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The Best Things to See and Do in Izmir

Discover The Best Top Things to Do and See in Izmir. From bustling bazaars to ancient attractions and shimmering Aegean Sea, Izmir has a lot to do and see. 2–3 days is plenty to explore the highlights of Izmir city, after which you will be ready to experience what the province of Izmir has to offer. We have compiled a list of Best Things to See and Do in Izmir to add to your itinerary and make the most of your visit to Izmir, Turkey’s third city.

Here Are Some Sights in Izmir to Your Discovery

Kemeralti Market

Kemeraltı Market is the most vibrant shopping center of Izmir for centuries covering a huge area ranging from Mezarlıkbasi district to Konak Square. When it was built first in Ottoman period, it used to have big grand bazaar with vaults so it is called as Kemeraltı in Turkish. Traditional stores along the narrow streets, modern business centers in large squares, herbalists, spice shops selling safran and cinnemon, cinemas and cafes offers visitors so many different opportunities not only doing shopping but also relaxing for a while. It is possible to purchase every kind of products in this mall from traditional Turkish handcrafts such as rugs and kelims to ceramic and wooden souveniers.


It’s difficult to imagine life in Izmir without its iconic seafront promenade. A triumph of urban renewal, the pedestrianised confines of the west-facing kordon are home to a great selection of bars and restaurants that attract droves of people at the end of the day to watch the picture-perfect sunsets. Inland to the east, the Alsancak district is now the focus of the city’s nightlife and fashion.

Konak Square

During your Izmir visit to see the traditional Konak Square that can be found between the popular bazaar and downtown waterfront. Visit the Yali Mosque and the interesting clock tower then stroll over to the Museum of Modern Art to see innovative creations that famous artists have exhibited over time. Travel to the square in the evening for exquisite entertainment at the opera house.


Agora was the market place in ancinet times in the sense of political meeting place and shopping area. The agora in Izmir was used as a state agora for politics. Great columns, porticos-collonnaded walkways for shoppers or listeneres, stores with rounded arches and statues of Demeter and Poseidon make a great impact on visitors reminding the Roman times. The site is still under the excavations and all the findings fro Agora are on display at Izmir archeological museum.

Asansor (The Lift)

Due to the difference in elevation between the two streets, an elevator was built by Matt Levi, a Jewish businessman in 1907, with the aim to facilitate access the road easily. Previously, people living here were forced to climb 155 steps to Access to their houses so the lift, called Asansor by Turkish people, made the life easir for inhabitants of the two districts. There is big tower with two lifts, While the left one worked with steam engine, the other by electiricity. In 1985 two lifts were renewed and adopted to the electric system. It has been one of the famous and nostalgic stop for visitors. When you reach to the top by lifts, you will have a splendid view of gulf of Izmir.

Kadifekale (Velvet Castle)

Velvet castle was built in 3rd C BC by one of the generals of Alexander the great in the center of dominating the gulf of Izmir. The castle bears Roman, Byzantines and Ottoman remains and it was used as a fort for defense. It is about 185m above the sea level and it covers six square kilometres. The northern and eastern walls of the castle have been completely destroyed in which western and southern walls with five towers are still standing. The height of the towers in between 20-35 metres. Today there are the ruins of Byzantine arches, a mosque and a large cistern inside the castle.

Ethnography Museum

The Ethnography Museum occupies the former St Roche Hospital just beside the Archaeology Museum. The lovely, old four-storey stone building houses colourful displays (including dioramas, photos and information panels) of local arts, crafts and customs. You’ll learn about everything from camel wrestling, pottery and tin-plating to felt-making, embroidery and weaponry.

Kizlaragasi Han

This restored caravanserai (1744) is like a much smaller, calmer version of Istanbul’s famous Covered Bazaar. The market is touristy, with many items from the far end of the Silk Road (China), but good for a wander. There’s a cafe in the courtyard, where merchants once tethered their camels.
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