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Ephesus

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Ephesus: Our most recommended tours and activities

Ephesus: Guided Walking Tour

1. Ephesus: Guided Walking Tour

Join this shared or private walking tour of Ephesus with an expert guide. After you get some general information about this spectacular ancient city, enjoy walking in its marble streets. Visit the parliament building. You can even sit there and feel like a Roman senator. Walk in the upper agora and see the temple of the cruel Roman emperor Domitian. Walk through the Hercules gate and enjoy the magnificent view of the lower city. See the beautiful Roman shops with mosaics and enter the best preserved ancient library in the world. Visit the Grand Theater with a capacity of 25,000 seats.

From Izmir: Full-Day Ephesus Tour

2. From Izmir: Full-Day Ephesus Tour

Start with a pickup from your hotel in Izmir. Then, the discovery of Ephesus begins with the House of the Virgin Mary and a 10-minute drive to the ancient city of Ephesus. Explore the city by walking on the marble streets, accompanied by a guide. See the Odeon, State Agora, the Pretension, the Memmius Monument, the Domitian Temple, Hercules Gate, Curetes Street, Hadrian Temple, and the Latrines. Choose to take an optional visit to the terrace houses for an additional cost. After the terrace houses, carry on with your exploration with the Celsus Library, Marble Road, Commercial Agora, Great Theater, and Arcadian (harbor road). Enjoy a nice lunch served in a quaint local restaurant. Visit the Temple of Artemis. Here, there will be a good chance to take gorgeous pictures of the church of St. John and the Mosque of İsa Bey. Enjoy free time in the old village of Sirince to discover the traditional houses, the fruit-flavored wine production, and enjoy some wine tasting. End the day with a transfer back to Izmir airport or to your hotel in Izmir.

Private Ephesus Tour With a Local Guide

3. Private Ephesus Tour With a Local Guide

This type of Ephesus tour gives you great freedom to choose which sites you want to visit and how much time you want to spend in each of them. You will have a guide with van and driver with you all day as you explore Ephesus. Entrance fees are not included in the tour price, but here are some of the locations you can choose to visit: Ephesus, Virgin Mary's House, The Temple of Artemis, The Ephesus Indoor Museum, The Terrace Houses and The Basilica of St. John. You can curate your own itinerary with help from the guide to get the most out of your trip.

Ephesus, House of Virgin Mary, & Artemis Temple Group Tour

4. Ephesus, House of Virgin Mary, & Artemis Temple Group Tour

After meeting your guide at Kusadasi port you will drive to the House of Virgin Mary, located in the Aladag Mountains, 5 miles away from Ephesus. You will then visit one of the main highlights in Turkey, Ephesus, one of the 12 cities of the Ionian League (an ancient Greek district on the western coast of Asia Minor), located near Izmir. As a port city it was a major departure point for trade routes into Asia Minor. Walk through its historic marble streets lined with wonderful public buildings, among them: the Baths of Scholastica, the Library of Celsus, the Temple of Hadrian, and the Grand Theater. You will then stop at Artemission Temple, which used to be one of the seven wonders of the ancient world, as your last stop before driving back to Kusadasi town center.

From Kusadasi: Half-Day Small Group Ephesus Tour

5. From Kusadasi: Half-Day Small Group Ephesus Tour

According your pick-up time, meet with your guide and transfer to the first sight in ancient Ephesus, the best preserved classic city in the eastern Mediterranean and the largest open air museum in Turkey. Ephesus contains more then 30 buildings and structures linked together by streets that still have the marks of ancient chariot wheels. Visit the Great Theatre, where St. Paul preached against the pagans and the gladiators once engaged in battle. Originally holding 25,000 people, this theater was built in the Hellenistic period and was renovated by several Roman emperors. Designed for theatrical performances, later alterations allowed gladiatorial contests to be held here. The face of the Library of Celsus, which has been remarkably restored, is probably the most photographed place in Ephesus originally built in 115 to 125. You might also be able to see the Odeon Temple, Fountain of Trajan, Temple of Hadrian, the steam Scholastica Baths, marble road, agora and the Temple of Domitian. After visiting ancient Ephesus, continue to the Temple of Arthemis. Considered one of the seven wonders of the ancient world, the Temple of Artemis was dedicated to the Goddess of the Hunt. Only the foundation and one column remains of this temple which once measured 425 feet by 220 feet wide. St. Paul’s successful ministry in this city was considered a threat to this temple. The city reached its Golden Age and became a good model to the ancient world in culture and art. After your tour drive, you will be taken back to the departure point.

