The Greco-Roman world truly comes alive at Ephesus. After more than a century and a half of excavation, the city's recovered and renovated structures have made Ephesus Europe's most complete classical metropolis – and that's with 80% of the city yet to be unearthed!

As capital of Roman Asia Minor, Ephesus was a vibrant city of over 250,000 inhabitants, the fourth largest in the empire after Rome, Alexandria and Antioch. Adding in traders, sailors and pilgrims to the Temple of Artemis, these numbers were even higher, meaning that in Ephesus one could encounter the full diversity of the Mediterranean world and its peoples. So important and wealthy was Ephesus that its Temple of Artemis, on the western edge of present-day Selçuk, was the biggest on earth, and one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.

Top attractions

These are our favorite local haunts, touristy spots, and hidden gems throughout Ephesus.