Kuşadası, Turkey

Last Updated on May 11, 2021

Kuşadası (pop. 500,000) is a major Aegean resort city andcruise ship port 108 km (67 miles, 1-1/2-hour drive) due south of İzmir (map).

Being so close to the renowned ruins of Ephesus, it gets more than its share of Turkish and foreign visitors.

With more than 140 hotelsKuşadası has plenty of beds for visitors, though some of them are noisyMore...

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.

Serious beach fans make the 15-minute, 8-km drive north to Pamucak Beach, which is wide, long and uncrowded, and nearer to Ephesus, but with fewer services, some surf, and no lifeguards.


You can use Kuşadası as a base for tours of other sights in the region such as PrieneMiletus and DidymaEuromos;

Pamukkale and Aphrodisias; and even İzmir and Bodrum.

Guided tours are available to all these places, or you can see them by yourself. More...

In the evening, Kuşadası's nightlife scene is lively, from the British- and Irish-themed bars to the cool jazz haunts.

Here's how to travel to and from Kuşadası.

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

Cruises and Day Trips

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.

Click here for full information on ferries to Greece and the Greek Islands.

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