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Ephesus: Day Trips and Tours from Bodrum

Housing one of the seven Wonders of the Ancient World, the city of Ephesus is an exceptionally preserved ancient Greek city located in southwest Turkey.

The archaeological site was originally erected over 3,000 years ago and has housed both the ancient Greeks and ancient Romans over several centuries.

Day trips to Ephesus from Bodrum are a must for those who are interested in learning about both civilizations.

How to get to Ephesus from Bodrum?

The ancient city is located in the southwest of Turkey, just over 170 kilometers from the main tourist hub of Bodrum. The journey to Ephesus takes around 2.5 hours and is an easy and scenic drive.

From Bodrum to Ephesus by car

Driving to Ephesus takes 2.5 hours and starts by leaving the coastal city of Bodrum via the D330. Take the D525 exit and continue to the end of that motorway where you'll join the D550 to Ephesus.

From Bodrum to Ephesus by bus

While there is no direct bus from Bodrum, you can still enjoy a day trip to Ephesus by public transport. First of all, take the MetroTurizm bus from Bodrum to Soke. The journey lasts just under 2.5 hours and leaves five times a day.  

From Soke, it's easy to take a taxi to the city for less than TRY97 ($6). The ride lasts around 40 minutes, taking your total travel time to just over three hours.

Guided tour to Ephesus from Bodrum

Guided tours all collect you from your hotel on the morning of your trip but vary in pickup time. Any time between 5 AM and 9 AM is standard for an Ephesus day tour, depending on the company you travel with.

Your jaunt to the ancient city lasts between 12 and 15 hours and returns you back to the comfort of your hotel.

How much does the entrance ticket to Ephesus cost?

Admission fees to enter Ephesus are TRY150 ($9USD) per person and entrance is free for children under 8.

What is the typical itinerary of a day tour to Ephesus from Bodrum?

Day trips cover both the ancient city itself and the House of Mary chapel. Tours start with a pickup from your hotel in Bodrum and often begin the journey to Ephesus via the Basilica of Saint John. The monument was constructed in the 6th century on the site believed to be the burial ground of John the Baptist.

Following the biblical theme, the next stop is Meryemana — the Virgin Mary's House where it's believed that Mary lived during her later years of life. Despite the claim, the shrine was only discovered in the 19th century.

Moving on to Ephesus, you'll learn about many of the preserved buildings that date back to the 10th century B.C by guided tour. A buffet lunch is usually included on Ephesus day tours as well as drop off back to your hotel at the end.

What kinds of tours are available to go to Ephesus?

There are many different day tours to Ephesus and most of them visit additional cultural sites along the way.

Day trip to Ephesus from Bodrum

Ephesus day trips pick you up from your hotel and take you on a historic tour of Ephesus and the surrounding area. You'll make stops at the Saint John Basilica, and House of the Virgin Mary as well as the most fascinating structures in the ancient city.

This includes the Temple of Artemis which is one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. You'll have a tour guide to escort you through the city to teach you more about one of the oldest preserved cities in Asia.

Small group tour to Ephesus plus Sirince from Bodrum

A small group tour to Ephesus numbers just 16 guests and visits the ancient city for a guided tour. Some of the monuments you’ll see include the Library of Celsus and the Temple of Artemis. Once you've been awed by the grand buildings dating back almost 3,000 years, you'll make your way to the picturesque village of Sirince.

You'll enjoy a buffet lunch at a local restaurant followed by some free time to explore the cobbled side streets and alleyways. The last stop of the day is at a ceramics factory in Sirince before ending your day trip back in Bodrum.

2-Day tour to Ephesus plus Pamukkale from Bodrum

A 2-day tour allows you to discover some of Turkey's best cultural and natural jewels. On day one, you'll make the three hour jaunt to Ephesus early in the morning, allowing you three hours to roam the archaeological site.

You'll be provided with lunch and then head to the House of the Virgin Mary before bunkering down for the night in a hotel.

The next morning, you'll take a trip to the ruins of Hierapolis. This site is one-of-a-kind as it's built on the hot springs of Phrygia. You'll have the opportunity to explore the city and its large necropolis that extends over two kilometers.

