With an approximate population of 3.7 million people, Izmir or the “Pearl of the West” holds the third rank amongst the largest cities of Turkey. Formerly noted as Smyrna, Izmir is an ancient town which rose to prominence prior to the Classical Era. It is also home to the second largest port after Istanbul and carves a niche for being a growing city on Turkey’s Central Aegean coast. The city has earned accolades for being the one among the rapidly booming cruise ship ports and is noted for being a remarkable base for tours to Pergamon and Ephesus. Today, Izmir is referred to as the beautiful waterfront or Güzelyali. What makes the city all the more beautiful is its multi-million dollar redevelopment program, which includes the promenade and green Waterside Park as well as the customs house constructed by Gustave Eiffel.
Izmir has a Mediterranean climate and is noted for its natural beauty, beaches, rich cultural heritage, and thermal waters. The city is located at the start of an elongated and narrow gulf, adorned with passenger ships, yachts, and gulf steamers. Referred to as "Beautiful Izmir," the city’s port is located inside the gulf and occupies a prominent place in Turkey.
How to reach (Transport)
- By train : The city is home to two railway station Basmane and Alsancak. Regional trains leave to and fro from the Basmane junction while inter city trains leave from the Alsancak station. The prominent intercity services are Isparta, Denizli, and Ankara. Trains for Istanbul are connected at Bandirma with a ferry.
- By Air : Adnan Menderes Airport lies at a distance of 16 kilometers south from the city center. One can avail routine flights to Ankara, Istanbul as well as Antalya. Besides, one may also avail routine flights from various European cities.
- By bus : The bus station is located at a distance of six kilometers north east of the city. One can avail dolmus to reach the bus terminus. The bus terminus houses a cyber cafe and has other viable amenities as well. If one is traveling to Istanbul from here, then it will take approximately nine hours to reach the destination.
One can plan Izmir tour during the spring and autumn months from April to October. The weather is pleasant and cool during these months. The winter months from November to March, however, should be avoided as the city experiences freezing temperatures then.
Points of Interest (Places to Visit)
The city is blessed with various scenic beauties, pine nut production regions, historic sites, to name a few. It is also noted as the cultural capital of Aegean and the attractions are worth visiting. Some of the major attractions have been included below:
- It is true that the city is not much crowded during the first week of August, but it is not the case with the historic sites of Ephesus and Pergamon that are often thronged.
- The Greek and Roman remains at the Agora are yet another attractions to fall for. When one steps into the museum, then the first thing that would catch one's eyes are the Statues of Demeter, Poseidon, and Artemis from the altar of Zeus.
- Another must see attractions is the roomy Konak Square, with a 1901 clock tower as its essential feature, is the pious heart of Izmir and perhaps, of modern Turkey as well. This is the very place where fight for liberty post First World War partition was initiated.
A vacation of Izmir is incomplete without a comfortable stay. For those, who don’t mind being a bit lavish can count on five star choices, like Swissotel Grand Efes Izmir, Renaissance Izmir Hotel, Moevenpick Hotel Izmir, Wyndham Izmir Ozdilek, and Hilton Izmir. On the flip side, there are a handful of decent options. Budget hotels like Hotel Baylan, Olimpiyat Otel Izmir, Kocaman Hotel, and Orty Airport Hotel.
Last Updated on: October 12th, 2017