Kusadasi Things to Do

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Best Rated Things to Do in Kusadasi

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    The Orient Bazaar

    by starship Updated May 13, 2009

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    Orient Bazaar
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    The Orient Bazaar, quite close to the Balikci Limani (harbor), was as delightful as its name sounds. Along with the Grand Bazaar, it is one of the most popular shopping centers of Kusadasi. Row after row of neat little shops arranged in long corridors situated side-by-side offered all manner of wonderful goods to purchase.

    The colorful awnings shade the bazaar by day, and lamp posts light it by night. Benches down the center of each row offers a break for people watching, for tired shoppers, and often shop owners themselves take time to sit just outside of their glass-front store displays. Perhaps the store owners are taking measure of the day's shopping crowd.

    The shops of the Orient Bazaar offer clothing, leather coats, gold jewelry, carpets, ceramic dishes, exotic lamps, purses, textiles, cameras, watches, etc. Bargaining is expected on most items. I purchased small, woven purses from a nice man who had a small spot just outside of the bazaar itself. He didn't speak English and I don't speak Turkish, but we managed to close the sale. I purchased 5 purses for souvenirs and gifts, but as they were already very inexpensive, I did not see the need to bargain with the man just to save a euro or two. These purses,which resembled tiny Turkish carpets, were small & easily packable , so they were no problem to bring home as would have some other items such as the lamps which I liked so much,. We also purchased a small, Turkish carpet from another shop in the area of the Grand Bazaar.

    For those who love postcards, Kusadasi has wonderful postcards for a very modest price--a postoffice is located close to the corner of Kabris Cad. & Liman Caddesi behind the Bazaar.

    This is a very popular spot and it is wise to keep your wits about you when visiting the Orient Bazaar, although I had no problems and enjoyed "windowshopping." No one harrassed us or pushed us to buy anything. It would have been great to have some "people watching" time there and to see the ebb and flow people.

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    The Karvansaray

    by starship Updated Aug 25, 2009

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    Carvansary's Marble-faced entry portico
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    It was difficult to decide whether to list the Hotel Karvansary as an attraction or hotel accommodations. From the outside, the Karvansary built of solid stone with roofline crenelations and grand portico appears to be an Ottoman fortress. The original Ottoman Caravanserai was built by Okuz Mehmet Pasha in 1618. Today the karvansary seems to be one of the few historical looking buildings still remaining in Kusadasi. It was used for storage of trade goods coming into the port. Today the Karvansary is a stylish hotel which has been renovated to offer modern facilities, yet still preserving all the typical characteristics of a Caravanserail - two floors, two entrances and a spacious courtyard.

    In addition to the two-story building's beautiful facade, the most alluring aspect is its traditionall inner courtyard where the architectural details are quite beautiful. The second-floor courtyard balcony features columns suporting Moorish-type arches.

    Inside the courtyard, Turkey umbrella-shaded tables are a nice place to stop for a refreshing drink. There is an outside restaurant and hand-made Turkish carpets are on display for sale.

    Return in the evening for their "Turkish Nights" Show which is a "selection of traditional Turkish Folklore music and dance, oriental belly dancing and more..... "

    The hotel is open year-round and offers excellent rates via the internet. Look for specials. Each of the 26 rooms has a private bath and FREE wireless internet!!

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    Güvercin Ada ~ "Pigeon Island"

    by starship Updated Nov 6, 2013

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    Photo courtesy of kusadasi.biz
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    Cuvercin Ada or Pigeon Island, regrettably, was not a stop on the itinerary of the shore excursion we took when we visited Kusadasi and Ephesus. Actually, I don't remember seeing Pigeon Island until our ship was leaving. As our ship slowly passed the island by on out way out of port, it looked like a very enticing place to spend a Summer's day by the Aegean Sea! Waves splashed the rocky beach area which hugged the hilly island. Boats bobbed at their moorings and colorful umbrellas flapped in the sea breezes which I thought must have be very delightful because it was extremely hot & humid on the mainland that day.

    The island is in the flight path of birds during the seasonal migrations, and it was originally known as Bird Island. The island lent its name to the closeby town on the mainland and the town then became known as "Kusadasi" (kus" meaning bird; "ada" meaning island). However, sometime during the Ottoman reign, the island started to be called "Pigeon Island," and it retains that name today.

