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Selçuk is an inland town in Central Aegean Turkey.


South of Izmir and just east of the coastal town of Kuşadası, Selçuk is visited mostly because of its close proximity to the ruins of the Roman city of Ephesus—some of the best preserved in the country—and the services the town has to offer, although the town centre itself has some historical sights to spend some time at.

Get in[edit]

By plane[edit]

Although there is a small airport in Selçuk, it is only open for private planes. So the nearest option for commercial flights is Adnan Menderes Airport in Izmir, which lies 55 km north of Selçuk.

From the airport, you have two options for getting to Selçuk: you can take trains which call at the station directly on the airport grounds (4 TL), and which connect airport with Selçuk and points south six times daily (see "By train" below for a timetable). Be warned that the train can be very packed, though, so be ready for the possibility of not being able to get on.

A quicker but more expensive option is to take a dolmuş, which is more like a big van rather than a bus. They depart from Selçuk – Ephesus Otogar, which lies 2 km away from the airport ride from the airport there costs 10 TL). This otogar is not of the bus station type found in the rest of the country—it's just a bus stop with some benches. Take the mini van signed Selçuk – Ephesus on its front. Ask around if someone in charge is nearby. From here, a ride to Selçuk costs 7 TL, and takes around an hour. The van will stop in many stops along the way, including some remote areas, and just stay on till the very end.

By train[edit]

It's possible to take trains [9] from Izmir's Basmane Station eight times daily (at 07:10AM, 08:55AM, 10:30AM, 12:34PM, 2:30PM, 4:35PM, 6:20PM, and 7:30PM). These stop at the Izmir airport about 20 minutes after they leave Basmane station. The trip from the airport to Selçuk takes about an hour. Note that Selçuk is not their last stop so make sure to listen for it (the final destination is named Denizli; this is how it will appear on the train schedule). As of September 2018, the tickets cost 7.5 TL. Note that having a ticket does not guarantee you a seat and sometimes the trains are packed.

By bus[edit]

There are also dolmuşes from the city of [Izmir] itself, as well as buses from Pamukkale, which cost 20 TL and serve drinks and snacks along the way.

There are also regular dolmuşes from Izmir to Selcuk, named Selcuk - Efes - Izmir, which costs 15 TL. The bus timetable have been updated in December 2019 and you can see here Izmir to Selcuk bus schedule.

The local otogar of Selçuk is located in the center of the village.

It is possible to take an overnight bus that departs from Istanbul at midnight and arrives here at approx. 8 a.m. This service is run by Varan bus lines and costs 70 TL as of the summer of 2011.

Get around[edit]

There are mini-buses (dolmus) to Şirince and Ephesus (3.5 TL as of November 2018). To go to the House of Mary you may need to take a taxi.

Rented motorbikes or scooters can be a fun way to discover the surroundings of Selçuk. If you rent a bike note that both Şirince and the House of Mary are up in the hills.

See[edit][add listing]

Legend of the Seven Sleepers
The outline of the story is that during the persecutions of the Roman emperor Decius, around 250 AD, seven young men were accused of Christianity. They were given some time to recant their faith, but instead gave their worldly goods to the poor and retired to a mountain to pray, where they fell asleep. The emperor, seeing that their attitude towards paganism had not improved, ordered the mouth of the cave to be sealed. Decius died in 251 and many years passed during which Christianity went from being persecuted to being the major religion of the Roman Empire. At some later time — usually, during the reign of Theodosius II (408 - 450) — the landowner decided to open up the sealed mouth of the cave, thinking to use it as a cattle pen. He opened it and found the sleepers inside. They awoke, imagining that they had slept but one day. One of their number returned to Ephesus. He was astounded to find buildings with crosses attached; the townspeople were astounded to find a man trying to spend old coins from the reign of Decius. The bishop was summoned to interview the sleepers; they told him their miracle story, and died praising God.

Selcuk is a good starting place for many excursions and visits in the area.

