Once luxurious residential villas, the terraced houses of Ephesus were known as the houses of the rich. The houses are presented as an indoor excavation site with a walkway leading visitors above the luxurious villas and their restoration is an ongoing project. The ruins of the house give an incredible glimpse of a privileged life in Roman times. The mosaics and frescoes are handpainted and include animals and gladiators while names, poems and a price list of everyday items were among the most interesting graffiti. Although the excavation site of the terraced houses is located within the ancient city of Ephesus it requires a separate entry fee.
Things to do in Ephesus and Selcuk tip: if you are planning to visit a number of historical sites in Turkey it might be worth purchasing the Turkey Museum Pass. The pass is valid for 15 days, costs 210 Lira (around 50USD) and covers 300 museums and tourist areas affiliated to the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of the Republic of Turkey. The passes are sold at the ticket office of most historical sites – we used ours to enter Ephesus, the Ephesus Archaeological Museum, the Basilica of St John and the terraced houses. Mary’s House was excluded from the pass and required a separate entrance fee.