Welcome to the Kuşadası cruise port guide. You will find Kuşadası in between the rolling hills of Turkey and clear blue sea. It represents one of the nicest areas of the country. The town is well developed, has great facilities, yet its not spoiled by the big resorts. Kuşadası is easy to explore by foot, but just be prepared: This is all about shopping. Kuşadası has quite the reputation for its Turkish carpets, custom made leather jackets and genuine fake watches. Basically the whole town is one gigantic bazaar and souvenir market. Find all kind of souvenirs and clothing shops around here. It might not always be the best quality, but the price will always make up for it. Aside from shopping Kuşadası is also the stepping stone to the world famous sights of Ephesus, Didyma and many more. Therefore we highly recommend to start in the early, cool morning to visit the historic sights and save your afternoon for shopping and refreshments in town.
Cruise Port Guide Kuşadası – Turkey: docked
The Kuşadası cruise terminal, also known as Scala Nuova, is right in front of the centre of town. It is a huge facility where you will find all kind of services. At the port you will find tourist information, duty-free souvenir shops, wi-fi, cafe’s, tour operators and taxis. Once you exit the cruise terminal and port you are right in front of the city centre, which is best to be explored by foot.
The cruise terminal is a small walk to the city centre. Alternatively you can find rickshaws on the cruise dock that can take you to the city centre for +/- 2 euro.
Taxis of Kuşadası
There are taxis available at the exit of the port. There are usually regular size and vans available. You will recognise the official taxis by their yellow colour and taxi sign. Find the approximate taxi prices underneath: Didyma: 70 euro Aphrodisias: 140 euro Ephesus: 45 euro one way. Anybody going to Ephesus gets dropped off at the entrance. You walk through the historical sight and you get picked up at the other end. Try to arrange this with your taxi as well.
Public Transport to Ephesus
There is a public bus service from Kuşadası to Ephesus. Take into mind that the public transport system here is somewhat different than it might be back home: be flexible. The Turks call this public bus the Dolmus. They are 15-seat minivans. They depart from the bus terminal Sueyman Demirel Boulevard. See map above for its exact location. It is roughly a 20 minute walk from the cruise terminal, through the city centre to the bus station. There are several services per hour throughout the day, but their might be less during 12noon and 3 pm. Check this while you are there. The ride takes about 15 minutes. Most services stop at the end of the entry road to Ephesus. From here it is roughly about 10 minutes walk to Ephesus.
Excursions to Ephesus
Ephesus can be reached by public transport or taxi and visited independently, but keep in mind that it might be worth your while to take an excursion to this sight. If you arrive and you are looking at rocks it is hard to imagine what is actually was. Therefore going by excursion might be worth while because your guide is able to make this ruin come to life with the stories and knowledge that he has. Usually the ships price isn’t that bad. You can also book the excursion the cruise terminal (see photo to the left) starting at 40 euro per person.
There are no beaches in the city centre of Kusadasi. Taxis and the Dolmus (public transport busses) are able to bring you to the beaches just out of town. Ladies beach is 2 miles north of Kusadasi. Reach this beach by Dolmus or taxi. This beach has sun beds, umbrellas etc. Pamucak is 7 miles north of Kusadasi. Reach this beach by Dolmus or taxi. Find all kinds of high end resorts here.
Distance from port:
City centre = 1/2 km south
Pigeon island = 1 km west
Ataturk = 1,5 km uphill, west
Ephesus = 20 km north east
House of Virgin Mary = 27 km north east
Didyma = 76 km south
Just 30 minute drive from Kuşadası you will find one of the most beautiful ruins in the western world. The Romans made Ephesus the most important harbour on the Aegean sea. Most ruins you will see at the sight date back from this time. Ephesus is gem to explore especially with all the stories behind the ruins like the prominent spot it had in the upcoming religion Christianity and the way a city like this was set up. We recommend visiting Ephesus with a shore excursion or guide to ensure you know what you are looking at when you are there. If you want to visit Ephesus independently please know the entrance fee for Ephesus is 20 Lira. This can only be paid in Lira.
You will find the Grand Bazaar in the centre of town in front of the port. Find all kinds of good bargains here. Specialties would be leather, tailor made jackets and turkish carpets. Enjoy good prices, only if you bring your bargaining skills.
When you are al the cruise terminal you can spot a hill with a big statue on it. This is the statue of Ataturk, one of the most iconic figures of Turkish history, also known as father of the nation. It is a 30 minute hike to get up to the statue. It is quite a challenge though to find the exact path going up. At the statue you will have beautiful panoramic views over Kuşadası and the bay.
The town centre of Kusadasi is basically all about one thing: Shopping. Find great souvenirs and special Turkish made products here in the city centre. Spot your genuine fakes, your tailor made clothing and unique turkish carpets.
Guvercin Adasi is small island in front of the city of Kuşadası. It is connected to the mainland by causeway. On the island you will find a 14th century Byzantine castle. The fortress is not always open, but even if it is closed it is still nice for a walk. Find this island about 1 km west of the port.
Whatever happened to Virgin Mary after the death of Jesus Christ? The rest of her life remains a mystery, but is believed that John took Maria to Ephesus in the year 37 where se spent the last years of her life. The house is open for visitors and it has become an important pilgrim destination. If you are planning to visit the house, make sure to bring pen, paper and an empty bottle. Attach your paper to the wall and fill your empty bottle of water from the Fountain of the Virgin. Virgin Mary’s House lies 27 km north east of Kusadasi in the same direction as Ephesus.
The Kusadasi cruise dock and terminal is situated at a convenient part of town right in front of the city center. There is a cruise terminal together with a souvenir market where you can also find tour desks and taxis. Read the full Kusadasi cruise port guide for all the information.