Izmir is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Turkey. Izmir, on Turkey’s Aegean Coast, was founded by the Greeks approximately 3000 BC, was conquered by the Romans, and was restored by Alexander the Great. In the 15th century, the city was annexed by the Ottoman Empire. As a result, Izmir has a rich history to offer visitors, including a number of major archeological sites.
Because of the abundant sunshine it receives all year, Izmir is also known as “the city where the sun never sets.” It is a popular summer vacation location for tourists due to its proximity to a number of beautiful beaches
Smyrna, an ancient Roman city on Anatolia’s Aegean coast, existed before Izmir (now Turkey). When you visit the Agora Open Air Museum in modern-day Izmir, you’ll see this truth in action (also known as Izmir Agora or Smyrna Agora). Agoras in ancient Greek city-states were places where people could meet and trade.
The Agora of Smyrna is one of the best-preserved ancient agoras in the world today because of the Agora Open Air Museum on site. The Alexander the Great-built and -repaired- columns, archways, and arches provide a glimpse into what a Roman bazaar might have looked like.
The Kemeralti Market
You can buy souvenirs and gifts for your loved ones at this popular shopping destination. To the delight of tourists and locals alike, this crowded market offers a wide variety of goods at low prices. Restaurants, shops, mosques, artisan studios, tea gardens, and coffee houses dot this 17th-century haven.
In addition, there are hidden courtyards, old places of worship, and large caravanserais where you can rest and recuperate if you get tired. You should avoid walking around this area late at night, particularly around Havra Soka’s vicinity..
St. Polycarp's Church
It is named after St. Polycarp, the first bishop of Smyrna, and is Izmir’s oldest continuously operating Christian place of worship. Located in the heart of Istanbul, this 19th-century Ottoman-style church serves as the administrative center of the diocese.
The church was badly damaged in a fire in 1922, but a local architect renovated it in the late 1800s and restored some of its former splendor. Frescoes decorate the church’s interior walls, adding to the building’s overall aesthetic appeal. Charm is added to the arches thanks to the chandeliers that hang from them.
Congested Konak Square is a popular meeting place for locals and tourists alike in the zmir Konak neighborhood of Turkey. The Yah Mosque and the Konak Clock Tower are two of Istanbul’s most popular landmarks.
Square designed by Gustave Eiffel is now an indoor shopping mall. There are some of the best restaurants and cafes in the city within a few blocks of it, as well as some notable government buildings.
Museum of History and Art
The Izmir Museum of History and Art takes the top spot on our list of the best things to do in Izmir. One of the world’s largest collections of ancient artifacts and Greek statues is housed within its three pavilions. This museum’s sculpture pavilion includes works from Miletos, Seos, Smyrna, and Pergamon.
Precious Objects Pavilion displays vintage coins, jewelry and pots with English labels in the Ceramic Pavilion. The Tralleis stele and the river god Kaistros statue can both be found here, as can the incredibly lifelike Kaistros statue.
The oldest castle in Izmir can be found atop Mount Kadifekale, a magnificent hill in the city’s metropolitan area. By tradition, Alexander the Great chose this location for the castle’s construction, making it a well-known landmark in Izmir. The city and the Gulf of Izmir can be seen clearly from the top of Mount Kadifekale, which also has a few hawkers selling local goods.
In addition to its massive walls and watchtower you can also see the castle’s gate from this location as well as the Roman cisterns. To truly appreciate the rich history and culture of Izmir, tourists flock to the city to take in its breathtaking natural splendor.
Museum of Archaeology
This museum, along with the city’s Ethnography Museum, is located near Izmir’s Konak Square. It opened to the public in 1927, but only moved to its current location in 1984. There are a wide range of objects in the museum that date back to the Bronze Age, the Greek and Roman eras, and even further back.
Over 5000 square meters of space is occupied by this enormous archaeological museum, which includes laboratories, libraries, and conference halls.
More than 1500 artifacts, including some from Smyrna and others from Ephesus, Pergamon, Miletus, Aphrodisias, and Iasos, are on display here.
Izmir's clock tower
Clock tower of Izmir, Turkey’s Konak Square, the Izmir Clock Tower (zmir Saat Kulesi) It was designed by Raymond Charles Père, a Levantine French architect. It was built in 1901 to commemorate Abdülhamid II’s 25th reign as king. Over 100 clock towers were built across the Ottoman Empire to commemorate the Sultan’s 25th anniversary. The clock atop the Izmir Clock Tower was a gift from German Emperor Wilhelm II.
An Ottoman-style decoration decorates the 82-foot tower. It is surrounded by four fountains with three water taps each in a circular pattern at the base of the tower, inspired by Moorish patterns.
A day trip from Kusadasi will take you to Sardis, the capital of the Lydian kingdom from the 7th to 6th century BC.
Because of the Tumulus Mountains’ mythical source of gold, Sardis (now Sart) was once known as the richest city in classical antiquity. King Croesus, the final Lydian ruler, is credited with inventing gold coins, hence the phrase “as rich as Croesus.”
The Paleolithic era is a long time ago, but the vast majority of that history is buried beneath the surface, ravaged by millennia of earthquakes. The impressive Roman ruins that once stood on the site have made it famous.
Pergamon, a magnificent hilltop city that dates back to the 5th century BC and flourished until the 14th century, was once a center of scholarship, culture, and creativity. ‘ The city’s most notable structures include the Acropolis, the Red Basilica, aqueducts, a renowned medical center, an audaciously steep amphitheatre, and a historically significant library.