    Even prior to the Ottoman period, the island was used as a defensive position which guarded the shores from attacks by sea and as such was used for military purposes. A Byzantine castle or fortress was built high atop the island, with some walls and towers remaining today. The castle was known as "Pirate Castle," although there may be conflicting opinions as to why. One source states that "Ironically, legend has it that during the 1500's the island was used by Kheir-ed-din Barbarossa (Ottoman admiral and privateer, or pirate, depending on point of view) as a base from which to operate throughout the Mediterranean Sea, and also as a place to stash his treasure." However, some Turkish guide sources contend that it was actually used as a citadel against pirates.

    The causeway to the island makes it very accessible for day trips where several cafes serve refreshments and offer a splendid seaside retreat to view a glorious sunset. The "Citadel of Küçük Ada" now boasts a lighthouse, restaurant, and nightclub. For bird lovers, there is an aviary with several birdhouses -- migrating birds still make use of the island. Day visitors might enjoy diving around the huge foundation rocks and those scattered nearby in the sea because they give sanctuary to a wide variety of sea life to view.

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    Flying Turkish Carpets!

    by starship Updated May 21, 2009

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    Every carpet uniquely beautiful
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    You may hear a lot about carpet shop owners trying anything and everything to get you into their store. As it happened, the last stop on our excursion was to a carpet shop! We had the least intention on earth to purchase a carpet! But--- let me say up front, I really enjoyed our visit there!

    The carpet shop was actually on the second floor of a very nice jewelery store. We were escorted upstairs through several rooms filled to the rafters with Turkish carpets of all colors, shapes and sizes. We then entered a very large room where benches lined 3 walls (obviously made for large groups) and where we were served Turkish apple tea and a pastry by our hosts which is a traditional welcome and show of hospitality.

    Our host, Tony, who spoke excellent English due to having lived for some time in the USA, spent quite a long time explaining how weaving is done, the meaning of certain carpet patterns, how the number of knots per square inch is determined, and the different textile composition of carpets (merserized cotton, silk, wool). A local woman brought in a small loom and demonstrated her weaving technique which is not at all what I had pictured in my mind. I found it interesting as a contrast to other types of carpet weaving such as found in Native American rugs. Rugs are made by women to supplement family income and take an incredible amount of time, talent and patience.

    As interesting as the weaving demonstration was, seeing carpets "flying" or being whirled through the air was quite a show!! One or two men would, by grabbing the corner of a carpet, throw it into the air in a whirling motion, staying aloft over several feet, and then would virtually land at your feet! Each man repeated whirling a carpet in the air until there were probably 20 carpets or more of varying types on display in front of the crowd. Carpet colors also appear different depending on which direction you see them from.

    I considered this a very entertaining, educational and worthwhile stop, and yes, we bought a very, very small and inexpensive carpet to be used as a hanging!! Be prepared to bargain!! Understanding good handmade carpets is like understanding good wine!

    "Icons Jewellery & Carpet"
    Dag Mh, Simsek Sk, 27A ~ Kusadasi (Just near the Orient & Grand Bazaars)

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    The Main Bazaar and Others

    by starship Updated Apr 14, 2009

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    There is so much shopping to be had in Kusadasi that it becomes a little overwhelming. Not only that, but it seems that virtually every shopping area comes with the title, "Bazaar." While walking along Attaturk Blvd., close to the Balikci Limani (Harbor), we saw the sign for the "Main Bazaar" (picture 1), which actually was a lovely jumble of pedestrian-only streets lined with shops filled with Turkish carpets, crafts, leather, brass, jewelery and other goods. Street kiosks sell some items such as postcards for as little as 10 for 1 Euro which were too tempting for me to ignore --- the post office is located just on B. Heyrettin Blvd. just down from Liman Square. If you are feeling hungry, a tasty meal at one of the cafes here is only steps away.