  • A major attraction is the Roman city of Ephesus which is located only 4km away from the center of the village. Entrance fee cost 40 TL per person (May 2017). Get the museum pass for the Agean area if you plan to visit a few places within 7 days, much better value.
  • The promenade will also take you to the The Temple of Artemis (Artemision). Although it was one of the "Seven Wonders" of the Ancient world, nowadays only a column is left.
  • If walking West, one can detour left (15-20 minutes one-way walk) once on Efes Yolu to visit the Cave of the Seven Sleepers (see the infobox at right).
  • The picturesque village of Şirince is located 9km east to Selcuk up in the hills. It offers wonderful views among olive and peach trees as well as several excellent country hotels.
  • House of the Virgin Mary (Meryem Ana Evi), 10 km south on the hills is claimed to have been the house where Virgin Mary spend her last days in Ephesus. The Vatican declared this place as an official Catholic pilgrimage site.
  • Pamucak beach
  • Cetin Miniature Village Museum (Çetin Maket Köy) , Retired teacher Ayhan Cetin made his village as a miniature.There is mechanism on models which moving when you passing.It's 12 km from city center (on airport way).
  • Camlik Train Museum (Çamlık Tren Müzesi) , It is located Camlik village which is 14 km from Selcuk.There are 30 traditional locomotives.Exhibits include German ,English,French locos.The oldest one is 1887 and newest 1952.Most important pieces are carriage of founder of modern Turkey Kemal Ataturk and Hitler Loco which carried him ..
  • A nice day-tour can take one to the three archeological sites of Priene, Miletus and Dydima, all Roman cities located a little bit south in the coast. Several hotels and pensions offer this tour or you can also rent a van, with driver or not, on your own.

In the city center there are other very interesting spots:

  • The Byzantine citadel and the remains of St. John Basilica.
  • The Aqueduct.
  • The Museum of Ephesus. Contains objects found in the Ephesus excavation at the site. 8TL admission.

Do[edit][add listing]

A day trip to Şirince (8km out of Selçuk). Nestled in the hills, small little village, narrow winding streets, great wines and lots of small cosy wine bars to try them all out in. Note that most of the wines are overpriced and not made in the region. Beware staying there though as accommodation is very expensive (90euro)??

Buy[edit][add listing]

  • Double Knot Carpets, Corner of Cangiz Topel Cad and Namik Kemal Cad. Run by 20-something locals, this carpet shop is a great place to find a carpet for cheap (prices start under 100 Euro) or just to have a cup of tea.  edit

[10] Mehmet and Alibaba's Handmade Carpet Shop], right next to the Ephesus Museum. Here, at this family run business, you will find high-quality carpets at good prices with personable sales people - no pressure here. İf you get hungry from the all the thinking over which carpet(s) are the best for you, the family also owns a restaurant next door.

  • Local Shops, [1]. All to often Tour Operators have rigid itineraries which often include an opportunity to buy overpriced souvenirs where In Selcuk there are several excellent local shops, all clustered together in the village centre along with cafe's and bars where a cold beer will help you decide what to buy. These local shops are often cheaper and the owners don't pressure you .  edit

Eat[edit][add listing]

  • Amazon Cafe Bistro
  • Ejder Restaurant, Cengiz Topel Cad. no.9 E PTT Karsisi (in the centre of the town), +90 232 8923296 (). Very friendly place with homemade vegetarian food. Delicious.  edit
  • RestaurantMehmet and Ali Baba Kebab House, Ataturk mah. 1047 Sok. no: 4 (just across the road from the otogar), +90 232 892 3872, [2]. Cheap, big portions and very tasty Turkish Kebabs, Mezes and desserts. Also complimentary tea and they serve beer. 5TL-15TL.  edit

Drink[edit][add listing]

  • Dolphin Bar. This is a really cool place. Talip is a great guy & the beer is good.  edit
  • Pink Bistro Cafe. Ask Mesut the bartender to show you some magic tricks and you'll be entertained for hours. And try some of Simone's famous çay!  edit
  • Rumeli, 25 Ataturk Mah Cengiz Topel Cadessi., 0 232 892 16 93. 24. A fantastic 24 hour restaurant serving traditional Turkish food, normally for Turkish people. It isn't in any guide books as the owner relies on a heavy after midnight trade of locals - but it is a must see. Different corners are assigned different specialities, soup corner, vegeterian corner, etc. The mushroom pide is especially good! cheap!.  edit
  • Denis Bar, Selcuk. Denis Bar is in the centre of Selcuk, you can't miss it. It is used by many locals, including members of the local Sky-Diving Club. Sami,who runs the place with his young brother is a great friendly guy. You can also get food, from the excellent cafe next door delivered to your table. Good place to relax. Sami makes me feel like a local!  edit

Sleep[edit][add listing]

Please remember that all free shuttles arranged by various hotels usually include a visit to a carpet or Turkish delight shop that pay commission to cover the costs of the transport.

