What to do in Ephesus, Turkey

When I told people we were going to visit Turkey, many said “Oooh that sounds scary” when in fact Turkey is one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been — and with the nicest people!

We only explored a small part of the Kusadasi/Ephesus area, which sits on the southwestern coast of the country on the Aegean Sea.

One of the biggest attractions there is the House of the Virgin Mary.

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It’s located on top of a mountain and is believed to be Jesus’ mother’s final resting place.

IMG_3032View of the ocean from House of the Virgin Mary

You can’t take pictures inside, because Catholics consider it a very holy place.

It’s a tiny house and you can walk through to see paintings and a shrine.

Outside, you can light a candle or drink water from a spout that’s considered to be holy water since it runs underneath the house.

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Of course, you can’t go to Ephesus, without seeing the ancient Roman city.

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You can walk on the stone streets and see what’s left of the city. They had an elaborate running water system (with hot and cold water!).

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My favorite place, and one of the most popular places in Ephesus, was the Library of Celsus. The front of the building is still standing today (with a little help from some archaeologists).

Oh, and you must know… a cat colony basically runs this place now. Seriously. They are everywhere.

IMG_3057Cat chillin on an ancient ruin. Casual.

If you go to Turkey, you have to check out a carpet show.

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Turkey is famous for its beautiful and elaborate handmade carpets. We watched a woman who was making one and got to watch a salesman try to convince us (and a room full of people) to buy rugs worth tens of thousands of dollars. They were beautiful, but I’m ballin’ on a budget so I’ll just take the free apple tea and raki (WARNING: it’s alcoholic and v strong!!!).

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I can’t wait to go back and explore more of Turkey. My top places to see are Istanbul, Cappadocia, and Antalya.

Where in Turkey have you been or would you like to go?

Read about our favorite spots in Greece here.

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