Izmir is one of the most fascinating cities in Turkey, boasting numerous advantages. Its strategic location between East and West has made it the third largest city in population, as people are drawn to its job opportunities. The city’s natural bay facilitates the export of agricultural products from the Aegean region such as sultana raisins, tobacco, and cotton, as well as the import of crude oil from oil-producing countries. It is also home to several ancient civilizations, including Pergamum, Smyrna, and Ephesus. This draws millions of tourists from around the world, coming by plane or cruise ship to admire these ancient wonders. Izmir is cosmopolitan, making it easy for different groups and cultures to live in harmony. Mosques, churches, and synagogues are all available for people to worship without any judgement. The people of Izmir take great pride in the fact that these temples representing Islam, Christianity, and Judaism stand side by side. Izmir is a center of culture, science, research, and higher education, with eleven universities, colleges, research institutes, and medical hospitals. It also aims to become one of the world’s leading medical centers. Recently, more and more foreigners have been making investments in Izmir. The city is home to the first international fair in Turkey and has a great chance of becoming an Expo center in the future.
Do you want to travel to Izmir without breaking the bank? Tour Maker Turkey offers an extensive selection of Izmir travel packages to help make your trip to Izmir a reality. Our website provides you with plenty of useful information about Izmir’s top attractions, historical sites, appealing hotels, activities, cuisine, climate, maps, and more.
Located in the middle of the Aegean region on the Anatolian peninsula, Izmir is a port city situated around the natural bay of İzmir. To the west lies the Greek islands, while Kusadasi is 90 km south, Balıkesir 110 km north, and Manisa 40 km east. With its convenient air, sea, and road connections from all over Turkey, transport to Izmir is easy. Its third-biggest airport is 25 km away, offering direct flights from all over the world, and the port of Izmir is one of the East Mediterranean’s favourite cruise-liner ports.
The ancient city of Smyrna was one of the most important cities of the Ionian Federation during the Hellenistic period. After World War I, it was renamed to Izmir, so it now has two different names – Smyrna, its ancient name, and Izmir, its modern name.
After Lysimachos, the city was added to the Pergamene Kingdom and later gifted to Rome without war by the last king, Attolos III, in 133 BC. Between the 1st and 2nd centuries AD, Smyrna was the second most important city in the Roman province of Asia after Ephesus, with a population of around 200,000. Ephesus and Smyrna were two major ports of export and import during the Pax Romana (Roman Peace). This period of glory ended in the late 5th century AD, and Smyrna became a small Byzantine town in the 6th century. Smyrna was besieged by several nations and troops between the 7th and 8th centuries, and the Umayyads, Abbasids, Sasanids, and Turks captured the city in 1095. However, a year later, Byzantine troops retook the city and it remained in their hands until 1317, when Aydınoglu Umur Bey conquered it, thus placing it under Turkish control.
For around a century, the Later Crusaders caused great destruction, and in 1426 Smyrna became an Ottoman town. The first European merchants to arrive were the Venetians in 1530, and soon after, British and Dutch business people began trading with the Ottomans. During the 17th and 18th centuries, Smyrna became a cosmopolitan city with foreign settlers. After 1850, thousands of Turkish immigrants from the Aegean Islands and Greece were forced to settle in Smyrna. During World War I, Greek troops invaded the city in 1919, causing great destruction, but were saved by Turkish troops in 1922, led by Atatürk. As the Greek troops were driven out in 1922, they set fire to Smyrna, and two thirds of the city were destroyed. The city was rebuilt and given a new name, Izmir.
CITY OF TOLERENCE
İzmir has been renowned for centuries as the City of Tolerance due to its allowance of the three major religions of the world – Islam, Christianity, and Judaism – to be freely practiced by its believers. The Turks first captured the city in the 14th century, and then in 1492, the Ottoman authorities permitted Jewish immigrants from Spain (known as Seferads) to settle down as citizens. The Europeans arrived in the 17th and 18th centuries to engage in trade, leading to a shift in the city’s demographic. The population is now around four million, with the majority being Turkish, but there are also Jewish and Christian minorities. All mosques, churches, and synagogues are open to prayer.
