The port city of Izmir is a hub for commerce and travel, and the mix of cultures and the Mediterranean climate makes the waterfront the main spot for activities. Check out the various cafes and restaurants that line the port, along with the many inland bazaars and local street markets.
Every year, the Izmir International Fair attracts tourists, merchants, and import-export businessmen and women. Enjoy the host of musical and cultural events that run alongside this commercial fair.
Izmir's nightlife teems with global citizens at spots like Kıbrıs Şehitleri Caddesi in Alsancak or Öküz Lounge and Bar in Karsiyaka.
See the city by boat! Tours like Gaziemir Dalis Merkezi have snorkeling and shallow-sea diving activities included.
Sample Kumru, a traditional sandwich made with Turkish sausage, grilled cheese, and tomatoes from street vendors.
Head to Konak Square, where you can catch the Kemeraltı Bazaar, great for negotiating the price of souvenirs. Visit Tire on Tuesdays for Turkey's biggest open town market.
Izmir experiences a classic Mediterranean climate: hot and sticky in the summers with windy and rainy winters. During the summer months, heat can be searing, but the evenings are cooled with a sea breeze known as "meltem".
10 miles south of the city center is the Adnan Menderes Airport (ADB), that connects Izmir to Istanbul and Ankara for international flights. To get to the city center, you can use the airport shuttle HAVAŞ for ₺10 or public buses for ₺4.70.
Traveling to Izmir by train, you'll arrive at either the Basmane Station or Alsancak. From Basmane, you can connect with the subway to get into town.
Izmir's waterfront location means you must rely on ferry service, which docks at Alsancak Ferry Terminal, 1.2 miles north of the city. The ferry connects Izmir to Istanbul and even Venice.
The main bus station or the "otogar", is 3.7 miles from the center. Buses from Istanbul have a journey time of 9 hours (including a ferry trip).
Shantihome in Alsancak is where you can get a single room for a decent price. Hotel Yaman is a good mid-range option, while Mövenpick offers a more upscale experience.
Karsiyaka - located on the other side of the Gulf of Izmir, this district is home to Izmir's shopping streets with beautiful waterfront views of neighboring cities and a vibrant and colorful nightlife.
Alsancak - Alsancak's charm is in its small streets and Ottoman-era bars and houses.
Konak - this district is at the heart of Izmir, and is home to the Izmir Clock Tower, Konak Yali Mosque, and Kemeraltı Bazaar.
Fares for Izmir's train line cost ₺2.4 for adults and ₺1.35 for students. There are two travel cards, which cover bus, subway, İzban rail, and ferry trips. These are rechargeable at stations, piers, and shops, with a ₺7 initial deposit.
Taxis are reliable and fares start with a flat rate of ₺3 and ₺1.86 for each mile thereafter.
You can rent cars in Izmir using Elite Car rental services for ₺72 a day and visit other port cities and beaches along the Aegean such as Çeşme and Tire.
Besides Karsiyaka's pedestrian shopping, check out the Forum mall in Bornova or Konak Pier, a small mall with a cinema and clothing stores.
Living in Izmir is comparable to other Turkish cities. You can get a quart of milk for ₺2.66 and ₺5.20 for a dozen eggs.
Dine on classic Turkish cuisine for ₺30 - ₺80 at Meşhur Tavacı Recep Usta in Alsancak, where roasted meat and desserts like Baklava are favorites.