Ephesus Tours

A trip to Ephesus is a must. It's the best-preserved ancient city in the Eastern Mediterranean and a magical place that enthralls even those who normally find rubbernecking around ruins a bore. From the port of Kusadasi on Turkey's Anatolian Coast, one travels into the past. Nearby stand the ruins of ancient Ephesus, a major site of archeological excavation.

Ephesus is an amazing ancient city which was established by Greeks and enlarged by Romans, the city was once a Roman provincial capital and trading center. Ephesus is also home to several of Christendom's holiest sites. St. Paul preached at the Great Theater and the ruins of Ephesus' Basilica cover the tomb of Christ's most beloved disciple, St. John the Apostle.

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Ephesus and Istanbul Combined Private Shore Excursions
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Ephesus and Istanbul Combined Private Shore Excursions
2969 reviews

Full-day or Half-day Skip the Line Private Istanbul and Ephesus Combination Full Day Shore Excursions Included Entrance Fees

From USD
$189.00
Price varies by dates and group size
30978 customer recommendations
4 to 5 hours Scheduling Private Tour Lowest price guarantee
Ultra Private All-Inclusive Full Day Ephesus Tour From Istanbul
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Ultra Private All-Inclusive Full Day Ephesus Tour From Istanbul
2416 reviews

Includes return flights Istanbul to Ephesus Day Trip with private transport, guide, entrance fees and lunch. Experience an ultra-private all-inclusive Ephesus city tour

From USD
$320.00
27357 customer recommendations
12 to 14 hours Scheduling Private Tour Lowest price guarantee
SKIP THE LINE PRIVATE Highlights of Ephesus
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SKIP THE LINE PRIVATE Highlights of Ephesus
1627 reviews

Get a dose of ancient history while on this 5-hour private tour of one of the wonders of the ancient world of Ephesus and House of the Virgin Mary from Kusadasi and Izmir

From USD
$18.00
Price varies by dates and group size
16688 customer recommendations
5 to 6 hours Scheduling Private Tour Lowest price guarantee
SKIP-THE-LINE Private Full Day Tour to Ephesus from Kusadasi Port
1595 reviews

This is a fantastic full day private tour to see the world famous Ephesus and of course not missing out the Virgin Mary House and St Johns Basilica with a Professional guide.

From USD
$90.00
Price varies by dates and group size
16213 customer recommendations
8 to 9 hours Scheduling Private Tour Izmir
Small-Group Skip-the-Line | Half-Day Ancient Ephesus Tour With House of Virgin Mary
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Small-Group Skip-the-Line | Half-Day Ancient Ephesus Tour With House of Virgin Mary
1390 reviews

4 hours Skip the Line Small-Group Half-Day Ancient Ephesus Tour With House of Virgin Mary. Get a dose of ancient history during this 4-hour tour of Ephesus.

From USD
$29.00
14535 customer recommendations
4 hours Scheduling Shared Tour Aydin
Experience More | The Keys to the Ephesus City | Customized Private Tour
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Experience More | The Keys to the Ephesus City | Customized Private Tour
1427 reviews

Our knowledge and passion for the Ephesus combined with over 25 years of experience will give you a unique perspective of the Ancient City of Ephesus.

From USD
$109.00
Price varies by group size
14626 customer recommendations
8 to 9 hours Scheduling Private Tour Lowest price guarantee
Kusadasi Shore Excursion | Skip The Line | Ephesus Sightseeing Tour
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Kusadasi Shore Excursion | Skip The Line | Ephesus Sightseeing Tour
1347 reviews

Kusadasi Shore Excursion, Skip The Line Private Ephesus Sightseeing Tour. Ancient Ephesus is a must see site with a licensed, informative guide who will bring the city to life

From USD
$20.00
Price varies by group size
14091 customer recommendations
7 to 8 hours Scheduling Private Tour Lowest price guarantee
EXPLORE EPHESUS BEST | 3-Hour Skip-the-Line Ephesus & Terrace Houses Tour
1040 reviews

Step back in time to explore ancient Ephesus, including the Grand Theater, where St. Paul preached, the Celsus Library, and the Terrace Houses, which were homes of the wealthy

From USD
$28.00
Price varies by group size
3 customer recommendations
3 to 4 hours Scheduling Private Tour Lowest price guarantee
2 Day Private Ephesus & Pamukkale Tour From Istanbul
1007 reviews

Our private Ephesus & Pamukkale tour from Istanbul is a 2-day 1-night tour that combines the Aegean pearls Ephesus and Pamukkale in one tour.

