Izmir travel guide
The second largest port city in Turkey and the third largest in size, Izmir is an extremely popular holiday destination for travellers from all over the world. Busy, vibrant, exciting, colourful – none of these words can adequately describe the atmosphere and ambience of this amazing city.
The past and the present are wonderfully blended – as you wander the streets you will notice old red-tiled roofs of traditional homes next to modern shopping centres and glassed offices, traditional old markets near mosques and churches and all with the stunning mountains and the harbour as the perfect backdrops. Reading up on your city guide to Izmir will help you in planning your travel itinerary here.
The Izmir Ethnography Museum is a fantastic starting point to your holiday here. The building started life in 1831 as the St Roche Hospital but has now been transformed into this amazing museum. Each of the four floors is dedicated to tracing the history and culture of the local area. Come here to learn about local pottery, felt-making, embroidery, the evil eye beads, weaponry, jewellery and manuscripts. There’s even a section on the local sport of camel wrestling which certainly is popular!
Head on over to the archaeology Museum next to understand more about the history of the region. There are an amazing collection of Greek and Roman artefacts including a group of sarcophagi with their intricately beautiful designs, a frieze decorated with images of the funeral games taken from the tomb at Belevi, and the head taken from the colossal statue of the Emperor Domitian.
As Izmir was under the dominion of the Roman Empire, there are several Roman cultural attractions to visit, but the ancient Agora is certainly one you shouldn’t miss out on. Originally constructed for Alexander the Greek, it was destroyed completely during the 178 earthquake. Rebuilt by Marcus Aurelius, the agora allows you to imagine what Roman life was like here centuries ago. The many Corinthian columns and vaulted chambers are contrasted with the Muslim cemetery which was later built on the Agora.
Restaurants in Izmir are a great way to relax after a hard day’s exploration. Cuisine from all over the world can be found here, but for local delicacies try kumru which can be found throughout the city but not beyond the city’s limits.
You will find numerous hotels in Izmir that will suit your budget. Several can be found near the train station and there are many luxurious and Western brand hotels scattered throughout Izmir.
If you are searching for a city holiday that has it all – great food, great culture, great history, great shopping opportunities – then you will find it in Izmir.