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Izmir is the third largest city in Turkey with a population of around 3.7 million, the second biggest port after Istanbul, and a very good transport hub. It is a rapidly growing city on the Central Aegean coast of Turkey.
Once the ancient city of Smyrna, İzmir is now a modern, developed, and busy commercial center, set around a huge bay and surrounded by mountains.
Izmir has two railway stations: Basmane in the city center serves regional trains and the Metro, and Alsancak in the north serves intercity trains and the IZBAN.
The main intercity services include: Ankara, Denizli and Isparta. Trains for Istanbul connect with a ferry at Bandirma.
Basmane station is linked by metro to Konak in the west and to Bornova in the east.
The weekend ferry from Izmir to Istanbul has been suspended, one or two weekly ferries between Izmir and Venice. All ferries dock at the Alsancak Ferry Terminal, 2km north of the city center.
Alsancak Yeni Liman
Cruise ships call on the port of Izmir all year round at Alsancak. The center of town, Konak, is about 2 km south of Alsancak. When you exit the pier area, turn right at the waterfront and follow the Kordon to Konak, about a 25 minute stroll.
Adnan Menderes Airport (ADB), 16 km south of the city center, has several daily flights to Istanbul, Ankara, and Antalya. There are also regular flights from many European cities.
Iz Air is a local carrier operating out of Adnan Menderes and offers many domestic connections.
Adnan Menderes Airport.
From the airport, you have three public transport options into the city:
Airport shuttles meet incoming flights and go to and from the city center for 10 TL.
Walking in Izmir - you can explore Izmir by inside city walking. Walking Routes to center of city are very easy to walk and enjoyable.
Public ferries are easy, fast inside the coast and gives a nice shot of Izmir. Preferable to every other transportation in nice weather. Popular routes include; Konak-Karsiyaka, Alsancak-Karsiyaka, Konak-Bostanli and Karsiyaka-Goztepe.
There is a big public bus system covers all of the city.
Many taxis with reasonable price.
There is also a metro line connecting city centre/Konak Square with the northeastern suburb of Bornova.
Izban train line can also be used since it covers most part of the city center
Izmir has public bicycle sharing scheme and you can pick up a bike at several points.
What to see
Due to the Great Fire of 1920s, there is a relative lack of historical sights in Izmir, especially when considered how old the city really is.
Konak Square — Main square of the city center, famous for the clock tower, one of the unique symbols of Izmir. The clock tower was built in 1901. There are also Konak Yali Mosque and Kemeraltı Bazaar located around the square.
Asansör (Elevator) — It was constructed by a Jewish businessman in 1907. The purpose was to help residents to go to their districts on the top of the hill. The elevator used to work by a water-driven mechanism.
Beaches — Having a coastline on Aegean sea, Izmir owns lots of beaches which are not too far from the city center. There is public transportation available to most of them.
Alsancak — small streets with lots of bars in old Ottoman era houses, where you can have a Çay (Turkish tea) or a beer and try several waterpipe flavors.
Karsiyaka — literally means "opposite side", Karsiyaka locates at the other part of Izmir Gulf, has some beautiful views of Konak and Alsancak. Karsiyaka also offers lively nightlife and one of the Izmir's main pedestrian shopping streets. It can be reached by ferry (vapur) and Izban.
Kadifekale — old castle on the hill which it's named after.
Some remains of the original Roman city of Smyrna can be seen at Agora.
Teleferik (cable car) — This has recently reopened after many years of closure. Having served since 1977, it carries people to 423 m. up above the sea level.
Walk along the Kordon, the waterfront promenade, now lined by rows of tall apartment buildings and palm trees on one side and the Aegean on the other, with a large patch of lawn and a cobbled street inbetween, where you can have a 19th-century fayton ride.
Kemeraltı — A must see. A big bazaar, where you can buy clothes, presents etc. There are also a lot of lounges where you can sit.
Kızlarağası Hanı — An old inn in Kemeraltı where you can shop for carpets and jewelry.
Blend in with locals and take the boat from Konak to Karşıyaka.