Kusadasi’s cruise ship port is conveniently located in the heart of the town, allowing passengers to step off the ship and reach the town center in just two minutes. But if you are planning to visit the Ancient City of Ephesus it may take longer. Let’s explore together the available transportation options for traveling from Kusadasi Cruise Port to Ephesus.

How far is Kusadasi Cruise Port to Ephesus?

The distance from Kusadasi Cruise Port to Ephesus is approximately 19 kilometers (12 miles) and the driving time is about 25 minutes, depending on traffic conditions. However, if you’re traveling by public transportation, the journey may take around 40-45 minutes take longer as you may need to transfer from one mode of transportation to another.

How long does it take to visit Ephesus and return to the port?

The time it takes to visit Ephesus and return to the port depends on several factors such as the mode of transportation, the time spent at Ephesus, and the distance from the port. Typically, most tours to Ephesus from the port take between 3 to 8 hours, depending on the itinerary and the tour operator. It is essential to plan your visit carefully and take into consideration the time of your cruise ship’s departure.

How do I get from Kusadasi Cruise Port to Ephesus?

Ancient city of Ephesus

There are several transportation options available, the most common ways to travel from Kusadasi Cruise Port to Ephesus are by taking a minibus (dolmuş), hiring a taxi, or joining a guided tour.

Transportation from the port to Ephesus by Minibus

You can go to Ephesus from the port by minibus. It is a shared transportation option and is relatively inexpensive compared to other methods of transportation. Since there is no direct minibus from the port to the ancient city, you need to use two minibusses in total by transfer. Let’s examine step by step how you can reach by minibus.

  1. Exiting from the port and going to the minibus stop

    To catch a bus to the main inter-county bus stop for Ephesus, you will need to walk approximately 4 minutes from the Kusadasi Cruise Port premises to the first bus stop. Exit from the Scala Nuova Shopping Centre and simply walk straight ahead until you see the sign “D” indicating the bus stop. Once you reach the bus stop, wait for the bus labeled “Number 5” to arrive.
    Prior to leaving the port premises, you can access ATMs and restrooms for your convenience. Additionally, there is an exchange office located near the bus stop where you will be waiting, providing you with the opportunity to obtain Turkish Lira to pay the minibus fee.

  2. Taking the number 5 minibus

    Here it comes our Number 5 Minibus, which is supposed to take us to the Main Town Center Bus Stop where inter-county busses are located. We get into Number 5 and say ‘cellcheuck’ (sounding – meaning ‘SELCUK’ in Turkish) is the name of the town we should be going to for Ephesus. So our driver on Number 5 knows where he is dropping us off. The ride from Kusadasi Cruise Port to the town’s center must take 10 minutes tops. And we pay straight to the driver, it should cost 50C. in euros. Don’t worry if you do not carry Turkish Lira, you can pay minibus drivers in Euros.

  3. Going to the town center and taking the Ephesus minibus

    Once Minibus Number 5 drops us off at the roundabout where the inter-county Bus stop is, we need to locate our second minibus with ‘SELCUK’ written on its front. To get to the buses bound for Selcuk, we must cross the street. In winter, minibuses to Selcuk run every 20-25 minutes, while in summer, they run almost every 10-15 minutes. However, there might be some confusion as several lines also stop at the same location. To avoid any confusion, we must look for the minibus with ‘SELCUK’ written on it. Once we find the right minibus, we can board it for our journey from Kusadasi Town Center to Selcuk, which should take approximately 20 minutes. The minibus will make stops at some of the hotels on the coast just outside Kusadasi. We should prepare around 1.5 Euros to hand over to the driver and say ‘EPHESUS’ or ‘EFES’ to indicate our destination.

  4. Reaching Ephesus minibus stop

    When the driver arrives at the Efes stop, he will shout “Ephesus”. We have to get off the minibus at this stop. When we get off the minibus, we will see a taxi stand. Ephesus has a total of two gates, the lower and upper gates. The lower gate is about 12 minutes away on foot, while the upper gate takes 43 minutes. From your stop, you can walk to the lower gate or take a taxi. Here we can continue our step, assuming that you will walk to the nearest gate, the lower gate.

  5. Walking to the lower entrance gate of Ephesus

    From here you can walk approximately 12 minutes to the lower entrance gate of Ephesus from the side of the road.

  6. Reaching and entering Ephesus

    Lower Gate of Ephesus

    After reaching the lower gate, you can enter Ephesus by passing through the security control and toll booths. You can pay the Ephesus Archeological Site entrance fee of 200 TL (2023) with cash or a credit card. Since there is no toilet in Ephesus, you can use the public toilets after entering. Have a nice trip!

Kusadasi Cruise Port to Ephesus by Taxi

You can reach Ephesus Ancient City by taxi from the taxi stop located at the exit gate of Scala Nuova Shopping Center, where Kusadasi Port is located.

How much is a taxi from Kusadasi Cruise Port to Ephesus?

The cost of transportation from Kusadasi Cruise Port to Ephesus Ancient City by taxi varies depending on the season, but it is about 60 euros in winter and 120 euros in summer. Before getting into the taxi, you can negotiate and agree on the price by talking to the driver.

Visiting Ephesus with a tour from the port

If you’re planning to visit the Ephesus Ancient City from the port, it’s recommended that you opt for an Private Ephesus Tour from Kusadasi Cruise Port instead of going on your own. These tours offer a more comprehensive and hassle-free experience while being cost-effective compared to taxi fares. With an Ephesus Tour, you’ll get to explore not only the Ephesus Ancient City but also the House of Virgin Mary and the Temple of Artemis (Diana) if you choose an eight-hour excursion that depends on your cruise schedule.

In conclusion, Kusadasi’s cruise ship port is a convenient location for those who wish to explore the Ancient City of Ephesus. The journey can be made by public transportation, taxi, or guided tour. Taking the minibus is the most affordable option, while the taxi is the most expensive. By following the instructions provided, you can easily make your way from the port to Ephesus and have an enjoyable experience exploring this historical site.

Do not forget to read Selcuk Attractions – 12 things to do – Selcuk Travel Guide, if you are planning to spend time more in Selcuk!