A visit to the ancient city Ephesus was one of the highlights of my trip to Turkey. Though well visited, it is often skipped on Turkey itineraries, while it has lots to offer. Not everyone who visits Turkey knows about how its history coincides with Greek history and there are actually many Greek and Roman sights to visit. Ephesus is easily accessible and helps you understand Turkey’s history.
Ephesus is located near modern Selçuk. Selçuk is a good base to explore Ephesus, it features plenty of hotels, restaurants and shops and has a charming town center. The price of entrance tickets to Ephesus is always changing, due to the high inflation in Turkey, but we paid about € 11 per person to enter. If you visit Ephesus in the late afternoon you won’t find crowds queuing to enter. I loved visiting relatively late in the afternoon, as it gives you the opportunity to watch Ephesus during the golden hour. Most tourists leave around sunset, so you will have a short period of time during which Ephesus is quite empty. Opening times change depending on the season, I would recommend to check the official website to have the most accurate opening times. In Ephesus you won’t find any good food options, so I would plan dinner accordingly.
I was able to visit Ephesus with a guide, and I would recommend you to do that as well as it provides a much better overview of this historic place. I usually associate Turkey with the Islam, but the Roman and Greek mythology are part of its history as well, which helped me understand how modern Turkey functions. The history of Ephesus dates hundreds of years before Christ and Ephesus became a rich town as a result of trade. Ephesus is surrounded by little mountains, offering a beautiful backdrop.
One of the most beautiful remaining items of Ephesus is the Library of Celsus. This library is said to be one of the biggest libraries of the world during the Roman age. It is one of the only surviving libraries from this age, I was impressed by how well preserved it was. The library had been ruined by a fire, but it was reconstructed between 1970-1980.
We visited Ephesus relatively late during the day, and were able to enjoy the Library (which is the most popular spot) in relative quietness.