How to go to Ephesus from Istanbul and Izmir Airport by Train and public transportation
Today I have a plan to visit Ephesus from Istanbul.
I plan to get to Ephesus by using only public transportation from Izmir Airport
I plan this trip to be in
1-Getting to Sabiha Gokcen Airport
2-Flying to Izmir at 07.00 - arrival at 08.00
3-Getting to Tepekoy from Izmir Airport
4-Getting to Selcuk from Tepekoy
5-Getting to Ephesus lower gate from Selcuk
6-Getting to Ephesus from the parking lot
After passing from the second security control, I stopped to get myself a breakfast.
I had a cup of tea for 11 TL and a slice of potatoe pastry for 22TL and I paid 33TL in total.
I was on board at 6.45 am and there was no one sitting next to me so It was a pretty comfortable flight.
I am flying with Pegasus Airlines and on their in flight magazine there were some quite nice reads about archaeology.
And I also saw on this months issue of National Geographic they talk about the Ancient farmers of Anatolia.
And there was an article about one of my favorite sites in Turkey, Sagalassos.
Also there was an article about the neolithic site of Boncuklu Hoyuk in my ignorance I was hearing it for the very first time.
So it was quite an interesting 1 hour flight for me reading these articles about archaeology in Turkey.
Once you are outside the Gate of Arrivals in Izmir Aiport, you will see the Yellow Taxis like any other airport. I asked the tariff to get to Ephesus from there, they quoted me 350Turkish Lira which is around 40Euros.
My aim is to get to Ephesus from Izmir Airport on my own by using public transportation so I continue with my adventure.
I cross the street and need to use these stairs (escalator) or the elevator to get to the bridge that will get me to the railroad stop which is right in front of you once you get out.
Right below the bridge that lighted area is the railroad stop. The lane closer to you is going to North which is the center of Izmir. The other lane goes to South which is Ephesus direction.
Once you are on the second floor (the departures floor of the airport) or at the Bridge you walk 50 yards and see the entrance for the METRO IZBAN sign on the left.
Once you are at the train stop you have 2 options
You can go by Incity Tram called IZBAN.
I have checked the timetable online and there was one at 08.12 am which was impossible to catch and a second one at 8.36 am.
You need to check for the ones going to TEPEKOY. Not to CUMAOVASI.
So they are 24 minutes apart in the mornings.
On this picture above, you realize 2 Green Signs with Arrows showing the Lanes and Directions.
The one on the LEFT says KUZEY (North) which goes to Izmir downtown center.
And the one to the RIGHT says GUNEY (South) which is the direction for EPHESUS.
I have my IZBAN card, but as I tried to use it I realized I didn't have sufficient money inside.
So I had to load some money in it by using the machines.
If you are planning to use incity tramline which is called IZBAN you either need to have the prepaid card with you or if you do not have the IZBAN card
you can get
3 to 5 use tickets from the machines that are available at the train stop.
Once you go through with your ticket, you need to turn RIGHT and use the door on the Right side, which leads to South to EPHESUS.
So I arrived at TEPEKOY at 09.09 am
As I realized there is no in-city tram to be connected to Ephesus in the following half an hour.
I asked the Security over there and he reminds me of that 09.14 INTERCITY train which was suppose to arrive at 9.45 in TEPEKOY Station.
So that was a 35 minute wait which is reasonable.
And that would take me to SELCUK at around 10.10 am
But I had to get to the Eastern side of the railroad by going under the tunnel.
So I went to the ticket office and bought a ticket to SELCUK paid 5.5 TL
And started waiting for the train From Izmir to DENIZLI direction.
You train will come from the RIGHT side.
This train station is one of the classical Colonial looking stone buildings, I always enjoyed looking at these structures.
You can not really rely on the times of the intercity trains in Turkey, this one was delayed for more than 10 minutes for instance.
Finally it arrived at 9.56 and I arrived in Selcuk (Ephesus) train station after a 25 minutes train ride at 10.19.
You will realize that you are getting closer to SELCUK, when you look out from the right side (west) window, you will see the big mustach Mockup of a restaurant
then few seconds later you will see the Ayasuluk (Selcuk) Castle at the Top of the Hill.
Here below is the Main Local Bus Station of Selcuk town. And I am about to miss the minibus leaving for Ephesus for seconds. And I had to wait another 20 minutes for the next minibus.
This is another problem, I arrive at the train station from Izmir and I walked pretty fast until here, and I should be able to catch if the timetable was arranged according to IZBAN hours. But apparently they weren't so it adds another 20mins. to your journey.
