The ruins of Ephesus in Turkey (Map, temples and tour)


We were lucky to have met in our trip to Turkey The ruins of Ephesus. I have to say that it is one of those places that I would certainly not mind going back to ... it blends history, culture, archeology, mythology ... in the same place within a country as spectacular as Turkey. Ephesus makes your imagination not stop working while you walk it, not in vain is the best preserved classical city in this corner of the Mediterranean. What would life be like in those ruins?

Ancient Ephesus was a great city dedicated to commerce and at the same time it was a great center of worship, it was founded by the Greeks but its best moment was with the Romans. The legend says, Ephesus was that place that was chosen because it was indicated by the fish and the wild boar and in fact in some ruins you can find something of this legend.

A little history of Ephesus

The Artemis' temple

One of the most famous sanctuaries of Ephesus is the Temple of Artemis, considered one of the 7 wonders of the world, although in its day it was a spectacle as far as architecture is concerned, right now there are only a few stones on the ground that remember that majestic work of art.Artemisa was the goddess of fertility, hunting and war and is one of the great 12 Olympic divinities, which was present inside the sanctuary in the form of a statue about two meters high and made of vine wood, coated with gold and silver.

Our tour of Ephesus

Which entry is the best, the main or the secondary?

Ephesus has two tickets, the main and secondary, separated by 3km away. We enter through the main, we visit the first the great Ephesus Theater and all its surroundings and then we chose to climb to thehigh school to travel the rest, from top to bottom. We recommend it because it allows you to see Ephesus from above and then stop at each of the ruins knowing the magnitude of the whole place. In our case as we were driving we left it in the main entrance parking, the route was therefore circular.

Ephesus Map

If you start it from the south entrance, you can find three clearly differentiated zones.

1 The great theater and the odeon

Start the visit from the bay that still has at the ends of the road ruins of columns and that finally takes you to the magnificent theater. This walk makes you aware of how immense it must have been in ancient times, the views are impressive, in addition to the ruins around there is a beautiful mountain that makes the site something magical and this path makes you reach the great theater and the odeon .

Great theater
Great theater

The great theater It is one of the ruins along with the most spectacular library in Ephesus. It was used for multiple events such as plays, concerts, gladiatorial fighting, place of political or religious meetings. Its capacity was 25,000 people. To get the best picture it is better to climb up to the chicken coop, even if you are tired once you arrive you will be glad to have arrived.

He OdeonIt is similar to a theater but smaller and with more covered areas. It is quite well preserved.

2 Avenue of the curettes

Thus they called certain priests in Greek mythology. We go up to the main north entrance without stopping at the ruins to begin the visit of this part from top to bottom ending in the library.

The Hercules Gate It is located at the beginning of the avenue of the curettes we can find these two huge pillars, one in front of the other. Its stone is decorated with a pair of figures representing Hercules dressed in the skin of the lion (Greek mythology). At the functional level at that time, these pillars reflected the end of the vehicle path to start the pedestrian zone.

Avenue of the curettes

The Trajan's Fountain It was built and dedicated to the Roman emperor Trajan, hence it was chaired by a statue of the emperor himself.

He Adriano Temple It is of Ionic style only and unfortunately only the facade of the porch remains.


The Terraced houses or terracesDon't stop seeing them. It is a separate tour from the rest of the ruins of Ephesus, but you will not regret making this stop and see how the houses were at that time, they are still working on their restoration. They are impressive all the mosaics and the frescoes that are maintained, you can distinguish in some of them the areas of the bathrooms

Terraced houses or terraces

During this walk you will also find other ruins related to houses, showcases, shops, it is worth stopping in each of them to find thousands and thousands of details.

3 Celsus Library

In Ephesus one of the libraries for the world's greats. It was built in the year 114 by the son of Celso and came to contain some 12,000 manuscripts placed in niches along the different walls.

Ephesus Library
Ephesus Library

The construction of this impressive library was based on different tricks in order to make it appear larger than it really was, for example the base of the facade is convex, the inner part being larger than the outer part.

In the gaps of the facades different statures related to thought, wisdom and knowledge were placed.

Practical data

How to get?

We we drove and we parked it in the south entrance parking lot. We had no problem because we arrived soon. But if you do not have a car there are plenty of bus excursions that take you and pick you up after the visit.

When to go?

We went on a Monday and very early in the morning, it is very important to keep in mind that Ephesus is one of the mandatory stops of all Mediterranean cruises and that makes it filled with people from morning to afternoon, so we recommend getting up early to win that couple of hours and enjoy the place with less people.

Another reason is the heat, being August from 10am can reach 30 degrees without problem and from there go up to 40. Although it is not a country at the temperature level, such as Jordan, Oman or Emirates, Turkey has long been hot.

How much time do you need?

To explore all the ruins of Ephesus calmly being able to savor every detail you will need an average of 5 hours.

Rent a car in Turkey

One of the best ways to tour Turkey is by renting a car. It is a very profitable and fast option in order to travel the country, especially from Istanbul to the coast, passing through Cappadocia.

See car rental prices in Turkey

Travel insurance

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