The ancient Greek city of Ephesus, also know as Efeze, was once one of the world’s greatest cities. It ranked only behind Rome in its size and importance during the Roman period, at which time (1st century BC) it was the second largest city in the world.

Famed for its Temple of Artemis, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, Ephesus has an incredible number of ruins that, with just a small amount of imagination, can take you back to what life was like for ancient Greeks and Romans.

Ephesus’s most spectacular site has to be the façade of the Library of Celsus. Constructed between 110 and 135AD, the library originally had three floors and its galleries were stocked with scrolls, and a reading room faced east to take advantage of the morning light. An earthquake destroyed the Library in the 10th century (along with most of the city). The gorgeous façade and front portico that can be seen today were reconstructed in the 1970s.

Other sites include the Theater, Basilica of St. John, the Cave of the Seven Sleepers, Church of Mary, House of the Virgin, the Isabey Mosque, the Prytaneion, the synagogue and the Temple of Hadrian. All the sites are in varying states of disrepair. Unfortunately, all that remains of the Temple of Artemis, rumoured to have been four times as large as the Parthenon and constructed entirely of marble, is one lone column standing in a marshy basin.

Ephesus is also one of the seven churches of Asia listed in the Bible's Book of Revelations. Because of the city's ties to biblical figures, it is an important sacred site for Christians as well as a historical one. But Christianity is not the only religion represented in the ruins - there is also the Isabey Mosque, as well as the foundations of what was likely a synagogue.

Practical Info

Not to be missed are the remains of a brothel and sophisticated latrine, just off the main street leading down to the Library of Celsus.

Ephesus is southwest of Selcuk, 80km (50mi) from central Izmir. Most people visit the ancient city on a guided tour.

Tours & Tickets

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7-Day Turkey Classics Tour from Istanbul: Gallipoli, Troy, Ephesus, Pamukkale, Cappadocia and Ankara

Tick through Turkey’s classic sights on this spellbinding 7-day tour that starts and finishes in Istanbul. Traveling by air-conditioned coach with an expert ...  Read more

Location: Istanbul, Turkey
Duration: 7 days (approx.)

From USD $460.14
$613.51 Save $153.37

2-day Ephesus and Pamukkale Tour from Bodrum

Witness one of Turkey’s greatest natural wonders and its most iconic archaeological site on this rewarding 2-day tour from Bodrum. Travel by air-conditioned ...  Read more

Location: Bodrum, Turkey
Duration: 2 days (approx.)

From USD $90.78

Ephesus and St. Mary's House Day Trip from Izmir

4.5 star rating: Recommended 110 Reviews

No trip to Turkey is complete without exploring the ancient ruins of Ephesus - the best-preserved classical city in the eastern Mediterranean. You will also ...  Read more

Location: Izmir, Turkey
Duration: 8 hours (approx.)

From USD $80.00

5-Day Aegean Tour from Istanbul: Gallipoli, Troy, Pergamum, Ephesus, Kusadasi, Pamukkale and Hierapolis

4.5 star rating: Recommended 33 Reviews

Travel along the breathtaking coastline of Turkey’s Aegean region, full of ancient Greek cities, on this tour from Istanbul. With your local guide, visit the ...  Read more

Location: Istanbul, Turkey
Duration: 5 days (approx.)

From USD $422.57
$711.40 Save $288.83

Ephesus and the House of Virgin Mary Day Trip from Istanbul

4.5 star rating: Recommended 45 Reviews

Rewind 2,000 years on this day trip to incredible Ephesus and the House of Virgin Mary from Istanbul, including round-trip flights. Fly to Izmir and drive to ...  Read more

Location: Istanbul, Turkey
Duration: 15 hours (approx.)

From USD $340.00

3-Day Small-Group Turkey Tour from Izmir: Kusadasi and Ephesus

Discover three of Turkey’s top crowd-pleasers on this 3-day tour starting from Izmir. From your 4-star hotel base in Kusadasi, enjoy a full-day tour in and ...  Read more

Location: Izmir, Turkey
Duration: 3 days (approx.)

From USD $256.11

8-Day Best of Turkey Tour from Istanbul: Pamukkale, Bursa, Troy, Gallipoli, Ephesus

4.5 star rating: Recommended 13 Reviews

See the best of Turkey on this ultimate 8-day tour from Istanbul! Visit the country’s cultural capital – Istanbul – to see its top attractions like the Blue ...  Read more

Location: Istanbul, Turkey
Duration: 8 days (approx.)

From USD $562.58
$750.10 Save $187.52

Private Tour: Ephesus and St. Mary's House

4 star rating: Recommended 7 Reviews

On this privately guided tour, journey to ancient Ephesus with such sites as the ruins of the Great Theatre, the Library of Celsius and the Temple of Hadrian, ...  Read more

Location: Izmir, Turkey
Duration: 8 hours (approx.)

From USD $108.75

Ephesus Sightseeing Tour

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 43 Reviews

Discover the magic of the ancient ruins of Ephesus and the House of the Virgin Mary on this day trip from Kusadasi. Visit the Temple of Artemis, one of the ...  Read more

Location: Kusadasi, Turkey
Duration: 8 hours (approx.)

From USD $80.00

3-Day Cappadocia and Ephesus Tour from Istanbul with Flights

4 star rating: Recommended 5 Reviews

Maximize your sightseeing time in Cappadocia and Ephesus by flying between regions on a 3-day tour! After a flight from Istanbul to Kayseri, discover ...  Read more

Location: Istanbul, Turkey
Duration: 3 days (approx.)

From USD $640.00

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