The ancient city of Ephesus is one of the most popular attractions in Turkey; in terms of the number of guests, only Istanbul Sultanahmet is ahead of it. Ephesus is a museum city located next to Selçuk, once a tiny farming community and now a major tourist destination. The archaeological complex attracts travelers with its antiquity and very good preservation. True, there are almost always a lot of tourists here, but the place certainly deserves a visit.
The territory of the museum is not very large, usually two or three hours are enough for a visit. But you must definitely take water with you, as taps with drinking water are located at the entrances, and you can buy drinks only outside the complex.
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The museum can be accessed through two entrances: upper and lower, next to each of them there are ticket offices. It is better to choose the road that goes from top to bottom.
How to get to Ephesus
Tourists visiting Ephesus usually stop at Selçuk, which is most conveniently accessible from İzmir. You can take a bus from the bus station, the transport is not very comfortable and crowded, but is usually air-conditioned. Travel time is 40 minutes, the ticket is bought from the driver. The main bus carrier on this route is Metro, the schedule can be found at the office. website (in English).
There are also electric trains to Selcuk from the Izmir Basmane station. You will have to spend 1.5 hours on the road. More detailed information is available from Turkish Railways website.
The train makes a stop at Izmir Airport, so if you wish, you can immediately go towards Ephesus without stopping at the resort.
Another way is by rented car or taxi. The distance from Izmir to Selçuk is a little less than 80 km, the roads are good, there is a paid section. A taxi ride will cost from 300 TRY. The prices on the page are for June 2022.
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From Selcuk to Ephesus
Most travelers go to the museum on foot, the distance is only 3 km, but you can take a taxi. It will cost about 25-30 TRY, the car will drive right up to the top entrance. For those who travel by car, it will be more convenient to stop near the lower gate, there is a large parking lot. Tourist buses arrive there too.
Since Ephesus is an archaeological museum, it can only be explored on foot. The territory is small, but difficult to pass in some places, so it is important to take care of comfortable shoes. But taxis are actively driving around the complex: they offer a lift to the upper entrance, return back “to the city” or show other sights. They work according to the counter, but it is important to ensure that it is reset to zero. Another popular form of transport in Selcuk is dolmushi – something like our minibuses that run between cities, but stop where the passenger needs. The fare is 5 TRY.
Some tourists rent bicycles to move around the city and get to Ephesus (they won’t let you enter the museum with a bike). Renting costs from 25 TRY per day, it is better to take a mountain model, as the area around is very mountainous.
Communication and Wi-Fi
The three leading mobile operators in Turkey are Turkcell, Avia and Vodafone. Travelers usually choose the former as it has the widest coverage area. Although the other two work well. SIM cards are sold with certain service packages, which already include calls, SMS, and mobile Internet.
Many tourists have heard that when traveling to Turkey, the phone must be registered. This applies only to those who plan to spend more than 30 days in the country. They must pay a fee from 618 TRY to 1500 TRY and register.
Wi-Fi is available in many hotels and restaurants, and occasionally began to appear in other public places. Sometimes the connection requires payment, but most often a password is enough. True, the signal can be extremely unstable. There is no Internet on the territory of the archaeological complex of ancient Ephesus.
The small town of Selçuk has more than a hundred accommodation options, from cheap guest houses to luxury hotels. The most modest double room can be rented even for 400 TRY. In hotels of an average price category (2-3 *), a room will cost 500 TRY per day. And truly royal conditions will cost about 4000 TRY per night.
Almost always, the owners offer breakfast and an excursion program for an additional fee. Many guest houses and hotels offer bicycle rentals. But there are no classic hostels in the vicinity of Ephesus, as well as well-equipped campsites.
What to bring from Ephesus
Near both entrances to Ephesus, tourists are greeted by shops that sell all the classics of Turkish souvenirs: from glass “eyes” to carpets and copper utensils, as well as colored lamps, ceramics, hookahs, inlaid chess and much more. A good gift for friends and family will be oriental sweets, for example, the famous Turkish delight, sets of spices and spices.
Those who are looking for something special from Ephesus can pay attention to magnets and other souvenirs with the image of the ancient city, books and albums, as well as very spectacular jewelry from the local store: all taxis and buses pass by it.
On the territory of the museum itself, there are people who offer tourists to buy the finds of archaeological excavations “from hand”. You do not need to do this, since at best they are scammers selling a fake. And at worst, that is, when buying real antiquities, you will have problems with the police. By law, buying and taking out of the country anything that can be considered a museum value is prohibited.