Izmir

Travel Guide Europe Turkey Aegean Turkey Izmir

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Introduction

Izmir is a city in Turkey along the Aegean coastline. Izmir is the third largest city in Turkey, the second largest port city and a vibrant, charming and cosmopolitan city that certainly is exciting to visit! The total population of the metropolitan area is about 4 million.

The city was formerly known as Smyrna and much of the old town was unfortunately destroyed in 1922 during the Greek-Turkish war. Izmir does still have a wealth of attractions and cultural offers to adventurous tourists and the city is considered the biggest city of culture on the Aegean coast.

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Sights and Activities

The foyer is a very big public park with an amusement park, which has some great rides including roller coasters and the 360 degrees drop one. The main shopping areas are about a 10-minute walk from the foyer. One should also go to the souks near the 'boerse' because clothes and accessories there are much cheaper than those at the shopping malls.

Other places of interest would be the ferry terminal. At sunset this place rocks as most of the young people descend in droves from the ferries to spend their time there.

Izmir doesn’t have the same nightlife as Istanbul, but it has a lot of hear and character. It has a whole different experience from what you would find in Istanbul. The city still doesn’t have the same coffee culture but it makes up in other areas.

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Weather

The weather is mild in winter and hot in summer. Winters average around 15 °C during the day, and 5 °C at night. Summers average over 30 °C with warm nights of 21 °C. Temperatures of -11 °C and 42 °C respectively have been recorded though. Most of the rain falls from November to March, with summers very dry and sunny.

JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Avg Max12.2 °C13.4 °C15.8 °C20.7 °C25.9 °C30.6 °C33 °C32.7 °C29 °C23.8 °C18.4 °C14 °C
Avg Min5.6 °C5.9 °C7.2 °C10.9 °C15.1 °C19.4 °C22 °C21.8 °C18.3 °C14.3 °C10.6 °C7.5 °C
Rainfall131.2 mm98.8 mm76.7 mm44.1 mm31.8 mm7.9 mm2.1 mm2.2 mm10.7 mm37.9 mm92.1 mm150.8 mm
Rain Days12.710.79.38.15.22.10.70.725.6913

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Getting There

By Plane

Adnan Menderes Airport (ADB) is located 18 kilometres from Izmir. A few dozens of airlines serve the city, with some main destinations including Istanbul, Tehran, London, Berlin, Cologne, Munich, Tel Aviv, Amsterdam, Düsseldorf, Vienna, Zürich, Ankara, Athens, Frankfurt, Oslo, Stockholm, Paris, Brussels, Dublin and Belfast.

The easiest way to get there from Izmir is by the Havaş airport shuttle bus (every 20 minutes, 35 to 60 minutes) from the Turkish Airlines office. Trains operated by the Turkish State Railways stop at the Airport Station. There are 14 trains daily in both directions. Northbound trains all go to Basmane Terminal in the city centre, while southbound trains serve Ödemiş, Tire, Söke, Aydın, Nazilli and points in between. From September, IZBAN commuter rail service will service the station.

By Train

İzmir has two railway stations:

Alsancak (☎ +90 232 458-31-31) has suburban trains. Basmane (☎ +90 232 484-86-38) in the city center has both regional and intercity trains, the main route of interest to visitors being the six trains per day via Selcuk (2 hours, 8 TL, for Ephesus and Kusadasi) to Denizli (4 hours, 32 TL, for Pamukkale). Basmane metro station is adjacent.

  • To Eskisehir (overnight, 10½ hours), for YHT trains to Ankara (90 mins) and Istanbul Pendik (2 hours).
  • To Konya (overnight, 14 hours), for buses to Antalya (6 hours) and Adana.
  • The service to Bandirma (6½ hours), for the ferry to Istanbul Yenikapi.

Alsancak is also the hub of the suburban IZBAN railway which runs to the airport and city centre, and connects with the metro.

By Bus

The bus station, or otogar(Turkish for bus garage), is 6 km north east of city centre, with frequent dolmuş running there. The bus station is huge and has an internet cafe, plenty of facilities for food and drink, and pay toilets. There are multiple bus operators and ticket offices; when a bus is about to depart, the agents will shout a last call for that destination.

There are free shuttle bus service that will bring passengers from the bus terminal to Basmane Square, the city center. To get to the free shuttle station, after get off the bus, go to the left most side of the bus terminal building without entering it. There should be stair going down, you'll see all the bus companies' free shuttle buses and the terminal service free shuttle. There also is a city bus route that goes to Konak through former Kemalpaşa road.

