Library of Celsus

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Library of Celsus: Our most recommended tours and activities

From Izmir, Kusadasi, & Selcuk: Day Trip to Explore Ephesus

1. From Izmir, Kusadasi, & Selcuk: Day Trip to Explore Ephesus

Enjoy a memorable day seeing the historic sights in the ancient city of Ephesus on this day trip. Select from options to leave from your hotel in Izmir, Kusadasi, or Selcuk. Stop at highlights like Hercules Gate, the Temple of Hadrian, and Domitian Square. Be picked up from the comfort of your accommodation. Sit back and relax on the drive to Ephesus. Follow your local guide to the House of Virgin Mary, where the religious figure is thought to have spent her last days. Head to upper Agora which was the seat of political power in the past. Continue to the 2nd century A.D. Odeon theater. Head to Domitian Square and view the engravings on the old columns at the Temple of Domitian. Pass by the Fountain of Pollio. Admire the relief of Hercules at Hercules Gate before going to the temple and fountain of Emperor Trajan.  Marvel at the elaborately carved arch at the Temple of Hadrian. Stroll by the Roman baths, public latrine, marketplace, and brothel. See the stunning remains of the third-largest library in the Roman world at the Library of Celsus. Go to The Great Theater, a massive Hellenistic structure. Gaze upon one of the wonders of the ancient world at the Temple of Artemis. Return to your accommodation. During the tour, you'll have the chance to have a look at the traditional Turkish handcrafts.

Ephesus Entry Ticket with Mobile Phone Audio Tour

2. Ephesus Entry Ticket with Mobile Phone Audio Tour

Founded by the Greeks and conquered by the Romans, Ephesus was once a city of proverbial wealth. It was a bustling port which over time developed into an important center for Christianity. On this self-guided tour, benefit from skip-the-line entry then explore using your smartphone to travel back in time to the city’s former life. The tour is the perfect way to experience the site in a fun and insightful way, and gain valuable insight into one of the most popular places in Turkey. The first stop of the day is to the State Agora, which was once the political heart of the city boasting a lavish square. Continue on to Bouleuterion, and discover the meeting point of the city council which perhaps was also a space for artistic performances. As you stroll around the colonnades, stoas, and other buildings, listen to fascinating stories about what life was like here for locals. Arrive at the Temple of Domitian and find out the rather unusual architectural layout of the U-shaped altar. Next, wander down the Curetes which connected the political and commercial hearts of Ephesus. Uncover the legend of the emperor’s fountain, then explore the large complex of baths at the Scolastica including the lavish marble latrines. Head to the grave of the Egyptian princess Arsinoe, then marvel at the mesmerizing Celsus Library, which is probably the most famous landmark of Ephesus. From here the road leads you to the gate of Mazeus and Mithridates, and onto at the Grand Theatre where performances and gladiatorial games took place. Last but not least, walk through the crossroads of the Arcadiane and follow a small path that leads you to the spectacular ruins of the enormous Church of Mary.

From Izmir: Full-Day Ephesus Tour

3. From Izmir: Full-Day Ephesus Tour

Start with a pickup from your hotel in Izmir. Then, the discovery of Ephesus begins with the House of the Virgin Mary and a 10-minute drive to the ancient city of Ephesus. Explore the city by walking on the marble streets, accompanied by a guide. See the Odeon, State Agora, the Pretension, the Memmius Monument, the Domitian Temple, Hercules Gate, Curetes Street, Hadrian Temple, and the Latrines. Choose to take an optional visit to the terrace houses for an additional cost. After the terrace houses, carry on with your exploration with the Celsus Library, Marble Road, Commercial Agora, Great Theater, and Arcadian (harbor road). Enjoy a nice lunch served in a quaint local restaurant. Visit the Temple of Artemis. Here, there will be a good chance to take gorgeous pictures of the church of St. John and the Mosque of İsa Bey. Enjoy free time in the old village of Sirince to discover the traditional houses, the fruit-flavored wine production, and enjoy some wine tasting. End the day with a transfer back to Izmir airport or to your hotel in Izmir.