    More than the shopping itself, I was drawn to the streetscape--cobblestone streets, palm trees, lofty birdhouses, exotic tiled fountains, colorful awnings and other eye catchers.

    to be continued

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    Virgin Mary's House

    by Arial_27 Updated Apr 29, 2004

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    Visiting the house of the virgin Mary is definately a must when you're visiting Kusadasi.
    It is believed that Mary went to Ephesus and stayed there for some time until she died at the age of 64.
    It's a truly facinating place to visit, whether or not you have any belief in religeon or spirituality. This tiny chapel (which according the story was transformed from a cave after they realized Mary's corpse was missing) is thousands of years old and being near it knowing that it was around at that point in history was unbelievable, for me. That was the same with all the architecture that I saw in Greece and Turkey.
    The chapel is made entirely from stone in Roman architectural style.

    Pope Jean-Paul II declared the shrine of the Virgin Mary (found near the exit of the church) to be a 'pilgrimage place for all Christians'.
    Every year on August 15, a ceremony is held at the chapel to celebrate Mary's assumption.

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    Shopping at the Grand Bazaar

    by Arial_27 Written May 31, 2005

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    Entrance to the Grand Bazaar

    The Grand Bazaar is only a 5 minute walk from the Kusadasi harbour, where the boats dock and a great place to go shopping. There are over 4,000 shops of a variety of things: mostly clothes, carpets, souvenirs, pottery, watches, etc. Just be caredul though because a lot of the people in the shops are VERY pushy with the sales; some of them even came right out of the store to grab my wrist so that I'd go in their store. Not a way to make a sale. A lot of the stuff is on the expensive side, being by the beach and everything, but it was a nice walk and I did manage to find a few things.

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    • School Holidays
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    Ephesus

    by Arial_27 Written Mar 29, 2004

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    Ephesus

    I would highly recommend visiting Ephesus when you're in Kusadasi. The ruins of this city from believed to be as far back as 3000 BC are absolutely amazing.
    It's highly photogenic and I can guarentee you'll be taking lots of photos. There is so much history and information behind some of these ancient buildings that I'd advice you to do a little bit of research on Ephesus before you actually go there. (Then you'll appreciate it much more.)

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel

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    MAIN BAZAAR

    by balhannah Written Jul 15, 2009

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    Souvenir shop
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    The main Bazaar runs from the Esplanade up the hill. There are lots of narrow laneways full of shops running off it. Here you will find shops selling everything! I found all sorts of interesting items that I hadn't seen elsewhere. There are also plenty of Restaurants in this area. I did find, that this was the only place in Turkey, where I was constantly asked to come into their shop to buy which was a bit annoying. It also was the DEAREST place in Turkey for Souvenirs. Prices were in all denominations, euro, British pound mainly, they seem to make more money this way!

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    PIGEON ISLAND

    by balhannah Written Jul 15, 2009

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    Looking towards Pigeon Island
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    When visiting Kusadasi you must take the short walk to Pigeon Island. The Island, in the Ottoman times, was used to secure the shores and to protect the Town from Sea Attacks. As you walk along the causeway, there are Boats and their Captains, waiting for people to take a tour with them. On reaching the Island (ADMISSION FREE) there are Cafes and a nice walk that you can do all around the Island. Good views are had from all sides. I couldn't stay for sunset, but evidently, it is nice. Toilets are also located on the Island.

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    "PIRATE'S CASTLE"

    by balhannah Updated Jul 15, 2009

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    Pirates Castle

    This Castle is located on the highest point of Pigeon Island. It is a Byzantium Castle that was built up on the rocks. During the time of the Ottoman Empire, it was used as a lookout point to stop Pirate's attacks, hence, this is how it got its name. The Tower, which is a the top of the Island, was used by Guards for their accommodation and for a lookout. There is also a cistern here.

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    CARAVANSERAI

    by balhannah Written Jul 15, 2009

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    Inside the Caravanserai
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    Built in 1618 and restored in 1966, this is an Ottoman Castle built for sea trade. It has a Courtyard and a Two storied porch area. The entrance to the Caravanserai has a Marble Gate and a low archway. There are two archways, one left, and one right. The one on the left has a small back door, thought to be for left luggage. The right one was probably the Guardians, who took care of incoming and outgoing people. There is also another gate opening into the Bazaar. There are some expensive shops on the ground floor.
    It is now the "Club Caravanserai Hotel" which has 26 rooms and is a 4star Hotel.
    Its worth walking into for a look.

