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Izmir, Turkey

İzmir is a rapidly growing city on the Central Aegean coast of Turkey.

İzmir is the third largest city in Turkey with a population of around 3.7 million, the second biggest port after Istanbul, and a very good transport hub. Once the ancient city of

Smyrna

, it is now a modern, developed, and busy commercial center, set around a huge bay and surrounded by mountains. The broad boulevards, glass-fronted buildings, and modern shopping centers are dotted with traditional red-tiled roofs, the 18th-century market, and old mosques and churches, although the city has an atmosphere more of Mediterranean Europe than traditional Turkey.

Once the ancient city of Smyrna, İzmir is now a modern, developed, and busy commercial... Read more

Izmir, Turkey

Destination:

İzmir is a rapidly growing city on the Central Aegean coast of Turkey.

İzmir is the third largest city in Turkey with a population of around 3.7 million, the second biggest port after Istanbul, and a very good transport hub. Once the ancient city of

Smyrna

, it is now a modern, developed, and busy commercial center, set around a huge bay and surrounded by mountains. The broad boulevards, glass-fronted buildings, and modern shopping centers are dotted with traditional red-tiled roofs, the 18th-century market, and old mosques and churches, although the city has an atmosphere more of Mediterranean Europe than traditional Turkey.

Once the ancient city of Smyrna, İzmir is now a modern, developed, and busy commercial center, set around a huge bay and surrounded by mountains. The broad boulevards, glass-fronted buildings, and modern shopping centers are dotted with traditional red-tiled roofs, the 18th-century market, and old mosques and churches, although the city has an atmosphere more of Mediterranean Europe than traditional Turkey.
İzmir owes its position as an economically and socially dynamic city to its location, climate and the fact that it has been a home to many different cultures and religions. Persians, Ancient Greeks, Assyrians, Romans, Byzantines, and Ottomans are just a few of the dozens of different civilizations that the city has hosted throughout its long history.

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Izmir, Turkey: Port Information


The port is situated in Alsancak. It can get pretty busy since several cruise liners can dock at the same time.
The cruise terminal is small but has everything you need including stores, post office, cafes, etc. Taxis are available.
It will take you just 5 minutes to get to Alsancak neighborhood with dining venues and stores and approximately 20 minutes to reach the town center on foot.

Get around Izmir, Turkey


On foot

You can explore İzmir inner city by walking. Walking Routes to the center of the city are very easy to walk and enjoyable.

By metro

The system of urban rail in İzmir consists of two lines:

  • a line connecting the city center/

    Konak Square

    with the northeastern suburb of Bornova
  • a line connecting Cumaovasi (to the south) and Aliağa (to the north). It also provides connection to Foça and other places north from İzmir.

By bus

There is an extensive system of public buses covering the entire city.

By boat

Public ferries are easy, fast inside the coast and provide a nice view of İzmir. Preferable to every other transportation in nice weather.

By taxi

There are many taxis with reasonable price.

What to see in Izmir, Turkey


Due to the Great Fire of the 1920s, there is a relative lack of historical sights in İzmir, especially when considered how old the city really is (more than 5000 years old).

  • The main square of the city center, famous for the clock tower, one of the unique symbols of İzmir. The clock tower was built in 1901. There are also Konak Yali Mosque and Kemeraltı Bazaar located around the square.
  • Asansör

    (Elevator). This landmark was constructed by a Jewish businessman in 1907. The purpose was to help residents to go to their districts on the top of the hill. The elevator used to work by a water-driven mechanism. Later, it was restored by İzmir Municipality and now it works by electricity. There is a restaurant located on the top of the elevator with a bird-eye view of İzmir.
  • Alsancak. A neighborhood of small streets with lots of bars in old Greek houses, where you can have tea or a beer and try several waterpipe flavors.
  • Kadifekale. An old castle on the hill which it's named after.
  • İzmir Agora Open Air Museum (Smyrna). Ruins of the ancient city of Smyrna that flourished during the Hellenistic and Roman periods.
  • Teleferik (cable car) — (Has reopened for public service after a very long maintenance) Having served since 1977, it carries people to 423 m. up above the sea level. There are restaurants, cafes and gift shops located on the top of the hill.

