THE PEARL OF THE AEGEAN!
As the third biggest city of the Turkish Republic, Izmir, the most important door of the Anatolia opening to the Aegean Sea has a history tracing back to, at least, 8.000 years ago. A city acquiring such a long history since the paleolithic years is inevitable to harbour countless civilisations, from empires (Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman Empires) to small ones (Hittite Empire) throughout the history.
Adnan Menderes International Airport is located in Gaziemir, 18 km south of Izmir. The city center can be reached easily by taxi or shuttle. There is an efficient and well organized public transportation system that will take you from one part of the city to another.
Some of the upscale hotels in Izmir are : Swissotel Grand Efes, Hilton Izmir, Key Hotel, Renaissance Izmir Hotel, Met Boutique Hotel, Wyndham Grand Izmir Ozdilek, Mövenpick Hotel, Karaca Hotel, Kaya Izmir Thermal & Convention, DoubleTree by Hilton Izmir- Alsancak, Kordon Hotel, Ramada Plaza etc. If you are looking for a medium priced hotel you can check out the Ibis Izmir Alsancak, Oglakcioglu Park Hotel, Hotel Baylan, Walk In Hotel, Guzel Izmir Hotel, Ustun Hotel and Olimpiyat Motel. If you prefer low priced accommodation you can stay at Shantihome Hostel or In House Hostel.
Izmir had been a harbour city getting the East and the West together during the history. It is the Efes Archaic City located at Selcuklu, one of the most important and fundamental historic city in the world, bringing this characteristic in Izmir. The construction of Efes traces back to 6000 B.C. It was a significant political and commercial harbour city . It was the capital of Asia Province at the time of the Roman Empire. The most magnificent years of Hellenistic culture were lived here. Artemis Temple situated within Efes is the most important temple of the Artemis culture. Some of the other architectural structures being worth to be experienced by you are Odeion (used as concert building), Magnesia, Heracles, Mazeus Mithridates and Gymnasiumu (the doors), Gymnasion (school at the time of Roma), Prytaneion (municipality building) and the Virgin Mery Church. The more is waiting to be witnessed by you. The Bergama Archaic City located at Bergama district is another part of the historical aspect of Izmir. The architectural works included in here are gorgeous. Roman City, Bergama Library, Dionysos Temple and more are existed within the Archaic City. Likewise, there are more archaic cities waiting for your viewing. The Clock Tower at Konak Square, Asansor (elevator) Tower reflecting the Jewish culture, Kemeralti stretching between Mezarlıkbasi and Konak Square (historical covered market), museums (Izmir Archeology Museum, Agora Museum, Izmir Etnography Museum, Efes Museum...), public houses, hamams (turkish baths), libraries are all among the rich cultural and historical structures at the city.
Kemeralti is the main and the most important shopping center of Izmir. It’s shops are lined up along the two sides of Anafartalar Street. Glamorous antiques, fascinating jewelery, rig, raisin, different types of clothing and more can be found at this market. Shops alongside the Kordon coast at Alsancak and in Karsiyaka Bazaar, are pretty modern and amusing. Likewise, excellent boutiques and large stores are located at Cankaya and Alsancak. Karsiyaka Bazaar is suitable for women to buy a great variety of locally traditional and fashionable women clothing. The hand-painted pottery and carpet special to Kizlaragasi Han as one of the best shopping places for tourists are the local arts that can be bought as gift or for pleasure.
Izmir has a pretty rich culture. This is the natural consequence of its versatile history and it to be a highly modern city. The number of culture centers, art galleries, theaters, conservatories, cinemas, museums, libraries are impressively high. Also, handicrafts, local activities (special days and festivals), folk music are the core elements of the local culture. International festivals, organizations and fairs also reflect the modern facet of the city. Izmir International Jazz Festival, Izmir International Art Festival and Izmir International Fair are just a few examples. Izmir has a 629 km coast to the Aegean Sea. While 101 km of the coast is used as beach the existence of peninsulas and bays provide, other than beach facilities, the opportunity of different kinds of sea sports. The beaches at Selcuk(Pamucak), Cesme (Ilica and Altinkum), Gumuldur, Foca, Candarli districts are the most famous ones. Cesme is one of the few domestic and foreign tourism centers located at the west of the city. The inclination to Cesme is anticipated to increase within the next years. Izmir city, particularly the south of the Cesme Peninsula, is one of the main route for yacht sport. Cesme- Kusadasi route is the most developed line for yacht tourism. Agamemnon Thermal Springs appearing in the legendary of Homeros and named as Balcova are known as curative places. These places are fairly hilarious to enjoy yourself, not merely for recovery of your health. Thermal spring culture at Izmir is pervasive as a consequence of the natural world at Izmir. Innumerable cafes and bars is possible to come upon in the city. Especially, the bars at the Kordon Boyu (the coast of Alsancak) and Karsiyaka are really entertaining locations. Walking alongside Kordon Boyu is something dreamy. Theaters, cinemas and concert spaces are considerably more than enough to amuse yourself and to have a great time.