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Things to do in Kusadasi

Things to do in  Kusadasi

Welcome to Kusadasi

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 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.

Top 10 attractions in Kusadasi

Kusadasi Castle

Kusadasi Castle

Built and extended between the 14th and 18th centuries, picturesque Kusadasi Castle sits on Pigeon Island (Guvercin Adasa), an islet connected to Kusadasi via a causeway. Originally constructed as a military base, the fortress is composed of outer walls that enclose its gardens and an inner castle with a tiny museum.More
Ephesus (Efes)

Ephesus (Efes)

Ephesus (Efes) is one of the greatest ancient sites in the Mediterranean. During its heyday in the first century BC, it was the second-largest city in the world, with only Rome commanding more power. Many reconstructed structures and ruins, including the Temple of Artemis, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, can be seen here.More


The ancient Greek city of Priene is in modern-day Turkey, but its Greek roots are clearly visible in the excavations you can visit. The remains of the city of Priene we can see today date back to the 4th century B.C.E., but it’s widely known among archaeologists that the original Priene settlement is much older. How much older, they can’t say - those remains are likely still buried - but it’s possible the original city was established before 1000 B.C.E.One of the main attractions at Priene is the Temple to Athena, situated at the highest point of the old city. Other sights in the excavations include a theater, the agora, a city council building called a “bouleuterion,” a gymnasium with Roman baths, and a Temple of Demeter.More
House of the Virgin Mary (Meryem Ana Evi)

House of the Virgin Mary (Meryem Ana Evi)

St. Mary’s House in Ephesus is believed by many to be the place where the mother of Jesus, the Virgin Mary, spent her final days, and has attracted hundreds of thousands of visitors and pilgrims seeking the healing properties of the spring that runs beneath the stone home since its discovery in the 19th-century.More
Temple of Artemis (Artemision)

Temple of Artemis (Artemision)

The Temple of Artemis, or Artemision, was a Greek temple in present-day Turkey dedicated to the goddess Artemis. It was one of the original seven wonders of the ancient world. It was built not far from Ephesus just outside the present-day town of Selcuk. The temple was completely rebuilt several times throughout history after being destroyed on multiple occasions by both nature and human factors. Little remains of the temple in its original location today since archeologists brought much of the ruins to the British Museum.The Temple of Artemis is only a couple of miles from Ephesus, making it an easy attraction to visit. Visitors can still see one tall column and a handful of marble pieces from the foundations of the structure, and the historical location is fascinating. From the site, you can also see the ruins of St. John's Basilica, located on a hill in Selcuk.More
Miletus (Miletos)

Miletus (Miletos)

The ancient Greek city of Miletus (Miletos) in modern-day Turkey was once an important port city. When the river’s location changed, the city was eventually abandoned.The settlement at Miletus dates back to 1400 B.C.E., and the city grew to be one of Greece’s wealthiest cities - thanks in large part to its position at the mouth of the Maeander River. Over the centuries, the river changed course, leaving Miletus behind. The city was later destroyed by the Persians in 499 B.C.E. and then rebuilt on a new grid plan that was to become the model for Roman cities. Excavations at the site began in the late 1800s, and today you can see the remains of a theater, a stadium, a Temple to Apollo, a Byzantine-era castle and church, and Roman baths.More
Sardis (Sart)

Sardis (Sart)

Pre-Roman ancient ruins are just a day trip from Kusadasi in the ruined city of Sardis, the capital of the kingdom of Lydia from the 7th to 6th centuries BC.For a time Sardis (Sart, today) was renowned throughout classical antiquity as the richest city on the planet, known for its legendary supply of gold washed down from the Tumulus Mountains. The term ‘rich as Croesus’ refers to that gold and the last Lydian ruler, King Croesus, who is thought to have invented gold coins.In fact, settlement here dates back to Paleolithic times, but most of that history lies underground, destroyed by millennia of earthquake activity. Nowadays, the site is famous for its impressive Roman ruins, built hundreds of years after the city’s initial burst of fame, in around the 2nd century AD.On a visit to the site you’ll see a grand double-story framework of columns and architraves outlining the extent of the Roman-era gymnasium. The baths here date from the 3rd century AD, and shops once lined the nearby street of marble stone. Fine capitals carved with acanthus leaves and classical curlicues have survived, along with mosaic tiled floors and statues.You’ll also see the Synagogue with its marble court and mosaics, the acropolis and the celebrated Temple of Artemis, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Don’t miss the example of the Romans’ communal toilets, with a shared row of seating suspended over a latrine. The town’s arena was destroyed by an earthquake nearly 2,000 years ago, and there are more recent ruins dating from the Byzantine period.More
Adaland Aquapark