Buses to Istanbul run frequently and take 6½ hours, with regular rest stops. The fare of 70-90 TL will usually include water, hot drinks, and snacks. For example, Ulusoy bus from Istanbul will set you back around 85 TL (August 2016). Check http://www.otobusbileti.gen.tr/izmir-otobus-bileti for schedules and prices.

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Getting Around

By Car

There are many taxis with reasonable price. No night rate. Turkish taxis are not allowed to go outside province they are registered at. Meaning an İzmir-registered taxi(registration starting in 35) cannot go beyond İzmir provincial boundaries.

By Public Transport

The system of urban rail in İzmir consists of two lines:

  • a line connecting city centre/Konak Square with the northeastern town of Bornova and western town of Balçova(for now, the line ends at Fahrettin Altay square, that is the boundary of Balçova).
  • a line connecting Tepeköy (to the south) and Aliağa (to the north). It also provides connection to Foça and other places north from İzmir.

Public ferries are easy, fast inside the coast and provide a nice view of İzmir. Preferable to every other transportation in nice weather.

By Foot

You can explore İzmir inner city by walking. Walking Routes to center of the city are very easy to walk and enjoyable.

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Eat

The places around the ferry terminal have small cafés and snack food outlets where they have good, cheap food.

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Drink

Join the nightlife on Kıbrıs Şehitleri Caddesi in Alsancak, and go find the Gazi Kadinlar Street. Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays are when the street is liveliest.

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Sleep

The centre of the city where the foyer and the globe are is the place to find cheap hotels. There are some hostels a well. There are many upscale hotels like the Hilton, which is in the middle of the shopping district.

  • Hotel Yaman, 1440 Sokak No.19, Alsancak, ☎ +90 232 421-12-87, fax: +90 232 421-02-69, e-mail: hotelyaman@hotelyaman.com. Rooms with en-suite bathroom, satellite TV, air-con, wi-fi, safebox free of charge. €45/€60 single/double rooms.
  • Güzel İzmir Oteli, 9 Eylül Meydanı, 1368. Sokak No.8, Basmane, ☎ +90 232 483-50-69. Rooms with shower/toilet, satellite TV, air-con, wi-fi. €35 double room.
  • Hotel Bodrum, 1362 Sokak No12 Cankaya (5 minutes walk from the railway station towards the sea front.). Rooms have wireless internet hot/cold shower, Turkish TV and air-con. 40 TL per night for single/double room including breakfast.
  • Key Hotel, Akdeniz Mahallesi, Mimar Kemalettin Cd. No:1, ☎ +90 232 482 11 11.

You can use the form below to search for availability (Travellerspoint receives a commission for bookings made through the form)

Booking.com

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Keep Connected

Internet

Internet cafes can be found everywhere except small rural villages. The cost of an hour use of internet ranges from 1 YTL to 1.5 YTL. Wireless internet is becoming popular in some cafes in big cities such as Istanbul, Ankara, and Izmir, and at airpots. But in many other places it's still not available, or sometimes at a very high cost.

Phone

See also: International Telephone Calls

Turkey's international country code is 90. Dial 112 for an ambulance anywhere, from any telephone, without a charge. In case of a fire, dial 110; for police, call 155. However, in rural areas there is not a police coverage, so dial 156 for gendarme, a military unit for rural security. All these numbers are free of charge and can be called from a telephone booth without inserting a calling card, or any phone including cell phones.

There are telephone booths owned by Turk Telekom in major parts of cities. public phones now operate with chip telekom cards which are available in 30, 60 or 120 units and can be obtained at post offices, newspaper and tobacco kiosks.
It is estimated that approximately 98% of the population of Turkey lives within the coverage areas of Turkey’s three cell phone line providers. Line providers from most countries have roaming agreements with one or more of these companies. Pre-paid mobile phone SIM cards can be purchased for approximately TRY20-50. These can be purchased at the airport on arrival or from the many outlets in Istanbul and other large cities. Providers include Vodaphone.

Post

PTT is the national post service in Turkey. Services are generally moderately fast but quite reliable. There is an extended price list on the PTT website, where you can see the costs of sending items within Turkey, countries in Europe and further afield. For sending packages one might also use international companies such as DHL and UPS and local companies such as Yurtici Kargo. Post offices bear the distinctive yellow PTT sign and are generally open between 9:00am to 12:00 noon and 1:30pm to 5:00pm from Monday to Friday. Some might keep longer hours or be open during the weekend as well, but this mainly applies to the larger ones or those in central places and tourist areas.

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Quick Facts

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Coordinates
  • Latitude: 38.418698
  • Longitude: 27.129687

Accommodation in Izmir

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This is version 20. Last edited at 8:23 on May 4, 18 by Utrecht. 18 articles link to this page.

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