Kusadasi is a complete city. In this city, history and modernity can walk hand in hand nicely. The best places (top tourist attractions) to visit in Kusadasi have a lot to do with the sea, sun, history, family fun, and shopping. Kusadasi has it all. For sure, it is worth visiting Kusadasi Turkey.
The Turkish city of Kusadasi may not be as popular as Istanbul or Cappadocia. But for your vacation plans in Turkey, of course, you can really consider visiting this city.
Kusadasi is a beach resort town that you can find in Turkey. This city is located on the west side of the Aegean coast.
Kusadasi is a tourist destination in Turkey that cannot be underestimated. Evidently, this city is often used as the main cruise ship destination.
Another proof, when you look at the port in Turkey, the surroundings are already filled with lots of hotels and restaurants.
These all prove that so far tourism has been going very well in Kusadasi.
You want to find an area in Turkey where you can walk by the sea, so in Kusadasi, you can do it very comfortably.
Definitely, tourism is the largest industry in Kusadasi.
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A little overview about Kusadasi.
Kusadasi is a large resort city, precisely on the Aegean coast of Turkey.
Kusadasi is also a seaside district in Turkey.
Kusadasi is in the province of Aydin. It is 95 km south of Izmir, and about 60 km from Aydin itself. Kusadasi has several neighbors such as Selçuk to the north, Germencik to the north-east, and Söke to the east and south.
The city is located along the bay which has the same name, namely Gulf of Kusadasi.
Close to Kusadasi, you can see first hand some of the ruins of the ancient city as a witness to the history of world civilization. And the most famous is the ancient city of Ephesus.
In Kusadasi, you can also find Güvercinada Island (also known as Pigeon Island) which is connected to the mainland of Kusadasi using a human-made causeway. It is adjacent to the large Kese Dağı hill close to the city center.
On Pigeon Island, there is a walled Byzantine Castle, where this castle used to have a very important role in protecting this city.
The name Kusadasi itself is derived from Turkish words, Kuş which means bird, and Ada which means island. It was given the name Kusadasi because the island is shaped like a bird’s head.
Then long after, in 1834 to be precise, Kusadasi changed its focus to developing the city. The castle and garrison on the island were rebuilt and expanded.
However, in the 19th century, trading activities in this city experienced a decline due to the opening of the railway connecting Izmir, Selcuk, and Aydin. This railway has bypassed access to Kusadasi.
Kusadasi realizes that they have the potential for world tourism in Turkey.
It is proven that during the summer each year, the population in Kusadasi has increased a lot.
This increase was due to the significant increase in tourists coming to Kusadasi. Whether they are local or international tourists, during the summer they come to enjoy this one of the largest resort cities in Turkey.
Is Kusadasi worth visiting as a good holiday destination?
Undoubtedly, the answer is YES. Kusadasi is worth a visit as a vacation destination. Here you can get a nice mix of sea, sun, history, family fun, entertainment, and not to forget is the shopping experience.
Kusadasi, in recent times, has been on par with other tourist destinations in Turkey such as Antalya for its summer holidays, and Istanbul and Cappadocia in general.
This condition is evident from the number of tourists who come from Europe, the US, and the UAE which continues to increase until now.
Many holiday packages began to include Kusadasi in their itineraries.
The existence of hotels and restaurants along the coastline continues to increase.
Ladies Beach is one of the magnets that has proven to be able to attract lots of tourists to keep coming to Kusadasi.
Ladies Beach in Kusadasi is one of the best beaches in Turkey, not inferior to other beaches in Antalya, Fethiye, or any other coastline in Turkey.
It is not only the beaches in Kusadasi that can attract many visitors to come here. In Kusadasi, you can find many historical and iconic places.
And the good news is that you can visit Kusadasi at any time and whatever the season.
Kusadasi’s position is also strategic. Easy access. You can reach Kusadasi either by car or bus, ship and also by airplane.
You can reach Kusadasi by cruise ships. As mentioned earlier, the port at Kusadasi is often used as the main destination for ships.
For those of you who come from distant areas and want to save time, you can also come to Kusadasi by plane. There are two airports close to Kusadasi. The first is the Izmir International Airport (ADB) which is about 80 km from Kusadasi, and the second is the Bodrum Airport (BJV) which is about 130 km from Kusadasi.
