Izmir, located in the Aegean region of Turkey, shines as a radiant gem. As a bustling harbor city, it attracts numerous visitors and stands as one of the most popular destinations in the country. With a rich history dating back to ancient times, it has been a thriving settlement, offering splendid attractions such as the renowned Ephesus, Pergamon, and Smyrna Agora. These ancient sites captivate tourists and locals alike. Moreover, Izmir boasts stunning beaches, a delightful Mediterranean cuisine, and a vibrant atmosphere that enchants visitors all year round. Belong you can find the frequently asked questions about Izmir, a list of places to visit in Izmir and the list of best thing to do in Izmir.
- What’s Izmir famous for?
- What to see in Izmir in one day?
- Has Izmir got a beach?
- Top 10 beaches in Izmir that are worth to visit
- Is Izmir tourist friendly?
- What to do in Izmir for 2 days?
- What are the must to do things in Izmir?
- What to eat in Izmir?
- How to go to Izmir from Istanbul?
- How is Izmir’s weather throughout the year?
- Why should I visit Izmir, Turkey?
- What is unique about Izmir Turkey?
1. What’s Izmir famous for?
Izmir, a city renowned as one of Turkey’s top five tourist attractions, holds a rich historical legacy dating back to ancient times. It has been continuously inhabited by various civilizations, including the Aeolians, Ionians, Lydians, Persians, Hellenes, Kingdom of Pergamon, Roman Empire, Eastern Romans, Byzantines, Anatolian Seljuks, Aydınoğulları, and Ottomans, all of whom have left behind a wealth of historical and cultural treasures. Today Izmir has dozens of ancient, religious visiting sites for history enthusiasts.
The ancient places to visit in Izmir;
- Pergamon (Bergama)
- Klaros, Klazomenai
- Ulucak Mound
- Red Courtyard (Serapeion)
The religious places to visit in Izmir;
- Aya Fotini Church,
- Aya Vukla (Saint Vukolos) Church,
- Notre Dame Lourdes Catholic Church,
- Saint Antoine Catholic Church,
- Saint Helen Catholic Church,
- Saint Jean Cathedral,
- Saint John the Baptist Church,
- Cathedral of Saint John Dom
- Saint John Avengelist Church,
- Saint Mary Magdelena Anglican Episcigal Church,
- Church of Santa Maria (Bornova),
- Catholic Church of Santa Maria,
- Saint Polycarpe Church,
- Notre Dame De St. Holy Rosary Church.
- Algaze Synagogue,
- Bet Hillel Synagogue,
- Beit Israeli Synagogue,
- Bıkur Holım Synagogue,
- Etz Hayim Synagogue,
- Hahamhane (Rabbi House),
- Kaal Kadoş Synagogue,
- Portuguese Synagogue,
- Rosaar (Tepebasi) Synagogue,
- Shalom Synagogue (Aydinli Synagogue),
- Signora Giveret Synagogue,
- Shaar Aşamayim Synagogue,
- Talmud Tora Synagogue, and Bikur Holim Synagogue
The popular visiting sites of Izmir includes the highligted destinations of the city.
Most popular visiting sites in Izmir;
- Konak Clock Tower
- Agora of Smyrna (Faustina Gate, ancient street, North Stoa (Basilica), West Stoa, Ottoman-era Muslim graveyard, House of Sabbatai Zevi)
- Kemeratli Bazaar
- Hisaronu Mosque
- Kizlaragasi Inn
- Historical Elevator
- Kadifekale Citadel
2. What to see in Izmir in one day?
If you have only a single day to visit Izmir most probably you will see the most popular visiting sites which were mentioned above. But if you have more days or if you extend your visit Ephesus ancient city, Sirince village and Pergamon ancient city are the most popular places to visit in Izmir.
