Tuesday, 17 April 2018

TURKEY: Izmir Is A Popular Tourist Destination, But Avoid Moving Around At Night

Izmir is the third largest city in Turkey with a population of around 4 million, the second biggest port after Istanbul, and a very good transport hub.

The fact that almost half of its population of 4 million are under the age of 30, makes İzmir a city full of life.

The city hosts tens of thousands of university students, educates scientists, artists, business leaders and academics. 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.

The broad boulevards, glass-fronted buildings and modern shopping centers are dotted with traditional red-tiled roofs, the 18th century market, and old mosques and churches, although the city has an atmosphere more of Mediterranean Europe than traditional Turkey.

İzmir owes its position as an economically and socially dynamic city to its location, climate and the fact that it has been a home to many different cultures and religions.

Persians, Ancient Greeks, Assyrians, Romans, Byzantines and Ottomans are just a few of the dozens of different civilizations that the city has hosted throughout its long history.

İzmir is a metropolitan city in the western extremity of Anatolia and the third most populous city in Turkey, after Istanbul and Ankara.

It is the second most populous city on the Aegean Sea after Athens, Greece. In 2017, the city of İzmir had a population of 3,028,323, while İzmir Province had a total population of 4,273,677.

İzmir's metropolitan area extends along the outlying waters of the Gulf of İzmir and inland to the north across the Gediz River delta; to the east along an alluvial plain created by several small streams; and to a slightly more rugged terrain in the south.

In classical antiquity the city was known as Smyrna, a name which remained in use in English and other foreign languages until the Turkish Postal Service Law of 28 March 1930, which made İzmir the internationally recognized name.

İzmir has almost 4,000 years of recorded urban history and even longer as an advanced human settlement. Lying on an advantageous location at the head of a gulf running down in a deep indentation, midway on the western Anatolian coast.

It has been one of the principal mercantile cities of the Mediterranean Sea for much of its history. İzmir hosted the Mediterranean Games in 1971 and the World University Games or Universiade in 2005.

The city of İzmir is composed of several metropolitan districts. Of these, the district of Konak corresponds to historical İzmir, with this district's area having constituted the city's central İzmir Municipality until 1984.

With the formation of the Greater İzmir Metropolitan Municipality, the city of İzmir grouped together its ten urban districts, namely Balçova, Bayraklı, Bornova, Buca, Çigli, Gaziemir, Karabaglar, Karşıyaka, Konak and Narlıdere.

In an ongoing process, the Mayor of İzmir was also vested with authority over additional districts outside the city proper, extending from Bergama in the north to Selçuk in the south, bringing the number of districts considered part of İzmir to thirty.

Two of these having been only partially administratively included in İzmir.

İzmir has almost 4,000 years of recorded urban history and possibly even longer as an advanced human settlement.

Set in an advantageous location at the head of a gulf in a deep indentation midway along the western Anatolian coast, the city has been one of the principal mercantile cities of the Mediterranean Sea for much of its history.

Its port is Turkey's primary port for exports in terms of the freight handled and its free zone, a Turkish-U.S. joint-venture established in 1990, is the leader among the twenty in Turkey.

The workforce, and particularly its rising class of young professionals, is concentrated either in the city or in its immediate vicinity such as in Manisa and Turgutlu.

Also as either larger companies or SMEs, affirm their names with an increasingly wider global scale and intensity.

Politically, İzmir is considered a stronghold of the Republican People's Party.

İzmir hosted the Mediterranean Games in 1971 and more recently the World University Games or Universiade in 2005.

A bid submitted to the BIE to host the Universal Expo 2015, in March 2008, lost to Milan. Modern İzmir also incorporates the nearby ancient cities of Ephesus, Pergamon, Sardis and Klazomenai, and centers of international tourism such as Kuşadası, Çeşme, Mordogan and Foça.

When the Ottomans took over İzmir in the 15th century, they did not inherit compelling historical memories, unlike the two other key points of the trade network, namely Istanbul and Aleppo.

The emergence of İzmir as a major international port by the 17th century was largely a result of the attraction it exercised over foreigners, and the city's European orientation.

