The 10 Steps to planning a DIY tour of Ephesus

So you’re planning to a DIY Tour of Ephesus, and you have common questions and you don’t know where to turn for answers. Well this is how I felt today, when I was looking at options for visiting Ephesus. There is so much stuff that is written on the place and there are so many tourist facilities for visiting Ephesus, that I couldn’t help but be overwhelmed.

  • How much is the one way taxi fare from Kusadasi dock to Ephesus?
    • This is negotiable as with any taxi fare, but the prevailing rate right now seems to be 20TL to get there.
    • If you’re taking a taxi, use the meter. If the meter is broken, get out of the taxi.
    • Have your taxi wait for you, keep in mind it’s about a 30 minute drive from Kusadasi to Ephesus
    • If you call a cab to come get you from Kusadasi, they will likely start the meter immediately, not when they pick you up.
  • Where should the taxi drop us off at Ephesus ?
    At the top gate, as it’s the standard place to drop off passengers, then walk downhill till you get out of the site through the Lower Gate, then head for the sign “Artemision”. It was the site of the famous Temple of Artemis, one of the seven wonders of the ancient world.
  • Is there actually an entrance gate to Ephesus, where you have to pay an admission?
    Yes, there is an entrance gate and you must pay to get in.
  • How much is the admission fee to Ephesus and what are opening hours?
    • Ephesus : 20 TL ($13USD) pp  | Open 08:00 – 17:30 every day (all prices are as of June 2012)
    • Terrace Houses : 10 TL ($6USD) pp
    • Entrance fees accepted for Ephesus is only TL or credit card
  • What facilities are there for tours, toilets, and amenities
    • Take your own water and hat along … you’ll need it
    • It is recommended that you have some sort of guide book or virtual tour. There is too much going on without the use of some sort of guide.
    • Rick Steves has a free audio tour and map. Use it and help yourself.
    • There are no toilets onsite. Be prepared!
    • Don’t drink the tap water … it’s not recommended for tourists.
  • What should I wear while on a DIY Tour of Ephesus?
    • It gets hot – Ephesus site gets particularly hot as it is in a valley with the heat reflected from the white marble.
    • Ensure you have suncream, hats, plenty of water (none available on site only at the kiosks at the top and bottom)
    • Preferably longer sleeves and covered back of the neck
  • Are there lots of vendors and people trying to sell you stuff?
    • Yes! Remember that you’re a tourist and these people are trying to make a living.
    • Don’t take anything for free … even a “taxi ride” unless you’re looking to haggle for a carpet. See my guide to negotiating for carpets … one phrase … Don’t attempt unless you know what you’re doing!
    • If you are approached by anyone saying they have ‘real’ coins from the Roman days of Ephesus, or have other artifacts, do not buy these for two reasons
      1.  They are not real.
      2. If they are real and you took them out of Turkey and are caught, you are going to have a legal issue
  • How long does it take to see everything on a DIY Tour of Ephesus?
    • Here is my blog update on going to Ephesus. Do your research!! Ephesus can take from 45 mins to the entire day. Research and have a map and a plan when you’re going.
    • Get there first thing in the morning to avoid the cruise crowds, if you’re coming off a cruise. If you’re not there with a cruise, then avoid cruise days at all costs.
    • If you start at the top gate and arrange to be picked at the bottom, walking down slowly will take about an hour, if you don’t stop off at anything … which is completely NOT recommended
    • Visiting the Terrace Houses (strongly recommended) will take another 20 minutes.
    • Celsus’s Library is one of the most brilliant and best preserved buildings of Ephesus (10 mins)
    • The Great Theatre of Ephesus (20-30 mins)
    • Odeon (10-15 mins)
    • The Baths of Scholastic (10 mins)
    • The Fountain of Trajan (5 mins)
    • The Temple of Hadrian (10 mins)
    • Walk down the Arcadian Way, where Mark Anthony and Cleopatra once rode in procession.
    • Hence you should realistically budget about 3 hours for your time there
  • What should I do after?
    Head over to the Temple of Artemis (Diana, Artemission), which was built in honour of the Greek Goddess of hunting, wild nature and fertility named Artemis. The temple is counted as one of the Seven wonders of the ancient world and it used to be the largest marble temple in the ancient Greek world. The temple served as both a marketplace and religious institution.
  • Great … I appreciate the resources, but Google offers too much, do you have a list of links that you already did the work and looked through, that I can basically parasite off of you?Absolutely … here is the basic list to help with a DIY Tour of Ephesus

Here is a free map I found (Source: Turkey: Gate to the Orient tourism book from Orient Publishing)

  1. Magnesia Gate
  2. East (“Girls”) Gymnasium
  3. Varius Bath
  4. Odeion
  5. Prytaneion
  6. Market Basilica
  7. Upper Agora
  8. Memmius Monument
  9. Curetes Street
  10. Polio Fountain
  1. Temple of Domitian
  2. Fountain of Trajan
  3. Baths of Scholastica
  4. Temple of Hadrian
  5. Public toilets (latrine)
  6. Slope houses
  7. Octagon tomb
  8. Byzantine Nymphaion
  9. Brothel
  10. Library of Celsus
  1. Gate of Mazeus & Mithridates
  2. Temple of Serapis
  3. Marble Street
  4. Lower Agora
  5. Great Theater
  6. Arkadiane (Harbor Street)
  7. Theater/Gymnasium
  8. Four-Columned Monument
  9. Harbor Gate
  10. Verulanus Hall
  1. Harbor Gymnasium
  2. Harbor Thermal Bath
  3. Councils Church (Double Church of the Virgin)
  4. Stadium
  5. Vedius Gymnasium
  6. Grotto of the Seven Sleepers
  7. Tomb of St. Luke

About Rishiray

Rishi Sankar is a Cloud HRMS Project Manager/ Solution Architect. Over the past 15+ years, he has managed to combine his overwhelming wanderlust with a desire to stay employed, resulting in continuing stints with 3 major consulting firms (IBM, Deloitte, Accenture). He documents his adventures around the world on "Ah Trini Travelogue" with pictures and stories from the road/tuk-tuk/camel/rickshaw. You can follow him on Twitter at @rishiray and on Facebook at "Ah Trini Travelogue . He doesn't like Chicken Curry but loves Curry Chicken and is always trying to find the perfect Trinidadian roti on the road. He also doesn't like cheese and kittens ... and definitely not together. E-mail from his blog is appreciated like a 35 yr old Balvenie at

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