Visit Bibliotheque de Celsus , The Virgin Mary’s House, ancient Theatre, Terrace Houses, the Basilica of Saint John and more…
3. Has Izmir got a beach?
Indeed, Izmir boasts numerous captivating beaches that are well worth a visit. Situated on the enchanting Aegean coast of Turkey, this city is blessed with a staggering 629 kilometers of coastline, spread across 18 out of its 30 districts. Surpassing all but Antalya and Muğla, Izmir claims a remarkable total of 141 beaches, with 52 of them proudly waving the blue flag symbol of cleanliness and quality. If you have the luxury of time and a fondness for sun, sand, and sea, Izmir emerges as an ideal destination to indulge in swimming and basking under the warm rays of the sun. Additionally, water sports enthusiasts will find Izmir particularly enticing, as the Cesme-Alacati region is renowned for its winds, making it one of Turkey’s premier locations for windsurfing.
Top 10 beaches in Izmir that are worth to visit:
- Mimoza Cove
Located in the heart of Karaburun, this bay stands out as one of the most breathtaking in the area. Here, you’ll find serene waters without any disruptive waves or gusts of wind. The beach itself is adorned with smooth pebbles, adding to the tranquil ambiance. Furthermore, you’ll never have to worry about encountering overwhelming crowds, as this bay offers a blissfully uncrowded experience.
- Bodrum Cove Beach
Karaburun beckons to those seeking a serene and unspoiled retreat, thanks to its idyllic, undisturbed bays. Among these, Bodrum Bay reigns as the most renowned, offering an array of amenities and services to enhance your experience. As you explore the crystal-clear waters, don’t forget to bring along a snorkel, as vibrant schools of fish gracefully glide through the bay. Notably, Bodrum Bay proudly flies the blue flag, a testament to its exceptional water quality and environmental standards.
- Yeni Foca Beach
This beach proudly boasts a blue flag designation, a symbol of its outstanding water quality. Beyond enjoying the sea, you can explore the captivating Old Foça area. Keep your eyes peeled, as you might even have the fortune of glimpsing the endangered Mediterranean monk seals that inhabit the waters of Foca.
- Fame Beach
Located in Bademli, this beach club offers a private and exclusive experience. It holds the distinction of being the most sought-after destination in the area. The beauty of the sea here is truly captivating. However, it’s important to note that during the summer season, the beach tends to attract a large number of visitors, which can result in occasional overcrowding.
- Aquarium Bay (Kalem & Garip Islands)
Referred to as both Aquarium Bay and Blue Bay, this stunning bay is nestled within Çeşme. Its name is derived from the exceptional clarity of its waters, which resemble the vibrant scenes found within an underwater aquarium. With the aid of snorkeling or diving gear, one can enjoy remarkable visibility of up to approximately 20 meters, allowing for a captivating view of the underwater world.
- Pissa Cove
Situated in the northern part of Izmir, within the enchanting town of Dikili, lies Pisa Bay. This bay is renowned for its refreshing, cool waters and the captivating historical wonders that surround it. Nestled in the picturesque Bademli Village, approximately 10 kilometers away from Dikili, Pisa Bay enthralls visitors with its pristine, fine sand and the glistening expanse of its crystal-clear, white sea.
- Altinkum Beach
Altinkum Beach, situated in Cesme, offers a remarkable coastal experience. The clarity of its waters is such that you can see the seabed without the requirement of wearing goggles, allowing for a truly immersive and awe-inspiring encounter. Moreover, during the scorching summer months, the refreshingly cool water of Altinkum Beach provides a welcome respite from the heat.
- Pasa Limanı Cove
Paşa Limanı, positioned just 5 kilometers away from the heart of Ilıca and a mere 20 kilometers from the center of Çeşme, presents a unique blend of seaside charm and camping possibilities. This destination caters to those seeking a serene and tranquil experience, making it the perfect choice for a peaceful and undisturbed day in nature.
- Aya Yorgi cove
Within this bay, you’ll discover stunning venues adorned with breathtaking views of the sea and picturesque beaches. It serves as an ideal destination to revel in both daytime seaside activities and lively DJ performances during the evening, making it a fantastic place to indulge in daytime fun and exciting nighttime entertainment.
