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train or plane from istanbul to izmir/ephesus

train or plane from istanbul to izmir/ephesus

Old Jan 15th, 2010, 10:43 AM
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train or plane from istanbul to izmir/ephesus

I am trying to figure out creative ways if needed for a day trip to ephesus. If you had one and a half days, how would you do it?
Is there a night train from istanbul to izmir?
If i flew, and at 4pm arrived, left the next day on a 4pm flight is this worth it and feasible?
bus/driving time from izmir 1 1/2 hours? is there a train too?
for all the ephesus adventurers, how would you do a short day trip from istanbul to there.
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Old Jan 15th, 2010, 11:20 AM
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I think you should forget the train between Istanbul and izmir, especially if you only have a day and a half.

Bus is also long and tiring.

Flight is your best option. tickets bought in advance can be quite cheap, and there is competition between various airlines. However, you should not pick istanbul Sabiha Gokcen airport for cheap flights because the cost and duration of transfer within Istanbul may be unacceptable.

Izmir airport is between Izmir and selcuk, and there is a very convenient train from the airport to selcuk. You can check the schedule at the website, DDY or devlet demir yollari. takes only 45 minutes.

arriving at 4PM at Izmir airport, will leave you with little to do in a small town. It would be the same as arriving with the 7:30 or 8:00 flight and taking a late afternoon flight back to Istanbul.
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Old Jan 15th, 2010, 11:45 AM
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otherchelbi, so you are suggesting taking an earlier flight than 4 pm or a later one? That is if one is only spending one night and only wishing to give Ephesus a day. Thanks once again.
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Old Jan 15th, 2010, 02:23 PM
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I really meaant an early morning flight, which will allow you to come back the same day. However, staying an evening in selcuk and eating their regional food may be a desired change from the crowds and noise of the large city. In that case, you should take it as understood, Mo.
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Old Jan 15th, 2010, 05:23 PM
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I would definitely fly. As otherchelebi says, it's 45 minutes from the Izmir airport to Selcuk. We arrived at the Izmir airport around 5 and got to our hotel in Selcuk in time for a wonderful dinner. After a good night's sleep, we were ready for Ephesus. We spent about 4 hours at Ephesus which for us was fine. If you're an archeology buff, you may want want more time there. I think it opens at 9:00 (check that; I'm not sure), so if you just saw Ephesus (not the museum or the other sites in the area) you should be able to get back to Izmir for a flight back that day.

As far as whether it's worth it, we loved Ephesus, but I guess it depends on your other options.

Good luck - let us know if you have more questions.

Ellen
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Old Jan 16th, 2010, 04:00 AM
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thanks for the responses. i am trying to squeeze in a trip to ephesus b/c it sounds so intriguing and everyone here says go. we will be leaving for our trip from US Feb 25

do you have a tour person to recommend that can give us good info for day? 9am-3pm?

my options are..1.when we fly into istanbul on a Friday midmorning (10am), trying to catch a flight an 11:30 on Atlas JEt to Izmir (will 1 1/2 hr be enough time to get through customs, etc catch flight?), spending the night in selcuk (hotel?), touring Saturday and returning on a 22:00 flight from izmir to istanbul. OR--2. Fly on a Saturday early morning flt and sight see and return on the 22:00 flt the same day.
We have commitments in Istanbul teaching English Sun-Wednesday, and will leave Friday a.m. back to US.

to switch to Istanbul...So, we will have afternoons/evenings in Istanbul to site see. Is the Bosphorus a must do? We will be staying at the Ada Hotel in Sulhament.
Thanks for your input, it's valuable to get from past travellers.
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Old Jan 16th, 2010, 05:58 AM
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Many people on Trip Advisor have posted very nice comments regarding a tour guide, a lady called, Fatma Acar for Ephesus and environs.

Check on google and also on TA.

90 minutes is usually sufficient time for transfer between international and domestic at Ataturk airport, especially if you were flying THY and could have checked your luggage to Izmir, or if you only have carry-ons. if you are flying in direct from the US, there may be long waits at original airport causing a delay also. Otherwise you will not have any congestion at Istanbul airport. I would say 10 minutes disembarking, 15 minutes through visa and passport, and another 15 minutes gettinh luggage and through customs and 10 minutes walk to your left to domestic terminal. Tight but doable.

You do not need to wait until the 22:00 flight from Izmir. Everything will close down between 17-19:00 , so you can easily take a 19:30-20:30 flight back to Istanbul.

You do not need to take a long Bosphorus cruise to see sites and enjoy the sea breeze. Take a tram to Kabatas and either a taxi or a bus to Ortakoy, for a meal, coffee, the very different and beautiful ortakoy mosque, a close up of the bridge, and even an hour tour on a small cruise boat for less than 10TL. If you do this in the evening, there may not be a cruise but the lit up mosque, the bridge, the militay academy and Beylerbeyi palace on the Asian side will be enough to qualify as the higlight of your Istanbul trip.

By the way, i sure am not a traveler of the past. i still live and travel.
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Old Jan 16th, 2010, 06:21 AM
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Flight is definately is the best option, checking Turkish Airlines flights can give you further flexibility....
Arriving at 10 am. and trying to catch 11:30 flight can be the biggest challange you will experience....Be prepared to by another ticket otherwise....Especially if there are 10 man at visa queue ahead of you and another 10 at passport control 30 min. passed easly. Taking luggage and passing to domestic terminal than you will be gold medalist for quick run...I would not recommend this but again a personal suggestion ( did the same at least 10 times last year )

Happy travelling,

Murat
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Old Jan 17th, 2010, 08:29 PM
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How much is the visa when you get to the Istanbul airport. I would like to find out for my sister who is going there on my reccomondation in March. Thank you for your help in advance-Chris
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Old Jan 18th, 2010, 02:03 AM
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The visa costs $20 or 15 Euros. They'll take either currency.

Ellen
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Old Jan 18th, 2010, 02:14 AM
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I've travelled by train in Turkey and it's very good. This shows you how to do your trip...(much more fun!

http://www.seat61.com/Turkey2.htm
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Old Jan 18th, 2010, 03:36 AM
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alihutch,
we were very interested in the train, but i cannot give up a day, just a night. and i cannot figure out the night train. is there one?
thanks
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Old Jan 18th, 2010, 05:28 AM
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We flew Pegasus Airlines in February. You may want to look into them as well for some other flight times. The prices were cheap last year. However, I concur NOT to fly into or out of Sabiha Gokcen in Istanbul. We did this one our return flight to Istanbul because of the more convenient flight times and it was probably the biggest mistake of our trip!

Good luck!
Tracy
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Old Jan 19th, 2010, 01:57 PM
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Thank you so much Ellen-Chris
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