Selcuk: Private Ephesus and House of Virgin Mary Tour

4. Selcuk: Private Ephesus and House of Virgin Mary Tour

Your guide and driver will welcome you at the reception of the hotel or Kusadasi Port and drive early in the morning to beat the crowds and first drive to the Virgin Mary's House; afterwards, we visit Ephesus which was the second largets city of Roman Empire. Strolling through the streets of Ephesus, will visit the Fountain of Traian, the temple of Hadrian and the Library of Celsus . Visiting the Terrace Houses wil be the highlight of the day: A number of living units where the rich and the dignitary of Ephesus with the most beautiful ground mosaics, frescoes, terra cotta pipe lines and private baths. Later in the afternoon will visit St. John Basilica, believed to be the tomb of the Apostle John, Christ"s beloved disciple. The remaining of artemis Temple can be seen from the top of St. John.

Ephesus and Pamukkale: Day Trip by Plane from Istanbul

5. Ephesus and Pamukkale: Day Trip by Plane from Istanbul

Enjoy a full-day package trip that takes you on a guided tour from Istanbul to 2 of Turkey’s most fascinating attractions: the ancient cities of Ephesus and Hierapolis. Spend a full day marveling at ancient, multi-cultural architecture and monuments without worrying about any of the details of traveling and organizing. You’ll start your day with pickup from your hotel in Istanbul, bright and early at 5:15 AM for a transfer to the airport for your 7:30 AM flight to Izmir. Upon arrival, you’ll be greeted and brought to Ephesus to meet with your guide and take your Ancient City Tour. Ephesus is an iconic former-Greek city, built in the 10th century, famed for its temples, monuments, and theaters. Known as the commercial, religious, and social center of antiquity, this is sure to be the highlight to your whole visit to Turkey. Explore the city’s combination of Greek, Roman and Byzantine markers of civilization. Visit the Fountains of Trajan, Polio, the Temples of Hadrian and Domition, the Library of Celcius, the Great Theater (with capacity for 24,000 spectators), the Temple of Artemis, and the House of the Virgin Mary.   On the second half of your day, you’ll be taken to Pamukkale, known for its natural thermal spring waters. Pamukkale means “cotton castle” in Turkish—due to the chemical properties of the water, pure white colored travertines and stepped water terraces have been created on the mountain’s slope, resembling piles of cotton. Visit the ancient city of Hierapolis, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The highlight of this site will be the Sacred Pool, which you can enter if you choose. There, shallow thermal waters ripple over a wonderful scattering of ancient Roman ruins that lie beneath. You’ll also see its Necropolis, which contains 1200 gravestones, including that of Marcus Aurelius Ammianos.   After your tour, you’ll be transferred back to Denizli Airport for your 7:00 PM flight to Istanbul, and then taken back to your hotel.

From Istanbul: Cappadocia, Ephesus, & Pamukkale Private Tour

6. From Istanbul: Cappadocia, Ephesus, & Pamukkale Private Tour

See Istanbul, Cappadocia, Izmir, Ephesus, Pamukkale, and Hierapolis. Enjoy pre-selected hotels, with breakfast and lunch included. Choose your own spot for supper and explore a bit on your own. Day 1: Istanbul To Cappadocia by Plane; Full-Day Tour of Southern CappadociaEnjoy pick-up from your hotel to the airport for a one-hour flight to Cappadocia. Upon arrival at Cappadocia, meet your guide at the airport who will have your name on a sign. Relax while your guide transfers you to the tour office in Goreme. Next, depart for a full-day tour of Southern Cappadocia. See Pidgeon Valley, the Underground City of Kaymakli, the continue along the countryside to the Kızılcukur Valley. Visit Selime Monastery before returning to your hotel.  Day 2: Cappadocia To Izmir; North TourBe picked up from your hotel after breakfast and depart for a full-day exploration of North Cappadocia. Visit Goreme Open Air Museum, Cavusin Vallage, Monsk Valley, Devrent, and the towns of Urgup, Ortahisar and Avanos. Return to your hotel in Cappadocia before leaving for your transfer to the airport for the flight to Izmir. Upon arrival in Izmir, you will be met at the airport once again with your name and you will be delivered to the next hotel in Kusadası. Day 3: Full-day Ephesus TourLeave your hotel after breakfast and depart for Ephesus. See the Temple of Artemis, one of the 7 Ancient Wonders of the World. Visit the biggest amphitheater and the Celsius Library. Tour around ruins left from the ancient city, and see the House of the Virgin Mary, thought to be her last dwelling. At the end of the tour enjoy a transfer back to the hotel. Relax and explore Kusadasi at your own pace with free time in the evening. Day 4: Tour of Pamukkale and The Ancient City of Hierapolis; Flight Back To IstanbulBe picked up from your hotel after breakfast and depart for a full-day Pamukkale and Hierapolis tour. Visit the Old Gates, the cemetery, and the theatre of Hierapolis (part of the James Bond film shoot).  Take in the waterfall known as Travertines, and swim in the calcified pools made famous by Cleopatra. At the end of the tour sit back as you are delivered to the airport for a short flight back to Istanbul.

