Library of Celsus
Extensively restored during the 1970s, the Library of Celsus pays tribute to Ephesus’ status as a center of learning. The recessed windows and stepped podium impress even today—although the graceful sculptures are copies of originals now held in a museum.
No visit to Ephesus would be complete without admiring the library; although it’s not possible to go inside or enter the crypt where Celsus lies in his marble tomb. Most travelers visit from the nearby cruise port and resort town of Kusadasi, or other resorts on Turkey’s Aegean coast, but Ephesus is also a staple of multi-day Turkey tours.
Things to know before you go
- The Library of Celsus is included in your Ephesus admission ticket.
- While the ground is uneven, it’s possible to explore Ephesus with a stroller. Many kids will appreciate the Library of Celsus’ dramatic scale.
- The Ephesus archaeological site has accessible bathrooms and ramps in some areas, but sloping, uneven terrain makes it hard work for manual wheelchair users.
How to get there
The Library of Celsus sits in the heart of ancient Ephesus, close to the Agora. Ephesus is just outside the little town of Selcuk, about a 12-mile (20-kilometer) drive northeast of Kusadasi. The nearest airport is Izmir, about a 37-mile (60-kilometer) drive north.
When to get there
Ephesus is open throughout the week, but usually closes in the early evening during the summer season (April–October) and late afternoon in winter. During the high season (June–August), arrive early in the day or towards evening to beat the cruise ship crowds.
What Sights Should I Not Miss in Ephesus?
An epicenter of early Christianity and an important city in both ancient Greek and classical Roman times, Ephesus spans around 1,030 acres (415 hectares). Don’t miss the Public Latrine at Ephesus, a communal bathroom with marble stalls; the Ephesus Terrace Houses, family homes with gorgeous murals and mosaics; and the Temple of Hadrian, with its graceful arches. The Agora (marketplace), Odeon (theater), and Baths of Varius were important public spaces.
- Public Latrine at Ephesus
- Temple of Hadrian at Ephesus
- Ephesus Terrace Houses
- Temple of Domitian (Temple of the Sebastoi)
- Temple of Artemis (Artemision)
- Ephesus (Efes)
- Isa Bey Mosque (Isa Bey Camii)
- Basilica of St. John
- Fountain of Trajan
- House of the Virgin Mary (Meryem Ana Evi)
- Aqua Fantasy Aquapark
- Adaland Aquapark
- Baths of Varius