Being so close to the renowned ruins of Ephesus, it gets more than its share of Turkish and foreign visitors.
Everybody visits Ephesus. Some travelers also come for the city’s vibrant nightlife and shopping, others come for Kuşadası’s beaches.
Although there are some stretches of beach right in the city, the prime beach—rather narrow, and also backed by city—is Ladies Beach (Kadınlar Plajı) south of the center.
Here’s an important tip: When a cruise ship is in port, Kusadasi’s transient population soars and the dock and bazaar just inland from the dock teem with guys wanting to sell you tours, shore excursions, carpets, pottery—all kinds of stuff.
If you’re arriving on a cruise ship and would like a good, reasonably-priced shore excursion like those to the ancient cities mentioned above, contact Anker Travel, a trusted local tour operator, travel agency and TurkeyTravelPlanner.com partner.
Anker Travel can also arrange a reasonably-priced day-excursion by boat to the Greek island of Samos.
In the evening, Kuşadası’s nightlife scene is lively, from the British- and Irish-themed bars to the cool jazz haunts.
Here’s a tip: pronounce the town’s name “koo-SHAH-dah-suh” or “KOOSH-ah-dah-suh” if you want to sound like you know what you’re doing. It means “Bird Island:” kuş = bird, ada(sı) = island. That’s the correct Turkish pronunciation. (The clueless pronounce it “KOOS-uh-DAHSS-see.”)
—by Tom Brosnahan