Close up view of the Celsus Library pillars in Ephesus, Turkey

Cruise to Ephesus (Kusadasi), Turkey

The UNESCO World Heritage ruins of Ephesus impress even those familiar with the world's other ancient cities. Though excavations have been underway for 150 years, only 20 percent of the city has been uncovered. Check out the the Celsus Library — built in 117 A.D., the site is made up of towering columns highlighted by the statue of the goddess of wisdom. Cruises to Ephesus will give you a taste of Turkish life by strolling the seafront promenade and the bustling city center. Walk Marble Street, paved with actual marble slabs, which takes you from downtown to the Temple of Artemis — you can still see one lone remaining column from this wonder of the ancient world.
National Language Turkish
Currency Accepted Turkish Lira (TRY)

Things To Do in Ephesus (Kusadasi)

A close up view of the Library of Celsus in Ephesus, Turkey

Ephesus (Kusadasi), Turkey, Library of Celsus

Window Into Ancient Life

Window Into Ancient Life

Don't miss the Library of Celsus or the Scholastica Baths — their dozen ancient marble toilets are a unique sight from antiquity. Consider buying the extra ticket to see Ephesus' Terraced Houses. Not only are they shaded, but you get a sense of what ancient life was like and can see the restoration work in progress.

The home of the Virgin Mary in Ephesus, Turkey

Ephesus (Kusadasi), Turkey, Home of the Virgin Mary

Set Your Sights on Seluk

Set Your Sights on Seluk

Walk from Ephesus' Lower Gate to the village of Seluk, where you can visit what's said to be the burial site of John the Apostle at the Basilica of St. John. You'll also find the remains of the Temple of Artemis. About five miles from here lies the House of the Virgin Mary, which traditions holds as the last place she lived.

Homemade carpets on a cart

Ephesus (Kusadasi), Turkey, Homemade Carpets

Haggle for a Turkish Carpet

Stroll the seaside promenade in Kusadasi to catch a cooling breeze. Shop for souvenirs like carpets and spices in the bazaar near the port. Vendors will encourage you to sample their wares and will offer tea to serious carpet buyers. You can also visit Pigeon Island for views from the Byzantine castle once used by pirates during your Turkey cruise.

Two lamb kebobs on a black plate

Ephesus (Kusadasi), Turkey, Lamb Kebob

Local Cuisine

Most visitors will have tried sis kebab (grilled meat on a skewer) and doner kebab (meat shaved from a vertical skewer) before arriving in Turkey. Lamb is popular for both. Be sure to try kofte, spiced lamb or beef meatballs served with yogurt dipping sauce. Have a few meze (appetizers) to get your vegetable fix — great options include grilled eggplant salad and cicek dolmasi, fried squash flowers stuffed with raisins and rice.

An assortment of colorful pottery in Turkey

Ephesus (Kusadasi), Turkey, Colorful Pottery


The Kusadasi bazaar is naturally the place to go for shopping. A Turkish blue eye, meant to ward off the evil eye, makes a great souvenir. Also consider a traditional Turkish kilim (a woven carpet) or a more luxurious knotted carpet. Cruise to Ephesus and look for handmade tiles and pottery in the Iznik design, with floral-inspired geometric patterns. Prices are negotiable, and the first offer by the vendor will be at least double what you should pay.

Insider's Tips
Insider's Tips
1 Ephesus' excavated section is in a 1.5-square-mile area; you'll need good walking shoes.
2 The sun reflects strongly both from above and off the white marble streets. Bring a hat, sunscreen and plenty of water.
3 When negotiating in the market, make sure you're serious about buying — it's considered rude to bargain for items you're not going to buy.

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