What to do in Izmir, Turkey


  • Walk along the Kordon, the waterfront promenade, now lined by rows of tall apartment buildings and palm trees on one side and the Aegean on the other, with a large patch of lawn and a cobbled street in between, where you can have a 19th-century fayton (horse-drawn carriages) ride.
  • Kemeraltı — A must see. A big bazaar, where you can buy clothes, presents etc. There are also a lot of lounges where you can sit.
  • Kızlarağası Hanı-House of Girls' Master— An old inn (kervansaray) in Kemeraltı where you can shop for carpets and jewelry.
  • Blend in with locals and take the boat from Konak to Karşıyaka.
  • See also the old fortress and the Agora. This site is usually quiet and you can roam about the ruins of the old Greek market.
  • Beaches — Having a coastline on Aegean sea, İzmir owns lots of beaches which are not too far from the city center. There is public transportation available to most of them. The places include Foça, Dikili, Urla, Seferihisar, and Çeşme.

What to eat and drink in Izmir, Turkey


  • Melons, because İzmir has a warm climate so melons are always local and fresh.
  • İzmir has a famous restaurant that serves the region's specialties, especially shish kebabs.
  • Fish, grilled sea bass and mezes. Usually, the fish is fresh and plenty in all seasons. Veli Usta offers a great deal of fish in Alsancak.
  • Kumru, a warm sandwich, made with a special bread with sesame seeds, Turkish sausage, grilled cheese, and tomatoes, also a vegetarian version is available without the sausage and with the addition of green pepper. This is something not to be missed while in İzmir because it's almost impossible to find it anywhere else in the country. It's sold at numerous stalls in the streets. Best to be eaten earlier in the day to have it warm as they find their way out of bakeries in the morning. Two of them is more than enough to appease your hunger.
  • Tulum Peyniri, a kind of cheese specially made in İzmir region.
  • Copsis Kebab at Topcu in Cankaya
  • Belkahve: İzmir from the eye of Atatürk in 1922 
  • Boyoz, another local pastry but much oilier than kumru, to eat with a cup of tea in the breakfast.

BOLCOVA SHOPPING COMPLEXES may be the most modern shopping and entertainment venue in European Style. Besides prices are reasonable.

  • Gümüş Tabak. A cafe-restaurant in Kızlarağası Hanı, Kemeraltı, which offers you the traditional Turkish delicacies, from Köfte to Kokoreç with very affordable prices. You should also try the traditional Turkish coffee that is prepared in a special way, boiled in the cup, fincan.

Drink

  • All pubs and cafes in Kordon (Alsancak's waterfront) are attractive in nice weather.
  • 1448 Sokak at Alsancak is full of bars and pubs from one end to another. They also have seats out on the sidewalk.

Shopping in Izmir, Turkey


You can go to Konak Pier, a small mall along the Kordon with a cinema and with local and other known brands. Another mall is called Forum, in Bornova. Forum is a very big mall with all brands and a supermarket in a Mediterranean style one floored houses in open air. Kemeraltı (in the city center) offers numerous souvenirs in a nice traditional atmosphere.

Safety in Izmir, Turkey


Izmir is a relatively safe city for its size, however, it does have its "shady" areas. The city center, as well as populated suburbs, are generally safe during the day. Use common sense, avoid dark and narrow alleyways (found mainly in Alsancak and Konak). Avoid the streets around the main port as well as the streets around the railway junction (Hilal, Halkapinar). Be wary in Basmane. It is important to also be cautious in Kadifekale, which is where one of the city's main landmarks is located.

Use common sense and you will be relatively safe. If you find yourself in any situation don't be afraid to call the police (155). Izmir Police Department has a "tourism police" section where travelers can report passport loss and theft or any other criminal activity they may have become victims of. The staff is multilingual and will speak English, German, French, and Arabic.
  • Tourism Police (Turizm Polisi), Turizm Şube Müdürlüğü, Tepecik, ☎ +90 232 489-47-77 (fax: +90 232 441-11-63). 

Language spoken in Izmir, Turkey


Turkish is the official language. English is widely spoken in tourist places. 

LOCAL TIME

4:55 pm
August 20, 2019
Europe/Istanbul

CURRENT WEATHER

31.82 °C / 89.276 °F
sky is clear
Wed

34.25 °C/94 °F
sky is clear
Thu

35.18 °C/95 °F
sky is clear
Fri

36.3 °C/97 °F
sky is clear
Sat

39.49 °C/103 °F
sky is clear

LOCAL CURRENCY

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