Ephesus Entry Ticket with Mobile Phone Audio Tour

6. Ephesus Entry Ticket with Mobile Phone Audio Tour

Founded by the Greeks and conquered by the Romans, Ephesus was once a city of proverbial wealth. It was a bustling port which over time developed into an important center for Christianity. On this self-guided tour, benefit from skip-the-line entry then explore using your smartphone to travel back in time to the city’s former life. The tour is the perfect way to experience the site in a fun and insightful way, and gain valuable insight into one of the most popular places in Turkey. The first stop of the day is to the State Agora, which was once the political heart of the city boasting a lavish square. Continue on to Bouleuterion, and discover the meeting point of the city council which perhaps was also a space for artistic performances. As you stroll around the colonnades, stoas, and other buildings, listen to fascinating stories about what life was like here for locals. Arrive at the Temple of Domitian and find out the rather unusual architectural layout of the U-shaped altar. Next, wander down the Curetes which connected the political and commercial hearts of Ephesus. Uncover the legend of the emperor’s fountain, then explore the large complex of baths at the Scolastica including the lavish marble latrines. Head to the grave of the Egyptian princess Arsinoe, then marvel at the mesmerizing Celsus Library, which is probably the most famous landmark of Ephesus. From here the road leads you to the gate of Mazeus and Mithridates, and onto at the Grand Theatre where performances and gladiatorial games took place. Last but not least, walk through the crossroads of the Arcadiane and follow a small path that leads you to the spectacular ruins of the enormous Church of Mary.

From Izmir, Kusadasi, & Selcuk: Day Trip to Explore Ephesus

7. From Izmir, Kusadasi, & Selcuk: Day Trip to Explore Ephesus

Enjoy a memorable day seeing the historic sights in the ancient city of Ephesus on this day trip. Select from options to leave from your hotel in Izmir, Kusadasi, or Selcuk. Stop at highlights like Hercules Gate, the Temple of Hadrian, and Domitian Square. Be picked up from the comfort of your accommodation. Sit back and relax on the drive to Ephesus. Follow your local guide to the House of Virgin Mary, where the religious figure is thought to have spent her last days. Head to upper Agora which was the seat of political power in the past. Continue to the 2nd century A.D. Odeon theater. Head to Domitian Square and view the engravings on the old columns at the Temple of Domitian. Pass by the Fountain of Pollio. Admire the relief of Hercules at Hercules Gate before going to the temple and fountain of Emperor Trajan.  Marvel at the elaborately carved arch at the Temple of Hadrian. Stroll by the Roman baths, public latrine, marketplace, and brothel. See the stunning remains of the third-largest library in the Roman world at the Library of Celsus. Go to The Great Theater, a massive Hellenistic structure. Gaze upon one of the wonders of the ancient world at the Temple of Artemis. Return to your accommodation. During the tour, you'll have the chance to have a look at the traditional Turkish handcrafts.

Ephesus and Pamukkale: Day Trip by Plane from Istanbul

8. Ephesus and Pamukkale: Day Trip by Plane from Istanbul

Travel back in time on a guided tour from Istanbul to the ancient cities of Ephesus and Hierapolis. Spend a full day marveling at ancient, multi-cultural architecture and monuments without worrying about any of the details of traveling and organizing.  Start your day with pickup from your hotel in Istanbul in the early morning and transfer smoothly to the airport to catch your flight to Izmir. Be greeted upon your arrival and travel to Ephesus to meet with your guide. Explore this iconic former-Greek city, built in the 10th century, famed for its temples, monuments, and theaters. Known as the commercial, religious, and social center of antiquity, this is sure to be the highlight to your whole visit to Turkey. Discover the city’s combination of Greek, Roman and Byzantine markers of civilization. Visit the Fountains of Trajan, Polio, the Temples of Hadrian and Domition, and the Library of Celcius. Be awed by the the Great Theater with its capacity for 24,000 spectators, the Temple of Artemis, and the House of the Virgin Mary. Continue to Pamukkale which is known for its natural thermal spring waters.  Find out why this site is known as the cotton castle as you see how the chemical properties of the water have formed pure white colored travertines and stepped water terraces that line the mountain’s slope, resembling piles of cotton. Visit the ancient city of Hierapolis, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The highlight of this site is be the Sacred Pool, which you can enter if you choose. There, shallow thermal waters ripple over a wonderful scattering of ancient Roman ruins that lie beneath. Head to the Necropolis of Hierapolis which contains 1200 gravestones, including that of Marcus Aurelius Ammianos. After your tour, transfer back to Denizli Airport for your evening flight back to Istanbul and be transferred back to your hotel.

