Izmir

Izmir

Things to do - general

 

Country Turkey
Region Aegean Region
Province İzmir Province
Government
 • Mayor Aziz Kocaoğlu
(CHP)
Area
 • Metropolitan municipality 7,340.00 km2(2,833.99 sq mi)
 • Urban 855.00 km2(330.12 sq mi)
Elevation 2 m (7 ft)
Population (2014)
 • Metropolitan municipality 2,847,691
 • Density 390/km2 (1,000/sq mi)
 • Metro 4,113,072
Time zone FET (UTC+3)
Postal code 35xxx
Area code(s) (+90) 232
Licence plate 35
Website www.izmir.bel.tr
www.izmir.gov.tr
Country Turkey
Visa requirements

Get in
By train
İzmir has two railway stations:

Alsancak (☎ +90 232 458-31-31) has suburban trains. Basmane (☎ +90 232 484-86-38) in the city center has both regional and intercity trains, the main route of interest to visitors being the six trains per day via Selcuk (2 hours, 8 TL, for Ephesus and Kusadasi) to Denizli (4 hours, 32 TL, for Pamukkale). Basmane metro station is adjacent.

To Eskisehir (overnight, 10½ hours), for YHT trains to Ankara (90 mins) and Istanbul Pendik (2 hours).
To Konya (overnight, 14 hours), for buses to Antalya (6 hours) and Adana.
The service to Bandirma (6½ hours), for the ferry to Istanbul Yenikapi.
Alsancak is also the hub of the suburban IZBAN railway which runs to the airport and city centre, and connects with the metro.

By boat
There are no ferry services to Izmir. The ferry to Istanbul and the ferry to Venice are both suspended. Formerly these docked at Alsancak Ferry Terminal, 2 km north of the city center. Passengers are expected to use gate "B" to access Alsancak port.

Alsancak Yeni Liman (terminal), ☎ +90 232 464-88-64, fax: +90 232 464-78-34. edit

By plane
Adnan Menderes Airport (ADB IATA), is 16 km south of the city center. It has frequent flights to Istanbul, Ankara, and Antalya, and daily to several other Turkish cities. There are also regular flights from many European cities. Operators include Turkish Airlines, Pegasus, Anadolujet, Onur and Sun Express (which has a hub here) so this competition keeps fares low.

Adnan Menderes Airport (Adnan Menderes Havaalanı, Cumaovası Havaalanı), ☎ +90 232 274-21-87, fax: +90 232 274-20-71. 24/24. Southern major airport.
Marine Plane Terminal (Deniz Uçağı Terminali). 7-22. Minor airfield for marine planes in İzmir Bay.
From the airport, you have three public transport options into the city:

The suburban train red line (İzban) runs from the airport every 10 minutes or so to Alsancak Station north of city centre. Change at Hilal for the metro downtown. Note: Hilal station is hard to navigate and an undeveloped neighborhood is present at the south-eastern part of the station.
Airport shuttles (HAVAŞ) meet incoming flights and go to and from the city center for 14 TL (be sure to get off the bus in the centre of town, as the bus continues north to Mavişehir).
Public buses run by ESHOT, transportation department of city council, are cheaper than Havaş, at 5.20 TL/passenger if you have a İzmirimkart.
Adnan Menderes Airport Car Hire Address : 1375 Sokak No : 6/e Alsancak Konak / İzmir Telephone : +90 232 313 01 13 Call Center 0850 380 01 80

By bus
The bus station, or otogar(Turkish for bus garage), is 6 km north east of city centre, with frequent dolmuş running there. The bus station is huge and has an internet cafe, plenty of facilities for food and drink, and pay toilets. There are multiple bus operators and ticket offices; when a bus is about to depart, the agents will shout a last call for that destination.

There are free shuttle bus service that will bring passengers from the bus terminal to Basmane Square, the city center. To get to the free shuttle station, after get off the bus, go to the left most side of the bus terminal building without entering it. There should be stair going down, you'll see all the bus companies' free shuttle buses and the terminal service free shuttle. There also is a city bus route that goes to Konak through former Kemalpaşa road.

Buses to Istanbul run frequently and take 6½ hours, with regular rest stops. The fare of 70-90 TL will usually include water, hot drinks, and snacks. For example, Ulusoy bus from Istanbul will set you back around 85 TL (August 2016). Check http://www.otobusbileti.gen.tr/izmir-otobus-bileti for schedules and prices.

Languages spokenTurkish
Currency usedTurkish lira (TRY)
Area (km2)7,340 km²

Sports & nature

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.

Nightlife info

Join the nightlife on Kıbrıs Şehitleri Caddesi in Alsancak, and go find the Gazi Kadinlar Street. Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays are when the street is liveliest.

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, and the uniform price for a bottle of beer (a pint/0.50 litre) is 6 TL all along the street.

Culture and history info

The history of İzmir stretches back to around 3000 BC when the Trojans founded the city in Tepekule in the northern suburb of Bayrakli. This was the birthplace of Homer, who was thought to have lived here around the 8th century BC. The Aeolians, the first Greek settlers, were eventually superseded by the (also Greek) Ionians, and then the Lydians destroyed the city around 600 BC before a brief recovery following Alexander the Great’s arrival in 334 BC.

After his death, Alexander’s generals followed his wishes and re-established Smyrna on Mount Pagos in Kadifekale, and the city then prospered under the Romans. It was destroyed by an earthquake in 178 AD but later reconstructed and became a major commercial port. After the Byzantines, the city had a turbulent time under the Arabs, Seljuks, Crusaders and Mongols, until Mehmet I incorporated it into the Ottoman Empire in 1415. Under Suleyman the Magnificent, Smyrna became a thriving and sophisticated city and a huge trading center, despite its frequent earthquakes. It was cosmopolitan, with mainly Greek Orthodox and also Jews and Muslims, and many languages were spoken among locals and visiting traders.

Following World War I and the defeat of the Ottoman Empire, on the basis of a major Greek-speaking population in the area, the Allies gave Greece a mandate over İzmir. Greece thereby took control of the Aegean area, and marched on Ankara. Led by Kemal Atatürk the Turkish army counter-attacked, in what became the War of Turkish Independence, and regained their territory, but a huge fire broke out which destroyed 70% of İzmir. Atatürk formally took İzmir on 9 September 1922 and this is celebrated as the date of the city's independence. As part of the peace deal, Greeks in İzmir were compulsorily re-settled in Greece, while Turks in Greece (especially around Thessaloniki, Atatürk's own birthplace) were compulsorily re-settled in Turkey. This ended the multicultural nature of the city.

In House Hostel

In House Hostel

1460 Sokak No:75 Alsancak, Konak, 35220, Izmir
Featuring a terrace, In House Hostel is situated in Izmir and is 2.6 km from Izmir Clock Tower. This More info
Lagora Old Town Hotel & Bazaar

Lagora Old Town Hotel & Bazaar

Havra Sokağı No: 10/C Konak, 35250, Izmir
L’agora Old Town Hotel & Bazaar in Izmir has accommodation with a garden. Featuring a 24-h More info

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