From Istanbul: 2-Day Ephesus, Pamukkale, & Hierapolis Tour

7. From Istanbul: 2-Day Ephesus, Pamukkale, & Hierapolis Tour

Discover the ancient cities of Ephesus and Hierapolis on this two-day trip from Istanbul. Explore the ancient city of Ephesus where you can see the Temple of Artemis. Experience the beauty of the natural white terraces created by mineral deposits at the hot springs in Pamukkale. Stay overnight in the town of Selcuk or Kusadasi. Treat yourself to breakfast at the hotel. Try authentic Turkish food with lunch at two local restaurants during your tours. Day 1: Be picked from your accommodation in Istanbul and relax on the drive to the airport. Enjoy a comfortable flight to the city of Izmir. Meet your guide at the airport and drive to the tour provider's office in the town of Selcuk. Take a break with lunch in a local restaurant. Continue to the archeological site at Ephesus to start your guided tour. Walk through the ancient streets and see one of the wonders of the ancient world at the Temple of Artemis. View the façade of one of the largest libraries from Roman times at the Library of Celsus. Stop at the House of the Virgin Mary where the religious figure is said to have spend her last days. See the remains of an old Roman Amphitheater. Learn about these ruins from your local guide. Drive to your hotel in Selcuk or Kusadasi where you can rest for the evening. Day 2: In the morning, be picked up by your guide from your hotel. Enjoy the scenic Turkish countryside on the drive to Pamukkale. Hear about area and culture from your guide. Have a delicious lunch at a local restaurant before starting your tour of the ruins of Hierapolis. Stroll to the remains of a massive Roman amphitheater that once held an audience of 15,000. Admire the marble staircase at the Greek Temple of Apollo. Watch as your guide points out all the significant structures in the archeological site of Hierapolis. Take off your shoes and walk along the white terraces of Pamukkale. Dip your feet in the natural hot springs. Swim amid the ruins of a temple in Cleopatra's Pool. Have some free time in the afternoon to explore on your own. Take it easy on the ride back to the airport where you can catch your flight back to Istanbul. Once you arrive in Istanbul, your driver will be waiting to transfer you back to your accommodation in Istanbul.

Kusadasi: Full-Day Ephesus Tour

8. Kusadasi: Full-Day Ephesus Tour

Your tour will begin as you are picked up from your accommodation between 8:30AM and 9:00AM in the morning. From there your first stop will be to the House of Virgin Mary, which is speculated to be the place where Mary spent her final days. The site was officially declared a shrine of the Roman Catholic Church in 1986, and has since become a popular place of pilgrimage. Your tour will then proceed to Ephesus. Ephesus is an exceptional testimony to the cultural traditions of the Hellenistic, Roman Imperial, and early Christian periods. It is an important site for Christianity; being one of the seven Churches of Revelation. Over the space of two hours you will explore the city by walking on the marble streets accompanied by an English-speaking tour guide. Throughout your tour you will see Odeon, State Agora, Prytaneion, Memmius Monument, Domatian Temple, Hercules Gate, Curetes Street, Hadrian Temple, and Latriens. Following the Terrace Houses you will carry on with some exploration of the Celsus Library, Marble Road, Commercial Agora, Great Theather, and Arcadiane. Following lunch you will carry on with a visit to the Temple of Artemis; which is one of the "Seven Wonders of Antiquity". Finally, you will visit Sirince, which is an old village situated on the hills of Selcuk 7 kilometers from Ephesus. The village is popular for beautiful traditional houses and fruit-flavored wine production, and you will have a free time there for some wine tasting if you wish. Your tour will later conclude at around 4:30PM, at which point you will be transferred back to your hotel.

