Kusadasi is a resort town located on Turkey’s Aegean Coast that is best known as a jumping off point for visits to Ephesus, the best preserved classical city in eastern Turkey. Just a few decades ago, it wasn’t much more than a small seaside village, but the growth of the local tourism industry has brought modernization and commercialization.
How to Get to Kusadasi
It is an easy walk from the cruise ship terminal to downtown Kusadasi.
One Day in Kusadasi
Chances are you won’t be spending much time in Kusadasi itself as most cruise passengers join half or full day excursions to nearby Ephesus. If you do stick around, think of it as a chance to kick back and relax for a day. Try a Turkish bath, head to the beach to soak up some sun or cool off at the wave pools and water slides at one of the city’s aqua parks. You may also like to take a walk out to the small hilltop fortress on Pigeon Island, accessible by a footbridge just across from the port.
If you want to get a glimpse of historic Kusadasi, head to the Kaleici neighborhood, just north of Barbaros Hayrettin Caddesi, the main pedestrian street in town. Wander the narrow streets and visit the Kaleiçi Camii, a mosque built in 1618, and the Öküz Mehmet Pasha caravanserai, built the same year.
Of course, you shouldn’t leave Kusadasi without checking out the bazaars, the perfect places to try your hand at haggling and do some souvenir shopping – carpets, copper goods, jewelry and ceramics are all popular.
The cruise ship terminal is part of a modern mall with a variety of Western-style shops and eateries. The official currency is the Turkish lira, although Euros and US dollars may be accepted at some stores. Turkish is the official language, but locals may know some English.