How to Get from Istanbul to Ephesus

There are a number of different ways to get from Istanbul to Ephesus when you are visiting Turkey. Your choice comes down to time and cost, so you can go with whichever option offers the one you value more.

While there are no trains that run between the two cities, there are regular flights and buses on this route. Information about each one is listed below.

Buses from Istanbul to Ephesus
Taking a bus is a good choice if you are traveling in Turkey on a budget. The bus journey takes 10 hours, and services run either during the day or overnight. All buses travel between Istanbul and Selcuk. From Selcuk it is just a short walk to get to the ruins of Ephesus.

Flights from Istanbul to Ephesus
If you don’t want to sit on a bus for 10 hours, flying to Ephesus is a good alternative. A number of airlines operate flights from Istanbul to Izmir, which is a short train or bus ride from the ruins.

Trains from Istanbul to Konya

Taking a train from Istanbul to Konya is a great way to travel when you are visiting Turkey.

There are plans for a direct train service to travel on this route, and it should be operational by 2015. This will allow for high-speed travel between the two cities.

For now, traveling by train from Istanbul to Konya is a several-step process. The easiest way is to take a bus directly from Istanbul to Arifiye and take a train to Konya from there.

Alternatively, you can take a ferry from Istanbul to Harem, then a bus from Harem to Arifiye. There you can change to a train from Arifiye to Konya.

Ferries depart Istanbul Sirkeci for Harem every 10 minutes. The Harem bus station is right next to the ferry terminal. Buses to Arifiye depart up to two times an hour and the journey takes 1.5 hours.

When you get to Arifiye, you can take a train to Konya.

Trains from Istanbul to Ankara

Taking a train from Istanbul to Ankara is a great way to travel when you are visiting Turkey.

A new direct high-speed train service covers the distance between the two cities. Trains complete the journey in just 3.5 hours, which is a major improvement over the former system, where passengers had to use a combination of a bus and train to get between the two cities.

The new trains from Istanbul to Ankara travel at 250 kilometers an hour (150 miles an hour) on a 511-kilometer (317-mile) track.

Note that the trains terminate on the Asian side of the Bosphorus in a suburb called Pendik, which can be up to two hours from the city center if there is heavy traffic. However, there are plans for the service to extend to the European side of Istanbul, with trains traveling through the Marmaray tunnel under the Bosphorus. Stay tuned for updates.