Welcome to beautiful Izmir, the frontier city of Turkey. Izmir, with its 8,500 years of history, is gloriously situated on the western edge of Turkey, the bountiful, the fruitful and the excellent.
Izmir, the city of olives, figs and grapes, the land of the natural, organic and fresh. It offers visitors many options for a unique holiday experience.
IZMIR TRAVEL GUIDE
Izmir, the third biggest metropolis of Turkey, is a contemporary port city integrated with trade and industry.
The pearl of the Aegean, the third largest metropolis of Turkey and an important exhibition center, Izmir is a frequent destination for summer holidays. The hotels, especially on the beaches such as Cesme, Karaburun, Urla, Foca, Dikili and Alacati, welcome guests with pleasure.
Ephesus, one of the most famous cities of antiquity, is not only a tourist destination but also displays the history of Rome in the most magnificent way. The long and narrow bay surrounded by yachts and palms along the coast attract visitors. International art festivals and Izmir International Fair are organized in this city which is always alive.
Famous for its history dating back centuries, olive oil dishes, beautiful women and holiday resorts, Izmir is a city you will not be able to get enough enjoying.
|What’s popular||Clock Tower, Ancient Cities, Bird Paradise,|
Coastal Road, Kemalpasa dessert
|Winter / Summer Pop.||3.948.848 (Total)|
|Nearby Resorts||Cesme, Alacati, Foca|
|Avg. Temp. in Summer||20 °C|
How to Get to Izmir
If you are planning to go to Izmir with private vehicle, you will make short or long journeys based on the city you are in. Those planning to come from Istanbul will drive about 7 hours. First of all, continue on the freeway and head towards Ankara from TEM motorway. After exiting the borders of Istanbul, cross the Gazi Osman Pasa Bridge over the sea. Then, go from Yalova – Bursa – Balikesir highways. Proceed towards the direction signs of Manisa-Akhisar-Izmir to get to the city center.
Likewise, those coming from Ankara will make a 7-hour journey. After taking Ankara – Eskisehir road, turn to Afyon highway and follow Usak and Izmir.
Take advantage of Turkish Airlines, Sun Express, Atlas Jet, Onur Air and Anadolu Jet flights. Adnan Menderes Airport is 30 minutes away from the city center.
Izmir Bus Station in Bornova is located 20 minutes away from the city center. Companies such as Kamil Koc, Nilufer, Anadolu Ulasim, Izmir Seyahat, Pamukkale, Varan and Ulusoy regularly drive to Izmir.
Exploring the Area
In the west of Izmir, Cesme Peninsula stretches by its colorful sea, beaches and thermal centers. Ephesus ancient city in the district of Seljuk was one of the largest cities in the world during the Roman Empire.
Ephesus, which has all the richness of Ionian cultures, is also known for its intensive artistic activities. For this reason, this city is called “Beautiful Izmir“, “Ancient Izmir” and “la Perle de l’Ionie” (The Pearl of Ionia).
Izmir is located at the beginning of a long narrow bay surrounded by yachts and ships. It has a temperate climate, and in the summer a fresh coolness from the sea takes away the heat of the sun. Along the coast are palm trees and wide streets.
Alsancak, Coastal Road (Kordon), Kemeralti, Kadifekale, Yamanlar Mountain and Clock Tower are just a few examples of places to visit before leaving Izmir.
Things to Do at Izmir
We have prepared a short list of must-sees and must-dos in Izmir.
- See Ephesus Ancient City.
- Go to Kızlaragasi Han, Historical Elevator, Selcuk-Sirince Village, Birgi Çakırağa Konagi.
- Visit the Archeology Museum and the Ataturk Museum.
- See House of Virgin Mary, Sirince Village, Bergama Antique City.
- Have dinner on the seaside (local name Kordon).
- Shop at Kemeralti Bazaar.
- Take advantage of the thermal waters of the Balcova Thermal Springs.
- Go swimming at Cesme beaches.
- Taste Izmir Meatballs, Odemis Kebabi, Boyoz, Kumru, Gevrek and Gerdan dessert.
- Buy dried figs, sultaniye grapes, Kemalpasa cherries and Bergama tulum cheese.
- Eat fish in Foca.
