Located in the west of Turkey on the country’s central Aegean coast, compare holidays to Izmir and prepare to visit this intriguing destination. Known as Smyrna in ancient times and having been conquered by Alexander the Great and the Ottoman Empire, you can learn more about the area’s rich heritage through our holidays to Izmir from Manchester.
The third largest city in Turkey, Izmir is a thriving port that boasts a long history when it comes to commerce and a proud liberal attitude. There is a unique feel to the city thanks to its Levantine, Greek, Armenian and Jewish heritage, which can be experienced with our holidays to Izmir.
Izmir has grown from its ancient roots to be a contemporary, developed city, punctuated by modern shopping centres and glass-fronted buildings. The charm brought to the area by its huge bay and surrounding mountains however, has not been lost. Old mosques and churches, red-tiled roofs and an 18th century market allow Izmir to retain its character, which is more akin to Mediterranean Europe than the rest of Turkey.
The Great Fire in the 1920s was a devastating event that destroyed some of the city’s ancient sights, but a number of lovely attractions remain. Konak Square is the city centre’s main square, and the location of the 1901 clock tower, one of Izmir’s most recognised sights, while the Konak Yali Mosque and Kemeraltı Bazaar are found around the square.
Head to Agora to see some remains of the original Roman city of Smyrna, or take the Asansör, an elevator that was built in 1907 to aid residents getting home to uphill areas. At the top of the elevator you'll find a restaurant that serves up wonderful views back down over Izmir.
Take a public ferry to get a view back towards the city from the water and scope out the beaches that take your fancy. There are lots of beaches close to the city centre, including Çeşme, Foça and Urla.
A range of notable events take place each year in Izmir, such as the Izmir European Jazz Festival in March, the International Izmir Festival that spans June and July, and September’s Izmir International Fair - all part of the package with holidays to Izmir from Manchester Airport.