HomeTurkish Aegean31 Must-See Sights in Izmir, Turkey

31 Must-See Sights in Izmir, Turkey

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Izmir is one of the most beautiful provinces in the Aegean Sea, receives millions of tourists every year and is the third largest city in the Turkey. Known as the Pearl of the Aegean, Izmir has a long history History and hosts thousands of tourists every year. Izmir regions Urla, Fountain, Karaburun, Dikili and Seferihisar have developed into holiday centers with unique characteristics.

Izmir, which has hosted many civilizations such as Archaic, Hellenistic, Classical, Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman civilizations, has many settlements from the past.

These are the 31 must-see attractions of Izmir that you cannot miss.

1. Clock Tower (Saat Kulesi) of Izmir

One of the symbols of Izmir where the Time has stopped. Izmir's Historic Clock Tower In Konak, one of Izmir's most recognizable landmarks, the clock tower adorns the square with its splendor. Don't miss Konak Square and snap a photo of an Izmir classic at the clock tower.

The Clock Tower of Izmir (Turkish: İzmir Clock tower) is a historic clock tower built in 1901 in Konak Square in the Konak district of Smyrna, now Izmir, Turkey. The 25 meter high tower features an iron and lead structure in a high quality Ottoman architectural design surrounded by four fountains designed as Şadırvan.

Top 20 Sights And Places In Turkey You Must See Izmir 2023 - Turkey Life
Top 20 Sights And Places In Turkey You Must See Izmir 2023 - Turkey Life

2. Kemeralti Bazaar

Kemeraltı (more precisely Kemeraltı Çarşısı) is a historical market area (bazaar) in Izmir, Turkey. It remains one of the liveliest areas in Izmir. Lose yourself in shopping stores of Izmir. You can find everything you are looking for in Kemeraltı Bazaar, the shopping mall in Izmir. Kemeraltı Bazaar consists of many streets and is the cheapest shopping center in Izmir. Don't leave without exploring the historic inns and getting lost in the streets. On the bazaar there are many restaurants and cafes where you turkish coffee drink when tired.

The area is vast, stretching from the market plain of Smyrna (Namazgah, Mezarlıkbaşı and İkiçeşmelik municipalities) to the seafront along Konak Square. It is bordered by Fevzipaşa Boulevard to the northeast, Eşrefpaşa Street to the southwest, and Halil Rıfat Bashaw Street to the southeast, and is surrounded by the Kadifekale ridge.

Kemeralti Bazaar includes old caravanserais, local and tourist market stalls, Turkish restaurants, tea houses, souvenir shops, modern cafes, marble fountains, Moscheen, synagogues, hotels and much more.

Izmir Travel Guide Attractions Beach Hotel Holiday Bazaar 2023 - Turkey Life
Izmir Travel Guide Attractions Beach Hotel Holiday Bazaar 2023 - Turkey Life

3. Asansör (Historical Elevator)

Asansör (Turkish for "elevator", derived from the French word ascenseur). It was built in 1907 by a wealthy Jewish banker and businessman Nesim Levi Bayraklıoğlu as a public works to facilitate access from the narrow Karataş Coast to the hill, as well as to transport goods through the steep cliffs between the two districts.

Over time, this small street leading to the building also became known as the namesake Asansör Street (Asansör Sokağı). In the 1940s, one of the residents of this street was the singer Dario Moreno, who rose to fame. It was recently restored and has been one of the symbols of Izmir ever since. In honor of the singer, the street was renamed Dario Moreno Street.

4. Konak Pier

Konak Pier is a pier in the city of Izmir, Turkey. It is the customs building designed in 1890 by the famous French architect and civil engineer Gustave Eiffel (who also designed the Eiffel Tower). Although it was intended as a customs house, its function changed several times. In 1960 it was put into operation as a fish market. After a reorganization in 2003-2004, Konak Pier received its current appearance and functions as an upscale shopping mall.

5. Gündoğdu Meydanı and Kordon

Gündoğdu Square is located in Alsancak District of Izmir Konak District, at the neck of the cordon built by reclamation, and today it is one of the meeting places of the people of Izmir.

The location of the square is one of the prime spots to watch the sunrise and sunset. Kordon is also a social center surrounded by bars, cafes, restaurants, shops and bistros.

In the area, which gets particularly crowded in the warmer months, you're most likely to encounter a group of people sitting on the grass chatting and killing time. Gündoğdu Square is one of the most important places in Izmir where you can rent a bike or drive a phaeton.

6. Agora of Smyrna

Agora, meaning marketplace and town square in Greek, was a commercial, religious and political area in ancient times Activities focused. In ancient times, every city had at least one agora.

