This seaside resort town has grown up immensely in the last 30 years, and is especially popular with package holiday-makers from Europe. From a population of 6000 in the 1970s, it is now closer to 50,000, although a high proportion of this are part of the tourist industry and here only for the summer.
Many cruising ships travelling around the Aegean Islands stop here, especially because of its close proximity (20km) to Selcuk. Kusadasi is a good base to explore this and other ancient cities like Priene and Didyma.
Although there is a little historical interest in Kusadasi itself, the town is popular predominantly because of its many hotels, restaurants, souvenir and carpet shops, and lively nightlife. The Kale district has some old traditional houses and narrow streets, and gives some indication of what the town used to be like. The most famous beach is Kadinlar Plaji, 2.5km south of the town, dominated by huge hotels and can get very crowded in summer. There are several small beaches further south, and closer to town is Yilanci Burnu, the peninsular.