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The third largest city in Turkey, Izmir has a diverse population, a strong liberal tradition and a picturesque setting on the country’s Aegean Coast. Boasting a vibrant nightlife, an exciting culinary scene and a great choice of museums and cultural attractions, the city is guaranteed to keep you busy whatever your interests. What’s more, with a variety of pretty beaches just a stone’s throw from central Izmir, there are plenty of places to relax, unwind and top up your tan after a busy day in the city.
Konak – Konak Square, and the district that surrounds it is considered to be the centre of Izmir. Home to the city’s famous clock tower, the Agora of Smyrna and Kadifekale Castle the area is a great place to start your sightseeing tour of the city.
Alsancak – The vibrant district of Alsancak is home to lots of bars, shops and Ottoman era houses. Head to this lively area for a traditional Turkish tea, an evening drink or many more on a night out.
Karsiyaka – Located on the opposite side of the Izmir Gulf, Karsiyaka boasts a lively nightlife and choice of pedestrianized shopping streets. As well as being the perfect place to pick up a souvenir during your stay, Karsiyaka also offers panoramic views of Konak, Alsancak and the surrounding area.
Kemeraltı – An historical bazaar district, Kemeraltı is a good place to head to if you’re looking to pick up some authentic souvenirs from your trip. Dating back to the 17th century, the market has a number of original features as well as a wide variety of shops.
The most famous landmark in Izmir is Kadifekale Castle. Originally built in the 4th century, the castle sits on top of hill in the centre of the city and offers views over the surrounding area. Another place to enjoy views of Izmir is the Asansör. Built in 1907 to help residents reach districts higher up the hill, this ornate elevator has a restaurant at the top, making it a good place to enjoy a meal with a view. A trip to Kemeraltı should also be on your list of things to do during your stay in Izmir, as should a visit to Konak Square and its famous clock tower.
If you want to learn more about Izmir and its unique culture during your time in the city, start by exploring the markets, winding streets and traditional cafes that dot the historic quarters. A stroll along the buzzing waterside Kordon is a must during your stay in the city and no trip to Izmir would be complete without a visit to its castle or to the vibrant Konak district. Karsiyaka and Alsancak are two of the best areas for nightlife, or if you want to experience a more laid back side of Izmir, head to one of the many picturesque beaches found just a stone’s throw from the city.