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Library of Celsus

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Library of Celsus: Our most recommended tours and activities

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

1. 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.

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From Izmir: Full-Day Small-Group Ephesus Tour

2. From Izmir: Full-Day Small-Group 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.

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Ephesus Entry Ticket with Mobile Phone Audio Tour

3. 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.

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

4. 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 the 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, market place 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.

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From Istanbul: Ephesus Full-Day Trip with Flight Tickets

5. From Istanbul: Ephesus Full-Day Trip with Flight Tickets

Start your tour with an early pick up from your hotel in Istanbul around 4:30AM, and transfer to the airport for your flight to Izmir. Upon arrival, your local tour operator will welcome you at the exit gate inside the domestic terminal in the Izmir Airport, where you will see the crew holding a sign with your name. From here your tour begins after meeting with the rest of your tour group., and you will drive for approximately one hour to Ephesus. Visit the Virgin Mary House, a Catholic and Muslim shrine located on Mt. Koressos. Catholic pilgrims visit the house based on the belief that the virgin mother was brought there by St. John, and lived there until her assumption. Following this you will have about 2 hours in the ancient city of Ephesus. Built in the 10th century B.C. on the site of the former Arzawan capital, it flourished after it came under the control of the Roman Republic in 129 B.C. Some of the main sites you will see are the Library of Celsus and the Temple of Hadrian. You will spend about an hour enjoying a typical local open buffet lunch, before heading to the İsabey Mosque, one of the oldest architectural works left from the Anatolian beyliks, with principalities that existed from the 11th to the 13th century. Afterwards, travel to the ruins of the Artemis Temple, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. It was completely rebuilt three times before its eventual destruction in 401 A.D. Following this you will have chance to stop and see local and traditional goods which are under control of the ministry of culture and tourism of the Turkish Republic. At the conclusion of your tour at around 4:00PM, you will make your way back to the airport and you will board your flight back to the Istanbul. When you arrive at the Istanbul Airport, you will be met at the exit gate inside the domestic terminal, before being transferred back to your Istanbul accommodation.

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Ephesus and Pamukkale: Day Trip by Plane from Istanbul

6. 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.

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Selçuk: Ephesus & Terrace Houses Guided Walking Tour

7. 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.

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

8. 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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From Cappadocia: Ephesus and Pamukkale 3-Day Private Trip

9. From Cappadocia: Ephesus and Pamukkale 3-Day Private Trip

Explore the most iconic Roman archaeological sites in Turkey on an all-inclusive trip. Learn about the history of Ephesus and Hierapolis from an expert guide. Enjoy the natural hot springs and unique landscape at Pamukkale. Day 1: Meet your driver at your hotel reception for airport transfer. Catch a flight to Izmir. Be greeted by a representative upon your arrival at Izmir Airport. Be transferred to your hotel in Ephesus and get a good night's sleep. Day 2: Begin the day with a hearty breakfast at your hotel. Get ready for a day of exploring the ancient ruins of Ephesus with a hotel pickup. Visit the Library of Celsus, Temple of Hadrian, Open Air Theatre, Virgin Mary House, St. John Basilica, Isa Bey Mosque, and Artemis Temple. Stroll past massive Roman pillars, city walls, and towers. Conclude the tour at around 5 PM and be whisked away to your next destination. Spend the night in Pamukkale. Day 3: After having breakfast at your hotel, meet your guide for a guided tour of Pamukkale. Visit the cotton-colored White Travertines formed by warm spring water. Pamukkale is a UNESCO world heritage site owing to the Greco-Roman city of Hierapolis where you can see the Necropolis, Roman Bath, St. Philipe Martyrum, and Apollo Temple. Unwind in the natural baths with views of the city’s ruins. Conclude the day tour by 5 PM. Transfer to the airport to catch a flight back to Istanbul. Upon your arrival in Istanbul, meet your driver and be taken back your Istanbul hotel.

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Kusadasi: Small Group Ephesus Tour

10. Kusadasi: Small Group 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.

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What people are saying about Library of Celsus

Overall rating

4.4 / 5

based on 52 reviews

Very pleasant/relaxing tour to Ephesus - Nizam, the tour guide knew his material and was good at engaging all tour guests. If you're short on time or just want to understand a little more history, I would definitely recommend this tour. The only thing I would cut out would be the fashion show/factory tours.

We had a wonderful time with Nizam of Apasas Travel, who was knowledgeable and engaging. He put us at ease immediately with his warmth and great sense of humour. Highly recommend Nizam and this tour for anyone visiting Ephesus.

Excellent all around, Good communication, On time schedule, Friendly and professional services, Excellent drivers and a fantastic tour guide, Mr Nizam, Thank you for a great day of activity.

This tour was fascinating, we got to see so much in one day. Our guide Nizam was great craic and so knowledgeable about everything.

It was great, the guide Nizam was very friendly and had a lott of information about everything..highly recommend this to everyone