Ancient City of Ephesus

The ancient city of Ephesus, which was a port city in the first years of its establishment, is 6.5 km from the sea today. Ephesus, which has a very rich history, dates back to 6000 thousand BC. During the researches and excavations carried out in and around Ephesus in recent years, settlements belonging to the Bronze Age and Hittites were identified and it was understood that the name of the city was Apasas during the Hittites.

The city, which was built on the Ayasuluk Hill, where the first settlement was located, was moved around the Temple of Artemis in 560 BC and was founded in 300 BC by Lysimakhos, one of the generals of Alexander the Great, the ancient city of Ephesus.    

Spread over an area of 8 square kilometres, the ancient city has prehistoric Ephesus (334 BC), Hellenistic Ephesus (3rd and 1st century BC), Roman Ephesus and Byzantine period Ephesus (4th and 14th century BC) periods. In the Hellenistic and Roman period, the city lived the most magnificent period with a population of 200 thousand people and the city was the capital of the state of Asia. The ancient city has been relocated 4 times in total and moved back to the Ayasuluk Hill in Selcuk, where it was first founded during the Byzantine period.

Ephesus, one of the most important centres of the ancient world, has always played an important role in the best urban planning, urbanization, architecture, religious centre, trade, science, art and culture fields and has served as a gate between east and west. The ancient city of Ephesus is also the first city made entirely of stone. 

Among the buildings that can be visited in the ancient city of Ephesus are the glorious city gates, monumental buildings, Turkish baths, lecture and imperial halls, Roman toilets, fountains providing water to homes, trade and shopping areas, libraries, churches, political and religious ceremony squares and houses belonging to important people of the city.       

One of the factors that made Ephesus important in ancient times is that it has the biggest temple of Artemis culture. The Temple of Artemis, which is part of the ancient city, is considered one of the seven wonders of the world and the four regions of Ayasuluk Hill, Çukuriçi Mound, Ephesus Antique City and House of Virgin Mary are included in the UNESCO World Heritage List.
In the ancient city of Ephesus, 15% of which were uncovered, the first excavations and works started in 1869 and were interrupted during the 1st and 2nd world wars, but the works started in 1954 are still continuing. 

Where is Ephesus?

Ephesus, which is visited by thousands of local and foreign tourists every year, is located in the Selçuk district of İzmir.

Distances to Ephesus:

Aydın Efes-55 km Aydın Çıldır Airport Efes-62km İzmir Efes-85 km İzmir Airport Efes-64 km Kuşadası Efes-

Aydın  Efes 55 km
Aydın Çıldır Airport  Efes 62 km
İzmir Efes 85  km
İzmir Airport  Efes 64 km
Kuşadası Efes 19 km
Milas Airport Efes 137 km
Selçuk Efes 4 km
Söke Efes 40 km
Şirince  Efes 11 km

How to get to Ephesus?

*Transportation by plane:

The nearest airports for those who want to come to Ephesus by air are the airports in Aydın and İzmir. The airport in Izmir is generally used for easy access. Those arriving at the airport can go directly to Selçuk by suburban train, as well as by HAVAŞ shuttles or taxis to Izmir bus terminal and reach to the ancient city of Ephesus easily. The first bus from the bus terminal to Selçuk departs at 07:00 in the morning and the last bus goes at 21:00

Transportation by land:

Transportation to the ancient city of Ephesus is provided by Selçuk minibuses departing from İzmir or Kuşadası. Those who want to come to Ephesus from remote points should buy their tickets to Selçuk. After arriving in Selçuk, it is very easy to find a minibus from the bus station to the ancient city of Ephesus.

Those who want to come to Ephesus with their special vehicles from İzmir direction should follow the route of İzmir-Torbalı-Selçuk-Ephesus ancient city.  

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Transportation by train

Denizli train departing from Basmane train station passes through Selçuk station. Izmir-Selcuk Train schedule timetable time: 07:45, 09:00, 11:25, 13:30, 15:35, 16:45, 18:25, 19:25. Train schedules departing from Selçuk-İzmir 06:50, 07:40, 09:09, 11:51, 16:06, 1:06, 20: 55,19: 42 The journey takes approximately 1 hour by train. Izban suburban train departs from İzmir Tepeköy stop to Selçuk.Suburban departure times: 06:40, 07:40, 09:00, 10:30, 11:40, 13:00, 14:10, 15:50, 17:10, 18:10, 19:20, 20: 55, 21:50, 23:15 The journey takes approximately 25 minutes.

Preparations before going to Ephesus

Ephesus, which can be visited every month of the year and has a rich history, increases the number of visitors, especially in summer months. It is recommended that those who wish to visit Ephesus, where the Mediterranean climate is observed, take into consideration the summer heat. Especially in July and August, when the temperature rises above 35 degrees Celsius, it is recommended that visitors to Ephesus take water, sun cream, sunglasses, hat, hiking shoes and appropriate clothes to avoid being affected by the heat.
Those who do not like to visit in warm weather are recommended to visit Ephesus in April-May or September-October.

How to get to Ephesus

For those who want to visit Ephesus, one of the largest ancient cities in the world, it is recommended to spend 2 days here. 
Touring the ancient city of Ephesus with a guide will make the trip more enjoyable. For those who are not guided, they are advised to obtain a booklet from the consultation at the entrance. For those who wish to consult the rental headset system is available.

It is recommended that those who come to visit Ephesus should bring water with them as the summers here is too hot with the air temperature as sun lights reflected from the stones and marbles and the visitors should wear suitable shoes as the ground may be slippery and there are pathways which are hard to walk on.

Those who enter the ancient city, which has two entrances through the lower gate, should constantly climb up a slight slope.  Those who do not like to go uphill are recommended to enter the ancient city from the Magnesia gate, which is the eastern gate of the city.     

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Accommodation facilities for those who wish to stay in Ephesus are located in Selcuk and Sirince. In recent years, many accommodation facilities in Selçuk and Şirince suitable for all kinds of budgets have been opened to tourism. For those who do not want to stay in the centre of Selcuk but want to stay in a hotel with a mountain view, Sirince is recommended. Accommodation options include boutique hotels, apart-hotels, five-star hotels, apartments for rent, villas for rent and hostels.

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What to eat in Ephesus?

The closest restaurants to visit Ephesus are in Selcuk. The dishes served include vegetarian dishes for vegetarians, roasting, seafood milky fish, steamed sardines, stuffed mussels, mussel pans and meat dishes, pita and garbage skewers.

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