The region of İzmir was situated on the southern fringes of the Yortan culture in Anatolia's prehistory, knowledge of which is almost entirely drawn from its cemeteries.

In the second half of the 2nd millennium BC, it was in the western end of the extension of the still largely obscure Arzawa Kingdom, an offshoot and usually a dependency of the Hittites, who themselves spread their direct rule as far as the coast during their Great Kingdom.

That the realm of the 13th century BC local Luwian ruler, who is depicted in the Kemalpaşa Karabel rock carving at a distance of only 50 km (31 mi) from İzmir was called the Kingdom of Myra may also leave grounds for association with the city's name.

Modern İzmir is growing in several directions at the same time. The north-western corridor extending to Aliaga brings together both mass housing projects, including villa-type projects and intensive industrial area, including an oil refinery.

In the southern corridor towards Gaziemir yet another important growth trend is observed, contributed to by the Aegean Free Zone, light industry, the airport and mass housing projects.

The presence of the Tahtalı Dam, built to provide drinking water, and its protected zone did not check urban spread here, which has offshoots in cooperatives outside the metropolitan area as far south as the Ayrancılar–Torbalı axis.

To the east and the north-east, urban development ends near the natural barriers constituted respectively by the Belkahve or Mount Nif and Sabuncubeli or Mount Yamanlar-Mount Sipylus passes.

But the settlements both above Bornova, inside the metropolitan zone, and around Kemalpaşa and Ulucak, outside the metropolitan zone, see mass housing and secondary residences development.

More recently, the metropolitan area displays growth, especially along the western corridor, encouraged by the Çeşme motorway and extending to districts outside the city of İzmir proper, such as Seferihisar and Urla.

The population of the city is predominantly Muslim, but it was predominantly non-Muslim up to the earlier quarter of 20th century.

İzmir is also home to Turkey's second largest Jewish community after Istanbul, numbering about 2,500. The community is still concentrated in their traditional quarter of Karataş. Smyrniot Jews like Sabbatai Zevi and Dario Moreno were among famous figures in the city's Jewish community.

Others include the Pallache family with three grand rabbis: Haim, Abraham, and Nissim.

The Levantines of İzmir, who are mostly of Genoese and to a lesser degree of French and Venetian descent, live mainly in the districts of Bornova and Buca.

One of the most prominent present-day figures of the community is Caroline Giraud Koç, wife of the renowned Turkish industrialist Mustafa Koç, whose company, Koç Holding, is one of the largest family-owned industrial conglomerates in the world.

İzmir once had a large Greek and Armenian community, but after the end of the Greco-Turkish War, many of the Christians remaining in the city were transferred to Greece under the terms of the 1923 population exchange between Greece and Turkey.

Others were massacred in the ensuing conflict, or forced into servitude in the infamous labour battalions of the Turkish Forces.

Standing on Mount Yamanlar, the tomb of Tantalus was excavated by Charles Texier in 1835 and is an example of the historic traces in the region prior to the Hellenistic Age, along with those found in nearby Kemalpaşa and Mount Sipylus.

The Agora of Smyrna is well preserved, and is arranged into the Agora Open Air Museum of İzmir, although important parts buried under modern buildings wait to be brought to light.

Serious consideration is also being given to uncovering the ancient theatre of Smyrna where St. Polycarp was martyred, buried under an urban zone on the slopes of Kadifekale.

It was distinguishable until the 19th century, as evident by the sketches done at the time. At top of the same hill stands an ancient castle, one of İzmir's landmarks.

One of the more pronounced elements of İzmir's harbor is the Clock Tower, a beautiful marble tower in the middle of the Konak district, standing 25 m (82 ft) in height.

It was designed by Levantine French architect Raymond Charles Père in 1901 to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the ascension of Abdülhamid II to the Ottoman throne in 1876.

The clock's workings were given as a gift by the German Kaiser Wilhelm II, a political ally of Abdülhamid II. The tower features four fountains placed around the base in a circular pattern, and the columns are inspired by North African themes.

The Kemeraltı bazaar zone set up by the Ottomans, combined with the Agora, rests near the slopes of Kadifekale. İzmir has had three castles historically – Kadifekale or Pagos, the portuary Ok Kalesi or Neon Kastron, St. Peter, and Sancakkale, which remained vital to İzmir's security for centuries.

