Best Area to Stay in Ephesus
The city of Ephesus was once a major centre of trade and commerce. It showcases some of the most fabulous ruins from antiquity, dating from the 10th century BC. The town, featured in Biblical accounts, has a rich history and once was home to more than 225,000 people – an enormous number of people for ancient times.
The main attractions are the Library of Celsus completed in 117 AD to honor the Roman Senator Tiberius Julius Celsus Polemaianus, the Temple of Artemis and the Basilica.
Knowing where to stay when visiting Ephesus, Turkey, can be a challenge. Here are some of the top local destinations, and their pros and cons.
Where to Stay in Ephesus 2020
Kusadasi is a small tourist town located just a few miles from Ephesus on the Aegean coast. Although it doesn’t quite have the excitement of Marmaris of the natural beauty of, say, Bodrum, it does offer convenient access to Ephesus. Kusadasi is particularly popular with package tour operators and features dozens of hotels which provide everything from dinner to evening entertainment.
The destination is around 50 km from Izmir, so getting to it from the airport is relatively quick and easy. Although not particularly large, Kusadasi still has a range of bars, discos, cafes and pubs to keep you entertained in the evenings. There’s also a large harbour for mooring boats and daily ferries to the nearby Greek island of Samos.
The Charisma De Luxe is one of the most popular and best value for money resorts in the town, coming with its own swimming pool and views overlooking the bay. The hotel serves free breakfast and has more than 133 rooms.
Selcuk is the best place to stay to visit Ephesus. Sitting below the castle on Ayasoluk Hill. Selcuk provides a convenient range of amenities for visitors to explore during the evenings. The town also offers excellent transport links to Izmir and local tourist hotspots, providing flexibility and the ability to plan your own schedule.
Aside from the main Ephesus archaeological site, Selcuk is home to many other points of interest, including the Ephesus Museum where you can find out more about the twisting history of the region and why it holds such importance to researchers. There’s also St John’s Basilica – the fortress on the hill – and the Isa Bey 14th century Mosque.
Selcuk is home to some high-quality resorts, including the Nilya Hotel, a small 12-room hotel that surrounds a stunning, interior courtyard with its own fountain. Hotel Bella is close to the Nilya but overlooks the basilica as a bonus.
Where to Stay when visiting Ephesus
Sirince is a small village of around 600 people located near to the ruins of Ephesus. It’s not ideal for people who want easy access to a diverse selection of amenities and attractions during their stay, but it does offer isolation, peace and quiet, and easy access to the ruins.
Settlers built the village in the 15th century, but many of the original buildings are long gone. The modern town comprises mainly 19th-century buildings.
Although Sirince is a small place, it offers a range of resorts and hotels, including the family-run Ephesus Cottages and the Nisanyan Hotel which overlooks the village from a nearby hilltop and features a marble pool. If it’s relaxation that you want (rather than excitement), then Sirince, near to Selcuk, is the destination for you.
Best Area to Stay near Ephesus
Izmir is by far the largest town in the region near Ephesus and the third largest in Turkey, offering practically every service and amenity that you could imagine. What’s more, it also happens to be the location of the nearby airport, helping to make transfers easier. Thanks to its capable transport network, the city provides regular buses, coaches and trains to the Ephesus region, allowing tourists easy access.
It takes around an hour to travel the 50-mile journey from Izmir to the ruins, so if you want to visit Ephesus on a daily basis, then there may be more time-efficient destinations, such as Selcuk and Sirince. Also, if you want quiet, Izmir is not the place to be. It’s a large, sprawling, bustling city of more than 4.2 million people with heavy traffic around the clock.
As you might imagine, Izmir is home to some stunning hotels. The Piano Hotel located in the heart of the tourist quarter offers great breakfasts and clean rooms. The Wyndham Grand Izmir Ozdilek hotel provides guests with a prime location, and access to things like a minibar and five star amenities. Not only is it close to transport links, but also the nearby military museum.