If you use a road trip, Kusadasi access is very easy because it is located on the main route from Istanbul to other cities such as Pamukkale, Cappadocia, and Antalya.
With a travel itinerary in Turkey 6 nights 7 days, you can plan to stay one day and spent a night in Kusadasi on your tour visiting Istanbul, Bursa, Pamukkale, Konya, Cappadocia, and Ankara.
Make sure you stay at one of the best hotels in Kusadasi Turkey.
Of course, this easy access has made many tourists, both local and international tourists, find it easy to always be able to visit Kusadasi. This causes the number of visitors who come to Kusadasi to continue to increase.
Best places or top tourist attractions to visit in Kusadasi based on traveler visits and local insights.
Ok, if you are still reading this section, now is the time we will discuss which tourist attractions are the best that can be visited while you are on vacation in Kusadasi Turkey.
We conclude that there are 12 of the best tourist spots that are worth visiting in Kusadasi.
All the places in Kusadasi that we will mention here will be the best because they are based on reviews and the number of tourist visits to these tourist spots.
Not to mention if we add interesting local places such as restaurants, cafes, and other interesting places in Kusadasi, of course, the number will increase.
The best places or top tourist attractions to visit in Kusadasi based on the number of tourist visits from the most are:
- Ladies Beach.
- Ephesus Ancient City.
- The Temple Of Artemis.
- House Of Virgin Mary.
- Kusadasi Bazaar.
- Pamucak Beach.
- Kusadasi Castle.
- Isa Bey Mosque.
- Basilica Of Saint John.
- Downtown Beach.
Of all the tourist attractions mentioned above, it can still be further divided according to their types, namely historical places, beaches, markets, and family fun.
In the following section, you can get a complete overview of all the best places to visit in Kusadasi above, which we have grouped by type of tourist attraction.
Historical and ancient places in Kusadasi.
Ephesus Ancient City.
Ephesus, a city built in the 10th century BC, is an ancient Greek city.
It lies on the Ionian coast, three kilometers from Selcuk in Turkey’s Izmir province.
This city during Classical Greece was one of the twelve cities of the Ionian League.
The Temple of Artemis which is one of the Seven Wonders of The Ancient World, which is located not far away, also introduced Ephesus to become a famous ancient city.
Coupled with the monumental buildings in Ephesus, namely the Celcus Library and the Grand Theater which can accommodate 25,000 people, Ephesus is even more capable of attracting more visitors to come.
As quoted in the Book of Revelation, Ephesus was also one of the Seven Churches of Asia. The Gospel Of John may have been written here.
Ephesus was once a commercial center but has suffered a decline due to the muddy harbor of the Küçükmenderes River.
Ephesus had a long journey.
Part of Ephesus was destroyed by an earthquake in the year 614 AD.
In 2015, Ephesus has named a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
Its easy access to the ancient city of Ephesus from the port in Kusadasi or Adnan Menderes Airport has made Ephesus increasingly popular and visited by many tourists, both local and international.
Güvercinada (Pigeon Island).
Güvercinada is an island in western Turkey, which is connected to the Kusadasi mainland using a 350 m long man-made causeway.
Inside the island, located across from Kusadasi Bay, you can find a castle.
The castle walls were built by Ilyas Agha, while the fortress was commissioned by an Ottoman admiral named Hayreddin Barbarossa.
The 3-meter high castle walls were built around the entire island with the aim of resisting attacks from the island during the Greek Orlov Revolt in 1770.
In 2020, the castle became a Tentative World Heritage Site.
The Temple of Artemis.
The Temple of Artemis also known as Artemision.
This temple was once a Greek temple dedicated to the goddess Artemis, Diana, a Roman goddess.
Therefore there are some people who also came to know this temple as the Temple of Diana.
This temple has been rebuilt twice. The first is because this temple was hit by devastating floods, and after 300 years this temple had received arson attacks.
And it is very unfortunate, in 401 AD this temple was damaged and destroyed. What remained were the foundations and fragments of the last temple.
This Temple of Artemis has been named one of the Seven Wonders of The Ancient World.