Sancakkale is situated in the present-day İnciraltı quarter between the Balçova and Narlıdere districts, on the southern shore of the Gulf of İzmir.

It is at a key point where the strait allows entry into the innermost tip of the Gulf at its narrowest, and due to shallow waters through a large part of this strait, ships have sailed close to the castle.

There are nine synagogues in İzmir, concentrated either in the traditional Jewish quarter of Karataş or in Havra Sokak or Synagogue street in Kemeraltı, and they all bear the signature of the 19th century when they were built or re-constructed in depth on the basis of former buildings.

The Ataturk Mask is a large concrete relief of the head of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, founder of modern Turkey, located to the south of Kadifekale the historical castle of İzmir.

The İzmir Bird Paradise or Kuş Cenneti in Çigli, a bird sanctuary near Karşıyaka, has recorded 205 species of birds, including 63 species that are resident year-round, 54 species of summer migratory birds, 43 species of winter migratory birds, and 30 transient species.

56 species of birds have bred in the park. The sanctuary, which covers 80 square kilometres, was registered as the protected area for water birds and for their breeding by the Turkish Ministry of Forestry in 1982.

A large open-air zoo was established in the same district of Çigli in 2008 under the name Sasalı Park of Natural Life.

İzmir prides itself with its busy schedule of trade fairs, exhibitions and congresses. The fair and the festival are held in the compound of İzmir's vast inner city park named Kulturpark in the first days of September, and organized by İZFAŞ, a depending company of İzmir Metropolitan Municipality.

The annual International İzmir Festival, which begins in mid-June and continues until mid-July, has been organized since 1987.

During the festival, many world-class performers such as soloists and virtuosi, orchestras, dance companies, rock and jazz groups have given recitals and performances at various venues in the city and its surrounding areas.

These including the ancient theatres at Ephesus near Selçuk and Metropolis an ancient Ionian city situated near the town of Torbalı. The festival is a member of the European Festivals Association since 2003.

The İzmir European Jazz Festival is among the numerous events organized every year by the İKSEV or İzmir Foundation for Culture, Arts and Education since 1994.

The festival aims to bring together masters and lovers of jazz with the aim to generate feelings of love, friendship and peace.

The International İzmir Short Film Festival is organized since 1999 and is a member of the European Coordination of Film Festivals.

İzmir Metropolitan Municipality has built the Ahmet Adnan Saygun Art Center on a 21,000 m2 land plot in the Guzelyalı district, in order to contribute to the city's culture and art life.

The acoustics of the center have been prepared by ARUP which is a world-famous company in this field.

İzmir's cuisine has largely been affected by its multicultural history, hence the large variety of food originating from the Aegean and Mediterranean regions.
Keskek
Population movement from Eastern and South East Anatolia regions has enriched the local cuisine. Another factor is the large and fertile area of land surrounding the region which grows a rich selection of vegetables.

There is considerable culinary usage of green leaf vegetables and wild plants amongst the residents, especially those with insular heritage, such as the immigrants from Crete.

Some of the common dishes found here are the tarhana soup made from dried yoghurt and tomatoes, İzmir kofte, sulu kofte, keşkek which isboiled wheat with meat, zerde or sweetened rice with saffron and mucver made from zucchine and eggs.

A Sephardic contribution to the Turkish cuisine, boyoz and lokma are pastries associated with İzmir.

Kumru is a special kind of sandwich that is associated particularly with the Çeşme district and features cheese and tomato in its basics, with sucuk also added sometimes.

Trade through the city's port had a determinant importance for the economy of the Ottoman Empire at the beginning of the 19th century and the economic foundations of the early decades of Turkey's Republican era were also laid here in İzmir Economic Congress.

Presently, İzmir area's economy is divided in value between various types of activity as follows: 30.5% for industry, 22.9% for trade and related services, 13.5% for transportation and communication and 7.8% for agriculture.

In 2008, İzmir provided 10.5% of all tax revenues collected by Turkey and its exports corresponded to 6% and its imports 4% of Turkey's foreign trade.

