Are you planning a visit to Ephesus and asking yourself ‘’What should i know before visiting Ephesus?’’
Ephesus is one of the largest and the most popular ancient sites of the world and it has been atracting millions of international tourists ever year. It’s important to prepare yourself based on our travel tips to make the most out of your visit. Here are the recommendations that will help you to enjoy your visit in Ephesus.
Opening Hours & Entrance Fees
It is open everyday.
Opening time: 08:30 - Closing time: 18:00,
Ticket Office Closing Time: 17:00
Entrance fee for Ephesus is 120 Turkish Lira
If you are planning to visit other sights in Selcuk town,
it is more economic to buy combined tickets. If you buy the tickets seperately, it will cost you more.
Ephesus + Terrace Houses 160 TL
Ephesus + Terrace Houses + St. John’s Basilica+ Ephesus Archaeology Museum 200 TL
Keep in mind that foreign currency is not accepted at the ticket office of Ephesus. All kinds of international credit cards except for American Express is accepted. Children under 8 and disabled visitors and their companions are free.
If you join a tour, travel agency provides you with your tickets in advance which helps you to pass through the tollgate by skipping the ticket lines.
During your stay in Ephesus, you will be on your feet, vehicles are not allowed inside. Some parts are steep and uneven, while others are slippery marble surface. So wear your flat and most comfortable shoes. Highhills are not recommended.
Ephesus is an open air site and there is no shelter againt rain or heat. It is recommended to wear cool cotton clothing, sun hats, sun glasses (or you can carry a sun umbrella just like most tour guides do).
You should carry drinking water and sunscreen between May and September. If you are not prepared before, there are shops next to the entrance gate where you can purchase sun umbrella and water.
Also note that, if you are planning to travel in summer season, it is best to visit Ephesus in the morning as it can be quite hot afternoon during summer.
There is no dress code for female visitors, in Ephesus, it is completely OK to wear shorts, mini skirts, t-shirts, capris or sleveless tops just like the most Turkish women do! Only exception is visiting a mosque. If you are planning to visit the beautiful mosque of Isa Beyin Selcuk town and Virgin Mary’s House, you should be covering legs and shoulders.
How long to spend in Ephesus?
The answer to this question depends on the visitor’s interest and physical condition. Most visitors can see the highlights by spending 2-3 hours at most.
If you plan to see additional sites like the Terrace Houses, House of Mary, St John’s Basilica or Ephesus Museum, you should plan adding additional hours. Pre-organized package tours generally include Virgin Mary’s House, Artemis Temple and Ephesus Museum. If you join a private tour, you can get a customized tour programme that suits your preferences.
In front of the Temple of Hadrian in Ephesus, there is an archaeological area that is roofed. It is easy to pass it up if you do not have any information before your visit.
Terrace Houses are well-preserved apartments of wealthy Romans and they are elegantly decorated with vivid frescoes and well-preserved mosaics that provide a glimpse into the life of the wealthy Romans.
You need to pay an extra 55 Turkish Lira over the entrance fee to see it.
Ephesus Archaeology Museum has the section of Terrace Houses where various objects and statues excavated are exhibited.
Ephesus Museum is not within Ephesus but located in modern town of Selcuk that is 5 mins drive from Ephesus. The museum in Ephesus displays artifacts, jewellery, household items, medical tools, statues, coins, friezes and other interesting findings from the ongoing archaeological excavations in and around Ephesus. There are also artifacts from the nearby Cukurici Mound, the Basilica of St John, and the Temple of Artemis. If you are planning to visit the remainings of Artemis Temple, a model of the temple in the museum collection can give you an idea about how the temple looked like. You also be fascinated by the impressive Artemis statues which are the highlights of the museum.
Consider joining a tour
Ephesus ruins is outside the town of Selcuk. If you join a tour, you don’t have to worry about the transportation.
The most important benefit joining a tour is you get a local tour guide who knows the area best! A visit accompanied by a professional licensed tour guide would be an enriching experience in many ways. You will manage to avoid crowds and find out best spots to take pictures.
Ephesus is one of the best ancient cities to imagine what life was like during the Roman period. The ancient city is an archaeological and historical treasure and it is surely a beautiful example of Roman engineering. It is always more interesting to have someone tell you the stories about each site versus reading about it in a guide book. A guide will make sure your time is spent efficiently considering time is money, especially when you are a tourist in a foreign country.
Enjoy your time in Ephesus!