Places to Visit in Aydin

Things to Know About Aydın

Aydin, a bustling city in the Aegean region of Turkey, boasts a thriving industrial sector and is renowned for its production of figs, olives, strawberries, and cotton. Once known as Tralles, Aydin is steeped in history, with its museum showcasing relics dating back to the 2nd century AD and architectural marvels that were built during the Seljuk rule.

Folklore and legends permeate the region, often told through traditional dances like Zeybek, which can be played by 2, 4, 6, or 9 players. The dance is characterized by the Efe player’s ornamental cotton jacket, striped trousers, knitted waistcoat, cloth anklets, tasseled fez hat, and gaiters.

Aydin is also home to healing mineral springs, with the Aydin spa offering three pools of varying temperatures. Other spas, such as those in Imamkoy, Germencik, and Alangullu, are also located in the province.

The city is situated close to numerous historical sites, including Tralleis, Aphrodisias, Miletos, Alinda, Alabanda, Nysa, Magnesia, Amyzon, Panionion, Neopolis, Mastaura, Antiokya, Gerga, Akharaka, Harpasa, Piginda, Orthosia, and Phygela.

With its seamless blend of natural beauty, coastal culture, and rich heritage, Aydin is a must-visit destination in the Aegean region.

Places to Visit in Aydin

Aphrodisias Ancient City

Aphrodisias is an ancient city located in the Karacasu district of Aydin, Turkey, dedicated to Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of beauty and love. It was first discovered in 1958 by Ara Guler, a well-known Turkish photographer and journalist, who took photographs of a newly constructed dam in the area.

During the Hellenistic and Roman periods, Aphrodisias was renowned for its marble quarries, which were located in the nearby hills. The marble was exported for use in the construction of temples, statues, and other structures throughout the ancient world. Aphrodisias was also home to a famous sculpture school, and many of the marble statues produced there can still be seen today in the city’s museum. Interestingly, these sculptures bear signatures that can still be seen on statues from all over Europe and as far away as Egypt.

Excavations at the city’s theatre hill, which stands 78 feet tall, have revealed layers of settlement dating back to the Bronze Age, around 2,800 – 2,200 BC. The city was founded in 5 BC and flourished during the Roman period, from 100 BC to 400 AD. During the Byzantine period, Aphrodisias was the first seat of an archbishopric and later became the metropolitan of Caria. As Christianity became the dominant religion in the area, the city’s name was changed to Stavropolis, meaning “the city of the Cross.” Today, it is known as Geyre in Turkish. However, in the 13th century, a series of earthquakes led to the abandonment and burial of the city.

Aphrodisias, a city of great historical significance located in Turkey, was almost lost until the excavation work of Turkish professor Dr. Kenan Erim from New York University. Thanks to a grant from National Geographic in the 1960s, Dr. Erim uncovered a vast array of ruins that revealed Aphrodisias as one of the most important cities in Turkey.

Today, visitors to Aphrodisias can walk through streets that people walked over two thousand years ago, marvel at the preserved Temple of Aphrodite which was converted into a Christian basilica, and explore the Tetrapylon, a monumental gate to the ancient city’s main temple that was re-erected by Dr. Erim.

The Baths of Hadrian still stand partially and the city boasts one of the best-preserved theaters and stadiums in the eastern Mediterranean. The museum inside the ancient city also offers stunning statues and portrait sculptures.

Aphrodisias is conveniently located just over an hour and a half from Pamukkale and approximately two hours from Ephesus. The town offers various options for traditional local dishes made with quality home-grown olive oil in small restaurants along the way or near the site.

In recognition of its cultural significance, the Aphrodisias archaeological site was added to UNESCO’s World Heritage List in 2017.

Tralleis Ancient City

Tralleis, a small city situated in the heart of Aydın province in Turkey, is an important historical site that has produced notable figures such as Anthemios, the designer of Haghia Sophia, and Aleksandros, a prominent figure in the history of medicine, who were both born and raised here. The city also boasts one of the most impressive Gymnasium-bath complexes in Anatolia, commonly known as “Uçgözler”.

Tralleis is home to several other significant structures, including an amphitheater, theater, bath, and stadium. The city is renowned for its production of leather and red pottery and is also known for raising two great sculptors named Apollonios and Tauriskos. Their masterpieces, the Farnese Bull and the Young Athlete, are world-famous examples of the art of sculpture.

One of the most intriguing historical artifacts found in Tralleis is a tombstone dating back to the 1st-2nd century CE, belonging to a man named Seikilos. The inscription on the tombstone features lyrics and musical notation, with one note per syllable. This is a rare and significant find, as very few melodies have survived from antiquity with this level of detail. Using this information about its rhythm and tempo distribution, the music on the tombstone can be reconstructed.

Tralleis is a city rich in history and culture, with many fascinating discoveries waiting to be made.


