Get ready to discover this unique city with places to visit in Izmir. Are you going to Turkey and want to see Izmir? Discover what to do and see in Izmir, the Queen of the Aegean Sea!
Izmir (traditionally called Smyrna) is a gigantic metropolis of over 4 million inhabitants located on the Aegean Sea, near the Gulf of Izmir. The third-largest city and the second port of Turkey were found around 3000 BC.
Symbol of the Hittite Kingdom, it has a thousand-year history, as evidenced by the surrounding archaeological sites, monuments, and relics scattered here and there in the city’s historic center. Izmir is a modern and pleasant city, strongly westernized by its geographical position, with a first-rate seaside resort. Let’s see together what to do and see in Izmir!
You were wondering what to do in Izmir during your trip? Here is the answer to our musts to see Izmir and savor its pleasures without crushing!
Places to Visit in Izmir: Clock Tower
The Clock Tower is the largest and symbolic monument of this important city. Konak Square is where everything lives in Izmir, and the fabulous scenery of this building is just as great. For gourmets and street food lovers, don’t hesitate to enjoy an authentic kebab.
Built in 1755 for the love of the wife of the then governor of Smyrna, Ayse Hanım, the Yalı Mosque is a Smyrna institution. Also located in Konak Square, a few steps from the Clock Tower and the Governor’s Palace, it has the particularity of having a rather unusual shape: It is perfectly octagonal!
It has a single dome and a small minaret, and the visit is worth the detour for those looking for something to do in Izmir.
Historical Elevator (Asansör)
The Historical Elevator is a vertical historical monument whose name derives from the lift. For a good reason: Built in 1907 by a wealthy banker in the Karataş neighborhood, it had a practical vocation in the area overlooking the cliff.
Today it has become a symbolic place in the city. It allows you to eat while enjoying a spectacular view of the city. It will enable travelers to look for something to do and see Izmir and not be afraid of dizziness. Taste the grilled lamb skewers with the stuffed vine; leave to enjoy a unique moment, a famous typical city dish.
Mount Sipylos (in Turkish, Spil Dağı; these two cultures are intertwined, especially in the western part of Turkey, remember) is a mountain that dominates the province of Manisa and watches over the city of Smyrna. It’s 1513 m high; for those looking for something to do and see in Izmir, it serves as a sporting interlude for the practice of hiking: Numerous paths cross it, and, once you reach its top, you can enjoy a splendid view over the whole Gulf of Izmir and surrounding cities.
We move to a hill overlooking the city and the port. Its construction is due to Lisimaco, who began with the towers and the walls. You can admire a fantastic view of the Gulf of Smyrna and the town itself from here.
The current version of the manor dates back to the Middle Ages when the structure took over the foundations of a previous construction of Greek origin. The western part of the fortress was built over an ancient stadium, while to the east of the gates, you can admire other remains: those of the old theater of Smyrna.
It is known for short as Kemeraltı and is the most critical market in Izmir, which stretches from the Mezarlıkbaşı district to Konak Square. This is the most folkloric area in the whole city. It’s one of the last remaining examples of Ottoman architecture and was built around the 17th century.
At first, it seemed, above all, an indoor market, then over the years, it has transformed into a vast bazaar with over 15,000 craft shops. Here you can find everything from wooden objects to carpets to local pottery, fabrics, or clothing. It’s a perfect place to spend a few hours without noticing the time passing.
If you aren’t satisfied, there are also leather accessories, flowers, and glass beads. There are also numerous rooms where you can stop and taste Turkish tea or coffee. You can enter a very picturesque place in the courtyard where once the merchants tied their camels. It will be a pleasure to get lost among the stalls, smell scents, and travel with the imagination. Many items come from the Silk Road, and inside there is a smaller and less busy version of the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul.
Inside the bazaar, the largest mosque in Smyrna, Hisar Camii. Inside is all the essence of Izmir’s style. The blue and gold motifs that enhance the domed ceiling are more linear, straightforward, and perhaps less oriental than traditional Ottoman designs. Roses and bunches will appear engraved in the lower part of the gallery, usually reserved for women.