    Related to:
    • Castles and Palaces
    • Historical Travel
    • Architecture

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    House of Virgin Mary

    by mvtouring Written Oct 18, 2009

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    I found it a very emotional experience visiting the house of Mary. It is believed that Mary went to Ephesus with John, but could not stay down in Ephesus itself due to christians being prosecuted, hence she stayed up in the mountain in this 2 roomed house until her death.
    It's a truly facinating place to visit, whether or not you have any belief in religion or spirituality. Today it is a tiny Roman Catholic chapel made entirely from stone in Roman architectural style.

    Pope Jean-Paul II declared the shrine of the Virgin Mary (found near the exit of the church) to be a 'pilgrimage place for all Christians'. Annualy on 15ht August , a ceremony is held at the chapel to celebrate Mary's assumption

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    Go to Aqua Fantasy

    by miman Written Jul 27, 2006

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    Aqua Fantasy
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    Aquafantasy water park is not only a dream world for your children, but also an endless excitement or a perfect relaxation, with is several themed slides and pools. WAVE POOL BLUE LAGOON: Relax in the blue lagoon, catch the waves in the Wave Pool, experience the 10 different wave patterns.
    LAZY RIVER: Tube a long the 300m long, 4m wide, the unique, the longest Lazy River in Turkey. Ride on the tubes, take the journey in the jungle.
    TREASURRY ISLAND: The kids paradise. Aqua Fantazy's got a lots of fun and excitement from toddlers to the grand parents. The littlest ones can explore the "Squirt'n Sliden" while bigger kids can splash water of the Treasury Island. Share the moments with your kids in this biggest paradise in Turkey.
    TRIPPING BARREL: Watch out or get soaked under hundreds of gallons of water in no time.
    THE CASTLE: Anaconda, Cobra, Viper, the three serpentine slides will take you down through over 120m of twists and turns. Experience the heart pounding Gang Slides.
    LILY PAD: Kids challenge the parents. Battle your way accross on the Lily Pads without falling down in to the pool.
    X-TREME SCREAMER: X-Treme and Screamer, in two highest tobaggan slides in Turkey. Once you try it, you will have to do it again and over again.
    ADULT POOL: Cool off with a cold beer at the pirates ship bar and relax in the jacuzzi.

    Related to:
    • Adventure Travel
    • Family Travel

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    Go to Aqua Fantasy

    by miman Written Jul 27, 2006

    4 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Aqua Fantasy
    1 more image

    Aquafantasy water park is not only a dream world for your children, but also an endless excitement or a perfect relaxation, with is several themed slides and pools. WAVE POOL BLUE LAGOON: Relax in the blue lagoon, catch the waves in the Wave Pool, experience the 10 different wave patterns.
    LAZY RIVER: Tube a long the 300m long, 4m wide, the unique, the longest Lazy River in Turkey. Ride on the tubes, take the journey in the jungle.
    TREASURRY ISLAND: The kids paradise. Aqua Fantazy's got a lots of fun and excitement from toddlers to the grand parents. The littlest ones can explore the "Squirt'n Sliden" while bigger kids can splash water of the Treasury Island. Share the moments with your kids in this biggest paradise in Turkey.
    TRIPPING BARREL: Watch out or get soaked under hundreds of gallons of water in no time.
    THE CASTLE: Anaconda, Cobra, Viper, the three serpentine slides will take you down through over 120m of twists and turns. Experience the heart pounding Gang Slides.
    LILY PAD: Kids challenge the parents. Battle your way accross on the Lily Pads without falling down in to the pool.
    X-TREME SCREAMER: X-Treme and Screamer, in two highest tobaggan slides in Turkey. Once you try it, you will have to do it again and over again.
    ADULT POOL: Cool off with a cold beer at the pirates ship bar and relax in the jacuzzi.

    Related to:
    • Family Travel
    • Theme Park Trips
    • Adventure Travel

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Comments (1)

  • Nov 13, 2012 at 6:16 AM

    I recommend you ADALAND which is the best in Europe. It includes waterpark, dolphinpark and seapark. There is also Rafting. You should see the amazing show of the dolphins and you should also swim with them. It is really amazing. In seapark section there are different kinds of sea animals also a shark:)

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