The Agora of Smyrna, also known as the Agora of Izmir (Turkish: İzmir Agorası), was an ancient Roman agora in Smyrna (modern-day İzmir, Turkey). Originally by the Greeks in the 4th century BC. Built in 178 BC, the agora was destroyed by an earthquake in 1933 AD. The Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius ordered its reconstruction. Excavations began in 2020. In XNUMX, the Agora of Smyrna became a provisional World Heritage Site as part of the “Historical Port City of Izmir”.

7. Alacati

Cesme Alacati is one of the areas in Turkey with a particularly lively nightlife Summer. A neighborhood frequented by numerous celebrities, its residences, quaint boutiques, stone streets and performance venues attract tourists all year round.

In Alaçatı you can visit antique shops, take photos in front of historical buildings, buy souvenirs, windsurf, watch the sunset at the windmills and enjoy insatiable entertainment in the nightlife until the early hours. Considering the points of interest & sights from Izmir, Alacati is a must during the holiday season. Tens of thousands of domestic and foreign tourists flock to the area. With beautiful and sandy beaches, old-fashioned houses, very high-end places and very cute streets, Alacati is one of the must-see places for anyone who wants to have a great vacation.

8. Izmir Archaeological Museum

The first archaeological Museum of Izmir was opened in 1924 in Basmane. Then, in 1927, it was opened to tourists under the name of Asar-ı Atika Museum in Ayavukla Church, the concept of the museum was different then.

Many historical artefacts were brought here from the Aegean region and ancient cities in and around Izmir. Historically one of the attractions from Izmir, the area was opened in 1951 in Kültürpark, with a second museum in Izmir. After a small modification, it worked today. Thousands of historical artifacts in this place occupy a very important place for Turkey.

9. Çeşme town and peninsula

Çeşme is the first area that comes to mind when looking for a holiday destination in Izmir, it is one of the most popular holiday centers in Turkey with sea, sand, sun, surfing, Spa, Wellness and historical tourism.

Conveniently located 85 kilometers from the center of Izmir, Cesme has become one of the most popular summer spots in recent years. Cesme welcomes thousands of tourists every year and has many beaches, bays, accommodation and nightclubs.

Favored by celebrities in summer, Cesme has many historical elements worth seeing. The ancient city of Erythrai is also within the limits of Çeşme Ildırı village. Cesme has many beaches to choose from, including many areas such as the regional center, Ilica and Alacati. In Cesme, one of the most popular addresses in summer, you can enjoy the sea and sun during the day and have fun at night.

The Ultimate Guide To Cesme Altinkum Strand 2023 - Turkey Life
The Ultimate Guide To Cesme Altinkum Strand 2023 - Turkey Life

10. Alsancak

Alsancak is a district in the Konak district of Izmir, with a beautiful view, which forms the center of the city. Izmir's most popular attraction, Alsancak, stands out for its day and nighttime activities.

Famous for its promenade, bars, entertainment, shopping, seafood restaurants, bistros, cycling and jogging trails and cafes along the seafront, Alsancak is one of the most beautiful places to watch a romantic sunset.

Places to visit in Alsancak are: Alsancak Catholic Church, Alsancak Love Road, Selçuk Yaşar Museum and Art Gallery, Cat Culture and Art Center, İzmir Painting and Sculpture Museum, Izmir Ataturk House Museum, Arkas Art Center, Gündoğdu Square, Konak Square, Izmir – Republic Square, Alsancak Railway Station.

11. Sigacik

Sığacık is shown as the tourist center of Seferihisar in Izmir, which attracts everyone's attention with its natural and historical beauty and its sea-scented streets. Known as a port city, Sığacık has preserved its originality from the past to the present, with a doubling of its population in summer. Its history, sea, sand and nature make Sığacık a unique resort.

The places that must be visited in Sığacık are the Beach Akkum, Sığacık Castle, Teos Ancient City, Sığacık Producer Market, The Old City-Streets, Değirmen and Teos Marina.

12. Izmir Cable Car (Izmir Balçova Teleferik)

The cable car is located near the center of Izmir and is connected to Balçova. You can have a picnic, rent a barbecue place and have fun with your kids and your loved ones in the cable car, which are among the things to do in Izmir.

If you are looking for a great view of Izmir, you might be at the right place for the Balçova cable car. You will spend a very pleasant time here with a bird's eye view of Izmir.

13. Ancient City of Ephesus

The ancient city of Ephesus is one of the most important cities in the world. This 8600 B.C. The city, which was founded around XNUMX BC, first tried to survive as a community area. What is remarkable, however, is that over time it has developed into one of the largest, most important and most exciting world capitals of its time.

