The ancient city of Ephesus is one of the most popular attractions in Turkey, only Istanbul Sultanahmet is ahead of it in the number of guests. Ephesus is a museum city located next to Selcuk, once a tiny farming village, and now a major tourist center. The archaeological complex attracts travelers with its antiquity and very good preservation. True, there are almost always a lot of tourists here, but the place certainly deserves a visit.
The territory of the museum is not very large, usually two or three hours are enough to visit. But you must definitely bring water with you, since taps with drinking water are located at the entrances, and you can buy drinks only outside the complex.
The museum can be reached through two entrances: the upper and lower, next to each of them there are ticket offices. It is better to choose a road that goes from top to bottom.
In the small town of Selcuk, there are more than a hundred accommodation options: from cheap guest houses to luxury hotels. The most modest double room can be rented even for 50 TRY. In mid-range hotels (2-3 *) a room will cost 100-200 TRY per day. And truly royal conditions will cost about 400 TRY per night.
Almost always, the hosts offer breakfast and an excursion program for an additional fee. Many guest houses and hotels offer bicycle rental. But there are no classic hostels in the vicinity of Ephesus, as well as well-equipped camping sites.
What to bring from Ephesus
Near both entrances to Ephesus, tourists are greeted by shops selling all the classics of Turkish souvenirs: from glass “eyes” to carpets and copper utensils, as well as colored lamps, ceramics, hookahs, inlaid chess and much more. A good gift for friends and relatives will be oriental sweets, for example, the famous Turkish delight, sets of spices and spices.
Those who are looking for something special specifically from Ephesus can pay attention to magnets and other souvenirs with the image of the ancient city, books and albums, as well as very spectacular jewelry from the local store: all taxis and buses pass by.
On the territory of the museum itself there are people who offer tourists to buy “with hands” finds of archaeological sites. You do not need to do this, since at best they are scammers selling fakes. And at worst, that is, when buying real antiquities, you will have problems with the police. Under the law, buying and exporting from the country anything that can be considered a museum value is prohibited.
Cuisine and restaurants
In Ephesus itself there are no cafes or hotels where you could have a snack, so it is best to take food with you. In Selcuk, however (even in the outskirts closest to Ephesus), there are many different establishments: from expensive restaurants to fast food.
The most common and cheapest snack is kebab, it is sold at “kebabchi” stalls. In the so-called “denerji” they also offer lamb, but with bread, and sometimes a side dish. And there, and there you can eat for 3-5 TRY. “Pigeages” are small restaurants where they cook cakes with various fillings (usually also meat), 5-7 TRY each. In local Lokant restaurants, locals usually eat, but tourists can join them. It is inexpensive and very tasty. Lunch per person will cost about 25-30 TRY. In gourmet restaurants, prices are much higher – here you will have to pay from 50 TRY for dinner.
The cuisine in these places is heavy but tasty. Almost all main dishes are prepared from lamb or chicken. It is worth trying manti, dumplings and special cutlets – “kefte”. Fish is very popular, and fresh vegetables, stewed beans or zucchini are usually used as a side dish. Of sweets, praise and halva are invariably loved.
Entertainment and Attractions Ephesus
Ephesus is the largest archaeological complex in the eastern Mediterranean, where finds dating from the Roman period have been discovered. According to scientists, only 15% of the ancient city was excavated, which gives an idea of its splendor.
The most beautiful buildings include the one built in 117 AD. e. Celsius library, which was a kind of monumental tomb of Tiberius Julius Celsus, who served as governor of the province of Asia in the Roman Empire and was buried in a sarcophagus under the basement of the building. The construction of the tomb, the entrance to which was decorated with two statues of Athena, the goddess of wisdom, was a gift to Tiberius from his son Gaius Julius Aquila. Once in the library more than 12 thousand manuscript scrolls were stored – some were located in cabinets and wall niches, others, more valuable copies – behind double walls behind the cabinets in order to protect them from temperature and humidity.
The Celsius library was considered the richest in ancient times after the libraries in Alexandria and Pergamum.
The Temple of Artemis, one of the seven wonders of the world, is represented only by an inconspicuous column discovered during archaeological excavations conducted by the British Museum in 1870. Some fragments of the frieze and other small finds found at the temple’s location are now stored in the British Museum in London and Archaeological Museum.