This Artemision is in Ephesus, on the edge of the modern city of Selcuk, about 75 km south of Turkey’s modern port Izmir.
The Temple of Artemis has come a long way. At least three phases were recorded at the time of its existence.
This temple was later rediscovered in 1869 by John Turtle Wood, sponsored by the British Museum.
Excavation continued until 1874. Excavations led by David George Hogarth in the years 1904-1906 found several fragments of the statue.
Currently, we cannot see the temple in full. The temple is now marked with a column of separate fragments.
To find out more, you can read it in the article about Artemision from Wikipedia here.
House of the Virgin Mary.
In Turkey, this site is also known as “Mother Mary’s House.”
This Catholic temple is located on Mt. Koressos which is in the vicinity of Ephesus. The distance is about 7 km from Selcuk.
This house was discovered based on a description reported by a Roman Catholic nun and visionary named Anne Catherine Emmerich in 1774-1824.
After her death, this vision was later made into a book by Clemens Brentano.
This house was discovered by a French priest named Julien Gouyet on October 18, 1881. He believed this house fits Emmerich’s description, which was told directly to Brentano: a small stone house on a mountain overlooking the Aegean Sea and the ruins of an ancient city. Ephesus in Turkey.
Unfortunately, this finding is not taken seriously by many people.
Ten years later, on July 29, 1891, this building was rediscovered by Sister Marie de Mandat-Grancey with two Lazarist missionaries, namely Father Poulin and Father Jung from Smyrna.
Sister Marie de Mandat-Grancey was then responsible for the acquisition, restoration, and preservation of Mary’s House and the surrounding area of the mountain from 1891 until her death in 1915.
Since this house was found, many pilgrims have come to this site, although the Catholic Church itself does not claim to support or oppose the authenticity of this site.
Catholic pilgrims believe that Mary, the mother of Jesus, was brought into this stone house by Saint John and lived there for the rest of her life.
To find out more, you can read details about The House of Mary from Wikipedia here.
If you have read about Güvercinada above, then Kusadasi Castle is a castle that is inside Pigeon Island.
To see the castle built by admiral Barbarossa in the Ottoman era in 1534 AD, of course you have to enter Pigeon Island and walk through the causeway.
The castle, which is popularly known as “Pirate Castle” which later became an icon of Kusadasi, was once a part that played a very important role, namely protecting the coast from attacks from the sea.
For those of you who are interested in Byzantine architecture, you can learn about it in the museum inside this castle.
Isa Bey Mosque.
From the information that we got from Wikipedia, Isa Bey Mosque, also known in Turkey as Isa Bey Camii, is located on the outskirts of Ayasluğ Hills.
The mosque, which was built in 1374-1375, is the oldest and is an amazing architectural work of art from Anatolian beyliks.
This mosque was built to pay tribute to Aydinid Isa Bey. The architect who built it is Ali son of Mushaimish Dımışklıoğlu. He was a master of Syrian architecture.
This mosque used to get its inspiration and planning from the Great Mosque of Damascus.
Even though this mosque is believed to be one of the oldest, by coming here you can imagine how this mosque once reached its heyday.
This mosque has two main entrances, namely from the east and west sides. And at the entrance, you can find a fountain court.
The walls on the west side are covered with marble, and the facades of the rest of the walls are made of stone fragments. On the west wall, you can also see inscriptions and engravings of geometric shapes.
Inside the courtyard, there are 12 round columns surrounded by porches.
There is a minaret in this mosque which is made of brick and is built with an octagonal base. But unfortunately, the balcony at the top was damaged.
In the past, there was actually one more minaret in the west, but now it’s all broken.
The uniqueness of this mosque is that it is an asymmetrical building. Unlike traditional styles in general.
And this is intentional.
The layout of the windows, doors, and domes does not match.
Entering this mosque you can see something contrasting. There is a column that turns out to be the ruins of Ephesus.
The dome is very thick with Ottoman characteristics, which is decorated with ornaments in shades of blue and turquoise.
The Seljuk architectural style also adorns the Isa Bey mosque. One of them is the door that looks like a crown, which can then blend nicely with the overall architectural style in this mosque.
