The ancient city of Ephesus, located in present-day Turkey, is a popular tourist destination and attracts visitors from all over the world. While the original entrance gates of the ancient city are historic ruins, there are modern entrance gates with tolls that allow tourists to access the site. These gates provide a convenient and organized way for visitors to explore the ancient city and learn about its fascinating history and culture. Today, the entrance gates of Ephesus are an important part of the tourist experience and provide access to one of the most well-preserved ancient cities in the world.

How many entrance gates are there for Ephesus Ancient City?

Although Ephesus had many entrance gates in ancient times, today it has two main gates with toll booths. Upper Entrance Gate (also known as the “South Entrance”) and Lower Entrance Gate (also known as the “North Entrance”).

Upper Entrance Gate of Ephesus

Upper Entrance Gate of Ephesus

Upper Entrance Gate is situated in the southeast, approximately 3 km away from Selcuk and the House of the Virgin Mary. The route leading to the entrance gate is referred to as the “back road,” which also leads to the Cave of the Seven Sleepers, located about 1.5 km from the turnoff. Visitors can find a smaller parking area, a couple of restaurants, souvenir shops, and toilets near the upper entrance. The ticket office is located on the left, inside the entrance gate.

How to go to Upper Gate Entrance?

Unfortunately, there is no dolmuş (minibus) service available to/at the upper entrance. However, visitors can take a Selcuk-Ephesus dolmuş and disembark at the signposted turnoff for the Cave of the Seven Sleepers, or take a taxi or even a fayton. The back road offers a scenic drive, walk, or bicycle ride through farmland that features fields and peach trees.

Lower Entrance Gate of Ephesus

Lower Gate of Ephesus
Lower Gate of Ephesus

The lower Entrance Gate of the Ephesus archaeological site is situated at the northern end and is easily accessible by the road connecting Selcuk and the highway between Izmir and Kusadasi. It is now considered the primary entry point for most visitors, especially for those traveling by tour buses. The lower entrance is also the location of the dolmuş stop for transportation to and from Selcuk. Visitors can find many amenities at the lower entrance, such as a larger parking area, restrooms, a post office with an ATM, and a variety of cafes, restaurants, and souvenir shops. However, visitors should be prepared for larger crowds at the lower entrance compared to the upper entrance.

How to go to Lower Gate Entrance?

To access the lower entrance gate of Ephesus, there are various transportation options available. From Selcuk, you can take the Selcuk-Efes minibuses, walk, or hile a taxi. If you are traveling to Ephesus from Kusadasi, you can get off at the Ephesus junction and either walk or take a taxi to the lower entrance gate.

Which entrance to use for Ephesus?

The ancient city of Ephesus has a downward-sloping structure from south to north. You can take a more comfortable and less tiring tour by entering from the Upper (South) gate, and exiting from the Lower (North) gate.

How can I travel between both gates?

If you are traveling in your own car and have parked in the parking lot, you can return to the gate you entered via the taxi stands or horse-drawn carriages (fayton) located at both the upper and lower gates.

Are you planning a trip to Ephesus? You might be interested in Selcuk Attractions – 12 things to do – Selcuk Travel Guide