The historic metropolis of Izmir is the third largest city in Turkey and the nation's second largest port after Istanbul. Izmir has a long and fascinating history which stretches back to approximately 3000BC, when the Trojans founded the city. Nowadays, the region has maintained much of its intriguing heritage in the form of historic buildings and monuments situated throughout the district, whilst also boasting a series of fantastic modern developments including shops, restaurants and entertainment centres to keep all types of travellers happy and occupied whilst staying in this vibrant part of Turkey. The bustling streets of Izmir are filled with wonderful attractions and friendly locals, creating a distinctive and charming ambience, which is complimented by the region's wonderful Mediterranean climate.
The tremendous city of Izmir boasts a plethora of fabulous attractions, including beaches, museums, historic landmarks and cultural experiences. The most popular beaches along the region's coastline can be found at Foça, Dikili, Çeşme, Urla and Seferihisar. Many historic structures and houses are situated around the districts of Alsancak and Kadifekale, offering a glance into Izmir's intriguing past. Several excellent museums and galleries are also located across Izmir, including the Izmir Art and Sculpture Museum, Archaeology Museum, Ethnography Museum and the Agora Open Air Museum of Izmir. Other superb local attractions include:
The main square, in the city centre of Izmir, is named Konak Square; home to a range of historic structures and monuments erected throughout the city's enthralling history. The square's main feature is an impressive clock tower, built in 1901, which stands as an iconic symbol of the city. Other notable buildings situated within Konak Square include the Konak Yali Mosque and the Kemeralti Bazaar alongside a range of shops and restaurants.
This unique landmark was developed in 1907 with the purpose of helping residents return to their districts on top of the hill as easily as possible. Originally, this marvellous elevator was powered by a water-driven mechanism, but electricity is now used to operate it. At the top of Asansör is a fabulous restaurant, which offers a great view out over the city.
The Yamanlar Camligi
This stunning and unspoilt pine forest, located by the magnificent Lake Karagol, is a fantastic place to spend the day admiring the beautiful natural surroundings. The forest is a great picnic area and also contains several restaurants and a swimming pool.
Shopping in Izmir
A number of large shopping malls are distributed throughout Izmir, including Konak Pier and the Forum Mall, containing many retailers at which visitors can purchase range of fantastic products. Smaller gift and souvenir shops are also located across the built up areas of the city, selling authentic arts and crafts as well as other mementos and amenities.
Eating Out in Izmir
Many first-rate restaurants, cafes and bars are situated throughout the main urban areas of Izmir, the majority of which serve a variety of traditional Turkish dishes and locally caught seafood. A range of familiar international cuisine is also available in many areas of the city alongside a number of popular fast food establishments.