The ancient city developed rapidly, especially as trade routes passed through it, and the Selcuk district contained the most fertile land in Anatolia. The region's golden age was its union with Rome. The ancient city of Ephesus, founded in 129 B.C. merged with Rome became the capital of the Asian province. The city's wealth did not stop there, it also spread to architecture, creating magnificent structures such as the Library of Celsus.

In addition, the area is the birthplace of various religions, in particular the House of the Virgin Mary, which has attracted great tourist interest. There is a part of the area also known as the ancient city of Smyrna. Ephesus is about an hour's drive from Izmir city center. Among the attractions in Izmir, the ancient city of Ephesus is one of the must-see attractions.

Izmir Travel Guide Attractions Beach Hotel Vacation Excursions 2023 - Turkey Life
Izmir Travel Guide Attractions Beach Hotel Vacation Excursions 2023 - Turkey Life

14. Church of the Virgin Mary

The Church of the Virgin Mary is located 9 km from the Selcuk district of Izmir, an area of ​​high spiritual value for the Christian community and considered a pilgrimage center.

In the baptistery garden in the center of the church is a statue of the Virgin Mary. The building was actually a house that was later converted into a church. The building is known to date from the 7th or 8th century. Declared a place of pilgrimage by the 1961rd Pope John in 23, the church welcomes thousands of visitors every year. The water from the 3 fountains in the church garden is said to have healing properties.

15. Ildırı Village of Çeşme

Known as the center of natural beauty of Izmir, Ildırı Village in Cesme is home to a mesmerizing beauty where history and nature intertwine.

The village of Ildırı houses the ancient city of Erythrai and, according to legend, one of the settlements that Homer called "the most beautiful place for sunsets". With its beaches, historical elements, peaceful atmosphere and unspoilt country life, Ildırı is one of the must-visit places.

16. Flower Village (Çiçekli Köy) – Yakaköy

Çiçekköy and Yakaköy are 6 km from Bornova and 2 km from the Manisa-Izmir highway, which is known as the oxygen source of Izmir. The area is still used today as a promenade, and there are many restaurants and breakfast bars that are equipped with natural products.

Flower Village ( Çiçekköy) is one of the undiscovered natural beauties preferred by those who enjoy a delicious weekend Breakfast and enjoy some fresh air.

17. Konak Square

Konak Square is a meeting point for the people of Izmir and is considered the center of the city. The area around the square is large, you can see the sea, and there are many things worth seeing Historic Buildings. It includes the Izmir Clock Tower in the middle of the square and the Konak Yali Mosque around it.

Considering the attractions of Izmir, it is recommended to come to Konak Square to explore these areas in a sightseeing mood and explore the entire area on foot, including Konak Pier.

18. Yeni Foca and Eski Foca

The history of Foça (formerly Phokaia), like the rest of Izmir, is based on the past. The territory that houses the works from this period has many elements in which nature, history and culture are intertwined. The main attractions of Foça are Beş Pınar Castle, Devil's Bath, Mersinaki Bay, Sazlıca Bay, Phrygia Hill, Temple of Athena, Persian Funerary Monument, Ancient Theater of Foça, Cybele Open Air Temple, Fatih -Mosque, the Ağalar mansion, the islands and the village of Kozbeyli.

The area is a 1-hour drive from the center of Izmir and has the atmosphere of a charming resort town. Foça is one of the districts that stands out for its historical, tourist and natural attractions and one of the Must sees.

19. Smyrna Tepekule Tumulus Ruins

It is known that the story of Smyrna in Bayraklı, Izmir dates back to more than 3000 BC. BC. As a result of excavations, it was found that these settlements were located on a mountain, on a rock 5 meters above sea level. The first settlements in the area belong to the Old Bronze Age.

The houses found during the city survey were made of clay and straw. The perimeter of the city is protected by thick walls. The most important sacred building is the Artemis Temple. Smyrna was highly developed in commerce and was the most powerful civilization in the Ionian period. Smyrna, one of the great examples of modern cities in the western world, was destroyed as a result of the Persian invasion of Anatolia. 545 BC became 300 BC. destroyed, after that there were no more settlements.

20. Ancient city of Teos

Teos Ancient City is located in the south of Sığacık Village, 5 km from Seferihisar in Izmir. The founder of the city was Atamas, the son of Dionysus. Its foundation dates back to 1000 BC. back.

