Is Kusadasi Safe? 15 Travel Tips From a Local


I spent most of the best parts of my life in Kusadası because of our family’s summer house located there. My mom now lives there permanently in tranquility after my parents are divorced. 

As a local, I can tell you Kusadasi is one of the safest places in Turkey as well as the world. In any case, there are some minor things that I should warn you about.

This village was once a small fishing town. Now Kusadasi grew to be one of the biggest tourist destinations in Turkey.

You can check my Kusadasi page to see all my articles about this lovely travel destination.

Crime 

Kusadasi has its own dangers, yet crime is not of them. Kusadasi, as a tourist destination, hosts millions of tourists yet even minor incidents are rare. It is safer than most American, English, and Turkish cities.

Do not leave your valuables in public, done. You are good to go.

Police forces are diligent and adequate. Most of the policemen in Kusadası, know at least another foreign language. There are also adequate translators in the police service. 

The locals are also determined to provide a safe tourism haven for all and keep tourism as their main income. The local population cares for your safety as they would care for the safety of their own business.

As a result, millions of tourists leave Kusadasi happy, and more return every year.

Kusadasi is a city-sized holiday destination, be sure to check my article Where to Stay in Kusadasi to choose your hotel and the area that best suits you.

Please do not let rare possibilities delay your trip to Kusadasi.

Is Kusadasi family-friendly?

Kusadasi is definitely a family-friendly place. In Kusadasi, you can many family-friendly places, shopping centers, beaches, aquaparks, and most entertainment complexes have areas exclusive to kids.

I was raised here and now my daughter Lidya is enjoying Kusadasi.

SUGGESTED READING: A Local’s Guide to Amazing Things To Do in Kusadasi

Terrorism 

There are police checkpoints when entering and leaving Kusadasi. These checkpoints are not there because there is an immediate danger. 

Police checkpoints have been there for more than 20 years. Kusadasi has always been additionally protected because it is a vital tourist destination for Turkey’s tourism economy.

I looked at tourist forums when preparing this guide. One of the most asked questions was if Kusadasi was near Syria. Kusadasi is not near Syria. Kusadasi is 1000 km away from Syria and Turkish Eastern provinces. Turkey is a big country, and insurgencies in the East do not affect Kusadasi.

Let me put it by example. If two cars start at the same, one can reach the Syrian border, and the other can reach Vienna at the same. Kusadasi has more similarities to Vienna than Turkish Syrian border provinces.

Discrimination

There is NO discrimination in Kusadasi. You will NOT face discrimination because you are English, American, Korean, African, or of any other nationality. 

The same applies to skin color, and there has never been a conflict in Turkey about skin color.

Turkish people also have different ethnic backgrounds. Do not be surprised to see Turkish Africans who have been living in the Kusadasi region for centuries.

Turks are well aware that governments and people are different. They may not like your government, but they are happy to chat with you as a person. 

General Advice In case of any kind of danger, ask locals for help. One important tip is that the person you ask for help maybe another tourist and may not help you. 

Ask the shop owners for help, though they are persistent sellers, they are also determined to keep Kusadasi town safe and civil.

Check out my guide on Things to Know Before Coming to Kusadasi to learn more travel tips about Kusadasi.

Politics

Turkish society is politically divided on many fronts. Turkish people always love to enter a friendly talk, yet politics can be our sensitive area.

You can ruin a friendly conversation by discussing political things. I would not try discussing political issues with the Turkish people. We are already discussing too much between us.

Yet, if you speak know basic Turkish even the sourest conversation will turn into a delightful conversation. Turkish people adore people trying to learn their language.

Reading Turkish is simple since Turkey uses Latin letters. If you read Turkish as if it is Italian and Spanish, you will read Turkish in an understandable fashion. Some letters may be different, but you would get it quickly with some practice.

SUGGESTED READING. Check out my article “Is Turkish a Language?

Traffic and The Drivers

Turkish traffic safety differs from where you look. According to the World Health Organization graphic below, Turkey does not have the safest traffic rankings in Europe, yet it is the safest in Asia.

Turkish traffic is also safer than most countries on the American continent.

The graph above demonstrates death rates from road traffic accidents by country. (per 100,000 inhabitants) Source Wikipedia and World Health Organization

The graph above demonstrates death rates from road traffic accidents by country. (per 100,000 inhabitants)

If I were to give two advice for Turkish traffic, those would be

  • Pedestrian Advice: Never assume that the car will stop and give you the way when crossing the street. Even in the pedestrian crossings.
  • Driving Advice: Turkish drivers can be intimidating and flashing their lights to asking to pass you. They signal the lights and come very close to your car’s back as if they will crash into your car. They won’t damage your car, do not worry.