From USD
$300.00
Price varies by group size
10347 customer recommendations
2 days Scheduling Private Tour Istanbul
4 Day Turkey Tour: Cappadocia, Ephesus and Pamukkale from Istanbul
902 reviews

The 4 Day Turkey Tour: Cappadocia, Ephesus and Pamukkale, giving you the chance to experience the ancient wonders of Turkey.

From USD
$249.00
Price varies by group size
9356 customer recommendations
4 days Scheduling Shared Tour Izmir
2-Day Ephesus, Aphrodisias & Pamukkale Tour from Izmir or Kusadasi
805 reviews

Our 2-Day Ephesus, Aphrodisias & Pamukkale Tour gives a chance to explore the Roman history and magnificent remains of one of the most powerful empires in history.

From USD
$117.00
Price varies by group size
8553 customer recommendations
2 days Scheduling Private Tour Izmir
Skip-the-Line Ultra Private All-Inclusive Half-day Ephesus Tour From Kusadasi Port
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Skip-the-Line Ultra Private All-Inclusive Half-day Ephesus Tour From Kusadasi Port
737 reviews

Starting from the cruise port in Kusadasi travel to Selcuk to see the Ancient world of Ephesus and visit the final resting place of the Holy Mother Mary.

From USD
$160.00
9090 customer recommendations
4 to 5 hours Scheduling Private Tour Lowest price guarantee
Ancient City of Ephesus and Breathtaking Pamukkale Private Tour
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Ancient City of Ephesus and Breathtaking Pamukkale Private Tour
685 reviews

Guided visits to two popular attractions: Ephesus and Pamukkale. Hassle-free trip with lunch and admission tickets included

From USD
$102.00
Price varies by group size
7274 customer recommendations
11 to 12 hours Scheduling Private Tour Lowest price guarantee
Exclusive Private Ephesus and Virgin Mary Tour From Kusadasi
698 reviews

Explore the Magnificent Ruins of Ephesus and the House of Virgin Mary on this exclusive private Ephesus and Virgin Mary tour from Kusadasi.

From USD
$97.00
Price varies by group size
7446 customer recommendations
4 to 5 hours Scheduling Private Tour Izmir
Private LGBT Ephesus Tour from Kusadasi
693 reviews

Our Private Gay-friendly LGBT Ephesus Tours are one of a kind in terms of its Gay-Friendliness, the flexibility in the pace of the tour and the sites you wish to visit.

