Aydın, Turkey

Aydın is at the heart of the fertile Meander (Menderes) River valley, abundant with olives, figs, cotton, grain and fruit.

Most travelers ride right by Aydın (ah-yee-DUHN) on their way between EphesusKuşadasıAphrodisiasDenizli and Pamukkale, which is just as well. For all its history (it’s been here for over two millennia), the city has little to hold the casual visitor.

Earthquakes have razed many of its historic stone buildings, and the scorched-earth policy of the retreating Greek troops in Turkey’s War of Independencedestroyed most of the city’s burnable buildings.

Formerly known as TralleisAydın was the birthplace of Anthemius, one of the two architects of Emperor Justinian’s great Hagia Sophia Church (Ayasofya), the pride of Byzantine Constantinople.

You may want or need to change buses in Aydın, or stay the night, for which there are sufficient comfortable hotels.

Should you have an hour or two to spend sightseeing, the Ottoman Süleyman Bey Camii mosque (1683) is worth a look. The ruins of ancient Tralleis, on the outskirts of the city, are unimpressive compared to many of Turkey’s other sites.

Most of the best objects from Tralleis have been removed to Aydın’s Archeological Museum, where they’re displayed alongside finds from AfrodisiasDidyma,Miletus and Priene. This gives you a hint: Aydın is not of much touristic interest in itself, but it is the capital of the province of Aydın, which includes such tourist meccas as Kuşadası, and the outstanding archeological sites just mentioned.

Here’s how to go to and from Aydın by car, bus, train and air.


Aydın Transport

Aphrodisias

Denizli

Ephesus

Kuşadası

Pamukkale

Aegean Turkey

Turkey: Bright Sun, Strong Tea, by Tom Brosnahan
Great background reading on Turkey…

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