- Buy Odemis silk, needle embroidery, yemeni and evil eye beads.
- See Izmir Fair and Selcuk Festival.
- Watch the gum trees.
- Eat gummy cookies.
Read more on Izmir Top Attractions.
Cesme and Alacati are the most preferred tourist destinations in Izmir. In fact, Izmir and its nearby seaside towns are holiday paradises with clean sand, azure sea and recreational coves. The beaches where you can enjoy the sun and the sea are listed below.
- Ozdere – Gumuldur
- Yassica Island
- Buyuk Akkum
What to Eat at Izmir
Since Izmir is a city on the Aegean coast, Aegean and Mediterranean cuisines dominate the tastes. A wide variety of herbs, seafood, and especially olive oil are the main products that decorate Izmir tables.
There are a lot of authentic flavors in Izmir. Here are some of these:
- Boyoz: It is a dough which is identified with Izmir. It is a marvelous food that can only be tasted in here.
- Kumru: Kumru, a kind of sandwich, is one of the delights of Izmir. This sandwich is made by putting cheese, tomato and green pepper among bagels obtained from a little salty paste and it is one of the favorite foods of Izmir.
- Izmir Meatballs: Spread throughout Turkey with its fame, Izmir meatballs are among the most delicious taste of Izmir’s cuisine. Be sure to taste this dish made with baked potatoes, tomatoes and peppers with meatballs.
- Izmir Tulumu: Izmir tulumu is an indispensable kind of cheese offered in breakfasts. Since it is hard to find in other cities, you can take some piece back home.
When you come to Izmir, you will find an event to attend every season. From concerts given by famous artists at ancient theaters to festivals organized in villages. We have gathered all the events in Izmir for you.
We recommend you to join these organizations if you want to get to know the region better and have fun.
- International Izmir Festival
- Izmir International Fair
- International Izmir Short Film Festival
- Izmir European Jazz Festival
- International Puppet Days, Izmir – March
- International Labor Film & Video Festival, Konak – May
- Golden Cherry Culture and Art Festival, Kemalpasa – 1st week of June
- Culture, Art and Salvation Festival, Menemen – September
- Camel Wrestling Festival, Odemis – March
- Spring Festival, Bornova – 3rd week of March
- Pınarbasi Camel Wrestling Festivals, Bornova – 3rd week of February
- Children and Youth Theater Festival, Cesme – July
- Foca Culture and Art Festival, Foca – August
- Fishing Festival, Foca – Beginning of September
- Cherry Festival, Odemis – 1st Sunday of June
- World Theaters Day Celebrations, Bornova – March 27
- Hidrellez Festival, Karaburun
- Narlidere Youth and Flower Festival, Narlidere
- Bird’s Paradise Festival, Cigli
- Handicrafts Production Culture and Tourism Festival, Tire
Nightlife at Izmir
Izmir is a touristic city, especially where the young population is more. In the summer months, local and foreign tourists live a vibrant nightlife. Especially in Alsancak bars, there are places where you can dance until the first lights of the morning.
Also in Cesme and Alacati, shows, parties and dance nights in the stylish bars of the hotels ecstasize holidaymakers. People with every taste of music can enjoy themselves in this city. If you prefer calmness, you can sit in tea gardens and cafés in the seaside.
The most famous İzmir entertainment venues are:
- Bios Bar
- Opus Bar
- Mischka Club
- Sardunya Bar
- Soho Plus
- Beri Blues Bar
- Noxx Club
- Ooze Venue
- Alacati 11 Beach Club
- Babylon Ayayorgi
- Rain Club
You can find souvenir shops in Kemeralti district on Anafartalar Caddesi in Izmir. You can get city-specific objects, silk fabrics, copper works from these places that have a traditional air of the century ago.
Urgancilar Bazaar, Jewelers Bazaar, Basmacilar (fabric sellers) and Ayakkabicilar (shoemakers) are places you need to go by. Besides these, you can find modern shopping centers in Kordon Boyu, Karsiyaka and Cumhuriyet Street. There are also places you can shop in Cankaya and Alsancak.
The gifts you can buy for your loved ones are as follows:
- Tulum dessert
- Izmir Raki
- Taris Figs Delight
- Clock Tower Statue
- Efes Abundance Statue
- Sirince Wine