One of Kusadasi’s most popular attractions, Kusadasi Castle is dubbed the “Pirate Castle” for being originally constructed to protect Kusadasi’s harbor from piratical and other sea attacks. Now home to a handful of maritime exhibits, the castle draws sightseers who come to explore its battlements and gardens, discover its history, and absorb its panoramas over Kusadasi bay.
Visitors can explore the castle freely during its opening hours simply by walking along the causeway. Alternatively, many opt to see it as part of a tour or cruise. Several daylong boat trips from Kusadasi call at Pigeon Island—or offer close-up views from the water—while many 4WD tours include a quick stop. Some multi-day tours of Turkey that cover Kusadasi also include a castle visit.
Things to Know Before You Go
Kusadasi Castle is a must for history, archaeology, and maritime enthusiasts.
Several steep stairways make access difficult for wheelchair users and visitors with strollers.
A café and restrooms are located on the grounds.
There’s no admission fee to pay.
How to Get There
The easiest way to visit Kusadasi Castle independently is on foot, via a scenic 15-minute walk along the causeway—its entrance can be found on Guvercin Adasi Cd near Kusadasi’s New Port. Cabs anddolmus minibuses will run you there—aim for the No. 5dolmus, as it stops right outside. Otherwise, choose a tour that includes a castle stop.
When to Get There
Kusadasi Castle opens daily year-round, from 9am–11pm May–September and 9am–9pm October–April. As one of Kusadasi’s main draws, it can get fairly busy in summer, especially in July and August, when arriving early is the best way to enjoy it at its quietest and coolest. Be aware that during the summer, occasional evening discos are held on the grounds.
What to Do and See at Kusadasi Castle
Visitors can head into the castle’s small museum to view its historical models of ships and prize exhibit—the skeleton of a 47.5-foot (14.5-meter) fin whale. Other pleasures include strolling the palm-shaded gardens, which are dotted with information boards on the castle and local flora and fauna; climbing to the battlements; and simply soaking in the sweeping views of Kusadasi over drinks and meze dishes at the café.
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