Izmir, Turkey’s third-biggest center, is a big-city base for the nearby sites of Ephesus and Pergamum, which are both day-tripping distances. There are many interesting things to do in this city. Here is a list of the best places in Izmir, Turkey that you must visit on the next trip.
Best Places in Izmir
1. Izmir Agora
Izmir Agora is an ancient Roman site that is sandwiched between the streets of Kemerati and the hillside of Izmir. It offers a glimpse of the eighty-five years old history of this area when it was earlier known as Smyrna. It was ruined in 178 AD by an earthquake, but later it was renovated as per the order of Marcus Aurelius, who was the Roman emperor.
The reconstructed Faustina Gate and Corinthian colonnade of this ruin are eye-catching, and the vaulted chambers are equally appealing. All this gives an idea to the tourists how this marketplace would have looked in its heyday.
Ephesus is an ancient Greek city which is also known as Efeze. Being one of the world’s greatest cities in Roman times, it was ranked as the second-largest city in the world at that time. In Eastern Mediterranean, Ephesus is the best-preserved ancient temple. It holds the temple of Artemis, that believed to be one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. Many people used to believe that Ephesus is the house of Mary, mother of Jesus.
There are many magnificent sites including the Library of Celsus, the Cave of the Seven Sleepers, a theater, Church of Mary, House of the Virgin, the Isabey Mosque, Basilica of St. John, and the Temple of Hadrian.
3. Pergamon Acropolis
This is one of the best places to visit in Ankara and Izmir if you wish to gasp into the historical tales of this city! The Acropolis consists of ruins of an ancient structure, with only the pillars remaining now! The rest of the structure is now located in the Pergamon Museum, and apart from this, Pergamon Acropolis also has an erstwhile theatre, located right at the edge of the cliff!
4. Kemaraltı Market
Have extra time and not sure what to do in Izmir? If you love the bustle and chatter of a busy market, don’t miss out on this Izmir tourist attraction.
In the welcoming central bazaar in Izmir, marketeers smile and shout, inviting visitors and locals alike to inspect their wares.
Unlike in many marketplaces around the world, Izmir’s marketeers are happy to chat, even if it’s obvious you won’t be buying a pound of sardines or a traditional Turkish wedding costume.
There’s plenty on offer here for the curious foodie, too. Invest a few lira for the chance to watch the happy candy vendor expertly twirl his vats of liquid sugar onto a stick for you.
Sweet, sticky Turkish delight is on offer in every color of the rainbow while salty-sour olives range from deep black-purple to bright green. A visit to Kemaraltı Market is definitely one of the best places in Izmir to explore.
5. Konak Square and the Clock Tower
Your next stop in Izmir should be Konak Square located in the downtown area. Here, you’ll find a beautiful Clock Tower, a gift from German Emperor Wilhelm II to Ottoman King Abdulhamit II, and a symbol of the city. This is also an entryway to the old bazaar with connections to buses, a tramway system, and the urban ferries. Konak Square is also a popular rest stop and great for people-watching.
6. Culture Park
A place to enjoy concerts, festivals, and book fairs throughout the year. It serves as an escape from the hustle and bustle of the city, where you can enjoy a run or a jog through the lush green spaces. In the spring, the park hosts the Izmir Book Fair over a course of 10 days. And in the summer, the park hosts the Izmir International Fair where both national and international musicians and artists entertain the local crowd in a week-long affair. Alternatively, there’s also a Museum of History and Art inside, an amusement park, and a lake.
7. Konak Pier