The Izmir Area

The Izmir Area at a glance

It’s a dynamic, modern city beside the Aegean Sea but Izmir hasn’t lost sight of an amazing ancient history.

Whether you are young or old, shopper or swimmer, culture buff or country lover, foodie or fast-food fan you will find what you are looking for in Izmir. This busy port, on the spectacular western coast of Turkey, has so much to offer.

Like shopping? There’s a fantastic choice from one of the biggest and best bazaars in Turkey to a glittering arcade of stylish boutiques on a pier built by the man who designed the Eiffel Tower.

Like culture? You can’t miss Izmir’s place in history. In the heart of the town is the Greek and Roman Agora, the picturesque remains of the ancient port of Smyrna.  Wherever you go there are reminders of Izmir’s cultural and religious past. There are plenty of museums too.

Like eating?  The range of stylish restaurants, pavement cafes, coffee houses and tea gardens help explain why Izmir is on the network of world gourmet cities. Try kumru, an Izmir speciality. It’s a delicious, warm sesame-bread sandwich packed with grilled cheese, tomatoes and either sausage or peppers.

Like exploring?   The seafront promenade, called the kordon, is the café-lined place to be, especially in the evening when people meet there to walk, drink, chat and watch the sunset. Look out for the Republic Tree Monument which commemorates the birth of Turkey.  Go to stunning Konak Square and enjoy the spectacular marble clock tower, octagonal mosque and government buildings in this stylish city centre.

Like the beach?  Good idea when Izmir enjoys about 300 sunny days a year and when lovely sandy beaches on the deep blue Aegean are a bus ride away.

But whatever you do, you’ll be re-tracing the footsteps of some of history’s greats – Alexander the Great re-built the city, Roman Emperor Hadrian lived there, Ancient Greek poet Homer was probably born there, and John the Apostle lived just up the road!

 

Where to stay in The Izmir Area

Best time to visit Izmir

Izmir buzzes with festival fever, hosting a succession of colourful celebrations like the gathering of international puppeteers each April.

In May, when temperatures begin to feel more summery, there’s a youth festival with energetic activities including rodeo and bungee jumping, and the night of Hıdırellez, featuring fire-jumping, wishing trees, music and dancing ... take your pick!

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