The 2nd century BC Temple of Dionysus B.C., right next to the ancient city of Teos, one of the 12 Ionian cities, is the largest temple of Dionysus built in Anatolia. The temple was badly damaged by an earthquake and restored during the Roman Empire.

In the northern part of the ancient city of Teos there are theatres, the Acropolis and the Hellenistic walls. The study found that sea trade and two ports were the livelihoods of the ancient city.

21. Ruins of the ancient city of Asklepion

The Asklepion was reached via a sacred road in Roman times and its courtyard was of great importance, housing the gallery, the chapel, the theater hall with a capacity of 3500 people, the library and the temple of Asclepius. In the southern part of the area there are three Hellenistic temples, sacred springs and pools, and bedrooms.

In the Asklepion, which was used as a treatment center for many diseases during the transition period, physiotherapy methods are used today. Water and mud baths, medicinal herbs, holy water and healing from hunger and thirst are the most important treatments.

22. Pergamon Museum

The museum displays historical artefacts, sculptures, mosaics and ethnographic objects from the region from antiquity to the present day and is affiliated with the Ministry of Culture. Only a model of the Altar of Zeus has been excavated from the area, and its original form is on display in the Pergamon Museum in Berlin.

23. Ancient city of Pergamum

The oldest settlement in Pergamum is a hilltop settlement in Bergama, Izmir, dating back to the 7th and 6th centuries BC. BC. The ancient city consists of two main parts. The two parts are the area known as the Burg and its walls and the lower town on the southern slope which also has walls.

The most important buildings of this period are the Altar of Zeus, the Library with an archive of 200.000 books, the Great Palace, the City Walls and the City Walls and Colonnades of the Temple of Athena. The steepest ancient theater is also in Pergamon. The city's celebrities generally live in an area known as Upper Town. In the central part of the city are the Temple of Hera, Demeter, the Temple of Asklepeion, the Gymnasium and the City Fountain. In the lower town there is a bazaar with many shops and houses. The lower town is the Pergamon area used as a trading center.

24. Kızlarağası Hanı

Kızlarağası Inn built by Hacı Beşir Ağa in 1744 and now located in Kemeraltı Bazaar is one of the buildings showing the development of trade in Izmir. There are many souvenir shops, restaurants and cafes on site. Also in the inns that still trade traces of the past, you can find many ethnographic items to take with you on your trip to Izmir.

25. Historical Hisar Mosque of İzmir

According to sources, there are two different descriptions of the mosque on Fevzi Paşa Street in Konak, Izmir. The first is that it was built by Molla Yakup Bey in 1598. The second is the conversion to Latin Churches in mosques. In addition, according to sources, it is said to have been destroyed by Timur in 1402. According to the inscription on the garden gate, it was rebuilt in 1881.

Carved out of stone and rubble, this mosque is one of the most magnificent religious buildings in Izmir. The square-plan mosque's wooden pulpit rests on the feet of eight elephants inlaid with mother-of-pearl. The minaret of the Hisar Mosque was renovated in 1927.

26. Ruins of the Red Hall or Temple of Serapis

Also known as the Red Court because of its large forecourt made entirely of brick, Serapis was built during the Roman Empire in AD 2. Located 1 km from Bergama city center, this temple is one of the religious monuments of Anatolia.

After the construction period, the building was converted into a church with an extension, a cathedral and a three-aisled building. The Red Court is considered one of the 7 temples mentioned in the Bible and was converted into a mosque during the Ottoman Empire.

27. Izmir Ethnographic Museum

Built in the 19th century on a neoclassical terrace, the building was first used as a hospital in 1831 and, after being taken care of by the French in 1845, became a sanatorium for Christian families. In 1984 it was subordinated to the Ministry of Culture and Tourism and opened as an ethnographic museum.

Ethnographic objects reflecting the social life and customs of Izmir are exhibited in this three-story building. The first and second floors of the museum serve as exhibition rooms, displaying saddlery, rope, wood, pewter, pottery, horseshoe, carpet, eye, felt and other handicrafts and their products.

28. Church of St. Polycarp

The Church Chapel of St. Polycarp was built in 1625 in the name of St. Polycarp, a disciple of St. John and Bishop of Izmir. Izmir Konak Church has a must-see architectural design.

It happened immediately after the assassination of Polycarp, who was accused of spreading Christianity and its beliefs. The life of Polycarp painted by Raymond Pere is depicted on the walls of the church. Their goal was to immortalize the life of Polycarp.

29. Selcuk Ephesus Museum

The museum presents Mycenaean, Ancient, Classical, Hellenistic, Roman, Byzantine, Seljuk and Ottoman artifacts excavated around the ancient city of Ephesus in Izmir. Selcuk is one of the best places in Turkey with its visitor capacity and cultural activities and most important museum.

