The nearest town is Selçuk, which offers lodging and transportation to Ephesus. From Selçuk, the easiest way to visit the ruins is to take a taxi to the top gate for 15 TL. You can then walk downhill through the ruins and return from the parking lot to the Selçuk bus station via minibuses (shared taxi called "dolmuş"— pronounced dol-mush— in Turkish) which run every 10-15 minutes in the high season and cost 3.50 TL (July 2014 prices). You can also walk from Selçuk - it is a 4 km walk in a good asphalt way. Some pensions and hotels in Selçuk will provide transportation.
Izmir is the closest airport, with frequent connections from both of Istanbul's airports. Pegasus Airlines, a low-cost carrier in Turkey, often has round trip tickets for as little as 80 TL.
If you are driving your own car, parking is only available at the bottom gate.
Entry tickets cost 25 TL/person, while the Terrace Houses (in a covered building within the site) cost an additional 15 TL/person (July 2014).
The grounds of Ephesus are seen entirely on foot. Pathways are signed clearly and easily navigated as you make your way through the park. The ruins are situated on the bank of a hill. There are two entry/exit points. The entire ruins are easily covered on foot within two hours. An entry from the upper gate will make going around much more easier and there are parking lots located at the both gates.
Sights are listed in the order that they are encountered when walking down from the Upper Gate.
- Terrace House. Housed under a protective roof, this remarkably preserved Roman house is definitely worth the price of admission. Segmented into several different individual units, the marble and mosaics that decorated the house have been painstakingly restored, giving an impression of how the Roman upper-class once lived. Like the rest of Ephesus the site is a working archaeological area, but raised paths allow you to visit the majority and informative signs illuminate what you are seeing along the way. 15 TL.
- Celsus Library. One of the highlights of Turkey, the impressively restored facade of this ancient library stands three stories high and is a historically accurate recreation of how the library once appeared. Built between 117 and 120 AD, the library once held as many as 12,000 scrolls, making it one of the largest in the Ancient world.
- Great Theatre. The 25,000 seat theatre was until recently still used for major concerts, with artists such as Elton John, Ray Charles and Jethro Tull performing. Today, in order to ensure its protection it is used only for smaller acts. The theatre was built around 200 BC, and expanded or renovated several times thereafter.
There are many souvenir shops at the two exit gates. You may find Turkish hand made articles. Haggling is possible. The best way is to compare prices in two or three more shops before you buy. It is not a good place to buy carpet and leather, you can buy them in big shops at Selcuk with a reasonable price.
There are many fast food and small Turkish restaurants at the both gates. You can find many nice restaurants on the way to Selcuk or Kusadasi or in the towns.
There are many cafés at the both gates.
There are no accommodations on site in ancient city itself. Nearest options are in Selçuk, 4 km away. There are also lots of people visiting Ephesus on a day-trip from coastal Kuşadası, a bit further away.
- In Selçuk, there is an impressive Byzantine ruin, the Church of St. John.
- House of the Virgin Mary is a popular Catholic and Muslim pilgrimage site, about 6 kilometers from Ephesus.
- Consider visiting some of the other Seven Churches of Asia, including Sardis and Pergamon, both less than four hours from Ephesus, and containing impressive ruins.
- You may want to consider a visit to another archaeological site in Aegean Turkey: Aphrodisias. With an entrance fee of only 15 TL, it has perhaps more value than Ephesus but it is around 165 km away from Ephesus.