Read our tips for visiting Ephesus, the best-preserved of Turkey’s remarkable array of ancient cities and classical ruins
Visiting Ephesus should be on every traveller’s Turkey itinerary. After more than 150 years of excavation, the city’s reclaimed and restored structures have made Ephesus Europe’s most complete ancient city.
The great city was built in the 10th century BC during the Classical Greek era and began to flourish after it came under the control of the Roman Republic in 129 BC. It’s estimated that the population of the city was at one point between 33,000 and 56,000 people.
So prosperous was Ephesus that its centrepiece, the marble Temple of Artemis, one of the original Seven Wonders of the World and once the largest temple on Earth. Today, the temple is a shadow of its former glory after being completely rebuilt three times before its eventual destruction during a raid by the Goths, an East Germanic tribe, in 401 AD.
Most of the remaining parts of the temple that were excavated were “transported” to the Ephesus Room at the British Museum following work by British archaeologists John Turtle Wood in 1869-1874 and David George Hogarth in 1904-1906.
Despite the loss of the Temple of Artemis, the UNESCO-listed site remains the best-preserved Roman city in the Mediterranean region, and one of Turkey’s top sights.
Below, we share our best tips for visiting Ephesus so you can make the most of your time at this remarkable site.
1. Check travel advice and if you need a visa
Turkey has had a tumultuous few years politically and only this week, was struck by two huge earthquakes killing thousands of people. However, that should not put you off visiting. We adored our time there and would encourage others to visit Turkey in a heartbeat.
That said, you should always check the latest advice from your country’s foreign office. Currently, the UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office does not have any travel alerts for the vast majority of the country.
When it comes to visas, not every traveller requires a visa to enter Turkey. Passport holders from selected countries, including the UK and several EU nations, can enter Turkey visa-free, usually for up to 90 days. However, citizens of several nations will need to arrange a visa prior to travel. The easiest way to do this is via an online eVisa.
eVisas are available for…
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