Nestled between a dramatic mountain backdrop and the clear waters of the Aegean Sea, the city of Izmir has plenty to offer its visitors. Whether you’re walking about the waterfront promenade known as the Kordon and enjoying a picturesque sunset, relaxing in the cosy bars and restaurants of the Alsancak region or bartering for bargains at the bazaar, this is a city that offers a feast for all the senses. Food lovers will delight in the many culinary wonders, some of which are almost exclusive to this part of Turkey. This is especially true of the Kumru sandwich, available either with Turkish sausage or green pepper for vegetarian option, served warm with cheese and tomatoes. The coastal location also makes Izmir an excellent place to sample fresh seafood. Though the city has existed for more than 5,000 years, much of it was destroyed in a fire in the early 1920s. Though many of the main historical delights are no longer in existence, there is still much to be enjoyed, from glorious old churches to the Agora Roman bazaar. If you’re keen to experience more ancient history, Izmir is a fantastic base from which to explore further afield with day-trips available to locations such as Ephesus and Pergamum.
The best time of year to go to Izmir is between the months of April and October. Both prices and temperatures rise highest between June and August but outside of these peak times in the shoulder seasons, you’ll find great combination of value for money and excellent vacation weather. Between November and March you can expect the weather to be positively chilly at times, though there are likely to be occasional sunny days. The compensation for this is that prices will be at their lowest and the summer crowds will be entirely absent.
The Izmir Metro is clean, efficient and great value for money, it is an ideal travel solution if your destination lies near a station. Taxis are easy to find and prices are reasonable, but always make sure the driver has reset the meter at the start of your journey. Buses are another possibility but the system is not particularly intuitive and some visitors have a tough time working out where each bus is going. Tickets can, however, be purchased directly from the driver.