Ephesus, a UNESCO World Heritage site, stands as one of the most significant centers of the ancient era.

Comprising four distinct sections—Çukuriçi Höyük, Ayasuluk Hill (Selçuk Castle, St. John’s Basilica, İsa Bey Hammam, İsa Bey Mosque, Artemision), Ephesus Ancient City, and the House of the Virgin Mary—Ephesus is a pivotal point in human history, with a timeline reaching back to prehistoric times. Recognized globally as a heritage site due to its diverse architectural examples spanning various periods, Ephesus is a must-visit for those considering traveling to ancient cities. You can find all you need to know before exploring our content.

Historical Facts About Ephesus

The region of the ancient city of Ephesus in Izmir has been a site of continuous settlements for approximately nine thousand years, starting from the prehistoric period and extending through the Hellenistic, Roman, Eastern Roman, Beylikler (Principalities), and Ottoman periods. Ephesus, possessing the status of a crucial port city throughout every era, has also been a cultural and commercial hub. With its enduring artifacts standing for millennia, the region hosts an average of 1.5 million visitors annually.

Looking at the history of the Ephesus ancient city, includes unique artifacts from the early Christian period, such as the Artemision, a cult center dating back to the 8th century BC and considered one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, and the Church of Mary where the Ecumenical Council, declaring the Virgin Mary as the mother of Jesus, took place in 431 AD. Additionally, Ephesus is home to the House of the Virgin Mary, recognized as a pilgrimage site by Christians, and Islamic structures built during the Beylikler period, making Ephesus a unique place in terms of religious history.

Where is the Ancient City of Ephesus?

The ancient city of Ephesus is located within the borders of the Selçuk district of Izmir. The exact address is as follows: Acarlar, Ephesus Ruins, 35920 – Selçuk / Izmir. If you are wondering how to get to Ephesus, there are several ways:

  • If you are traveling by car from Izmir, the distance to the Selçuk district is approximately 75 km. If you choose to travel via Aydın, you will need to cover an average distance of 61 km.
  • You can also take the Izmir (Basmane) – Denizli train. The TCDD’s Izmir (Basmane) – Denizli mainline train passes through the Selçuk station. The train journey between Basmane and Selçuk takes about 1 hour and 30 minutes.
  • You can also reach Selçuk from Izmir by bus. Several bus companies offer services between Izmir Bus Station and Selçuk.

Additionally, you can combine your visit by exploring Şirince, which is part of the Selçuk district. If you are curious about the distance between Ephesus and Şirince, it is approximately 8 km. Therefore, during your vacation, you can visit both Ephesus and Şirince.

Notable Structures to Visit in the Ancient City of Ephesus

  • Magnesia Gate
  • Eastern Gymnasium and State Agora Baths
  • Upper Agora (State Agora) and Basilica
  • Odeon
  • Prytaneion – Prytaneion (City Hall)
  • Domitian Temple
  • Pollio Fountain
  • Memmius Monument
  • Heracles Gate
  • Curetes Street
  • Scholastica Baths
  • Latrina
  • Trajan Fountain
  • Terrace Houses
  • Various Baths
  • Hadrian Temple
  • Public Toilet (Latrina)
  • House of Love
  • Alytarkhus Stoa
  • Octagon
  • Heroon
  • Marble Street
  • Celsus Library
  • Mazeus
  • Mithridates Gate
  • Tetragon Agora (Trade Agora)
  • Marble Street
  • Grand Theater
  • Harbor Street (Arcadiane)
  • Theater Gymnasium
  • Harbor Baths (Harbor Gymnasium and Baths)
  • Church of Mary
  • Double Churches (Council Church)
  • Palace Structure
  • Stadium Street (Stadium and Gymnasium)
  • Artemis Temple
  • Vedius Gymnasium
  • Seven Sleepers
  • St. John’s Church
  • İsa Bey Mosque
  • Selçuk Castle

Discover Ephesus with Guided Tours

To fully immerse yourself in the rich history of Ephesus, consider joining guided tours. Ephesus Tours, Daily Ephesus Tours, and Turkey Package Tours offer comprehensive exploration, ensuring you don’t miss any of the captivating details. Dive into the living history of Ephesus with these curated tours, making your visit an unforgettable experience.