In 1829 Isa Bey Mosque was in ruins. And in 1842 the minaret also fell. However, in 1934 the mosque was renewed again.
You are traveling to Kusadasi, it is highly recommended to come to the Isa Bey Mosque and witness this oldest mosque first hand.
The Basilica of Saint John.
As mentioned on Wikipedia, The Basilica of Saint John was built by Justinian I in the 6th century.
Basilica of St. John was a basilica at Ephesus. This basilica sits on what is believed to be the burial site of John the Apostle.
This basilica is only about 3.5 km from Ephesus. The location is on the slopes of Ayasuluk Hill, just below the fort near the center of Selcuk in the Turkish Izmir province.
Construction of this church formerly started in 548 and was completed in 565.
The construction was led directly by the bishop, Hypatius of Ephesus. He was one of the foremost ecclesiastical theorists and writers of his day. With his current condition, it is very possible that he had been influenced by Justinian and had the opportunity to rebuild the tomb of St. John.
By the time the construction of this church was completed, this church was considered one of the holiest churches of its time, so there was once a great tribute to it, as Procopius previously mentioned in his “Secret History”.
However, the popularity of this church after the 9th century experienced a decline. Perhaps this is because later a new church was built to honor St. John, Church of John the Theologian.
Kusadasi is home to many historic ruins, religious sites, and archaeological sites.
Make sure you visit some of them while you are in Kusadasi.
>> Click here: Top archaeology tours and historical tours in Kusadasi.
Kusadasi Beaches: one example beach as best summer holiday destinations in Turkey.
As we already know, Kusadasi is one of the areas in Turkey that is comfortable for a vacation on the beach.
There are many beaches in Kusadasi such as:
- Ladies Beach.
- Pamucak Beach.
- Kusadasi Long Beach.
- Downtown Beach.
- Green Beach.
- Diamond Beach (Gold Beach).
- Silver Sand Beach.
- Paradise Beach.
- Love Beach.
- Kustur Beach.
- National Park Beach.
- Pygela Plajı.
- Sevgi Plajı.
All of these beaches are proven to attract large numbers of visitors.
But here we will not discuss all the beaches. We will only discuss the beaches that get the most visits in Kusadasi like Ladies Beach, Downtown Beach, Pamucak Beach, and Long Beach.
Ladies Beach, in Turkey, is called the Kadınlar Denizi.
This beach is the most popular and the most visited.
A little story about this beach, the name Kadınlar Denizi means Women’s Sea. It turns out that back in the Ottoman period, this beach was only reserved for women.
But now is very different, Ladies Beach is visited by lots of men and women. And they are all mixed up on this beach.
Ladies Beach is a sandy beach.
The location is close to the center of Kusadasi.
Around the beach, you can see palm trees lined up, and you can find many restaurants, cafes, bars, shops, and of course hotels.
Ladies Beach in Kusadasi Turkey is a complete package. Here you can do everything. You can swim, sunbathe, relax, play water sports, and also shop.
And even the hotels around Ladies Beach are an option when tourists will decide which best hotel to stay in Kusadasi.
You will visit Kusadasi in the summer, make sure you include Ladies Beach in your Turkey travel itinerary.
This beach is the only one in the city of Kusadasi.
The location is between the Harbor and Marina. Around the beach, you can find lots of hotels.
The highlights of Downtown Beach are the views of this beach overlooking Pigeon Island and the large cruise ships docking at the harbor.
This beach can be one of your best options for sunbathing in Kusadasi. There are sunbeds, beach umbrellas, and a wide selection of cafes and shops along the boulevard.
Pamucak Beach is located close to Ephesus, which is only about 4 km away. In addition, this beach is only about 7 km from Selcuk, and 12 km north of Kusadasi.
This beach is perfect for day trips, so at Pamucak Beach you can find lots of travelers, both local (families) and international. During the weekend, the number of visitors usually increases.
There are several things you need to pay attention to when you visit Pamucak Beach. The soft sand is slippery. And this beach opens to the Aegean Sea. This condition causes this beach to always receive waves so that the water is active and the sand is stirred. You have to be more careful when swimming at Pamucak Beach.
