Shopping and Eating in Ephesus, Turkey

By | November 25, 2022

Cuisine and restaurants

There are no cafes or hotels in Ephesus itself where you can have a bite to eat, so it’s best to take food with you. In Selcuk, on the other hand (even on the outskirts closest to Ephesus), there are many different establishments: from expensive restaurants to fast food.

The most common and cheapest snack is kebab, it is sold at kebabchi stalls. In the so-called “denerji” they also offer lamb, but with bread, and sometimes with a side dish. “Pidegi” are small restaurants where they cook cakes with a variety of fillings (usually also meat). In simple restaurants, “locanta” is usually eaten by locals, but tourists can also join them. It’s cheap and delicious here. Lunch per person will cost about 50 TRY. In gourmet restaurants, prices are much higher – here you will have to pay from 100 TRY for dinner.

The cuisine in these places is heavy, but delicious. Almost all main dishes are made with lamb or chicken. It is worth trying manti, dumplings and special cutlets – “kefte”. Fish is very popular, and fresh vegetables, stewed beans or zucchini are usually used as a side dish. Of the sweets, pakhvala and halva are invariably loved.

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Entertainment and attractions of Ephesus

Ephesus is the largest archaeological complex in the eastern Mediterranean, where finds dating back to the Roman period have been found. Scientists estimate that only 15% of the ancient city has been excavated, which gives an idea of ​​its splendor.

The most beautiful buildings include the one built in 117 AD. e. the library of Celsus, which was a kind of monumental tomb for Tiberius Julius Celsus, who served as governor of the province of Asia in the Roman Empire and was buried in a sarcophagus under the basement of the building. The construction of the tomb, the entrance to which was adorned with two statues of Athena, the goddess of wisdom, was a gift to Tiberius from his son Gaius Julius Aquila. At one time, the library held more than 12,000 handwritten scrolls – some were placed in cabinets and wall niches, others, more valuable copies, were behind double walls behind the cabinets in order to protect them from temperature and humidity changes.

The library of Celsius was considered the richest in ancient times after the libraries in Alexandria and Pergamon.

The Temple of Artemis, one of the seven wonders of the world, is represented only by an inconspicuous column discovered during an archaeological excavation conducted by the British Museum in 1870. Some fragments of a frieze and other small finds found at the site of the temple are now stored in the British Museum in London and Archaeological Museum in Istanbul.

The Odeon was a small indoor theater built by Publius Vedius Antonius and his wife around 150 AD. e. A small venue for performances and concerts could accommodate up to 1,500 people. The theater was reached by 22 steps of stairs, and its upper part was decorated with red granite pillars, made in the Corinthian style. There were entrances on both sides of the stage.

Temple of Hadrian, dating from the 2nd century AD. e., dedicated to the emperor Hadrian, who visited Ephesus in 128. The facade of one of the most beautiful and well-preserved buildings of Ephesus is decorated with 4 Corinthian columns supported by a curved arch, in the center of which is depicted Tyche, the goddess of chance and good luck. This temple was depicted on the back of the 20 million Turkish lira banknote in 2001-2005. and a new banknote 2005-2009. The Temple of Domitian was one of the largest temples in the city.

The Temple of Artemis is one of the seven wonders of the world.

With a capacity of up to 44,000 seats, and the open-air theater of Ephesus is the largest of its kind in the ancient world. Its construction dates back to the Hellenistic period during the reign of Lysimachus (3rd century BC). During the Roman period, the theater was used not only for concerts and performances, but also for religious, political and philosophical discussions, as well as for bullfights and gladiators.

Other attractions: the portico of the Agora, the temple of Hestia, the gates of Hercules, an ensemble of houses with mosaic floors and wall frescoes (“Houses on the Hillside”), the office building of Prytane and a local brothel with a road sign to it.

The cost of a ticket to visit the archaeological complex is 30 TRY.


Not far from Ephesus are the ruins of the Basilica of St. John, built in the 4th century AD. e. According to legend, this place is the tomb of the apostle, around which a religious building gradually arose. In the 14th century there was a mosque here, and then an earthquake caused serious damage to the building.

Ephesus is called the city of “seven sleepers”, they were young Christians who were persecuted because of their faith in God. According to legend, they were walled up in a cave where men slept for more than two centuries, and when they came out of captivity, it turned out that Christianity had become the dominant religion. The cave is located a kilometer from the ancient city and is still considered a place of worship for Catholics and Orthodox, but now you can’t enter it, you can only look from the side.

About 9 km from Ephesus are the remains of a house where, according to legend, the Virgin Mary lived after the death of Christ. Once it was a two-storey stone building, which even today is considered a typical example of Roman architecture. Visitors can view the central part and the room on the right. In addition, there is a source of the Virgin Mary near the house; people believe that the water in it has healing properties.

Another interesting place, located in Selcuk, but directly connected with Ephesus, is the Ephesus Museum. It presents authentic archaeological finds found in the city and the tombs. The most famous exhibits are the figure of Eros on a dolphin and the room of Artemis.

The museum is closed for renovation until December 8, 2017.

4 things to do in Ephesus

  1. Visit the ruins of one of the seven wonders of the world – the Temple of Artemis.
  2. Admire the majestic Library of Celsus.
  3. Sit on the steps of the ancient Greek theater and watch the performance of modern musicians or actors in an antique setting.
  4. Get acquainted with the Christian shrine – the Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary, which became the first temple in history dedicated to the Mother of God.


Ephesus is characterized by hot, dry and even stuffy days in summer and cool, very damp winters. There is practically no rain in the warm half of the year, it is at this time that it is best to come here to see the sights. Although the archeological sites can get a little too hot in the middle of summer, it is better to choose the spring or autumn months.

If you want to see ancient monuments without crowds of tourists, you can come in winter. The temperature at this time is almost never below zero, but it occasionally rains.

Ephesus, Turkey