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Ancient City of Ephesus
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Small-Group Ephesus and the House of Virgin Mary Day Trip from Istanbul
Ranked #1 of 57 things to do in Selcuk
Certificate of Excellence
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Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
Reviewed November 16, 2013

I was skeptical when told I had to visit this (I had been to Knossos on Crete - what an archaeological disaster), but discovered I was wrong. The library is beautiful and pay the extra charge and visit the terrace houses - most complete and beautiful Roman mosaics and wall paintings I saw in several ancient sites. Walk on the road from the old port because St. Paul walked these exact same stones - even if you are not religious, Ephesus is mentioned in the Bible (Paul's letters to the Ephesians) and it's history. You will be told you can do it in three hours - but only if you hurry through. I would budget around 5 hours for this. Lots of photo opportunities and look down for the carved advertisement for a brothel!

Thank Debbie I
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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"ancient city"
in 580 reviews
"terrace houses"
in 503 reviews
in 817 reviews
"audio guide"
in 140 reviews
"wear a hat"
in 61 reviews
"bring water"
in 74 reviews
"amazing ruins"
in 60 reviews
"preserved ruins"
in 58 reviews
"an amazing place"
in 75 reviews
"bottle of water"
in 55 reviews
"tour groups"
in 87 reviews
"bucket list"
in 60 reviews
"an umbrella"
in 62 reviews
"roman empire"
in 53 reviews
"apostle paul"
in 53 reviews
"celsus library"
in 112 reviews
"pay the extra"
in 51 reviews

3,257 - 3,261 of 8,272 reviews

Reviewed November 15, 2013

This attraction is getting better each year. Archeological works continue and reveal more. I was very impressed to see a "rising city". This time we were able to walk in the antique city streets and see/feel how they've lived at that time.
Especially "yamac evler" - "hillside roman houses" archeological site is really impressive. You can see the glory and wealth of the old Romans just before your own eyes. I wish there were a 3D model house at the entrance area - so it would be much easier for us to understand the architecture but still, 2D pictures and maps in each section are great help. You need to pay extra to see the house section but it's worth it.
Wear something comfortable like jeans/ sneakers because you need to walk around for a few hours. It's always better if you have a good tour guide OR take your time to read about the history beforehand.
One more thing: at the very beginning, at the entrance area we were asked if we want to take a phaeton - my dad is old, and they assumed instead of walking the hill, he would prefer a short cut to the top of the mountain. This way, he would walk downhill. But he preferred walking and was very happy about it. A 75 year old guy with a heart condition was able to walk the whole city without the short cut:)
This is a must-see location.

1  Thank khaleesicortese
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 15, 2013

Ephesus is a great site to visit with so much detailed history to explore! I recommend staying in the nearby town of Selcuk for a few days to enjoy Ephesus (a beautiful 2km walk along a tree lined walkway) and all of the other ancient sites in the area. (You can visit several of the other major sites on your walk there and on your walk back!)

TIP--Go off season to avoid the largest crowds. Even off season, large tour buses tend to pull up and disgorge *tons* of people. BUT! They usher people through quickly--be patient, drink some pomegranate juice outside the gates, and when the buses leave, enjoy getting to spend your sweet time exploring and soaking in the ruins without crowds to contend with.

Thank Flummywister
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 15, 2013

For anyone traveling to Turkey, this site is impressive. It's amazing that so much has been preserved and is still standing. I was in Ephesus in November and the temperature was very comfortable. Be aware if visiting during summer months, that it can get very hot. Bring a hat and water.

1  Thank millie4t
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed November 14, 2013

This was my 5th or even 6th visit to Ephesus over a 30 year period, but it never gets boring...its just an amazing site. We booked our one day tour from our Hotel. a charming young tour Rep....

Thank christinefromkos
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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