- I was here: June 20, 2018.
- Recommended number of days: none.
- My score: 1/5.
As in many other cases, this city does not fail because it is dangerous or unpleasant, but because it does not have any relevant tourist attraction itself; it is the closest urban spot to Ephesus though, which deserves a visit and is barely 3 km away. Because of this, my recommendation is that you go directly to Ephesus and from there continue your journey, as 100% of tourists who arrive on cruises to Kusadasi or by bus through organized trips do. But for those of us who usually go by ourselves, unless we also come from Kusadasi, it may be a hurry to arrive there, find where to leave our luggage, visit the ruins of Ephesus and leave, since the nearest places of interest are Pamukkale (3 hours and a half by bus or train), the southern beaches (at least 4 hours by bus) or the unattractive Izmir (an hour and a quarter by bus or train). So if it is not possible or you do not want to leave the city in a hurry, here are some recommendations.
The city is very small and you can walk the main places on foot in a few minutes. To get to it:
Izmir airport is the closest to Selçuk (there is actually another, but only for private flights), more than 50 km to the north.
To go to or from there we have the following options:
- It costs 5.5 TL, cheaper impossible.
- 6 a day at 7:35, 9:09, 11:50, 16:05, 17:57 and 20:49. It takes an hour.
- The cheapest and most practical, since they are punctual and the stop is in the airport itself, but uncomfortable, although it has improved. The trains are modern, with plugs, reclining seats, etc., but they are the same ones that come from Denizli, and being cheap, they used to go full, to the point that sometimes they did not allow passengers to go up. Since another suburban line opened in 2018, the train is less crowded. Even so, we will probably have to stand up, always trying to stay inside a car, because there is no air conditioning between cars and the heat is unbearable. The best way to get a seat is to stand right in the middle of the car; since there are intermediate stops, someone close to where we are will end up going down. Once we have our seat, we should not give it up for anything in the world, it does not matter if there is a nonagenarian grandmother, who carries four babies and has both legs broken, nobody will give their sit.
- From the airport to Selçuk the hours are: 8:10, 9:23, 11:45, 15:52, 16:50 and 18:36. The station is right at the base of the airport.
- They cost 12TL.
- They leave from the southeast corner of the otogar, but although the sellers assure us that they stop at the airport is false, they stop in Gaziemir, 2 km north, from where we will have to walk or take a taxi (10LT).
- It takes an hour and there are every 40 minutes.
- Shuttles. Havas has one every two hours from Kusadasi; This one does stop at the airport and that’s why it’s more expensive, 26TL. Pick up passengers in front of Ephesus Museum.
- Cab. It should cost about 130 TL.
- The same airport train is the one that comes from Izmir city. They leave between 20 and 25 minutes before the airport stop.
- Denizli (to go to Pamukkale):
- Price 16.5 LT.
- 7 a day. Towards Denizli: 9:10, 10:25, 12:50, 15:01, 16:53, 17:56 and 19:42.
- From Denizli there are 6: 4:20, 5:50, 8:25, 12:45, 14:35 and 17:35.
- Kusadasi: one dolmus every half hour, 6LT. It takes 25 minutes. In summer there are until midnight.
- Izmir: the same minibuses that go to the airport continue to the center of the city. There is no normal bus.
- All take about 3h and a half and stop at Denizli otogar. Pamukkale Bus is the only one that has one a day at 10 am that although stops too, there is no need to change buses, 43 TL, with WiFi and plug, but narrow.
- The others (Kamil Koc is the main company) cost from 30 TL. In Denizli you have to take a dolmus (10 TL) towards Pamukkale.
- To Fethiye there are 3 buses a week (Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday) at 9 am. The company is Tribe Travel Bus. 50 TL, 4 hours.
- Istanbul: Metro and Pamukkale Bus have several services, most of them by night. 10 hours, 90 TL.
WHAT TO SEE
- Everyone who goes through Selçuk does so to visit Ephesus. See the specific post about this city in ruins.
- The Ephesus Museum is in the center of Selçuk (not in Ephesus). Admission 10 TL, open from 8 am to 4:30 or 6:30 pm (winter-summer). It consists of statues, friezes and other remains too fragile to keep out in the ruins. I did not visit it.
- Ayusuluk fortress appears imposing on top of a hill, but inside I have been told it it is practically diaphanous. The access is not intuitive, you enter through the same entrance as St John’s Basilica, which in its day was a magnificent Byzantine basilica but is totally in ruins. So much so that the combined admission of both costs only 10 TL. I can not comment first hand about the inside because I arrived at 6:30 p.m., the time when the last ticket was sold, and I saw perfectly how they closed the ticket window as they saw I was there.
- The plain where the Artemision was, the temple dedicated to Artemis, which was one of the 7 wonders of the ancient world, is 1 km west of Selçuk center. Only one of the 127 columns 18 meters high, reconstructed, remains. Admission is free.
ACCOMMODATION AND RESTAURANTS
The best area is immediately north of the minibus station, just 3 minutes on foot, and one minute west of the train station. There are three pleasant parallel pedestrian streets with gardened arches and many restaurants. I stayed at the Urkmez hotel, had lunch at Old House and had dinner at Selçuk Pidecisi (200 meters west) and I recommend the three sites.