Sometimes Turkish drivers can be confusing and scary for foreigners. It is how they drive, and it is not something personal about you.

Let the warm-blooded drivers pass you. You will be fine.

Foreigners can use their driving licenses for up to 6 six months in Turkey.

If you are planning to rent a car or drive in Turkey, you can check my guide on the Essentials of Renting a Car in Turkey and Driving Tips

Real Dangers of Kusadasi

Sun, Heat, Mosquitos, and Insects are the real danger in Kuşadasi. Tough, not major dangers, but they can make your trip unbearable.

Insects, Mosquitos, and Pharmacies

Mosquitos and Insects do not carry any serious poison or illness in Turkey. Yet, they can cause annoyances and complications that can be easily treated.

Mosquito sprays are highly recommended and easily obtainable from any pharmacy. You can buy most of the medicine with prescription in the UK and USA; you can buy it without a prescription in Turkey.

Pharmacists are good and knowledgeable. From my personal experience, besides being cheaper, the health system is far more easily accessible than the National Health System (NHS) in the UK.

Heat and Sun

The temperatures around 40°C (104 °F) are common in Kusadasi. Especially at midday, do not expose yourself to much heat and sun. Use sun protection if you are not used to this much sun.

Always carry a water bottle with you and consume liquids to avoid dehydration.  

Another thing to know is how to find the best beaches in Kusadasi. The beaches in the town center are overly crowded in the tourist season. You can check my guide on Beaches of Kusadasi and learn which beaches will make your holiday more enjoyable.

Is Tap Water Safe in Kusadasi?

You can brush your teeth, take a shower, or use tap water to clean your body. 

You can also drink tap water without any major problems. Yet, tap water is chlorinated, and some people may be sensitive to it. Also, locals usually don’t drink tap water either because it does not taste good.

Some good hotels have their own filtration systems, and the tap water in those tastes a lot better.

If you wish to know more about tap water in Turkey, you can read my guide A Father’s Review – Is Turkish Tap Water Safe to Drink?

Be careful about Persuasive Shopkeepers

In Kusadasi, you may feel harassed by people trying to sell you something. The best way to ignore them is plainly ignoring them. Draw your line and continue your way.

Do not try to persuade them or speak to them. The shopkeepers have exceptional bartering and persuasion skills. Before you realize it, you may willingly slip your credit card and find a Turkish rug under your arm.

I found many testaments on the internet from tourists buying rugs, and they do not have a clue how they bought them.

Most shop owners in Kusadasi are honest and trustworthy yet, be sure to check the currency you are paying when slipping your credit card. I heard some of the shopkeepers barter in local currency yet slip the card with Euro or USD.

If you want a western-style safe and easy shopping experience, you can go to Kusadasi Marina or Kusadasi Forum Shopping Malls to shop. In these places, price tags are final and no bartering skill is required.

There are high-quality Turkish brands in these malls, and you would experience a more relaxed shopping experience.

For more shopping advice, check my Turkish Online Shopping or Kusadasi Shopping Guides. Also if you know about Turkish Fashion Designs check out my article on Turkish Fashion Brands.

Vegetarian dishes with no spices and butter-fried octopus. Our typical dinner at Kusadasi.

Is Food Safe in Kusadasi?

The service quality is high in Kusadasi. Turks tend to consume food fresher than most European countries. For this reason, in Turkish cuisine, we do not add spices or sauces to conceal the real taste of the food. 

Use your common judgment; if the food is not refrigerated and sold openly without reasonable protection, do not buy it.

Even though food may be good for locals, your stomach may be sensitive because you are not used to local food. This is not because food is unhealthy. It took months for me to get used to British food when I was doing my master’s degree in the UK.

The food you would find in Kusadasi is the typical Mediterranean cuisine. I would recommend Fish over meat. Fish is always fresh in Kusadasi because it is a fishing town.

Local vegetarian tapas are also delicious, and they are made with locally produced fresh vegetables.

Check my other guide if you wish to learn more about Turkish Food and What to expect in Turkish Cuisine.

Is Kusadasi Safe at Night?