The province as a whole is Turkey's third largest exporter after Istanbul and Bursa, and the fifth largest importer.

85–90% of the region's exports and approximately one fifth of all Turkish exports are made through the Port of Alsancak with an annual container loading capacity of close to a million.

İzmir is served by national and international flights through the Adnan Menderes International Airport and there is a modern rapid transit line running from the southwest to the northeast.

The city is trying to attract investors through its strategic location and its relatively new and highly developed technological infrastructure in transportation, telecommunications and energy.

Due to its geographical location, similar climatic features are observed in almost every part of the province. Since the average number of sunny days reaches up to almost 300 a year, the solar potential is very high in İzmir.

Dry and sunny summers in Izmir are so infernally hot and sticky that, unless there is an air-conditioning in your room, you will most likely have trouble falling asleep at least on your first night, no matter whether the windows are wide open or not.

However, a mild breeze coming in ashore from the sea locally called meltem may refreshen the evenings, at least in locations close to the waterfront.

Temperature can drop down to freezing point (0°C/32°F) in mostly windy and rainy winters, however snowfall is some sort of curiousness in these latitudes, which happens once or at most twice a decade, if at all.

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.

İzmir has two historical rail terminals in the city centre. Alsancak Terminal, built in 1858 and Basmane Terminal, built in 1866 are the two main railway stations of the city.

The Turkish State Railways operates regional service to Odemiş, Tire, Selçuk, Aydın, Soke, Nazilli and Uşak, as well as inter city service to Ankara, Afyon and Bandırma - İstanbul via İDO connection.

The main intercity services include: Ankara - Mavi Tren is the fastest at 14 hours, Denizli - 3 express trains daily, 5-6 hours and Isparta takes 9 hours. Trains for Istanbul connect with a ferry at Bandirma.

İzmir has a metro network that is constantly being extended with new stations being put in service.

The network İzmir Metrosu, consisting of one line, starts from the Fahrettin Altay station in Balçova in the southern portion of the metropolitan area and runs towards northeast to end in Bornova.

The line is 20 km (12.4 mi) long. The stations are Fahrettin Altay, Poligon, Goztepe, Hatay, İzmirspor, Uçyol, Konak, Çankaya, Basmane, Hilal, Halkapınar, Stadyum, Sanayi, Bolge, Bornova, Ege University, Evka 3.

A more ambitious venture named İZBAN has begun involves the construction of a new 80 km (50 mi) line between the Aliaga district in the north, where an oil refinery and its port are and the Menderes district in the south, to reach and serve the Adnan Menderes International Airport.

The line comprises 31 stations and the full ride between the two ends takes 86 minutes.

İZBAN, sometimes referred to as Egeray, is a commuter rail system serving İzmir and its metropolitan area. It is the busiest commuter railway in Turkey, serving about 150,000 passengers daily. İZBAN is a portmanteau of the words İzmir and Banliyo.

Established in 2006 and began operations in 2010, İZBAN was formed to revive commuter rail in İzmir. Currently, İZBAN operates a 80 km (50 mi) long system, with 31 stations, consisting of two lines: the Southern Line and the Northern Line.

İZBAN A.Ş. operates the railway and is owned 50% by the Turkish State Railways and 50% by the İzmir Metropolitan Municipality. İZBAN is a part of the municipality's Egeray project.

Basmane station is linked by metro which has a seperate station than the train one to Konak in the west and to Bornova in the east.

The weekend ferry from Izmir to Istanbul has been suspended (2009), one or two weekly ferries between Izmir and Venice (67 hours). All ferries dock at the Alsancak Ferry Terminal, 2km north of the city center.

Taken over by İzmir Metropolitan Municipality since 2000 and operated within the structure of a private company İzdeniz, İzmir's urban ferry services for passengers and vehicles are very much a part of the life of the inhabitants of the city, which is located along the deep end of a large gulf.

24 ferries shuttle between 8 quays clockwise Bostanlı, Karşıyaka, Bayraklı, Alsancak, Pasaport, Konak, Goztepe and Uçkuyular.

Special lines to points further out in the gulf are also put in service during summer, transporting excursion or holiday makers.

