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Ephesus, Turkey in 2 Days

Map tips: each color represents a different day. Click a marker to learn more about the spot, and click the star in the map header to save the entire map under Your Places in Google Maps.

Day 1: Kusadasi

We took a ferry from Mykonos to Kusadasi, which is the port city and access point for Ephesus. The ferry takes about 5 hours. We walked to our hostel near Bar Street to drop off our bags and walked around the area. We stopped in a rug shop, and it wasn’t the best experience. We felt really pressured to buy something and almost threatened before leaving. Then we had dinner and called it a night.

Beautiful rugs, but not my favorite experience

Day 2: Ephesus

We caught a taxi to Ephesus (25 minutes) and spent the whole day there. It is considered to be the second-most important city in the first couple of centuries A.D., only behind Rome. There is a lot of Christian history there and it’s mentioned in the New Testament. Also, the Temple of Artemis (no longer standing) was here and was one of the 7 wonders of the ancient world.

It’s pretty cheap to get in, around $10 USD. We entered through the lower Harbor Gate, which is by the Grand Theatre. Most people enter through the upper Magnesia Gate and walk Curetes Street (the main road) downhill, then make a right when it ends at Celsus Library and continue to the theatre. Since we got there early and started at the end where most people finish, we had the theatre all to ourselves, which was pretty awesome.

We walked up the Marble Road to where it intersects with Curetes, at the Celsus Library. That’s probably the most famous part of Ephesus, and it’s amazing that it’s still standing. We turned left and walked up Curetes Street, seeing the rest of the major ruins like Hadrian Temple and the Odeion Theatre.

We grabbed a taxi and had them take us to the House of the Virgin Mary, where it’s believed she spent her last years on earth. There is a small entrance fee. Then had the driver take us to the Ephesus Museum. All of this is close, but not really walking distance so it’s better to take a taxi. I’m not a museum person, so I’ll just say that it was ok and probably worth it if you like museums. There is a small, extra cost.

Once we were done there, got another taxi back to our hostel. We went out and had one of the best meals of my entire life, a simple dish of pita, lamb, rice, and sauce/spices. Then we went to Bar Street, which is where the nightlife is. It’s pretty expensive though, compared to nearby places, so you might want to drink somewhere else to start and go there later. Lots of tourists and clubs/bars.

The next morning, we walked back to the pier and took a ferry from Kusadasi to Samos, Greece (1 hour) to continue our trip.

Traveled in August 2006

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