From Istanbul: 2-Day Ephesus, Pamukkale, & Hierapolis Tour

9. From Istanbul: 2-Day Ephesus, Pamukkale, & Hierapolis Tour

Discover the ancient cities of Ephesus and Hierapolis on this two-day trip from Istanbul. Explore the ancient city of Ephesus where you can see the Temple of Artemis. Experience the beauty of the natural white terraces created by mineral deposits at the hot springs in Pamukkale. Stay overnight in the town of Selcuk or Kusadasi. Treat yourself to breakfast at the hotel. Try authentic Turkish food with lunch at two local restaurants during your tours. Day 1: Be picked from your accommodation in Istanbul and relax on the drive to the airport. Enjoy a comfortable flight to the city of Izmir. Meet your guide at the airport and drive to the tour provider's office in the town of Selcuk. Take a break with lunch in a local restaurant. Continue to the archeological site at Ephesus to start your guided tour. Walk through the ancient streets and see one of the wonders of the ancient world at the Temple of Artemis. View the façade of one of the largest libraries from Roman times at the Library of Celsus. Stop at the House of the Virgin Mary where the religious figure is said to have spend her last days. See the remains of an old Roman Amphitheater. Learn about these ruins from your local guide. Drive to your hotel in Selcuk or Kusadasi where you can rest for the evening. Day 2: In the morning, be picked up by your guide from your hotel. Enjoy the scenic Turkish countryside on the drive to Pamukkale. Hear about area and culture from your guide. Have a delicious lunch at a local restaurant before starting your tour of the ruins of Hierapolis. Stroll to the remains of a massive Roman amphitheater that once held an audience of 15,000. Admire the marble staircase at the Greek Temple of Apollo. Watch as your guide points out all the significant structures in the archeological site of Hierapolis. Take off your shoes and walk along the white terraces of Pamukkale. Dip your feet in the natural hot springs. Swim amid the ruins of a temple in Cleopatra's Pool. Have some free time in the afternoon to explore on your own. Take it easy on the ride back to the airport where you can catch your flight back to Istanbul. Once you arrive in Istanbul, your driver will be waiting to transfer you back to your accommodation in Istanbul.

Kusadasi and Selcuk: Small Group Ephesus Tour

10. Kusadasi and Selcuk: Small Group Ephesus Tour

You will be met at the harbor or at your hotel in Kusadasi or Selcuk. The guide will be holding up a sign with your name on it clearly so that you spot the correct pick-up service for you easily. It’s here you shall also meet your tour guide for the day who will give you some information of the plan for the day before heading off on your way to your destination. Pass through the verdant and picturesque countryside before arriving at your first stop, the House of Virgin Mary in accordance with the predominant Christian tradition, Mary was brought to Ephesus by the Apostle John after the Resurrection of Christ and lived out her final resting days here. After The House of Virgin Mary, make your way to the next destination at the ancient city of Ephesus. From here, the tour shall be a walking tour and will take you through one of the most magnificent excavations in the entire world. See the Odeon, The Fountain of Trajan, the stream baths of Scholastic, the Temple of Hadrian and the impressive library of Ephesus. The library is adorned with columns and statues. The Grand Theater where Saint Paul preached is the largest theater in antiquity with a capacity of 24,000 seats. Return to the bus through the Arcadian Way where Mark Anthony and Cleopatra once rode in procession. After your 2-hour exploration around Ephesus, take a break for lunch. Then, continue on the tour and head for your next stop at the Temple of Artemis (Diana). This outstanding temple was built in honor of the Greek Goddess of hunting, wild nature, and fertility deemed as one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Once the tour comes to an end, you will head back to your bus and be driven back to your allocated drop-off points.

Other Sightseeing Options in Ephesus

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What people are saying about Ephesus

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 579 reviews

We had a great tour of Ephesus through Get Your Guide. Inan and our driver picked us up at the port, drove us, in air conditioned comfort, to see the house of Virgin Mary, the ruins in Artemis, and added a carpet making demonstration. He was very professional and knowledgeable, attentive to the children in the group and made the tour interesting for all 12 of us (ages 4-70). It was easy and economical to go on a private tour, tailored to our family rather than going with a cruise tour and their schedule. Every detail was considered by the company during our email scheduling and by our great guide Inan!

This was the ideal way to your Ephesus with a knowledgeable, professional and attentive guide. It was a great opportunity to develop an understanding of the history of the region and it's people as well as seeing the wonderful UNESCO heritage site. It was certainly the highlight of the holiday

Fantastic tour guides. We were picked up right from the cruise ship on were transported on a very nice minibus with cold AC. Our guide was local to Ephesus and was extremely knowledgeable about the area and the history. Couldn't recommend this tour more.

Hassan was informative and an overall great tour guide. Many interesting facts were given to us throughout the tour. So glad we enjoyed it after booking it last minute !

A very pleasant and well-paced day out. The guide was charming and knowledgeable.