These services are cheap and it is not unusual to see natives or visitors taking a ferry ride simply as a pastime.

Alsancak Yeni Liman terminal.

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.

The Adnan Menderes International Airport (ADB) is well served with connections to Turkish and international destinations. It is located in the Gaziemir district of İzmir.

Adnan Menderes Airport, 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.

From the airport, you have three public transport options into the city:

Airport shuttles - HAVAŞ meet incoming flights and go to and from the city center for 10 TL be sure to get off the bus in the centre of town, as the bus continues north to Tersane.

Public buses run by ESHOT, transportation department of city council, are cheaper than Havaş, at 4.70 TL/passenger.

Re-opened in August 2010, renovated and upgraded suburban train line İzban, connects the airport with Alsancak Station in city centre, north of Konak Square with intervals of about 15 minutes between 6AM and 11:30PM.

It's possible to transfer to the metro in Halkapınar station which is, indeed, the last station for some of the services for trips further into the city centre, e.g. Konak Square.

Tickets can be bought at manned booths or gise. There is a local transport card for residents but you can also prefer 3-5 Bilet 3-5 Tickets for short term stays.

Price depends on how many trips you will make. It costs 6,5 TL and 15,2 TL for 2 and 5 trips respectively. Please note that you cannot buy one way 3-5 Bilet as the minimum fare covers two trips.

You can buy a local transport card for 6 TL. When you load money to this card, you can use every buses, trains and ferries for 2 TL for 90 minutes.

Like this you can use train to got to Halkapınar app. 30 minutes and then you can use metro line for free to go to Konak app. 15 minutes an then you can use ferry for free to go to Karşıyaka app. 20 minutes and than you can use train again for free back to go to airport.

A recently built large bus terminal, the Otogar in the Pınarbaşı suburb on the outskirts of the city, has intercity buses to destinations across Turkey.

It is quite easy to reach the bus terminal, since bus companies' shuttle services pick up customers from each of their branch offices scattered across the city at regular intervals, free of charge.

The bus station, or otogar, is 6km north east of town although there are plenty of dolmuş that make the journey there from the centre.

The bus station is huge and has an internet cafe, plenty of facilities for food and drink and a large number of agencies selling tickets for coaches which, if departing imminently, they will be shouting out the destinations of. It also has pay toilets.

Buses to Istanbul take 9 hours including a brief trip on a ferry and travellers are provided with water, hot drinks, snacks and regular stops for toilets and food all for free on the better services for fares around 50TL per person one way.

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.

You can use nostalgic Phaetons in some areas. The Phaetons work double shift between 8.00-23.00 and the price of a one-way ticket is 20 TL.

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 which is more than 5000 years old.

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.

Asansor or 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.

Later, it was restored by Izmir Municipality and now it works by electricity. There is a restaurant located on the top of the elevator with a bird-eye view of Izmir.

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. The places include Foça, Dikili, Urla, Seferihisar, and Çeşme.

Alsancak. Small streets with lots of bars in old Ottoman era houses, where you can have a Çay or Turkish tea or a beer and try several waterpipe flavors.

Karsiyaka. Which 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 or 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. There are restaurants, cafes and gift shops located on the top of the hill.

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 in between, where you can have a 19th-century fayton the horse-drawn carriages 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 (kervansaray) in Kemeraltı where you can shop for carpets and jewelry.
Blend in with locals and take the boat from Konak to Karşıyaka.

You can go to Konak Pier, a small mall along the Kordon with a cinema and with local and other known brands.

Another mall is called Forum, in Bornova. Forum is a very big mall with all brands and a supermarket in a Mediterreanean style one floored houses in open air.

Kemeraltı in the city center offers great deal of souveniers in a nice traditional athmosphere.

Izmir is a member of World Gourmet Cities Network (DELICE), a network with 22 cities from different parts of the world. Became a member in 2015, Izmir is the 23rd city in the network.

Fish, grilled sea bass and mezes. Usually the fish is fresh and plenty in all seasons. Kordon Umitkoy Balıkçısı offers great deal of fish in Alsancak.