You go to Kusadasi between February and March, you can see pink flamingos in the estuary wetlands. To see it, you only need to walk a little about 15 minutes from Pamucak Beach.
This beach is for the public. Anyone can visit Pamucak Beach.
On the south side of the beach, there is a large resort hotel complex. And Richmond is one of them.
A theme park in Kusadasi: The best choice for holidays in Kusadasi with family (kids friendly).
Besides Kusadasi, which has a lot of historical sites and beautiful beaches for summer holidays in Turkey, Kusadasi, whose main industry is tourism, realizes that tourist attractions that are suitable for family and kids friendly are also important.
For the most part, tourists who come to Kusadasi must be with their families and children.
Of course, they don’t just want to explore Kusadasi from its historical side, but they also want to have fun with their family.
And what’s unique is that there are even several hotels in Kusadasi that have water park facilities.
For this reason, Kusadasi currently has several amusement parks for families such as Adaland and Tortuga Pirate Island Theme & Water Park.
Adaland Aquapark in Kusadasi Turkey.
Mostly, all the activities you can do here are all related to water games.
Adaland divides their amusement rides into three groups: slides, activities, and a dolphin park.
Here are some explanations, which we got directly from the Adaland Aquapark official website.
SLIDES IN ADALAND AQUAPARK.
- Slide & Fly. Here you can slide then you will feel like you will fly and land in a pool of water.
- Head Down & Freefall. While sliding head to head, you will be in a competition together. All together excitement and adrenaline! All right, we are waiting for you for our new turquois Freefall slide.
- Loop Pink & Loop Blue. An adrenaline-pumping experience of a fast free fall with the opening of the floor, and making a 360° tour on the right-hand (Loop Pink) & on the left-hand (Loop Blue) side!
- Water Coaster.
- Amazon Family Slide (406 meters). With the large boats of up to 6 people, you will not want to finish this journey towards the Gulf of Kusadasi!
- Hillside Slide. In this vertical slide, you will slide down and then backward. You will not be able to open your eyes!
- Hillside Slide XL. In this large slide, you will slide down and then backward. You will feel yourself as if you fly!
- Red Phantom. Test the heart-stopping drops at speeds up to 60 km/hour before coming to a splashing stop!
- Kamikaze. Hurtling down through 52 meters length before encountering an exhilarating splashdown!
- Racer. Soak up the excitement and chute into mid-air reaching mind-blowing speeds!
- White Tiger. Wet, free-fall plunges of adrenaline-pumping fun, bouncing up and down four at the same time! Hold on tight before you make a big splash with excitement and laughter!
- Tarantula. Snatch your boat and get ready for an attractive scenery on a lovely, relaxing ride!
- Crazy River. The river rafting adventure offers you a slippery, struggling splashing journey with high-banked turns and unexpected dips!
- Big Tornado. Go on a fun-filled ride through the loops twisting turns and sloping drops with a plunge into the refreshing pool below!
- Mini Tornado. An express twisty lane for cooling off!
- Rainbow. Adding color to your splashing ride is lots of fun!
- Black Hole. Excites thrill-seekers in a speed slide romp through a totally dark, twisting tunnel ending with a cooling splash!
- Yellow Phyton. Feel the sensation as you slide up and down in a spinning giant tube! Hang tight to your boat as you tumble to a splash pond below!
ACTIVITIES IN ADALAND AQUAPARK.
- Surf. Even though you are in the pool, here you can feel a sensation like surfing in the sea.
- Activity Pool. Perfect for swimming, sunbathing and frolic!
- Kids Pool. Fabulous aquatic playland for little fun-seekers! Let them romp and play in the cool kids’ zone! Mushroom shower, floating toys, pirate ship, sea creatures, and mini water slides will introduce your kiddie to the water fun.
- Wave Pool. Catch a wave of excitement in our sand, salt, and shark-free inland sea!
- Jakuzzi. Let the heated bubbles splash you in their comfy jacuzzi.
- Lazy River. A relaxing break after the thrill slides! Lounge around, and catch some sun. Cooldown before the next splashing fun!
- Trampoline. Take the plunge! The hotter the day, the cooler you’ll feel!