Kusadasi, a stunning coastal resort in Turkey, boasts some of the world’s finest beaches and ancient ruins dating back thousands of years. This city has been a popular tourist destination for many years, with countless visitors flocking here every summer for a memorable vacation. For those seeking an affordable getaway this season, Kusadasi is a must-visit.

Situated just 71km from Aydın, Kusadasi offers a range of tourist attractions, including Ephesus, Virgin Mary’s house, Miletus, Didyma, Pamukkale, and Bodrum. Visitors can enjoy the vibrant entertainment venues and camping areas near the waterfront, as well as the stunning natural beaches and scenery.

Kusadasi is renowned for its thermal springs, including the Çıban, Venus, and Davutlar springs, as well as its Aslanlı and Zeus Caves. The Dilek Peninsula National Park is another highlight, offering a variety of coves and spas for visitors to enjoy in spring, summer, and autumn.

The settlements in Kusadasi vary in age, with the northeast region boasting walls from Panionian, which served as a meeting place for twelve Ionian countries. The Parliament Building remains to this day, and visitors can explore the Venetian Castle and Anaia city in this area.Kuşadası boasts a rich history with ancient settlements such as the Byzantine castle on Güvercin Island and the Castle of Küçük Ada, both popular attractions. The Ottoman Empire also contributed to the town’s walls which surround Kuşadası.

Kuşadası Marina is a sought-after destination for yachts and cruise ships, thanks to its stunning harbor and well-equipped marina. As Turkey’s second most important sea gate, Kuşadası warmly welcomes tourists with its two piers that regularly receive cruise ships, while ferries operate continuously at the port. The port offers a variety of cruises that take visitors on a relaxing journey through the deep blue waters with crystal-clear views.

Güvercinada Castle is a remarkable structure built of stone and brick on a natural rock formation at the entrance of the port. Evliya Çelebi, a renowned 17th-century Ottoman traveler, visited Kuşadası in 1671 and reported that over 100,000 birds visited Güvercinada Castle every year.

Miletus Ancient City

Miletus is a significant location in the history of Western Anatolia, serving as one of the 12 Ionian Cities of Asia Minor. Its ruins, situated alongside the Maeander River approximately 30 kilometers south of Soke, are among Turkey’s most captivating attractions. Miletus was home to renowned philosophers and scientists, including Thales, Anaximander, Anaximenes, Hippodamus, and Hecataeus.

During excavations carried out by German archaeologists, evidence of a Mycenaean settlement dating back to 1500 BC was uncovered. The remains of fortification walls, houses, and Minoan pottery were among the artifacts discovered.

The city was referred to as Millawanda in some Hittite sources, and prior to the Greek occupation, it had been inhabited by Carians and Lelegians. According to the esteemed scholar Strabo, Neleus, son of Codrus, founded the Mediterranean city of Miletus after emigrating from Athens. The original inhabitants were displaced and had their land and possessions taken. As per Herodotus, the Greeks slaughtered all the men and took their women as wives.

The strategic location of Miletus played a pivotal role in its thriving trade activity. Situated near prominent settlements like Ephesus and Didyma, the city emerged as the wealthiest among the 12 Ionian Cities (Ionian League) during the 7th and 6th centuries BC. The Milesians established approximately ninety colonies across various regions, including Egypt, the Black Sea, and the Marmara Sea.

Didyma – Didymaion

The Temple of Apollo at Didyma, also known as Didymaion, ranked as the fourth largest temple in ancient Greece. Its oracle, renowned as the second most significant after Delphi, exerted great influence over the religious and political affairs of Miletus and the wider Mediterranean world. Numerous rulers, including Alexander the Great (356-323 BCE) and Diocletian (244-313 CE), sought the guidance of Apollo at Didyma. The oracle played a pivotal role in instigating the Great Persecution of Christians under Roman Emperor Diocletian, before being transformed into a Christian church of uncertain date, some suggesting the 5th or 6th century CE or earlier.

The Didymaion, located near a natural spring that the Greeks believed to be the source of its prophetic power, superseded an earlier, smaller temple built by the inhabitants of Miletus in the 6th century BCE. However, the new temple was devastated by either Persian King Darius in 496 BCE or Xerxes in 480 BCE. According to legend, the sacred spring ceased to flow until Alexander the Great passed through and restored its sanctity in 331 BCE. The first recorded oracle pronouncements favored this young Macedonian king.

Priene Ancient City

Priene, an ancient Greek city, is situated near the town of Soke, Aydin, adjacent to a modern village named Gullubahce. It is positioned between the renowned tourist hotspots of Kusadasi and Bodrum and is in proximity to other significant ancient sites, including Miletus and Ephesus. Despite its modest size, Priene possesses a distinct allure that attracts repeat visitors.

The founding and history of Priene are shrouded in mystery, with the city’s origins dating back to the 11th or 10th century BC. Although Priene has never been a dominant power in its own right, its location in a region that often experiences conflicts between empires has made it a witness to such clashes.

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