On one side is the Celsus Library, the largest library of the Roman period, and on the other side is the ancient city of Ephesus, with the largest theatre of the ancient world. It was one of the most magnificent cities of the time, with a population of about 200,000. The city, which hosted many empires such as ancient Greek, Roman, Lydian, and Byzantine, continued to be the favorite of everyone in many commercial, religious, and cultural areas for many years.
Then let’s dive into the beauty of Ephesus, which entered the World Heritage List in 2015. Where is Ephesus, how to reach there, and what places to visit in the Ephesus Ancient City? No worries, we are going to answer all of them!
Reminder: To explore Ephesus step by step with your digital tour guide, don’t forget to download Piri Guide!
Where is Ephesus?
Ephesus, one of the most important tourist areas in the Aegean region today, is in the Selcuk district of Izmir. The history and foundation of the city date back to the 6000s BC.
How to Go to Ephesus?
First of all, you should reach Izmir by air or by road. Ephesus is 80 km away from the centre of Izmir. You can get to the district from Izmir by using minibuses or IZBAN. Little info: IZBAN is the name given to the train line in Izmir 🙂
If you use Selcuk minibuses, they depart from Izmir Bus Station at certain times. If you choose to use the IZBAN option, you can board any IZBAN stop in the direction of Tepekoy and then reach Selcuk. After reaching the Selcuk district, you can get in minibuses to go to Ephesus. You will be in the Ephesus Ancient City in a short time of about 15 minutes.
When to Go to Ephesus?
The Ephesus Ancient City, located in Izmir, where the summer months are quite hot, can cause you to sweat a lot and feel tired easily since you are going to do a lot of walking. If you are going in the summer months, we recommend visiting the city early in the morning. In the winter months, it can be cold and rainy. Visiting Ephesus in the autumn or spring months is a better idea. You can both visit Ephesus for a long time and enjoy the beautiful weather of Izmir in a warmer season.
Entrance Fee and Opening Hours of Ephesus
Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the governorships decide the opening and closing hours of archaeological sites and museums. Prices are also constantly changing. You can visit here for current and reliable information.
Places to Visit in Ephesus Ancient City
The ancient city of Ephesus has hosted many cultures, such as ancient Greek, Roman, Lydian, and Byzantine. Therefore, there are many structures worth seeing inside.
We’ve made a list of must-visit places in Ephesus. Yet, we should remind you that you can find more on Piri Guide mobile app. Piri Guide detects your location, offers you the best travel routes, and starts telling you the hidden stories of wherever you are. All you have to do is to get your headphones or earbuds and follow the path at your own pace. Then, don’t set out for your trip before downloading the digital travel guide!
Library of Celsus
The Celsus Library, with its impressive architecture and one of the most impressive buildings of the time, is the third largest library in the ancient world! The library, built in honor of Tiberius Julius Celsus, the Roman Governor, served the people of Ephesus for a long time, like modern public libraries. When visit this ancient city, you should see this stunning place and definitely take a picture in front of it.
The Great Theatre
This theatre, which can mesmerize you with its size and grandeur, was first built during the Hellenistic period. The great theatre offers visitors a breathtaking view of the city from its highest point. With a capacity of 25,000 people, it also demonstrates the importance given to art at the time. You must definitely see this aesthetic structure, which has visitors not only from Turkey but also from many parts of the world. Don’t forget to enjoy the view while taking a break on the stairs of the ancient theatre.
The House of Virgin Mary
The House of the Virgin Mary or the Shrine of the Virgin Mary is a Catholic shrine located in Ephesus, Turkey. Catholics believe that the Virgin Mary, the mother of Jesus, spent her final years. The house on the slopes of Mount Coressus is a holy site and has been a place of pilgrimage for centuries.
According to tradition, Saint John, one of the apostles of Jesus, brought Virgin Mary after the death of her son. The house, which has been a place of Christian worship for centuries, was officially the House of the Virgin Mary in 1896.
Ephesus Terrace Houses
The Terrace Houses, the Houses of the Wealthy, are a group of well-preserved Roman-era houses. These places were in the 1st century AD and once home to the wealthy citizens of Ephesus.
The houses, which are carved into the slopes of Panayir Mountain, are famous for their elaborate and ornate architecture. They are characterized by their multi-level design, with each house featuring a series of interconnected rooms and courtyards. The houses also feature well-preserved frescoes, mosaics, and other decorative elements. These details provide insight into the luxurious lifestyle of the wealthy citizens of Ephesus.
The Temple of Artemis
The construction of the temple, one of the seven wonders of the ancient world, took 120 years. It is covered with marble. This magnificent structure, commissioned by the king of Lydia, was a symbol of gratitude to the goddess Artemis.
200 years after its construction, it was burned down by Herosteamus, who wanted to immortalize his name. Later on, it experienced destruction and several damages, leaving only its story and a few columns of this historic place. The sacred structure of Artemis, which even the emperors who burned and destroyed cities did not want to touch, is one of the most visited places in Ephesus by millions of visitors.
That’s all from us for Ephesus! Of course, we’re talking about the blog since you can find more about the ancient city in our “Mysteries of Ephesus” tour on our app. Listen to it in the comfort of your home or pack your bags and go to Ephesus and crown your visit with your digital guide. The decision is entirely yours!