Kusadasi has a vibrant nightlife and is a very safe place at night. You can either chill at a beach with your friends or enjoy numerous pubs, tavernas, and bars of Kusadasi.

Locals enjoying the beach in the old town.

Check out my guide on Things to Do in Kusadasi at Night

Someone in public is harassing you. What should you do?

If there is no violence, Turkish locals may not interfere with the issue if you do not ask for help. This is not because they do not care about you. 

Turkish locals won’t interfere because they respect your privacy. In Turkish culture, you are entitled to have a family discussion or a verbal love fight with your partner in public.

But if you declare that your partner is out of control or a foreigner is harassing you or ask for help, locals will interfere to protect and shelter you. For best help, ask real locals for help, not other local tourists.

Recreational Drugs

The usage of drugs is increasing among youth in Turkey. Some of them are soft things that European and American police tolerate. Yet, this does change the fact that they are illegal in Turkey. 

Some sellers especially approach tourists and trick them into thinking they are legal in Turkey. Please do not buy from them, use them or recommend them to anyone. The rules are strictly applied. Especially recommending them can be interpreted as a more serious crime.

Are Taxis Safe in Kusadasi?

Taxis are generally safe in Kusadasi. Most taxi drivers are honest, but there are some greedy taxi drivers. They may resort to cheating tactics to increase their fee and even try to confuse you with exchange rates.

To avoid such a situation, request taxi drivers to open the taximeter. Taxis are by law obligated to use their taximeters.

Take a photo of the license plate coined in the rear of the taxis, by this way you can easily contact the taxi if you forget to take your belongings in the taxi.

Another situation is “pirate” taxi drivers. The official taxis have taxis signs on them in Turkey. Please do not use taxis that are not regulated, locals sometimes use them for their lower costs, but I would not suggest them for tourists. 

Check my other guide if you wish to learn more about Taxis in Turkey and the cost of taxis in Turkish cities, common taxi scams, and more tips.

How Much Taxis Cost in Kusadasi?

The starting fee of taxis in Kusadasi is 6 TL (0,72 USD), and you will pay an additional 5,50 TL (0,66 USD) per kilometer. The Turkish Lira value will change due to inflation, but you can always calculate a rough estimate of your taxi travel.

You can check the distance with Google maps and use the USD numbers above to calculate your rough taxi fare.

Example taxi cost calculation.

A 20 km taxi ride in Kusadasi will cost you around 14,62 USD. 0,62 (starting fee) plus 14 USD (20 km x 0,70) for 20 km.

Taxi fees do not change day or night or for any other reason. Tariffs only vary depending on the location. For example, taxis in the tourist centers (like Kusadasi and Didim)  are a bit more expensive than in city centers like Aydin.

Kusadasi has thousands of years of history hidden in plain sight. Check out my History of Kusadasi article to learn more.

Natural Disasters in Kusadasi

You may feel small earthquakes, they happen rarely, but they have nearly zero effect on daily life. As I told you, mosquitos and heat are the real dangers in Kusadasi.

Mosquitos in Turkey do not make you sick but can create a disturbance, yet nothing serious. Yet, in summer, the weather can be hot, and dehydration can be a problem. Carry bottled water with you.

THE LAST TIP This tip is also true for any part of the world. Turkish people are friendly. But as all people in the world, we do not claim to be your best friend after knowing you for a few hours. Use your common judgment; only trust the strangers with things you can afford to lose.

Last Word About Travel Warnings about Turkey

You may also wish to check the United Kingdom, United States Government, Australian Government’s travel warnings. 

Remember, these warnings are not prepared city-specific, and they are written for Turkey as a whole.

I do not totally agree with them, especially for Kusadasi. Some of these warnings are appropriate for Kusadasi, but I also believe they lack some basic and crucial warnings and exaggerate rare possibilities.

I tried to give you a local’s perspective on safety in Kusadasi, where I visit frequently, and mom lives. If you liked this guide, you can check out all my articles on Kusadasi by clicking here.

Efe Genit

I am a father, a passionate traveler, and a Turkish lawyer. You can enjoy my guides and tips about Turkey that only Turkish locals would know.

4 thoughts on “Is Kusadasi Safe? 15 Travel Tips From a Local

  1. Thank you for this honest advice, we are travelling to your beautiful country in late October and I’m a little concerned about the Covid situation, is life going on in kusadasi? Thank you
    Julie

  2. Totally agree, kusadasi is safe and totally enjoyable, great food and really friendly people, wonderful place to visit and enjoy

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