Kusadasi takes its name from the Turkish for 'Bird Island', a reference to Pigeon Island, which is connected to the mainland of Kusadasi by a short causeway.
The permanent population is approximately 50,000 residents, although that number grows significantly during the high season months of May to October.
Visitors can arrive by highway (from north, south, and east), ferries (from Samos) or cruise ships, which ply the Eastern Mediterranean. Docks are right downtown, and terminals offer a good selection of stores including a duty-free shop.
Long distance buses will drop you off at the 1 otogar. From there you can get a taxi or a dolmuş to your destination.
Taxi drivers in Kusadasi tend to be helpful and are normally happy to give you recommendations for restaurants, et al. But you must be careful and guard against fake taxis and scammers; make sure that the identification plate of the taxi starts with 09 T .
- 1 Ephesus (immediately east of Selçuk. You can take a dolmuş from the station and go either to Selçuk and catch another dolmus and be dropped at the door or just be dropped at a crossing, 10 minutes walking distance from the lower gate). One the country's major touristic attractions and a world class archaeological site. See the link for more details. 100 TL + 45 TL.
- 2 Dilek Peninsula National Park (Dilek Yarımadası Milli Parkı) (just south of resort town of Güzelçamlı, which is about 15-min minibus ride south of dolmus station). 8:30-16:30. this peninsula is perhaps the wildest stretch of land on the Turkish Aegean coast. Centred around the Mt Samsun (Samsun Dağı) which juts out towards the Greek island of Samos, this place covered with lush forests were declared as a national park in 1966 because of the rare species of animals inhabiting it. The Anatolian leopard (Panthera pardus tulliana), which is thought to be extinct by now, is the most important one. You will most likely not have a chance to encounter any of these rare fauna, except maybe a horde of wild horses if you choose to visit in winter, and perhaps the ubiquitous wild boars which mostly subsist on food refuse left by humans (sometimes being so bold as to scavenge unattended lunchboxes). Its hiking trails and secluded sandy and stony beaches are is a great get-away when you are bored of concrete sprawl of Aegean resorts. Some of the park is closed to the public (presumably for military reasons) when arriving overland, although all are attainable by boat tours departing from Güzelçamlı. 7 TL per-person, 21 TL per car.
- 3 Zeus Cave (Zeus Mağarası) (right before Milli Park entrance). Sinkhole 10 m (33 ft) deep pool made of mineral and salt-water.
- 4 Pigeon Island (Güvercinada). the symbol of Kusadasi with wonderful views of the city. Free.
- 5 Magnesia (on the Maeander), south of Gümüşyeniköy (take a dolmuş to Söke, from there take a bus to Aydin and mention either Magnesia or Gümüşyeniköy). ancient Greco-Roman city ruins with a large stadium with capacity for 30 thousand spectators. Work in progress. A must if you want to see a ruin site not yet ready for the public. ₺10.
There are some good beaches both south and north of Kusadasi. All beaches are commercialized with hotels surrounding them. The Kusadasi Beaches are world-famous and have received Blue Flag for clean sea and unique sand. Caretta Caretta sea turtles prefer to lay eggs in Kusadasi Davutlar Beach. All Kusadasi beaches have sand and After 50 meters the depth is 160 centimeters.
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.
- Mosaic Rugs, Mahmut Esat Bozkurt Cad. No:8, ☏ . Located next to the Port, a showroom displaying traditional Turkish handmade silk and wool carpets with an exhibition area where staff happily explain the rug making process. Learn about silk production, natural color dyes and the art of traditional carpet weaving. No obligation to buy, but should you wish to purchase a traditional Turkish rug to adorn your home then world wide delivery is available.
- Avlu Restaurant & Cafe, Cephane Sokak 15 (Located in the bazaar area behind the main post office.). Tasty Turkish food at a reasonable price. Friendly staff and relaxed atmosphere. Vegetarian options available upon request. Finish your meal with an excellent cup of Turkish coffee served in style.
Kusadasi nightlife can get very busy during the summer and offers many entertainments to nearly every age group. Much nightlife in Kusadasi centers around the Bars Street, which is well known to vacationers.
- Dias Hotel, Tarhan Candan Blv.. Family run 3-star hotel, friendly and clean. Englsh speaking staff, always friendly and helpful.
- Hotel Panorama, Kıbrıs Caddesi 14, Hacı Feyzullah (in downtown), ☏ , fax: , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Hotel Panorama is a cheap, convenient backpacker hostel to stay located just a minutes walk from the port in central Kusadasi. The owner/manager Ali is extremely welcoming and eager to help travelers with any of their plans and even has some inside contacts (ask about Ali Baba for tours to Ephesus). Furthermore, pick up is provided from the port along with a free drink upon arrival to the hostel. The rooms are clean and adequate with en-suite bathrooms and air-con and the hostel throws events at night for free such as Turkish spoon dancing and belly dancing and, if you are lucky, Ali's mother may invite you to a home cooked meal! €20/14/11/10 per person in single/doube/triple/dorm rooms. Cheaper Oct-Apr.
- Sezgin Hotel, Aslanlar Caddesi 68 (in downtown), ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. A guesthouse in old town owned by a former traveller. Rooms with en-suite bathrooms, balconies, and air-con. Staff can reportedly speak English, German, Japanese, and Korean.
- [dead link] Hotel Suer, Yeşilvadi Sokak No: 9, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Check-out: noon. Placed on a hilltop, the hotel offers a nice view with great sunsets. Not a bad choice if you are looking for a low price living. The hotel is located 20 minutes walk from Lady's Beach. To Kusadasi center you need to take a car. What's good is that you get free rides wherever you would like to go as long as it's close to Kusadasi. Don't expect too much and you will be happy with this hotel. Standard Turkish breakfast is served every morning. 30 TL/person, closed Oct-Mar.
Kuşadası falls within the area code (+90) 256, which is also shared by some nearby inland cities and towns, such as Aydın.
- Selçuk, home of Ephesus, one of the major and best preserved Greco-Roman sites in Turkey, among other attractions worth visiting.
- Didim, smaller resort town close to several archaeological sites.
- Greek island of Samos, just southwest of Kuşadası, makes a great side trip (or even day-trip for those not needing a Greek visa), thanks to daily boat connections, which depart more than once daily during high season.