Once you are at the Bus Terminal in Selcuk, you need to look left end of the station to see this Green Colored minibuses, saying PAMUCAK - SELCUK in front of them and with a tiny Brown sign saying EPHESUS. Missing the one which just left seconds ago, I get in the next one on the line and ask the driver when is this one departing. He says in 20 minutes, plus the driving will be another 10 mins. or so... So overall a little over 30 minutes. And I consider the walking distance from the local bus station to Ephesus. It is 3.5 kms. and acording to google that will take around 40 minutes. And it's about the same time. And I said why not, the weather is good, and I don't have a big suitcase so I decided to walk.
Here is a second option for you to go from Selcuk downtown bus terminal to Ephesus and it is minibus going to KUSADASI. This will still require for you to walk once you get off from the minibus on the main road and you have another 1km. to walk around 12 minutes. Still it goes to same direction as Ephesus. And I asked the driver what time it will depart for Kusadasi, and it wasn't until another 15 minutes.
So I decided to to take the advantage of the beautiful clear skies and weather to walk to Ephesus ruins by leaving Selcuk bus terminal from this roundabout you see on the picture below. Once you have the terminal right behind you, you need to walk straight from this roundabout to west having the Hospital on your left and the parking lot of the Ephesus Museum on your right once you cross the streetlights.
As you continue walking from the main road. You may choose to go from either side of the road. The right side has the infamous Mulberry path that leads you via the Local Gendarme - Police Station then The entrance of Temple of Artemis.
The left side of the lane takes you via the Hospital, a Korean Restaurant, then the Local Cemetery of Selcuk.
After 30 minutes of walk you will realize the junction allowing you to turn left, with a Carpet Store and a TAXI sign on the left.
That's where you take the left turn and continue walking.
Once you took the left from the main road and started walking up towards Ephesus, you will realize Gendarme - Police checkpoint on the right. That's for the vehicles getting to Ephesus.
You are headed to the Lower Entrance and the Tour Bus Paking Area for Ephesus Tours.
Passing the gendarme checkpoint, their will be another road junction waiting for you with some brown signs saying MERYEMANA (House of Virgin Mary), YEDIUYURLAR (Grotto of the Seven Sleepers) to the Right.
Straight and another option is to go right. The right is for vehicles to reach Ephesus Parking area. Mostly for the tours who leave their tourists at the Upper Gate and the buses will drive down to the lower gate to meet them.
You need to walk straight to Ephesus.
This walk is relatively steep compared to what you have been used to on this trip but don't worry it is the last 5 minutes of your journey before you reach Ephesus ruins.
Here's a surprise the Green Minibus that we saw at the Bus Station is here as we were about to reach Ephesus, and the driver beeps and says hello.
So our calculations were not bad, we arrived almost at the same time well maybe we are late for couple of minutes but we really enjoyed the walk to here.
After we finish the road we entered the Parking Area of Ephesus and seeing all the busses that left their passengers who came for Ephesus Tours and will end their tours here at the lower gate.
This is where there are also Taxi service is available along with Horse Chariots. The two options to take you to the Upper Gate if your intentions are to make a one way tour.
Or if you are also planning to visit House of Mother Mary.
There are no public transportation available to there so you either need to walk all the way for 8 kms. which will take less than 2 hours or you can go by these taxis. Same taxis are available at the Upper gate, too. So you can start your walking tour from the lower gate where we are, and walk your way up to the Upper Gate seeing all the attractions at Ephesus Ancient City and you can take the taxis from the Upper Gate to House of Mother Mary.
At the Lower Entrance of Ephesus there are several shops for souvenirs, books, clothes, bags and there are also Cafes and Restaurants if you'd like to take your time and grab fresh squeezed orange and pomegranate juice before you start your nearly 2 hour walk at the Ancient Ephesus ruins.
A small insider tip, this first shop next to the Ticket booth has a passage that you can walk through and right behind the shop is a small tea place where bus drivers also hangout. If you want a truly local observation it is something you might want to try.
Here is the ticket office, there are plenty of options when it comes to buying tickets.
Because in the vicinity of Ephesus Ancient City there are several more attractions separate admissions.
Even inside Ephesus there is a separate section called Terrace Houses which requires a separate admission fee.
So you may want to decide which sites you plan to visit that day so that you can take the advantages of buying combined tickets that covers several sites with discounted fees.
My suggestion is for you to check the Regional or Country-wide Museum Passes for the best value.
Anyways for Ephesus Ancient city, you can go just for and entry ticket to
Ephesus Site only
Ephesus Site + Terrace Houses
Ephesus Site + Terraces + St. John + Museum
After you purchase the combination that suits you best for the day, you use your ticket to get in via the turnstile, after that there is a security check point right before you reach the WC Toilets on the right side.
And also the Museum shop is available on the Left side with a collection of souvenirs and also food and beverage options available here.
Right next to the Museum shop is a booth for renting Audio Guide for Ephesus in case you need.
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