From feasting with the locals to travelling back in time at ancient monuments, or just lounging on the beach… here are the best things to do in Izmir, Turkey.
A laid-back city on Turkey’s West Coast, Izmir is in many ways Istanbul’s opposite.
Istanbul bustles with imported voices, faces, and visitors from around the globe; in Izmir, you’ll mix with locals whose roots in the area go back to ancient times.
Istanbul offers a dizzying array of sights, colours, and sounds; in Izmir, the silent azure sea can soak up all your attention for hours.
Don’t worry, though, there are plenty of fantastic active things to do in Izmir, too.
The Best Things To Do In Izmir, Turkey
With only three days in the city, my Izmir itinerary was packed so full and I didn’t get to see and do half of the things I wanted to.
Izmir seems to be built for a slow pace, and I longed to spend more time relaxing in picturesque locations with a coffee or a glass of Turkish wine in hand.
If you’re heading to Izmir, leave yourself plenty of time not just to see the sights but also to chill in the charming city centre.
Here are 11 fantastic things to do in Izmir.
These are just some of the amazing ancient monuments you should check out, as they really are amongst the best places to visit in Izmir.
Any list of things to do in Izmir has to start at the ancient monument right in the city centre. Surrounded by hillside residential neighbourhoods, bustling market streets, and tall commercial buildings, Izmir Agora is just a part of the everyday landscape for most residents.
Inside the Agora grounds, the ruins of a Roman-Greek marketplace transport you back to the days when Izmir was an important stop on the Silk Road.
The archways on the lower floor of the 2,000-year-old marketplace are still intact and the same fresh water that supplied the ancient market still bubbles out of fountains and runs through a channel along the floor today. This place was built to last!
- Address: Namazgah, Tarık Sarı Sk. No:29
- Opening hours: every day from 8:30 AM – 7 PM (summer season) & 8:30 AM – 5:30 PM (winter season)
- Price: 12 TL
The ancient Roman city of Ephesus was once a hugely popular stop on the Silk Road and it is now one of the most popular things to do in Izmir, welcoming almost 2 million visitors a year.
In ancient times, people from all over the world sailed to the port to stock up…