Edit from March 2019: The entrance price for the main site is 60 Turkish lira (£8/ $11/ 9.7 euros). One or two of the individual attractions have their own entrance fees, but no more than 30 lira each I believe.
After an absolutely fabulous day exploring the ancient city of Ephesus and looking round the excellent Ephesus Museum back in Selçuk, I have some tips for any future visitors who might read this.
- Arrive at the south entrance and exit at the north, especially on a hot day like we experienced today. Ephesus goes downhill from south to north... we were glad we had heeded this advice when we saw people struggling up past us from the other direction.
- Buy your water from a supermarket in Selçuk first, not at the site itself. You can buy water at the north entrance, but needless to say it is more expensive than what you can get in Selçuk or another nearby town. You will need a lot! We stocked up on water and Diet Coke at a supermarket in Selçuk - between 6 and 8 litres in total - and by the time we left we had only one litre left.
Go independently if you can - unless you have very little time and need to just be zoomed around it by a tour guide, or unless you want a an individual or small group in-depth tour on a particular theme, in which case having an expert to guide you makes a lot of sense. If you've arrived in Selçuk by yourself, it's easy (and in my opinion better) to explore the site independently rather than with a tour group. Here's why;
- Ephesus is only about two km from Selçuk, so it's mega-easy to get a taxi there (or walk or cycle, if it takes your fancy).
- There are plenty of information signs dotted around the site.
- You get so much more time to wander around and see what you want, when you want. No regrets afterwards about things you didn't manage to see properly or at all.
- There are so many surprisingly quiet areas away from the main, crowded ones. Some only a few steps away, some down longer pathways. Dave and I loved this. Seeing as it was July, we expected the place to be jam-packed - we got there first thing, meaning that it wasn't that crowded at first, but later on it did become very busy.
Sitting high above the Great Theatre, with the circle far below us and the beautiful scenery stretching in the distance beyond, was a highlight of mine.
So were the Temple of Hadrian and the Temple of Domitian...
...the Terrace Houses of Roman times...
...the Library of Celsus...
...plus just wandering around the peaceful, off-the-main-path parts of the site such as the Bouleuterion (a small auditorium used for musical performances and council meetings), the Water Palace, the Inscriptions Museum, the Church of Mary and more.
I also loved the wonderful views.
A couple of other pictures from the site. The first is of a detail from the Gate of Heracles, the second is of the avenue of trees by the north exit, the third is a general picture of the area just inside the south entrance, the fourth is of the Processional Way, the fifth was taken in front of the Great Theatre, the sixth is of the Varius Baths, and the final one is a shot with the Library of Celsus in the background.
By the time we left, tired but happy, six hours had gone by! Then back to Selçuk to go to the museum, relax and have dinner...