Kumru, a warm sandwich, made with a special bread with sesame seeds, Turkish sausage, grilled cheese and tomatoes, also a vegetarian version is available without the sausage and with the addition of green pepper.

This is something not to be missed while in Izmir, because it's almost impossible to find it anywhere else in the country.

It's sold at numerous stalls in the streets. Best to be eaten earlier in the day to have it warm as they find their way out of bakeries in the morning.

Two of them is more than enough to appease you hunger and 1.25 TL is the standard price per each throughout the city.

Melons, because Izmir has a warm climate so melons are always local and fresh.

Çi Borek, is one of the pastries that has been consumed fondly in Izmir for about 150 years. Also known as Crimean Pastry or Tatar Pastry, Çi Börek is a popular option for breakfast with curd cheese or minced meat.

There are businesses specifically making çi borek in Eşrefpaşa and Bostanlı.

Tulum Peyniri, a kind of cheese specially made in Izmir region.

Copsis Kebab at Topcu in Cankaya

Boyoz, another local pastry but much oilier than kumru, to eat with a boiled egg and a cup of tea in breakfast. It is a gift of Jews to Izmir and comes from the Sephardic cuisine.

You can find different variations of boyoz, such as boyoz with artichoke, spinach, cheese, and tahini, in bakeries in Alsancak and places selling filled pastries in Mezarlıkbaşı.

Gumuş Tabak, a cafe-restaurant in Kızlaragası Hanı, Kemeraltı, offers you the traditional Turkish delicacies, from Kofte to Kokoreç with very affordable prices. You should also try the traditional Turkish coffee that is prepared in a special way, boiled in the cup, fincan.

Gevrek or as known throughout the rest of Turkey as simit, a seeded bread ring. Although it looks similar to the other bagels popular in other cities, gevrek is a pastry unique to Izmir.

The secret of gevrek is that it is sunk in molasses before baking. This method is a tradition coming from the Caucasian Turks.

Crispy, fragrant and hot gevreks with plenty of sesame makes a great breakfast when they are served with a slice of goat cheese, fresh tomatoes, green pepper and a glass of well-brewed tea.

You can find gevreks every hour of the day in special glass-fronted cabinets that you can find almost anywhere as well as the bakeries in Alsancak

KFC, Burger King at the Konak Pier mall where you can eat these staples of American fast food by the seaside.

Join the nightlife on Kıbrıs Şehitleri Caddesi in Alsancak, and go find the Gazi Kadinlar Street. Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays are when the street is liveliest.

All pubs and cafes in Kordon at Alsancak's waterfront are attractive in nice weather.

1448 Sokak at Alsancak is full of bars and pubs from one end to another. They also have seats out on the sidewalk, and the uniform price for a bottle of beer (a pint/0.50 litre) is 6 TL all along the street.

Listen to live Turkish music in Ehlem Turku Evi cafe in Konak (861. Sk.) and watch the locals sing and dance.

In Izmir there are many hotels which are suitable for all tastes and budgets.

Hilton, Swissotel and Movenpick are just a few minutes away by foot from Cumhuriyet Meydani (Republic Square) Hotel Ibis is very close to the city center, located nearby Alsancak Railway Station.

There is Crowne Plaza, which is about 30 min. from center.

Hotel Yaman, 1440 Sokak No.19, Alsancak . Rooms with en-suite bathroom, satellite TV, air-con, wi-fi, safebox free of charge. €45/€60 single/double rooms.

Guzel Izmir Oteli, 9 Eylul Meydanı, 1368. Sokak No.8, Basmane. Rooms with shower/toilet, satellite TV, air-con, wi-fi. €35 double room.

Hotel Bodrum, 1362 Sokak No12 Cankaya. 5 minutes walk from the railway station towards the sea front. Rooms have wireless internet hot/cold shower, Turkish TV and air-con. 40TkL per night for single/double room including breakfast.

Zena Tourism Agency, is a Turkish based company for apartment rentals in Izmir at a reasonable price 60-100 Us $ /Per Night.

otel MaSaLa, Tokoglu Mah. 1020 Sok. No:4 Alacati/IZMIR. A sympathic hotel in Alacati, each one diffrent furnished six rooms. Room for two person B&B € 85 to 125 (75 km to Izmir).