Adaland Aquapark

Adaland Aquapark is a water park in Kusadasi, Turkey on the country's west coast. In the past it has been named one of the best water parks in the world. The park has a wide variety of water slides including a head first slide, a freefall slide, loop slides, body slides, tube slides, speedy slides, slope slides, dark tunnel slides, and the world's longest family slide with tubes for two to six people. There's also a big fountain with water shooting out of the ground set to music in an area called Rain Dance where you can dance and enjoy the water. The water park has an elliptical shaped track for rafting and is the only place in Kusadasi where you can go rafting.Adaland Aquapark also has a jacuzzi with warm bubbly water, a lazy river, a wave pool, and a pool for children. There's an activity pool where you can go swimming or sunbathing. When you're ready to take a break, there are several restaurants and bars offering hamburgers, pizza, Turkish food, alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages and more.More
Dilek National Park (Dilek Milli Parki)

Dilek National Park (Dilek Milli Parki)

Covering 87 square miles (227 square kilometers), the Dilek Peninsula-Buyuk Menderes Delta National Park occupies a peninsula south of Kusadasi on Turkey’s Aegean coast. Natural wonders abound here, from pebble beaches and wildlife to footpaths, ancient ruins, and a canyon hiking trail.More
Temple of Hadrian at Ephesus

Temple of Hadrian at Ephesus

The Temple of Hadrian at Ephesus is one of the highlights of the ruins of Ephesus in Turkey. It was built around 118 AD and is actually more of a monument to Hadrian, Artemis, and the people of Ephesus. Hadrian's temple is small, but there is a beautiful arch on the outside, a porch, and a small main hall. The porch is supported by pillars and Corinthian columns. A statue of Hadrian once stood on a podium in the temple, but it has been lost. On the front of the porch are bases with the names of Galerius, Maximianus, Diocletianus, and Constantius Chlorus inscribed on them, indicating that the bases might have once held statues of these emperors.Panel reliefs on the inside depict Medusa warding off the bad spirits, the mythological foundation of Ephesus, and various religious scenes. The reliefs seen today are plaster replicas, while the originals are protected in the Ephesus Museum.More

Top activities in Kusadasi

Recent reviews from experiences in Kusadasi

Toured from Kusadasi so...
John_G, Dec 2021
Pamukkale Small Group Tour From Kusadasi / Selcuk Hotels
Panakkale was nice to see also.
Excellent way to see the area. We'd...
Andrea B, Jun 2016
All Inclusive VIP Ephesus Excursion: Customizable Ephesus
Excellent way to see the area.
Enjoyed this small group activity...
Shawnee_D, Aug 2016
5 - 6 Hours Mini Group (Max 10 pax) Excursion to Ephesus -Entrances are included
Great to see this area.
Great Tour Day in Ephesus
evelynbuchan, Jan 2020
Ephesus Tours Port Kusadasi lunch guide bus shopping Caravanserai artemis
I will definetely recommend to everyone this tour who wants to visit Kusadasi and Ephesus.
We have used Viator many times in...
Sandy R, Sep 2017
Small Group: Half-Day Ephesus Tour from Kusadasi
Our guide customized our trip and was open to our suggestions, but we trusted her and went with her suggestions of what was worthwhile to see as well as where to have lunch.
Our experience in...
Alexander P, Oct 2016
Private Ephesus and The House of Virgin Mary Tour from Kusadasi
Our tour guide was professional and spoke excellent English.
The Best Tour of our Celebrity...
jeanmarc_M, Aug 2016
5 - 6 Hours Mini Group (Max 10 pax) Excursion to Ephesus -Entrances are included
Omer is very knowledgeable and has a good sens of humour i forgot the heat ot summer ...
What a fantastic tour!! Our tour...
TE_D, Jul 2016
Kusadasi Private Shore Excursion: Ephesus, Winery, and Lunch
With this being a private tour we were able to tailor the tour to our liking and having visited Ephesus on several occasions previously John gave us insights into the more day to day activities that would have been carried out in the city and how the archaeologists had worked this out from the evidence they had found.
Our guide picked us up at the Cruise...
Craig D, Sep 2015
Small-Group Tour to Ephesus From Kusadasi&Selcuk
We made one more stop at an ancient temple but there was not much left to see and then he took us to a leather factory where we were treated to a fashion show.
The bus trip there from Kusadasi was...
Ian, Jul 2014
Day Tour - Pamukkale, Travertines and Hierapolis Tour from Kusadasi
The tour guide and driver were both fantastic, great English skills and informative.
This was perfect. There were 4 of...
Shawn G, Nov 2015
5 - 6 Hours Mini Group (Max 10 pax) Excursion to Ephesus -Entrances are included
Our Tour guide was great - she spoke English well, and was very personable.
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