- Rafting. The only place in Kusadasi that you can do Rafting. At a 600-meter elliptical shaped track, you can do Rafting against the raging waves with the two-seater boat, life jacket, helmet, and shovel given to you.
Adaland said that dolphins and seals are very amazing marine animals. And of course, we will agree with that opinion.
At Adaland Dolphinpark you can interact with them. Here you can come, meet, touch, and even swim with these beautiful mammals.
Kusadasi Market: The best shopping experience you can get near the center of Kusadasi Turkey.
Once again, we have to make sure that Kusadasi is indeed a complete destination.
Kusadasi has it all. And the last is a shopping experience that you can get in Kusadasi.
In addition to the shops that you can find around tourist attractions and in the neighborhood around the beach in Kusadasi, there is a market in Kusadasi that has actually been able to attract many people to come here.
Kusadasi Bazaar is a traditional market, like those in several cities in Turkey.
Kusadasi Bazaar is similar to the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul, but with a different environment and area.
This market is also a point of interest and a landmark owned by Kusadasi.
At Kusadasi Bazaar you can find many items ranging from local products and several other items such as paintings, souvenirs, jewelry, carpets, and other interesting items.
Due to its market position and Kusadasi itself as a resort town, sometimes the goods here are a little more expensive. But keep in mind, Kusadasi Bazaar is a traditional market. Here it still allows you to bargain.
Not a few sellers in this market are good people. So they are quite fair in offering their wares.
Visiting Kusadasi Bazaar is a unique experience that you can feel when you are in Kusadasi. Your experience becomes more unique because in this market you can get interesting goods, as well as interact with local people here.
Conclusion: You should really consider including some best places (top tourist attractions) to visit in Kusadasi Turkey.
Kusadasi, one of the cities in Turkey, which is precisely in the province of Aydin, is a city whose main industry is tourism.
It is strategically located on the edge of the Turkish coastline.
Of course, it has become a common thing if we can find beautiful beaches in Kusadasi.
But the story is different here. It turns out that Kusadasi is also the home of many historical sites. Many sites here have witnessed that in the past, world civilization began.
Even though these sites are now not what they were in the beginning, the historical tourist spots in Kusadasi are still worth a visit.
As a large resort city, Kusadasi has the responsibility to always be able to pamper everyone who comes to this city.
Kusadasi will also ensure their guests have the best stay experience by providing the best hotels as a choice of tourists for staycations in Kusadasi.
For this reason, the tourism players in this city are always improving. They complete their city with amusement parks that are very suitable for tourist attractions that can be visited with children and families.
In this article, the tourist spots mentioned are based on the number of visitors who have visited these places. There are at least 12 tourist attractions that are most visited by tourists who come to Kusadasi.
If we list all the tourist attractions in Kusadasi, the number will be much higher. And you will need a longer time to stop in Kusadasi if you want to visit all those tourist spots.
Kusadasi’s location in Turkey itself is very strategic.
Kusadasi is on the main route through which you can visit popular tourist cities in Turkey such as Istanbul, Bursa, Pamukkale, Konya, Antalya, and Cappadocia.
If you are coming to Turkey for the first time, or you want to tour Turkey and visit many places in Turkey, you might consider arranging a fixed Turkey itinerary. We recommend the 6 nights 7 days Turkey travel itinerary. On that itinerary, you will stop for one day in Kusadasi.
>> You can see the itinerary here: Turkey itinerary 6 nights 7 days exploring Istanbul Bursa Kusadasi Pamukkale Konya Cappadocia and Ankara.
Or if your time in Turkey is not too long, you can use domestic flights to come to Kusadasi. By using domestic flights, you can save a lot of time.
So, no matter how long you want to stay in Kusadasi, make sure you visit the best tourist spots like the ones in this article, and make sure you choose the right hotel in Kusadasi.
Make this recommendation for tourist spots in Kusadasi your reference for compiling your Turkey travel itinerary.
Here are some recommendations for “things to do” that you can consider when you are in Kusadasi.
Or you can see a more complete list of activities in Kusadasi based on interests, categories, destinations, languages, duration, and services by clicking the button below:
Do you want to know more completely what are the tourist attractions in Kusadasi and where are they located in Kusadasi Turkey tourism map? Get the information here.