Ephesus is an ancient city that is located next to the modern city of Selçuk. The ruins of this Greco-Roman city are very well preserved and worthy of a visit while travelling around Turkey. There are a few ways to get to Ephesus. The easiest one is to go to Selçuk and stay there overnight. However the city itself doesn’t have much to offer and that is why one of the best ways is to get to Kușadasi (the city on the coast) and use public transportation to get to Ephesus. With this method I explain how to visit Ephesus from Kusadasi by public transportation for just $5.50.
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Kușadasi is a cute little city with many restaurants and cafes to chill out. There are two ways to get to Ephesus from Kușadasi: by taxi and by public bus.
The thing that you need to know before taking a taxi to Ephesus is that drivers don’t usually do just one way. Therefore, you will have to pay the driver to take you there and back and for waiting time. The price of such a trip will be around 50 – 60 euros.
There are many buses that go from Kușadasi bus station to Selçuk. To get to the bus station you can use a city minibuses that circulates around Kușadasi all day long. Just ask at the reception which bus number should you take. We, for example (we stayed at the DoubleTree Hilton next to the marina) could have taken numbers 1, 6 or 7. So across the street from our hotel we just flagged a minibus with one of these numbers and jumped in. The price for a bus ride around the city is 4 TL ($0.50).
Once you are at the bus station it is pretty easy to figure out everything else. There is a platform with a sign reading “Selçuk”. The busses are coming and going every 30 minutes, so you won’t wait for too long. The price is 9 TL ($1.15) per person. Tell the driver that you need to go to Ephesus and he will stop across the street and 500 meters walking to the south entrance of the ancient city of Ephesus.
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At the bus stop next to the sign that says “Ephesus” will be a taxi driver that will offer to take you to the upper gate instead of the lower one. This way you will walk down the hill and that is what usually people do. The price is 30 TL which is the standard price for this ride. Unfortunately for us, we decided to walk to the lower gate and figure things on the spot. We spent 15 minutes walking up the hill under the hot sun to the lower gate and still took a taxi from there to the upper one (cost the same 30 TL). So, my advice is do not waste time and just get into the first taxi at the bus stop.
The entrance ticket to Ephesus costs 100 Turkish Lira, about $13. Walking down from the top entrance can be done in about a half hour, but you’ll probably want to take your time as there is so much to see.
For my full guide for visiting the ancient city of Ephesus click here.
Once you are at the bottom exit, you can just walk back to the bus stop on your own. There will be a taxi offering to take you, but it’s just 500 meters so you can easily continue walking downhill for a few minutes. Then, walk across the street and flag down the bus heading back to Kusadasi for another 9 Lira.
Total round trip cost to visit Ephesus from Kusadasi:
Taxi: 50-60 Euro (30 minutes there and 30 minutes back)
4 Lira Minibus to Central Bus Station (10 minutes or less)
9 Lira Bus to Ephesus Bottom Gate (30 minutes)
30 Lira Taxi to top gate (5 minutes)
9 Lira Bus to Kusadasi (30 minutes)
4 Lira Minibus to your hotel (10 minutes or less)
Total: 56 Lira (around $7.25 per person, less if multiple people share the taxi).
One thing I do highly recommend you see is the Temple of Artemis. This is one of the 7 Wonders of the Ancient World and while it is completely a ruin now, it is still of historical significance. To add this to your Ephesus itinerary, just grab a taxi at the bottom of Ephesus and say Temple of Artemis. This one way ride will cost 20 Lira. From the temple you can walk 5 minutes to the Selcuk main bus station and pick up the bus to Kusadasi from there.