From USD
$58.00
Price varies by group size
7351 customer recommendations
6 to 8 hours Scheduling Private Tour Lowest price guarantee
Terrace Houses
1 A highlight of a guided tour of Ephesus is the Terrace Houses. These three terraces were built around 200 BC on the slope opposite the Hadrian Temple. When you visit these houses, you see the best example of Ancient Roman domestic life. During the excavations which began here in 1960’s, fantastic patios, mosaics and frescoes were discovered. It is obvious that these houses belonged to the rich people of Ephesus.
Library of Celsus
2 Take a guided tour of the Library of Celsus which was built in 135 AD by Tiberius Julius Aquilla to honour his father, Celsius Polemaenus, who was Roman Governor of the Province of Asia. The galleries held books which were preserved in marble cases. The sarcophagus in the back courtyard belonged to Celsius and see the fascinating inscriptions on both sides of the library's entrance. This is the best places to take a selfie!
Great Theatre
3 Take a guided tour of this 70m long and 30m wide Great Theatre. Construction started during the reign of Emperor Claudius (41-54 AD) and was completed by Emperor Trajan (98-117). Its stage that is still in good condition has three floors which were once covered with marble and could hold 25.000 people. In front of the theatre, the remains of a fountain dating from the Hellenistic period can be seen.
Temple of Serapis
4 See the Temple of Serapis by guided tour. This temple was built in the 2nd century AD and dedicated to the Egyptian God Serapis. Its ornate facade which was 29m long was decorated with eight columns 15 m. high supporting Corinthian capitals made of marble blocks. Explore the two-storeyed thermal baths also constructed in the 2nd century and were restored by a lady named Scholastica in the IVth century.
Marble Street
5 Marble Street is part of the Sacred road running between the Celsus Library and the  Great Theater. The Marble street was paved with large blocks of marble and had herring bone slopes. It ran from the Coressos Temple in the north of the City to the Magnesia Gate in the south. It had an excellent sewer system and was decorated with statues, fountains and marble blocks for resting.
Lower Agora
6 To the south-west of the Great Theatre, you will find the Lower Agora when on a guided tour. It is a very spacious square of approximately 116 meters each way and from it is a collonaded street. The Agora, which means market square, is only partly excavated to date and is said to be a 3rd-century rebuilding of an even earlier structure. Historians say it was once surrounded by a double colonnade which houses shops and offices.
Stadium
7 Built during the reign of Emperor Nero in 54-68 AD. It is 229 m. Long and 29.5 m. wide. Various athletic competitions, chariet and horse races were held here. On its eastern section, there was an arena for the gladiator fights and also cages for the wild animals. Gate of Coressus: To the north-east of the Stadium can be seen the remains of the Gate up to which led one of the two sacred ways to the Artemision. 
Temple of the Mother Goddess
8 On the northern slopes of Mount Pion, there are some niches which were used for the worship of the Mother Goddess Cybele. Acropolis: On the right of the road to the west of the Stadium there is a small mound which was the acropolis of Ephesus during the Ionic period.
Gymnasium of Vedius
9 This second century Gymnasium of Vedius is on the slope of a hill. On a guided tour, you can see what remains of the ‘palaestra’ which was a wrestling hall with an arcaded courtyard. The best-preserved part of the Gymnasium is the structure that was built of brick faced marble. Due to it being better preserved, the archaeologists and historians learned interesting details of the internal layout and features.
Odeon (Small Theatre-Concert Place)
10 Constructed in the 2nd century AD. By Vedius and his wife, it is a small theater and concert place containing places for 1500. The gallery in the front dates from the time of Augustus. Tomb of St. Luke: This round building was called by mistake the tomb of St. Luke. Later it was converted into a church. 
Double Church
11 Church of the Virgin Mary: Constructed in the second century and converted into a church in the fourth century, it was the first basilica to be dedicated to the Virgin Mary. The Third Oecumenical Council of the Christian world attended by 200 bishops was held here in 431, and the three dogmas of the Catholic church were then proclaimed.
Magnesia Gate
12 This gate dating from the 1st century AD. was the east gate of the City. It had three sections and vehicles passed through the central section. The most important places of defense in a city are certainly its walls and gates. Until the period which we call the Roman Peace (Pax Romana) (the 2nd-3rd centuries AD) the gates and walls of cities were constructed strongly and magnificently in Anatolia.
Temple of Artemis
13 Before you get to Ephesus on a guided tour, your tour may stop at the Temple of Artemis. Nowadays, there is not much left to see, but it was regarded as being among the Seven Wonders of the World and still worth seeing to learn its history. Sadly the few white marble columns are all that remains of the Temple of Artemis which once played a significant role in the social and religious life of Ephesus.
House of the Virgin Mary
14 In 1961 Pope John XXIII made known that ceremonies could be performed in the House of the Virgin Mary discussions about the place were subdued and the number of visitors gradually increased. The house was declared a place of pilgrimage. In 1967 Pope Paul VI and in 1979 Pope John Paul II visited. Nov. 29, 2006,  Pope Benedict XVI celebrated Mass at the House of the Virgin Mary in Ephesus.
Basilica of St. John
15 When you take a guided tour of the Basilica of St. John, you will learn that this basilica which resembled a citadel once spread the whole breadth of the hill it is located on. It was once ranked with the Hagia Sophia in Constantinople as being one of the largest churches of the Byzantine Empire. Legend says that St. John is buried under the church. What remains of the basilica are ruins, but you still see its original grandeur.
Grotto of the Seven Sleepers
16 To visit here you may have to take a private tour as it is not always part of the normal tours to Ephesus but because of the legend, it is well worth the visit: Seven young Christian men and their dogs took shelter here from religious persecutors, they woke up 200 years later, thinking it was the next day, when Christianity was accepted and became heroes. The then Emperor erected a church in the caves after their deaths.
Ephesus Museum
17 Once you have been to see the ruins of Ephesus take a guided tour of the Ephesus Museum located in the heart of Selçuk. The highlight for most tourists in the museum is the Gladiator Room where there are exhibits of all the items found during the gladiator cemetery excavation. The carved Artemis statue with its multi-breasted depiction of the goddess is exquisite to see along with many other amazing finds.
Isa Bey Mosque
18 On a guided tour of the Isa Bey Mosque, you will be very impressed with the beautiful architecture that dates back to the 14th century. There are very tall outer walls that surround a large arcaded courtyard. From the courtyard, there is a double domed prayer room. Visitors are allowed to enter the mosque outside of prayer time but everyone must have shoulders and knees covered and women must wear a headscarf.
Sirince Village
19 Located just eight km from Selçuk is the beautiful picture perfect village called Sirince. On a sightseeing tour, you get to see the most spectacular scenery on the journey uphill to the village. The red-roofed stone houses are built on a slope so the image it projects from afar is amazing. This village is mainly small roads and lanes lined with shops and restaurants. A lot of products on sale are items made from the local produce.
Camlik Steam Train Museum
20 Another interesting guided tour to take when you are visiting the area of Selçuk is the Çamlik Railway Museum. This open air museum is very intriguing and consists of old stream engines and railway cars that were active up to seventy to eighty years before. There are many of the steam engines and railway cars that you can climb aboard and explore. This is an especially good tour of children who love trains.