The museum presents works from the ancient city of Ephesus, divided into chronological and typological sections. The hall is divided into the Tomb Artifact Hall, the Hill Houses, the Ephesus Artemis Hall, the Imperial Cult Hall, the Coin and Treasury Room, and the House Artifact Hall. The most famous works of the museum are the Eros statue of the dolphin, the head of Socrates, the head of Eros and the statue of Artemis.

30. Izmir Ataturk House and Museum

The Ataturk Museum building in Konak, Izmir was built by a businessman in 1870. When the owner of the building moved from Izmir, the house was given to the treasury and later used as the headquarters. The building where Atatürk stayed several times was later converted into a hotel and given to Atatürk as a gift.

The building, which was handed over to the Ministry of Culture in 1967, has been converted into a museum with exhibits related to Ataturk. The two-storey building houses a hall, meeting rooms and important decision-making sessions, in which Ataturk and his friends are depicted. The upper deck is the boat Ataturk used on his journey to Zmir and the middle deck is his belongings and the rooms he used during that time.

31. Beit Israel Synagogue

The Beit Israel Synagogue was built in 1905, received a license for Jewish religion and worship in 1904 during the reign of Abdul Hamid, and opened for religious purposes in 1907. Beit Israel is the first example of a synagogue in Izmir built under Italian influence.

Stone masonry was used to build synagogues and is still widespread today. Wood is used for the ceiling and mezzanine. The red carpet inside and the red fabric on the rows of seats add color to the synagogue. Beit Israel Synagogue has been in operation since 1908 and its original structure has never been destroyed and is one of the religious works to visit in Izmir.

Top 31 Must-See Sights In Izmir 2023 - Turkey Life
Top 31 Must-See Sights In Izmir 2023 - Turkey Life

Best Sights in Izmir

Izmir has many attractions to offer with old towns, squares, natural areas, deep blue bays and picturesque hills. As one of the greatest generals in history, Alexander the Great fought for Izmir many times and is said to have even entered the dream of Smyrna, as it was then called. Izmir is a very rich city with many sights. To name just a few examples of such wealth: Konak Square, Şirince, Sığacık, Gündoğdu Square, Izmir Clock Tower, Cypriot Martyrs Street, Ephesus Old Town, Foca Old Town, Barsova Cable Car, Historical Elevator, Historical Collection Town of Kemeralti, Birgi Village, Izmir Nature Park, Alacati, Dikili, Karaburun, Ildırı Village and Seyirtepe.

Coming to Izmir, be sure to immerse yourself in history, enjoy the sun and sea, taste the local cuisine, join the entertainment until the morning, get in touch with nature and find a peaceful one Moment of healing in the spa.

Untouched natural areas are mostly located in the upper part of Izmir and are an indispensable address for those who want to escape from the city noise and stress. In the summer, many areas enchant with cool breezes and plenty of oxygen while in the Winter stand out with snow-white landscapes.

Home to traditional flavors of the Aegean, Izmir is famous for its variety of herbs. With many organic community markets, Izmir offers a special place for Izmir residents. Some of the famous dishes in İzmir that call simit crispy and the core crocus are kumru, İzmir meatballs, söğüş, boyoz, İzmir tulum, sura and artichokes with olive oil.

After sunset, colorful nightlife begins in Izmir. Izmir has many places to spend a happy and pleasant time not far away, where you can chat with friends, cafes and nightclubs with live music, you can party until the early hours and have a good time in the morning.

Nightlife is particularly concentrated in the city center, and entertainment seekers flock to resort centers like Cesme in the summer. Many celebrities also perform at specific venues in Izmir which offers many options such as bistros, nightclubs, bars and cafes that appeal to all market segments.

Izmir is known for its organic herbs and fisheries unique to the Aegean, and the selection of souvenirs is very limited. In Izmir, there are many historical elements from the past to the present, figurines reflecting ancient artifacts, organic olive oil, Bergama rugs and carpets, Izmir Tulum cheese, Nazarkoy pearls, and especially Şirince wine is one of the souvenirs, brought from Izmir.

Izmir, the jewel of the Aegean, is one of the most famous areas for many holiday destinations. Izmir receives more than 1 million tourists every year, and there are many districts and districts along the coast. There are many areas suitable for swimming in Cesme, Seferihisar, Karaburun, Urla, Dikili, Foça, Selçuk and Aliağa. Each district has its own unique atmosphere, beach and sea. In this regard, Izmir is almost a tourist paradise.

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