  • Ali Baba's House (Guesthouse near Ephesus), Ataturk mh. 1065 st. (Behind the Ephesus Museum.), +905346216166, [3]. checkin: 12.00am; checkout: 10.00am. Ali Baba's house is a old greek house which has large rooms to comfort you. It is very near to Temple of Artemis, Isabey Mosque and St. John's Church(Basilica). Double Room 40 € / 120 TL. (37.948901,27.366748) edit
  • Urkmez hotel [11] Namik Kemal Cad. 20 +90 0232 892 6312. The Ürkmez Hotel is run by the multi-lingual Ozkan Brothers (English, German, Spanish). All rooms are newly decorated and comes with orthopaedic mattresses and most have A/C and private balconies. Starting from 11€p.p incl. breakfast buffet on the roof terrace.
  • Amazon Pension [12]. Ataturk Mah 1054 +90 0232 892 3215. Breakfast in the garden, free daily shuttle rides to Ephesus, Internet and book exchange. Free use of bicycle.
  • The Australia New Zealand (Turkish) Guesthouse [13] has clean rooms with private bathrooms. Great atmosphere, drinks and dinner on the roof-top terrace. Twin room €15.50. Offers complimentary pick-up from Kusadasi and rides to Ephesus.
  • Homeros Pension is a old house converted into a pension which has been richly decorated by the owner, who is a carpenter. The rooms are full of charm and the meals, prepared by the sister and mother of the owner, are very good. They also provide free transportation to Ephesus and back. Phone: 892 3995 and e-mail: [email protected]
  • Bella Hotel, Ataturk Mah. St. John Street No:7 Selcuk (200m from Otogar), +90 232 892 3944, [4]. Small family run hotel with wonderful ceramic and carpet / textile decorations. Very convenient location. Excellent dinner on the roof terrace. Free transport to and from Ephesus. Fax: 0090 232 892 0344 Email: [email protected]  edit
  • Atilla’s Getaway, [email protected] (2km from Selcuk centre in the village of Acarlar), +90 (232) 892 3847, [5]. Has a spring water swimming pool surrounded by fruit trees and gardens. Free shuttle buses to Selçuk/Ephesus, as well as free pick up from Kuşadasi Ferry Port. 12 Euro.  edit
  • Boomerang Guesthouse, Selcuk. It is clean and serves a great breakfast. It is very close to the bus station (Otogar) next door to Mehmet and Ali Baba's Kebab Shop. They have a Garden Restaurant nearby which is brilliant. The manager is also the best guy to advice you how to get to Ephesus or the local beach. There is a Cash Machine only 20 metres away.  edit
  • Nur Pansion, Zafer Mah 3004 Sk., No. 20, Selcuk, Izmir, +90 232 892 65 95, [6]. This is a lovely hostel run by a Japanese woman and her Turkish husband. It is nat too far from the staion and the common area offers plenty of space to relax. If you don't feel like walking, Ramazan will pick up at the station for free. Fantastic breakfast included. Do note, this hostel changed hands recently and in that process was unregistered on some websites, losing their overwhelming positive reputation. 25 TL 10 Euro.  edit
  • Ephesus Palace (Hotel near Ephesus and Sirince), 14 Mayis mh. 4027 st. no:15 (On the new Sirince road.), +905346216166, [7]. checkin: 12.00am; checkout: 10.00am. Ephesus Palace is a new hotel with old Ottoman Style in Selcuk. Old Turkish style very clean rooms combined with highly hospitable owners makes it a highly comfortable place to stay. Double Room 25 €. (37.9460585,27.3763149) edit
  • Ephesus Centrum (Hotel in Selcuk City Center), Ataturk mah. 1016 sk. no 19 (Behind the bus station, through the center), +905346216166, [8]. checkin: 12.00am; checkout: 10.00am. Ephesus Centrum Hotel is a hotel founded in 2019 and located in central Selcuk. It is close to transportation and city center. The rooms are spacious and clean. Double Room 20 €. (37.9460585,27.3763149) edit

Stay safe[edit]

Get out[edit]

^note that the regular minibuses leaving from the Selcuk bus station will NOT take you to the Izmir otogar but will rather leave you south of the town centre near the Semit Garaji suburban train stop. Getting to the otogar from here is difficult so it is strongly recommended that you specify Izmir Otogar when trying to secure a bus out of Selcuk.

  • Denizli — enroute to Pamukkale and Antalya
  • Bodrum — seaside route to Marmaris and Fethiye
  • Aphrodisias — To go by public transport, catch a bus to Nazilli to arrive as early in the morning as possible. There's plenty of bus traffic along the highway between Izmir, Aydin and Denizli all day long. From Nazilli, catch a minibus to Karacasu—they leave about every 30 minutes, and are especially reliable in the morning. From Karacasu there are several minibuses a day to Aphrodisias, leaving about every 1-1/2 to 2 hours.

By train[edit]

The train is much cheaper than buses. Purchase your ticket shortly before departure.

  • Izmir — from 6.49 to 20.44, 8 trains per day, 1,5 hrs.
  • Denizli — from 9.01 to 20.43, 8 trains per day, 3 hrs.

Routes through Selçuk
ÇanakkaleIzmir  N noframe S  DenizliAntalya

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