Travel Tips for Ephesus

The ruins are impressive and worth the visit. Exploring the ruins of Ephesus, located just outside of Selçuk in Turkey. Ephesus is an ancient city rich in Greek and Roman history, close to Kusadasi in Western Turkey. It’s also the site of one of the 7 ancient wonders of the world. An ideal day trip from the commercialism of Turkey’s resort locations.

Planning a good trip can be difficult, but one thing to consider is the weather. Ephesus is in an area that gets cold in the winter and hot in the summer, so you don’t want to explore the ruins during those times. The best months to visit Ephesus are April and May, and also October and November. During those four months, the weather in Ephesus is neither too hot nor too cold, so you’ll be sure to enjoy your trip!

There isn’t a big choice of accommodation in the area, so it’s better to stay in a larger town like Kusadasi or Izmir and visit Ephesus as a day trip by choosing our private Ephesus tours.

Ephesus is around 80km from Izmir. The drive takes about an hour. If you choose Ephesus day trips from Izmir, our tour guides will be glad to help you.

In summer, wear a wide-brimmed hat and light, breathable clothing, preferably with long-sleeves and pants. It gets very hot in the ruins. In winter, bring a jacket. Long pants and a warm sweater might also be required. There are no rules for what to wear, but respect local customs and avoid offensive clothing.

Kusadasi and Selcuk, the area around Ephesus are safe. In the daytime, you would encounter no problem. Yet, most tourists visit the Ephesus site in the daylight and leave. At night, some areas of the town feel deserted, and you would not be able to visit the attractions.

The distance between Istanbul and Ephesus is 337 miles (560 km) by driving and getting to Ephesus takes 6-7 hours by car depending on the speed. Our recommendation would be to take a flight from Istanbul to Izmir and drive from Izmir Airport to Ephesus. Ephesus is 45 minutes drive from the airport of Izmir. The other way of transportation is to take our all inclusive Ephesus day tour from Istanbul.

Ancient City of Ephesus is open from April to October 08.00-19.00. Between November and March 08.00-17.00 hours open.

Kusadasi is a voyage port and resort town on Turkey's focal Aegean Sea coast, and found south of Izmir. Kusadasi is likewise a significant ship port and fills in as seaport for Ephesus (old Greek city in Turkey's in Izmir Province). By the way, you can look up our Ephesus tours from Kusadasi port or choose any ephesus tours from cruise ships.