4. Is Izmir tourist friendly?
For many decades, Izmir and its surrounding areas have been the premier tourist destination in Turkey. Each year, over 2 million travelers flock to this region to explore its wonders. Additionally, the ports of Kusadasi and Alsancak warmly receive numerous cruise ships throughout every season. Tourism plays a vital role in the city’s economy, serving as a primary source of revenue. The local population is accustomed to and welcomes tourists, while the well-designed facilities cater to their needs, making Izmir a truly tourist-friendly destination.
5. What to do in Izmir for 2 days?
Immerse yourself in history by visiting the region’s historical sites, unwind and rejuvenate on the pristine blue-flagged beaches, or embark on an adrenaline-filled adventure by experiencing the thrill of kite surfing in Alacati.
5. What are the must to do things in Izmir?
(Top things to do in Izmir?)
Izmir is teeming with countless attractions that could fill an extensive list. However, here is a curated selection of must-do things in Izmir, as the city offers something to discover around every corner.
a. See the ancient monuments;
The ancient monuments in Izmir carry compelling stories that are truly worth hearing. Among them, the theater in the Pergamon ancient site stands out as a remarkable surprise. It was constructed during the reign of Eumenes II, and it is an architectural masterpiece from the Hellenistic period because it was built on an incredibly steep slope. Boasting a seating capacity of approximately 10,000 people and an astonishing angle of 33 degrees, it proudly claims the title of the world’s steepest theater.
b. Visit the villages and markets
In Izmir, the villages have managed to preserve their traditional character, allowing the local way of life to thrive. Exploring these villages offers a delightful experience, strolling along cobblestone streets lined with charming stone houses. Resting beneath the shade of centuries-old trees and indulging in locally crafted fruit wines creates a truly amazing atmosphere. Moreover, the local bazaars offer a treasure trove of handcrafted souvenirs, allowing visitors to find unique keepsakes that reflect the region’s rich heritage.
This tour is popular among cruise travelers.
c. Soak up the sun on a beach
If simply having a sun-kissed tan isn’t enough to convince people that you vacationed in Turkey, there’s one experience that’s an absolute must when visiting the Aegean and Mediterranean coasts: swimming in the pristine, blue-flagged coves that resemble paradises. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to immerse yourself in these breathtaking waters. To help you navigate the best beaches in Izmir, we’ve compiled a list of the “Top 10 Beaches in Izmir Worth Visiting” above. Let this guide be your companion as you embark on an unforgettable beach adventure.
d. Taste the magnificent cuisine
Beneath, you’ll find a list showcasing the delightful culinary offerings in Izmir—a place where you can embark on a gastronomic journey like no other. With its fertile soil, olive groves, and vineyards, the region plays a significant role in shaping the local cuisine. Fresh seafood harmoniously combines with a variety of locally sourced greens. Prepare yourself for more than just a meal; this is a lavish feast that tantalizes the taste buds and leaves you craving for more.
e. Experince kitesurfing
Thanks to its favorable winds, particularly in the Alacati region, it has become a beloved destination for kite surfing enthusiasts. Even if you’re new to the sport, there’s no need to worry, as surfing schools are available throughout the area. Enhance your visit by adding something truly special and indulge in the exhilarating experience of kite surfing. It’s a fantastic way to make your trip unforgettable and create lasting memories.
What to eat in Izmir?
Without a distinctive, multifarious cuisine any travel or destination can’t be good enough. Izmir’s cuisine has the unique features of Turks, Greeks, Levantines, Sephardic, and the islands Crete, Chios, Lesbos (while the population exchange years). Today it has a multicultural cuisine that every traveler dreams of. If you do not taste one of these no body won’t believe you that you visited Izmir.
- Boyoz: a kind of patty,
- Stuffed mussels,
- Kumru: a sandwich contains sausages, salami, stager cheese, tomatoes, peppers, Tulum cheese, mayonnaise, and ketchup
- Bomb: recently increased in popularity, bringing chocolate and dough together
- Izmir Koftesi (Izmir meatballs): minced meat blended with spices and fried in oil
- Artichoke with Broad Beans
Remember that thousands of old and new recipes can be found on the streets.