Izmir is located in the middle of the Aegean Region, which is considered to be the best part of Turkey in terms of climate. It was once known as Ionia in history. The city is characterized by a typical Mediterranean climate; summers are hot and dry whereas winters are mild and rainy, with an average of 300 sunny days per year. This excellent weather makes the area fertile for growing a wide variety of fruits, vegetables and grains; thus, Izmir is the center of agricultural production in Turkey. Famous sultana raisins, Turkish tobacco, Smyrna figs, red wine, cotton and olives are grown here and exported around the world, providing a great contribution to the local economy.
2ND CHURCH OF THE REVELETION
The Second Church of Revelation, located in Smyrna, was visited by St. John the Evangelist and given a letter by him to the church elders as a warning from God. This church is known to have been poor, and Polycarp, one of the earliest believers in Jesus, was martyred in this city. Therefore, Jesus condemned the church and advised them to stay faithful even to the point of death.
Kemeraltı Mall has been the most vibrant shopping center of Izmir for centuries, stretching from the Mezarlıkbasi district to Konak Square. When it was first built in the Ottoman period, it was home to a grand bazaar with vaults, which is how it got its Turkish name. Along the narrow streets, visitors can find traditional stores, modern business centers, herbalists, spice shops selling saffron and cinnamon, cinemas, and cafes. There is something for everyone here, from traditional Turkish handcrafts such as rugs and kelims, to ceramic and wooden souvenirs. Kemeraltı Mall is not only a great place to shop, but also to relax and unwind for a while.
The famed clock tower stands in Konak Square and was constructed in 1901 by Grand Vizier Sait Pasha to commemorate the 25th anniversary of Sultan Abdul Hamid’s accession to the throne. Konak Square is a sight to behold with its sleek design, complete with pointed arches, small domes, stalactite work, and geometric figures creating a striking image from a far. The clock atop the tower was a gift from German Emperor Wilhelm II. This clock tower, which is renowned as a symbol of Izmir, has fountains in the chambers located in the four corners.
Due to the difference in elevation between the two streets, a Jewish businessman named Matt Levi built an elevator in 1907 to facilitate easy access to the road. Previously, people living here were forced to climb 155 steps to get to their houses, so the lift, called Asansör by the Turkish people, made life much easier for inhabitants of the two districts. There is a large tower with two lifts; while the left one worked with a steam engine, the other was powered by electricity. In 1985, both lifts were refurbished and adapted to the electric system. It has become a popular, nostalgic stop for visitors. When you reach the top by lifts, you will be able to admire a splendid view of the Gulf of Izmir.
GREEK AGORA-ROMAN FORUM
The Agora in Izmir, known in ancient times as a market-place and political meeting-place, is still being excavated. The site has made a great impression on visitors, with its grand columns, porticos (collonnaded walkways for shoppers or listeners), stores with rounded arches, and statues of Demeter and Poseidon that hark back to the Roman era. All the findings from the Agora are on display at the Izmir Archaeological Museum.
If you‘re looking for a place to get away to, look no further than the stunning coastal city of Izmir, Turkey. Home to a wealth of culture, historical sites, and stunning landscapes, Izmir is the perfect destination for an unforgettable getaway. The city is known for its laid–back atmosphere, making it a great place to relax and enjoy the sights. Spend your days wandering through the old city and admiring the ancient architecture, or explore the vibrant markets, where you can find traditional souvenirs and local delicacies.
If you‘re looking to take a break from the hustle and bustle of the city, take a stroll along the waterfront, where you can admire the views of the Aegean Sea. Izmir is also home to some of the most stunning beaches in Turkey. Whether you‘re looking to take a dip in the crystal–clear waters, stroll along the shoreline, or simply relax and soak up the sun, you‘ll find a spot that suits your style. The city is also full of entertainment and activities. From the lively nightlife, to the incredible museums and galleries, there‘s something for everyone.
Whether you‘re looking to learn more about the local culture and history, or just have a great time, you‘ll find plenty to do in Izmir. For an unforgettable experience in Izmir, join Tour Maker Turkey on one of their exciting tours. From day trips to weeklong excursions, Tour Maker Turkey has the perfect tour for you. With experienced guides, you‘ll get to explore the city in the most authentic way and experience all that Izmir has to offer. So why wait? Make your Izmir dreams come true and book your tour with Tour Maker Turkey today!