USER RATING: 13 votes


Ephesus or "Efes" was a vibrant classical city, now bordering modern day Selçuk in Turkey and representing some of the best preserved Greek and Roman ruins in the Mediterranean. 

Thought to have been founded in the 10th century BC by an Athenian prince named Androklos, Ephesus grew into a thriving city until 650BC when it was attacked and damaged by the Cimmerians. However, the settlement was reconstituted and soon the city began to thrive once more, eventually being conquered by the vast Persian Empire of Cyrus the Great.

The city was involved in the Greco-Persian wars but then fell back under Persian rule until its liberation by Alexander the Great. Fought over continuously by Alexander’s successors and their descendents, Ephesus, like so much of the region, was eventually absorbed into the Roman Republic, in the late second century BC.

Sights at Ephesus

Today, Ephesus is a treasure trove for enthusiasts of Ancient Roman and Greek history, allowing them to walk through its streets and view its magnificent houses, community buildings, temples and stadiums.

Ephesus was once famous for its Temple of Artemis, built in around 650 BC. Sadly, this was destroyed and is now represented by just a solitary column.

Some of the most impressive sites at Ephesus include the Library of Celsus, the ruins of which stand two storeys high, the Temple of Hadrian which was built in 118 AD, the classical theatre where it is believed Saint Paul preached to the Pagans and the Cave of the Seven Sleepers, so called because legend has it that the Romans locked seven Christian boys there in 250 AD, who only awoke in the 5th century.

The cross shaped Basilica of Saint John is also nearby, as is the fourteenth century Isabey Mosque, which is an impressive structure built from the remains of Ephesus.

A trip to Ephesus usually takes at least half a day - some tours include other local sites such as Priene and Miletus - but history enthusiasts will probably want to enjoy this site for a whole day. There is also a great Ephesus Museum displaying artifacts found in the old city. This impressive site features as one of our Top 10 Tourist Attractions in Turkey.



Ephesus borders the town of Selçuk (which has its own railway station) just off Dr. Sabri Yayla Boulevard. You can take a taxi from Selçuk or one of the frequent minibuses, either from Selçuk or Kuşadası, which stop at the turning to Ephesus on Dr. Sabri Yayla Boulevard. From there, it’s a short walk to the entrance.




Admission costs 25TL while there is an additional fee for parking. Ephesus is open daily, 8am-5pm (Nov to Mar) and 8.30am-7pm (Apr to Oct). Entry to the terrace houses costs 15TL and there are extra charges for one-hour audio guides. Museum entry costs 8TL. Note that Turkish lira must be used at this site.


NAME: Ephesus
Alt Name: Efes
Country: Turkey
Period: Ancient Greece
Sub-Region: -
Date: 1000BC - 501BC
City/Town: Selcuk
Figure: Alexander the Great
Resorts: Izmir, Aydin, Kusadasi,
Related: Troy, Priene,



Ephesus (Efes Yolu), Road 35-38, Nr.Selcuk, Izmir Province, Turkey


+90 232 892 60 10 (museum)

Ephesus EMAIL


Emperor :
Dan Carpenter
King :
Kevin Simmons
Princess :
France Lacoursiere
Duke :
Lord :

Just as empires rise and fall so do entry fees and opening hours! While we work as hard as we can to ensure the information provided here about Ephesus is as accurate as possible, the changing nature of certain elements mean we can't absolutely guarantee that these details won't become a thing of the past. If you know of any information on this page that needs updating you can add a comment above or e-mail us.

User Comments

You must register or sign in to post comments.

You must register or sign in to post comments.

Dan Carpenter 06 Mar, 2015

Near the Library of Celsus, do not miss the recent excavations of a Roman era villa complex. The mosaics and wall paintings are exquisite. Well worth the extra fee.

France Lacoursiere 01 Feb, 2014

On a scorching hot day I chose to go to the site in mid-day to avoid the crowd. Then I sat for 10 minutes and enjoyed this view I dreamed of. Was well worth it!

Kevin Simmons 06 Nov, 2012

I visited at the end of October, the weather was still hot but much more bearable for walking around such a large and impressive site.