Izmir, the third-largest city in Turkey, is undoubtedly one of the most impressive destinations in the country. You can expect numerous sights and warm-hearted people. That is why we can recommend a visit without hesitation.
That’s why it is beside Antalya, Istanbul and Cappadocia, one of the most visited places in Turkey.
But what awaits you in this city? And how do you get there in the first place? This and much more you will learn in this compact travel guide.
Izmir – All You Need To Know Before Going There
Where is İzmir?
Izmir is the westernmost city in Turkey and has about 4.4 million inhabitants. It is located on the beautiful Aegean Sea, right on the Gulf of Izmir.
Despite its direct location on the sea, this Turkish coastal city is not a classic destination for a beach vacation.
In the whole city area, you will not find a beach. More suitable for this are resorts such as Kusadasi, Cesme and Alacati. A true alternative to other popular beach holiday hotspots like Kemer on the southern coast of Turkey.
You are at the correct address in Izmir itself if you are interested in the city and cultural trips. You can expect numerous sights, which testify to the eventful history of the third-largest Turkish city.
The Best Time To Travel To İzmir
As you now know, this city is located in the far west of Turkey on the Aegean Sea. This means that you can look forward to a Mediterranean climate. While you can expect hot and dry climatic conditions in summer, winters are pretty mild.
If you want to visit during the winter months, you will be surprised by the comparatively warm temperatures. Because in the period from November to March, the temperatures are 10 to 18 degrees. Only at night, the thermometer drop below 10 degrees.
In April and May, the weather is excellent for city trips. During this time, the thermometer shows between 10 and 20 degrees. From the middle of May, you can easily make a trip to the beach.
As soon as summer starts, it gets really hot on the Aegean. Usually, the temperatures are over 30 degrees. In such climatic conditions, sightseeing is no fun. On the other hand, you can easily spend a day or two at the beach around Izmir.
Are you planning a city trip, also spending some time on the beach? Then it is best to plan your visit for October. During this time, the temperatures on the Aegean coast are simply delightful. The thermometer still shows up to 30 degrees. However, it also cools down at night. Despite this, the sea is still pleasantly warm.
Arrival in Izmir
The Turkish city has its own international airport, Izmir Adnan Menderes. It is located about 18 kilometres south of the city centre in the Gaziemir district. Within Turkey, the best way to get there is from Istanbul, but there are also direct international flights from various European cities. If you’re looking for a cheap flight, it’s best to check Skyscanner.
In addition to Izmir itself, this airport is also the starting point for other popular destinations on Turkey’s western coast. These include Didim, Cesme, Bergama and Selcuk, among others.
From the airport, you can quickly get to the city centre. This is primarily due to the excellent public transportation network. With the shuttle bus, you are in the centre within less than an hour, for which you pay between 10 and 13 Turkish Lira.
Alternatively, you can also reach your destination with the public bus lines 200, 202 and 204. For this, you need a so-called Izmirim Kart. This is a rechargeable ticket for public transportation. How this works, you can read in this detailed article from Raillynews.
However, you can’t buy this ticket from the driver; you have to buy it from a vending machine in the airport. The advantage is that with the Izmirim Kart you can use the different means of public transport in Izmir. So if you want to take the bus, the metro or the ferry, you don’t have to buy a new ticket.
You also have the option of taking a cab from the airport to your hotel. The price depends on the location of your accommodation. It is best to calculate with a price between 200 and 250 Turkish Lira.
If you plan to do some excursions anyway, it is worth getting a rental car. You can book a rental car online in advance or just rent one spontaneously at the counter. However, especially during the peak travel season, you should reserve your car ahead of time. One platform where you can do this is Rentalcars.
These Sights Await You in Izmir
You will find a lot of interesting and historical sights here. In the history of the city, different peoples have left their traces. Among others, Byzantines, Seljuks, Greeks, Romans and Ottomans were in charge in this area. It’ll hardly surprise you to discover a lot during your trip.
The most western Turkish city landmark is the clock tower of Izmir, in Turkish İzmir Saat Kulesi. This clock tower, built-in 1901, can be found at Konak Square. Directly behind the tower is the old Yalı Mosque.
From Konak Square, you can also reach the Kemeraltı Bazaar. If you don’t visit it during your vacation, you are definitely missing something. You will find a lot of shopping opportunities there. If you want, you can also order something to eat in one of the numerous cafés and restaurants. Turkish cuisine is definitely worth trying with its delicious dishes.
If you are travelling on a budget, we recommend a visit to the Karataş district. There you will find the tower Asansör, which means “elevator” in English. You can’t give a more appropriate name to a tourist attraction because two elevators will take you up the mountain in no time. The most convenient thing is that using the elevator doesn’t cost you anything.
If you want to explore some ancient ruins, you should definitely go to Kadifekale Mountain. There you will find the remains of the ancient city of Smyrna. Furthermore, from there you can enjoy a breathtaking view of the Aegean coast and the city itself.
Izmir is an ideal destination in Turkey. If you decide to spend your next vacation in this big city on the Aegean Sea, you will not regret it at all. Above all, the cultural influences of the various rulers who have held sway throughout Izmir’s history will surely delight you.