Oglakcioglu Park Boutique Hotel, 1367 sokak no:9 Basmane, Konak, 35210 Izmir, Basmane Metro Station: walk out the main entrance of the metro cross the road onto Fevzi Pasa Bulvari and then take right at the Oglakcioglu Park CITY Hotel.

Walk past the Marlight Hotel to the Oglakcioglu Park BOUTIQUE hotel. checkin: 1400 HRS; checkout: 1200 HRS. Boutique hotel about 100m or about 7 min walk from Basmane Metro. Warm, quite elegant and with a decidedly Classic style of decor reminiscent of hotels in Italy.

Great and friendly staff. Apparently decent facilities i.e. onsite bar/restaurant, good stable-fast-free wi-fi in rooms, an private car park on the same floor as your room, GPRS facility for you to use to locate addresses, 24-hour room service. $42-$275.

Shantihome, 1464 sok. No: 15, Alsancak 35220, İzmir. Izmir's only hostel. Colourful and friendly place with dorm beds (30TL), single rooms (50TL) and doubles (60TL). Located in Alsancak, near the Kordon and the main bar street of the city. Great breakfast.

Central Park Otel. This hotel is located in Cesme, 70 km's from the airport. With free internet, private pool and nice rooms, it's a good option to stay in Cesme. €35 double room.

Hotel Lara, Boyalık Koyu Sakarya Mh. 3200 Sk. No:4 Çeşme İzmir (Cesme/IZMIR). A four star hotel in Cesme Alacati which is one hour drive to Izmir by car. Nice and spacious rooms and free WIfi throughout the hotel.

Lotus Garden Hostel, Altınordu, 961. Sk. No:4, 35240 Konak/İzmir. Great new hostel in Izmir, with excellent location near Basmane train station, and within walking distance of almost all the atractions in the city.

Spacious rooms, free wi-fi, kitchen, helpful staff and a great complimentary breakfast.

Maia Hotel, Alsancak Mahallesi No:73, 35240 Konak/İzmir. Great new hostel in Izmir, with excellent location near Basmane train station, and within walking distance of almost all the atractions in the city.

Izmir is a relatively safe city for its size, however it does have its shady areas. The city center as well as populated suburbs are generally safe during the day.

Use common sense if walking at night, avoid dark and narrow alleyways found mainly in Alsancak and Konak. Avoid the streets around the main port as well as the streets around the railway junction of Hilal, Halkapinar.

Be weary in Basmane, though it is fine to stay in hostels in this neighbourhood, the Syrian food will keep you coming back. It is important to also be cautious in Kadifekale, which is where one of the city's main landmarks is located.

It is not advisable to travel on foot in the neighborhoods on the south side of the train tracks near the city center at night.

Use common sense and you will be relatively safe. If you find yourself in any situation don't be afraid to call the police (155).

Izmir Police Department has a tourism police section where travellers can report passport loss and theft or any other criminal activity they may have become victims of.

The staff is multilingual and will speak English, German, French, and Arabic.

Alaçatı formerly named Agrilia and inhabited by local Greeks until 1920s, Since 2000s, it is much trendier and has a wider visitor profile, which includes many windsurfers.

Çeşme a small village for all summer activities, half an hour drive to Izmir to west.

Ozdere Popular destination for it's great publich beaches and several All Inclusive great hotels.

Selçuk a few hours by bus or train to the south of the city, is a town with much historical sights, as well as serving as a hub to visit nearby Roman city of Ephesus and Virgin Mary’s House, where the Vatican declared an official Catholic pilgrimage site.

It is also a few kilometers away from Kuşadası, and the pleasant inland village of Şirince, renowned for its wines.

Tire takes only an hour to arrive from the city center, a typical Aegean town, you can visit Turkey's biggest open town market on Tuesdays and have a good lunch in Kaplan with typical Aegean foods and famous meatballs of Tire.

Manisa just to east over Sabuncubeli Pass, is hub for visiting nearby Sardes, the capital of ancient Lycians, and Mount Sipylus, which offers beautiful forest scenery as well as sites with mythological references.


Tourism Observer
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