How to go to Izmir from Istanbul?
Regular flights are available from both Istanbul and Sabiha Gokcen Airports to Izmir, with a duration of approximately one hour. If you prefer to travel by bus or car, the journey takes around five hours, while taking the train will require approximately ten hours. Choose the mode of transportation that suits your preferences and schedule to reach Izmir conveniently.
The itinerary includes the destinations: Istanbul Old City, Blue Mosque, Hagia Sofia, Battlefields of Gallipoli, Troy, Pergamon, Ephesus, Sirince Village. It is also a Guaranteed Departure! Tour.
How is Izmir’s weather throughout the year?
Izmir is a sunny city. Only December, January, and February are chilly months. Thanks to the climate, you can visit the city for 9 months.
Why should I visit Izmir, Turkey?
Various things can be done in Izmir. It was a permanent settlement for thousands of years by Ionians, Lydians, Persians, Hellenes, and later Eastern Romans, Byzantines, and Turks who ruled the city. Therefore, the city has a rich historical legacy worth seeing. It is a vibrant, day-and-night-living city, plus it has both modest and luxury hotels and restaurants, and camping, and backpacking alternatives are available for every interest. Summer lasts almost 9 months, and the art and music events never end. Locals are friendly and welcoming; the cuisine is a fusion of different cultures; and the city is close to other popular tourist destinations such as Oludeniz, Pamukkale, and Bodrum.
What is unique about Izmir Turkey?
With pristine beaches, awe-inspiring ancient ruins, delectable Mediterranean cuisine, opportunities to forge new friendships, and an abundance of sunshine, Izmir offers an unparalleled experience. It is undeniably one of Turkey’s most captivating tourist destinations. Although I found that three days were insufficient to explore all of its districts, there were remarkable places I unfortunately missed, such as Foca with its castle and windmills, the toy museum, Saint Polycarp Church, and Kadifekale Castle. Nonetheless, the places I did visit, the picturesque beaches and charming towns I encountered, and the delectable dishes I savored were absolutely breathtaking. I highly recommend placing Izmir near the top of your “must-visit” list.
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We had a wonderful tour of Turkey
We had a wonderful tour of Turkey, which included Anzac day at Anzac cove, our guide & driver were excellent & we only had a small number on our bus. Hotels were 4 star or more, but were out of towns. Food was good mainly buffets. Great value for money. Turkish people were lovely.
Excellent value and comprehensive tour of top sights.
Excellent and experienced guide Oscar was a wealth of knowledge and fun to travel with.MC
The airport pickup and departures were smooth and well organized. Hotels were all of good quality though some were a distance from the cities visited. Lunch/dinner buffets were fairly repetitive in content, but you could always find something good and one never goes hungry. The vehicle used, a minibus, was modern, clean and “Fati” was a safe and excellent driver. There are some quite long driving days to cover so much territory, but in 10 days you will have seen many of Türkiye’s most famous and beautiful sights. Very good value for money and a responsive and communicative travel company to work with. I look forward to future adventures with TravelShop.
A trip of a i will never forget with Travelshop Turkey
What an amazing experience with TravelShop Turkey .We did a Cappadocia and Istanbul tour and Loved every moment of it. From the Airport meet and Greets and Transfers to the Hotel which ran smoothly in aircon vans. The Selection of hotels which where suberb with amazing breakfasts and clean spacious rooms. The private guides where very knowledgable , friendly and accommodating to everyones needs . This was a trip i will never forget and will definately recommend Travelshop Turkey without hesitation.Kim Moir
TravelShopBooking is the best
Thank you so much for arranging top notch tour.Aman Ahtasam
I must say TravelShopBooking is the best for turkey. And Special thanks to Ms Gulizar. She was very helpful in arranging and helping the package as well as she takes daily updates too.