of Artemis—lure travelers away from the city, as do the smaller but equally important sites at Priene, Didyma, and Miletus. With so many tours geared to please the cruise passengers coming and going from Izmir Port, finding a streamlined shore excursion to any of these attractions is a breeze. Private tours offer customizable itineraries best suited to your interests, while group tours help you save money on the most popular attractions.
For the high season buzz, come in July and August when the Aegean coast fills with Turkish and foreign travelers. By September, temperatures remain warm but the crowds thin. If you’re using Kusadasi at a jumping-off point to visit archaeological destinations such as Ephesus or the Temple of Artemis, get an early start in summer to avoid crowds and heat. Seeing the ruins requires a lot of walking, so consider a spring or fall trip for milder weather.
Although many visitors opt for a hired driver or guide, getting around Kusadasi independently is a breeze thanks to the city’s network of domus routes, or shared minibus services. A staple of any Turkish city, they can be flagged down like a taxi from most street corners with a hand wave. Routes connect the town center to outlying beaches. To explore the Ephesus ruins, it’s best to take a taxi or private bus service, or go on a tour.
Kusadasi may be bustling and cosmopolitan, but it also runs rich with Turkish traditions. Keep your eyes peeled for the nazar, a blue symbol meant to protect against the evil eye. If you’re hankering for a less crowded coastline, then skip jam-packed Ladies Beach and head south to pristine Dilek Peninsula National Park. Or, consider coming in early fall, when the days are still warm but the hordes have moved on.
Kusadasi in Turkey is known as a popular holiday destination due to its wealth of experiences and attractions. Travelers have the chance to delve into the local culture at the vibrant Eski Cami mosque in the center of town and explore centuries of history, including the nearby Ephesus ruins....More
Yes, Kusadasi is worth visiting for its beautiful beaches, endearing hospitality, and hot summers. From sunning in the sand to snorkeling and scuba diving along the coastline, there is no shortage of activities. As home to Ephesus—one of the largest ancient ruins in Turkey—Kusadasi attracts history buffs, too....More
Yes, Kusadasi is a top Turkish travel destination, and it’s growing in popularity among tourists from around the world. Located in the western part of the Turkish coast, the town boasts a mix of activities and historical monuments including Manisa Castle and Ephesus, as well as a notable nightlife scene....More
Yes, the medium-sized city of Kusadasi is bigger than Marmaris if you’re measuring by population, although both of the cities’ numbers swell when tourists come to town. Kusadasi has bigger beaches, but Marmaris is known for large resorts, so choosing a destination depends on your preferences....More
Both Kusadasi and Antalya offer rugged, coastline views. Kusadasi boasts a bustling bazaar, crystal blue waters, shops and restaurants, and the ancient ruins of Ephesus. Meanwhile, Antalya delivers golden beaches, views from mountaintops along its coastline, as well as natural wonders such as the Manavgat and Kursunlu waterfalls....More
In Kusadasi, market day is every Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday. Visit around midmorning to find a wide array of goods, including fresh produce, and traditional items. The market includes a variety of vendors and is the perfect spot to pick up locally made gifts. Don’t forget to sample the delicious street food....More
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