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"Ephesus" Ephesus by mikelisaanna

Ephesus Travel Guide: 519 reviews and 1,961 photos

Ephesus is one of Turkey's top tourist sights. Founded by the Greeks, it became one of the largest cities in the Roman Empire, with a population of more than 200,000 people. Many people know it due to St. Paul's letter to the Ephesians (people of Ephesus) in the Bible. At its peak, Ephesus was a thriving port city with large public structures, including an ampitheatre that seated over 20,000 people and a stadium that was even larger. It was also the site of numerous baths and temples, including the temple of Artemus, which was one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.

Unfortunately, Ephesus was rocked by a series of earthquakes, sacked by the Goths and Arabs, and then its harbor silted up. As a result, it fell into decline and was ultimately abandoned for a more defensible site further inland (the site of the modern-day town of Selcuk).

Over the past century, archaeologists have begun to excavate the ruins of Ephesus, and have discovered some fascinating structures. A 2 km long series of streets is open to tourists, which takes you past the city's library, its ampitheater, one of its baths, a number of temples, and a neighborhood of homes where wealthy families once lived. Only about 10% of the city has been excavated to date.

Admission to Ephesus was YTL 15 per adult. For a few lira extra, audio tapes are available which describe each structure along the way. Definitely spend the money for the tape. Also, there is an extra charge for admission to the terrace houses, where wealthy families had mosaic floors and frescoed walls. This is also worth the extra fee to see.

Ephesus gets crowded, so go early or late in the day to avoid the crowds. Otherwise, you will find yourself amidst large tour groups from the cruise ships that dock in nearby Kusadasi.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Impressive ruins, tons of history
  • Cons:Crowds and heat
  • In a nutshell:One of the top historic sites in Turkey
  • Last visit to Ephesus: Aug 2008
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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Reviews (9)

Comments (4)

  • SLLiew's Profile Photo
    Sep 12, 2009 at 2:57 PM

    Beautiful ruin photos. Great reminder to drink a lot (water) to avoid sun stroke in the midst of excitement of travel.

  • Yaqui's Profile Photo
    Jun 8, 2009 at 9:13 PM

    Absolutely a wonderful page! I've learned so much just from this page! I had no idea the importance of this area. Thank you for sharing such a wonderful significant place.

  • lynnehamman's Profile Photo
    Dec 2, 2008 at 1:33 PM

    Wonderful page on Ephesus. The ruins just beg exploration- you have made excellent tips here- and goods photos. day maybe I will get there. Thanks for sharing.

  • MM212's Profile Photo
    Sep 18, 2008 at 4:35 PM

    Fantastic page with great photos! Thank you for sharing. I hope to make it here in the near future. Cheers from NYC!


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