Izmir

Bustling commercial coastal centre on the Aegean

More akin to Mediterranean Europe than inland Turkey, much fought-over Izmir is a bustling commercial coastal centre on the Aegean with an amazing 5,000 years of history to look back on. Today, it’s firmly and proudly Turkish, and the only competition is likely to be for the best spot in the sun at nearby spots including Foca, Dikili, Urla and Seferihisar.

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Shopping

The labyrinth alleyways of Izmir's Bazaar Area make for super local market shopping. You'll find everything from cheap plastic bowls and clothing to beautiful Turkish carpets, colourful glass lamps, and copperware. Even if you're not a shopper it's a great place for people watching. For a more sedate shopping experience, head to Dsim (Cumhuriyet Bulvarı 115) right on the waterfront. This store has a good-quality selection of handicrafts at fixed prices. If you're looking for clothes, Konak Pier Shopping Centre (Konak Pier) is Izmir's premier mall.

Food & Drink

Izmir is defined by its seafront and if it's seafood you're after, you're in the right place. Deniz (Atatrk Caddesi 188) is the most famous top-end seafood restaurant in the city; dress to impress to dine here. More down to earth but no less delicious is Sakız (Şehıt Nevresbey Bulvarı 9) with a menu that fuses traditional Turkish staples with modern twists. For a cheap and filling feed, hike up the hill to Kırım Ciǧ Brek (Birleşmis Milletler Caddesi). There are plenty of cafs and bars along the seafront serving alcohol as well as coffee. Alinda Cafe Bar and Cafe Melanie on Atatrk Caddesi are both popular places to chill out with a beer.

Events

Izmir European Jazz Festival
March
This long-running event is a 15-day feast for jazz connoisseurs with renowned big-name artists and lesser-known faces all holding performances at venues across the city.

International Izmir Festival
June-July
Izmir's biggest annual festival sees performances held across the region as well as in the city itself. Both famous international stars and local musicians and dancers are involved in the month-long programme which ranges from rock concerts to opera.

Izmir International Fair
September
Turkey's oldest tradeshow is held in Izmir's huge Kltr Park annually. It brings together exhibitors from across the world, as well as Turkey.

International Izmir Short Film Festival
November
A showcase of the latest documentary, drama, animation and experimental short films from international as well as local directors are brought together for this festival. As well as screenings, visitors can attend a wide variety of discussions and Q&A sessions on cinematic subjects.

Efes Pilsen Blues Festival
November
Part of a national event, which tours Turkey's major cities, this blues festival holds a two-day concert in Izmir with a programme crammed full of performances.

Hotels

Izmir (ancient Smyrna) is one of Turkey's most cosmopolitan cities and the gateway to the lush Aegean Coast. The Swisstel Grand Efes (Gazi Osman Paşa Bulvarı 1) rates top for luxury with five-star views as well as facilities. With swish, contemporary dcor hidden behind a historic facade, Key Hotel (Mimar Kemalettin Caddesi 1) is another fine choice. For something more intimate, with a good-value price tag, Met Boutique Hotel (Gazi Bulvarı 124) offers colourful, minimalist-inspired rooms and friendly service, while those counting their pennies will love the fantastic old-world ambience of Antikhan Hotel (Anafartalar Caddesi 600), which has spotless rooms and a peaceful inner courtyard.

Essentials

  • Language

    Turkish

  • Currency

    New Turkish Lira

  • Time zone

    GMT +2 hour (GMT +3 hours in summer)

  • Flight time

    4h 20

  • Holiday type

    Beach, Summer sun, City break

Weather

  • 26/10/2014 -

    Moderate or heavy rain shower

    20C max 15C min
  • 27/10/2014 -

    Light rain shower

    19C max 14C min
  • 28/10/2014 -

    Partly cloudy skies

    18C max 12C min
  • 29/10/2014 -

    Sunny skies

    19C max 13C min
  • 30/10/2014 -

    Partly cloudy skies

    20C max 13C min
  • 31/10/2014 -

    Sunny skies

    20C max 14C min
  • 01/11/2014 -

    Partly cloudy skies

    20C max 12C min
  • Jan
    12°C max 5°C min
  • Feb
    13°C max 4°C min
  • Mar
    13°C max 6°C min
  • Apr
    20°C max 10°C min
  • May
    26°C max 14°C min
  • Jun
    26°C max 18°C min
  • Jul
    21°C max 21°C min
  • Aug
    33°C max 21°C min
  • Sep
    29°C max 16°C min
  • Oct
    23°C max 12°C min
  • Nov
    18°C max 9°C min
  • Dec
    13°C max 5°C min

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