İzmir Travel Guide
İzmir is located on the west coast of Anatolia. It is the third biggest city in Turkey and it is the main port of the Aegean Region. Also, it has been enriched by many cultures both recent and ancient.
The city of İzmir was an important center of commerce, art, and culture of the ancient world. The oldest name given from Hellenistic people to İzmir was “Smyrna“.
You can find detailed information about İzmir historical places, interesting places in İzmir, information about İzmir and most beautiful tourist attractions in İzmir. Let’s look at the list of things to do in Izmir !
İzmir Saat Kulesi
The Clock Tower is a symbol of İzmir and it was built on the order of Grand Vizier Küçük Sait Paşa and it constructed by the French architect Raymond Pere to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the coronation of the Ottoman Sultan Abdülhamit II. The construction of the tower was set in 1900 and the clock was a present from the German Emperor Wilhelm II.
The ancient bazaar was named Kemeraltı due to an arched bridge built here in 1671 when Kemeraltı (Ahmet Aga) Mosque was also built. Also, the final point of the Silk Road in the west is the port and small stores. The ancient bazaar has nearly 1500 small stores and it appears like a covered bazaar four hundred years ago was a result of İzmir being a port city throughout its history. A pier was built in the Roman Period and it used until Hellenistic Period in the 16th century.
Being one of the oldest bazaar in the world, Kemeraltı is a significance seeing, thanks to mosques, inns and Turkish baths built in the 16th and 17th centuries. In the ancient bazaar of Kemeraltı, you can find Turkish handicraft products such as carpets, ceramics or leather. Also, you can find many cultural souvenirs shops.
The Kızlaragası Inn beside Hisar Mosque in Kemeraltı and it was built in 1745. Today, there are many traditional products are sold and it is a touristic center. Also, around the inn, there are many capable craftsmen. All hand crafts are made by artisans and still can be found everywhere in tiny shops producing good ranging.
The Asansör which is historical elevator is an ancient elevator and it was built in 1907. It works as a public service commissioned by a Jewish businessman who is Nesim Levi. Today it continues to provide access for visitors to view the lovely panorama of the main tower and there are cafes and restaurants on the terrace. I highly recommend to make a break for rest, drink or eat.
Dario Moreno was a Turkish Jew who was an actor and a singer in Paris. He is another symbol of the İzmir and Asansör because he lived in Asansör street and his named given by the İzmir Municipality in his honor to commemorate.
The Agora was an open “place of assembly” in ancient Greek city-states. It is in the center of town and dates back to Alexander the Great when it was the marketplace of the city. The excavation of Agora carry on by German and Turkish archaeologists in 1932 and recent work is in progress.
Symrna was built at the foot of Pagos Mountain (Kadıfekale) for the second time in 333 B.C. The move of Symrna to here was the start of Hellenistic Period, that was when Kadıfekale was built.
Tarihi Havagazı Fabrikası
Historical Coal Gas Factory whose construction was initiated in 1862 by a French company and it has been the center of city’s illuminating system since 1902. After it was restored in 2008 and today it serves as an attraction point for the cultural event.
City of Museums
There are many museums in the city center; Ethnography, Archaeology, and Atatürk Museum. There are open every day except on Monday and national holidays and their entry fees vary.
İzmir Archaeology Museum located in opposite of Konak Square since 1984.
İzmir Ethnography Museum built in the 18th century in neoclassic style and it shares the same garden with the Archaeology Museum
İzmir Atatürk Museum located at I. Kordon (Atatürk Boulevard) and it was built in between 1875-1880. During his visits to İzmir between 1930 and 1934, Atatürk (first Prime Minister of Turkey) always stayed in this residence. In 2014, it was turned into a museum for his memories in his honor.
City of Squares
There are lots of events, concerts and celebrations were held in the Gündoğdu Square and it is located on Birinci (first) Kordon.
It is located on the Pasaport area of Birinci Kordon and it is the official ceremony area of İzmir. Atatürk Statue was put up on the square in 1932. The statue describes Atatürk as he’s mounted on his horse and giving his order “Troops, your first target is the Mediterranean, advance!”
Transportation in İzmir
There are 2, 3, 5 and 10 credit tickets and they may be purchased from the authorized dealers. Also, you can use your credits for every transportation, buses, ferry boats, IZBAN or subway.
2 credit ticket : 6,00 TL
3 credit ticket : 8,50 TL
5 credit ticket : 13,00 TL
10 credit ticket : 25,00 TL
İzmir Buses serves bus services to the downtown and villages. You can use the link and you can easily plan your journey in İzmir.
İzmir Metro (subway) serves between 6 am – 12.20 am on Fahrettin Altay (Üçkuyular) – Evka 3 line. Also, you can connect with IZBAN train at Halkapınar and Hilal stations and you can go to İzmir Adnan Menderes Airport with IZBAN.
İzmir Ferry Boats serves from piers located in Bayraklı, Göztepe, Konak, Üçkuyular, Alsancak, Pasaport, Karşıyaka and Bostanlı.
İzmir Biking (Bisim) is a very good option rent a bike for bike lovers, there are 31 bike stations on the bicycle path between İzmir Bird Paradise and İnciraltı City Forrest and you can pay with credit card, the rental price for each hour 2,60 TL.
İzmir Food Guide
We generally eat Gevrek (kind of bagel with sesame) or Boyoz (kind of pastry only in İzmir, traditionally eat with boiled egg) and drink Turkish tea.
Tips for breakfast
I recommend trying original Boyoz in Dostlar Fırını (Dostlar Bakery) because they serve the best Boyoz since 1957. I recommend trying a full Turkish breakfast in Tuzu Biberi Breakfast & Brunch. They can serve breakfast and brunch till 8 pm and they have many branch office in İzmir.
Tips for Lunch
Since 1950, Bizim Mutfak serves home-cooked food and special Aegean meals in Kemeraltı. At the restaurant, the famous dish is fish soup, but also you can try others. Add, their portions are really big and prices are affordable.
Tips for Dinner
Meyhane Piero is a great place to have an appetizer with Raki. The music is very enjoyable which is the old Turkish music with gramophone recorder. Do not forget to reserve a table, it is very crowded even the weekdays.
İzmir is waiting to be discovered, let’s experience this beautiful city.