The resort town of Kusadasi is located on the Aegean coast of Turkey. Once a sleepy seaside town, Kusadasi is now a bustling centre for tourism, with a population of over 50,000 and marble finished sidewalks. The colourful and lively town boasts vibrant carpet markets, Turkish baths and narrow streets with plenty of bars and restaurants.
However, the main appeal of Kusadasi is its proximity to the ancient city of Ephesus. The well-preserved ruins include foundations of the famous Temple of Artemis, as well as the impressive pillars of the Library of Celsus and the enormous Great Theatre. It is possible to imagine the lives of the citizens that occupied the ancient world, as well as famous inhabitants such as Cleopatra and the Apostle Paul. Ephesus continues to amaze visitors as they wander its stony streets, connecting the more than thirty buildings that still remain. The fascinating history of the city is palpable at every turn.
Kusadasi is a common stop on cruise itineraries that explore the Mediterranean region. Due to its popularity, the cruise seasons stretches from February to December.
The port of Kusadasi is located right in downtown Kusadasi, only a 5 minute walk from the main shopping area. It’s also an easy walk along a boulevard to Pigeon Island (also known as Guversin Adasi).
Kusadasi has a new cruise terminal, designed for the comfort of tourists.
- A modern mall (Scala Nuova), which has European style shops
- Scenic promenades
- Duty-free shop that can be accessed on return to the cruise ship.
The town of Kusadasi itself also has plenty of facilities for tourists. The Kusadasi Bazaar and the surrounding area offer excellent shopping from local markets for items including carpets, clothing, jewellery and local crafts. The streets of ‘old’ Kusadasi also have plenty of bars and restaurants.
How to Get Around
Kusadasi is a very walkable town. A map can be obtained at the Tourist Information Office, which is located in the Iskele Meydani across the street from the harbour. Only a short walk away from the harbour, are the attractions of the shopping district, as well as ‘old’ Kusadasi with all of its restaurants.
Most ships organise a trip to Ephesus. However, it can also be reached by taxi or by renting a car and driving yourself. When travelling by taxi, agree on a fare before setting off and make sure to organise the return journey as well. You can easily rent a car in Kusadasi, but it is advisable to book before your arrival and make sure you have all the relevant licenses and insurance.
Travel times from the port:
- It is a 5 minute walk to the main shopping precinct
- It is a 30 minute walk to Guversin Adasi.
- It is about a 25 minute journey to Ephesus
- It is about a 10 minute journey to Kadinlar Denizi.
- Currency - The Turkish lira is the official currency of Kusadasi. Coins are in denominations of 1, 5, 10, 25 and 50 kuruş and 1 Turkish lira, and notes are available in 1, 5, 10, 20, 50 and 100 Turkish lira.
- Time Zone - Kusadasi operates on Eastern European Time (EET), which is 2 hours ahead of Universal Standard Time (UTC). Turkey switches to Daylight Savings at the end of March, turning the clocks forward 1 hour. The country returns to EET in October.
- Weather - Kusadasi has a generally warm climate, with hot summers and mild winters. The average maximum daytime temperature is 32 degrees Celsius in July and 13 degrees in January. When visiting in the summer be prepared for the hot, humid climate and make sure to always have water with you.
- Ephesus - Most ships arrange an excursion to Ephesus, so make sure you take the opportunity to visit one of the best-preserved ancient cities, or organise a private taxi there yourself. Private tours can also be organised at local travel agencies in Kusadasi. The fascinating ruins transfix every visitor that makes the journey; the sheer scope of the city and the intricacy of the buildings are breathtaking. Be prepared for the crowds and the heat in summer, and take plenty of water. There are restaurants nearby so you can take a break from sightseeing.
- Kadinlar Denizi - The beach of Kadinlar Denizi is only 2.5 kilometres south of Kusadasi, and can be reached by taxi from the port. The beach boasts bright blue waters and beachside bars.
- Guversin Adasi (Pigeon Island) - Take a trip across the causeway to this tiny rocky island. It is home to a pretty flower garden that surrounds a medieval fortress, which houses a restaurant and café. The romantic, relaxed pace of the island is a welcome break from the mainland. It is about a 30 minute walk from the port of Kusadasi.