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Izmir, Turkey - We've got it covered

Turkey's number three city after both Ankara and Istanbul, Izmir is home to one of the country's leading ports and is located within the Mediterranean basin. Izmir boasts an extraordinary history, spanning some 5,000 years, and has long been amongst the most cosmopolitan cities in Turkey, with many awesome archaeological sites relating to past Greek, Roman and Byzantine civilisations.

Surrounded by a series of scenic mountains, the Izmir of today is a modern and appealing tourist city, combining historical bazaars with more shops, such as those around Karsiyaka Pier and Konak Pier. The plentiful Turkish mosques add much character to the cityscape, while modern tourist information outlets are available on the central Gaziosmanpasa Bulvari and from a tourism booth conveniently sited next to the Clock Tower.

Top Izmir Sights

Many tourists will find that the best way to sightsee in Izmir is to simply take a walk around the city centre and the Konak Square (Konak Meydani), as well as the waterfront Kordon and the coast, where some very pleasant natural beaches await. For impressive views, take a ride on the Asansor elevator, or onboard one of the popular Teleferic cable cars. Family attractions in the city are plentiful within the Culture Park (Kultur Park Alani) and include the city's zoo, while the Izmir Bird's Paradise within the Cigli area is also likely to be of interest. More information about Izmir Tourist Attractions.

Izmir is a truly historical Turkish city and although a devastating fire in 1922 resulted in the loss of some splendid buildings, there are still countless landmarks of significance, such as the unusual oriental Clock Tower (Saa Kulesi) on Konak Square. Also of note in Izmir is the rather elevated Kadifekale Castle and the numerous Jewish synagogues. However, it is the awesome Agora of Smyrna that serves as the main draw card, a Roman marketplace where Colonnades of tall stone Corinthian columns can still be found standing. The Agora of Smyrna (Agora Open Air Museum) really is a 'must see' and lies off the Anafartalar Caddesi. More information about Izmir Landmarks and Monuments.

There are a number of extremely impressive museums spread around Izmir, offering information about subject matters such as archaeology, ethnography and commercial history. The Ataturk Museum remembers the life of Turkey's official founder (Mustafa Kemal Ataturk) and features a host of personal effects. If you favour the world of art, then Izmir's Culture Park is the place to head, being home to both the Museum of Art and History, and the Museum of Arts and Sculpture, which houses a mixture of Turkish paintings, ceramics and sculptures. More information about Izmir Museums and Izmir Art Galleries.

The Izmir Province deserves to be explored and in particular, many enticing day trips present themselves along the coast of the Aegean Sea. Especially nearby is Bodrum, which boasts an attractive combination of beaches and history. Cesme is just 30 minutes from Izmir and known for its windsurfing and stunning coastal views. You may also like to consider longer excursions from Izmir to leading Turkish cities, such as Ankara, Antalya and Istanbul, where mosques, temples and basilicas await. In particular, the rather overwhelming Grand Bazaar of Istanbul is quite enormous and features literally thousands of shops and stalls. More information about Izmir Attractions Nearby.

More Izmir Information / Fast Facts and Orientation
Country: Turkey (north-west)
Location: Province of Izmir
Status: city / provincial capital
Area: approximately 330 square miles / 855 square kilometres
Population: approximately 2.7 million
Language: Turkish
Currency: New Turkish Lira (TRY)
World time zones: UTC + 2, summer UTC + 3
Country dialling code: +90
Telephone area code: 0232
Average daily Izmir January temperature: 12°C / 54°F
Average daily Izmir July temperature: 33°C / 91°F

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