After lunch, there is a stop at the natural phenomenon of Pamukkale to end your 2-day tour. The site is made up of calcified thermal pools of water that form a staircase of brilliant white and vibrant turquoise.

Private day tour to Ephesus from Bodrum

Private day tours are more flexible and you can decide when they start and finish. You'll experience breakfast on Bafa Lake before making your way to Ephesus. You can make any stops en route that you wish and you'll have a personal guide on hand to show you the UNESCO World Heritage site.

You'll also make stops at Sirince village and the House of the Virgin Mary. There is the opportunity to stop at a local Turkish carpet shop to buy souvenirs before traveling back to Bodrum.

How much does a tour to Ephesus from Bodrum cost?

Day trips to Ephesus start at TRY810 ($50USD)  and include hotel pickup and drop off as well as entrance fees, a tour guide and lunch.

Small group tours are limited to 16 guests and include round-trip transportation, admission fees, a tour guide and a buffet lunch. You can expect to pay TRY1,378 ($85USD).

For a 2-day tour to Ephesus and Pamukkale, prices start at TRY2,773 ($171USD) and include overnight accommodation and meals for the duration. Entrance fees are also covered and you'll have an English-speaking tour guide to provide valuable knowledge about the attractions.

Private Ephesus excursions cost TRY4,785 ($295USD) and include a professional guide, round-trip transportation in a private vehicle and meals throughout the trip.

What will you see and do in Ephesus?

Library Of Celsus

This was the third largest Roman library in the ancient world and housed roughly 12,000 scrolls. The monument was erected in the second century with a crypt beneath the building to house the proconsul of Asia's remains.

The library was destroyed by a fire in the 10th or 11th century, but archaeologists managed to reform the facade in the late 20th century.

Temple of Artemis

The Greek Temple of Artemis also goes by another name — the Temple of Diana. The site of Ephesus was originally built by the ancient Greeks who named the temple after the goddess Artemis.

Later on, the city became a settlement for the Romans and the temple changed names. The two have many similarities as they were both considered goddesses of the wild. In terms of remains, there is not much left of the temple, although it is still a culturally significant site.

The original building was constructed around 550 B.C but had to be rebuilt after being burned to the ground in 365 B.C.

House of the Virgin Mary

The Virgin Mary's House is a shrine dedicated to the notable biblical figure. Nowadays, the building serves as a chapel. Pilgrims travel from far and wide to pay homage to the Virgin despite its lack of recognition by the Catholic church.

It is rumored that John the Baptist escorted Mother Mary to the house where she lived out her final 45 years. Just outside the shrine is a "wishing wall" where pilgrims have written their prayers and hopes for years. Another feature of the site is its water well which is thought to have powers of fertility and healing.

What are the opening times?

The archaeological site is open throughout the year, but hours vary slightly depending on the season.

  • 8:00 AM - 8:00 PM – April 1 - Oct. 1
  • 8:30 AM - 5:30 PM – Oct. 1 - April 1

Occasionally there are maintenance works happening at the site which disrupt the opening times, so check the official website before you travel.

When is the best time to visit Ephesus?

Ephesus is pleasantly hot throughout the summer, reaching highs of around 27 degrees Celsius. Those that prefer a milder climate will enjoy visiting in May, June or September when temperatures rarely climb above 25 degrees Celsius.

Journeying to Ephesus in these shoulder months often secures lower prices. Avoid traveling to the city in the rainy season between October and April when the temperatures can drop as low as 9 degrees Celsius.

Are there any tours to Ephesus from other cities in Turkey?

Yes, there are other tours departing from several other cities in Turkey:

Travel tips

  • There are plenty of points of interest to see on your Ephesus day trip from Bodrum so bring a camera to capture the remarkable monuments.
  • Lunch is provided on most tours, however, day trips last up to 14 hours, so bring snacks and plenty of water to see you through.
  • The site of Ephesus has limited shade. If you visit in the summer months, wear a sunhat and sunscreen to keep yourself protected.