Filed under General
I'm just back from a weeklong trip in Kusadasi, Turkey. For anyone thinking about going to Turkey for a sun break I highly recommend it! Below are some top tips to help you get the most out of your stay while in Kusadasi.
Where we stayed:
We stayed at the Palmin Hotel in Kusadasi. This hotel had a great selection of food on offer, especially for vegetarians (I highly recommend the Chicken Fajitas). The staff was also very helpful and really pleasant to deal with. The main attraction in choosing this hotel for us was the pool. It's a really nice big size, has 2 slides and the waiters from the poolside bar give table service. This is supposed to be a 4 star hotel but there were a few short comings with it:
- The food overpriced compared to the bars/restaurants in the main town area. This is especially true for drinks.
- You will have the pleasure of a really crappy bed with covers that are too small to fit 2 people.
- Paper thin walls - don't expect to get any sleep during the night as you will hear people in heels walking around their rooms, conversations taking place, etc all as if those other people are in your room! By far the worst thing about the hotel.
Things to do in Kusadasi:
While we were staying at the hotel we booked ourselves on some of the day trips that were organized by our holiday rep. We went on the 'Shop till you drop' shopping experience and the Ephesus half day trip. Ephesus was amazing and if you are in Kusadasi you owe it to yourself to make the trip to see these remarkable ruins. DO NOT SIGN UP TO DO THE SHOPPING TOUR!!! I cannot stress that enough. You will be brought to outlet stores about 30mins away from your hotel by bus but there are no real shopping bargains to be had. It was a complete was of €20 each to do this trip. Save your money for the markets that happen on Wednesday instead. The markets are huge and you're sure to find your ideal gift there.
Shopping in Kusadasi town centre is a great experience, even on days without the markets. There are literally hundreds of shops selling handbags, jewellery, DVD's, etc. All 100% genuinely fake of course ;) Be sure to have your wits about you when shopping because the shopkeepers will try their best to overcharge you. Haggle, haggle, haggle and once you've done that, haggle some more! Some shopkeepers can be quite rude and forceful. Just remember that if you leave their shop you will more than likely find the same items 3-4 shops down the road so never feel like you have to buy your item from anyone who is pushy.
If you are in Kusadasi you have to try and make it to one of the main beaches. We went to Ladies Beach a few days during our stay and it was fantastic. Plenty of sun loungers at reasonable prices, really great tasting beer (Efes) and loads of bars and restaurants to choose where to eat. Try and eat in Rosy's bar at least once. The waiters were really friendly in there and you never felt rushed while having your dinner. Plus they have free wifi.
Getting around Kusadasi:
Kusadasi has a fantastic public transport system called the Dolmus. The Dolmus is a small bus that can carry around 15 people. The best thing is that the bus runs every 30-60 seconds. I never had to wait more than 20 seconds to get a bus. These buses go all around the city and even drop you to the door of your hotel. They really make travelling around in Kusadasi a breeze. They cost 2 Turkish Lira to use and run from 7am right up to midnight.
Other bits of advice:
The last piece of advice I can give you is to avoid buying any food in the Airport on your way home. Unfortunately for us we found out the hard way. €5 for a can of coke and €7.50 for a small bread roll! It was really super expensive because they know you'll be hungry and that there is nowhere else for you to grab a bite to eat. If you can, try to buy a sandwich and drink in Kusadasi before you go to the airport.
Above is only my take on the trip but from speaking to a few people on the airplane and while on the day trips I get the impression everyone else was feeling the same about Kusadasi. It was a fantastic place to visit with great shopping and food. If you are looking to just relax and put the feet up for a few days you could do a lot worse than Turkey. Just don't expect to save any money while you stay in Kusadasi as it is very much a tourist city and has prices to match.