Selçuk: Ephesus & Terrace Houses Guided Walking Tour

9. Selçuk: Ephesus & Terrace Houses Guided Walking Tour

Explore the most famous Roman site in Turkey with its Terrace Houses in the company of an expert guide. The ancient city of Ephesus is one of the oldest sites being excavated in Turkey. Learn about its history and archaeological studies. Visit the Terrace Houses to understand the daily lives of ordinary Roman citizens. Experience the glamour of Rome as you gain an insight into the days of its zenith. Walk with your guide on the ancient roads of Ephesus. Discover Ephesus’s ancient walls scattered throughout the site as you learn how layered this city’s history is. See the famous Theatre at Ephesus and the reconstructed marvel of the Library of Celsus. Stroll past massive Roman pillars, city walls, and towers down to the harbor. Explore the vast remains of Ephesus as your guide talks about Greek mythology on the western coast of present-day modern Turkey. Understand the value of Greek culture shared between the shores of the Aegean Sea on the development of European civilization, arts, and literature. Stop at the theatre and dive into the history of this picturesque coastline to gain an understanding of the role of these little cities in Christianity. Learn how the locals reacted to St. Paul’s journey and how Virgin Mary ended up at this site traveling through the Middle East. End your tour after a detailed brief that completes the journey of the Virgin Mary at Ephesus. Learn about the spread of Christianity starting with the original inhabitants of this scenic and strategically-placed ancient city. Return with a deep knowledge of the Roman and Christian history of modern Turkey.

Selcuk: Full-Day Ephesus and House of Virgin Mary Tour

10. Selcuk: Full-Day Ephesus and House of Virgin Mary Tour

Following a pickup from your hotel in Selcuk, enjoy a short drive to Ephesus in a comfortable, air-conditioned minivan. Start by visiting the extensive ruins in the ancient city. Admire the fascinating ancient structures surrounding you, including the spectacular Temple of Hadrian, the stunning facade of the Library of Celsus, and the vast Great Theater.     Continue the tour to the Temple of Artemis, one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. Then, stop by the house of Virgin Mary, a popular place of pilgrimage for Catholics, where it is believed the Virgin Mary spent the remainder of her life. Located on top of Bulbul Mountain, it offers visitors a panoramic view of the town.   Finally, explore the Isa Bey Mosque and marvel at its crown-like doors, a jewel of Seljukian architecture combined with decorative elements from the Ottoman Empire.

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What people are saying about Library of Celsus

Overall rating

4.5 / 5

based on 96 reviews

This private tour was excellent as it allowed us to visit 2 significant sites in one day. Our guide Ozlem was knowledegable and flexible. We were met door to door by driver and tour guides. I would highly recommend this if you do not have a lot of time in Turkey and yet would like to visit outside of Istanbul to see this amazing country

The tour with Pupa Travel was amazing! Our guide was super funny and told us many interesting stories. This tour is great value for money. We’ve visited a lot of tourist attractions, had a wonderful lunch and found out a lot about the history of Ephesus. So, highly recommend

Our guide Josh was very knowledgeable and gave us enough time to roam around the places. Just a tip: If you're coming from Izmir be sure to have some breakfast or snacks wiyh you cause the pick up time is early and there is no chance to eat the breakfast.

Ephesus is a must. Great tour with guide Nizam. Had a lot of background knowledge. Lunch at a nice facility, were the only group and the food was great. After that, however, annoying carpet sales show. All in all a nice trip.

Very good experience, Our Ebru guide was great. Recommended