Izmir

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Top attractions in Izmir

Izmir's top must-see sights

As Turkey's western pearl, Izmir is a thriving Aegean port city with a rich cultural heritage. It boasts ancient architecture, natural beauty, and is also an hour's drive to the spectacular ruins of Ephesus. If you fancy a cruise this is a favorite stop.

  • 1. İzmir Alsancak Terminal

    It's Turkey's second oldest train station and hub for tourists with a taste for adventure. If you want to visit Turkey's many historic landmarks, then this is a central stop.

  • Asansör

    2. Asansör

    This turn-of-the-century elevator is one of Izmir's must-see attractions. With stunning city views, a quick ride to the top will take you to an excellent traditional restaurant.

  • 3. Mount Yamanlar

    Just a short journey outside of Izmir is this spectacular rocky expanse. Picnic on the banks of its beautiful lake Karagöl or climb to the ancient tomb of Tantalus on its mount.

  • Izmir Clock Tower (Saat Kulesi)

    4. Izmir Clock Tower (Saat Kulesi)

    At the heart of Konak Square is a beautiful architectural masterpiece. With a classic Ottoman design, the clock tower is one of Turkey's jewels and a picture-perfect tourist spot.

  • St. Polycarp Church

    5. St. Polycarp Church

    Make a pilgrimage to Izmir's oldest church, famous as one of only seven holy buildings mentioned in the Bible. Plan in advance, as it is only open to tourists on special days.

  • Kemeralti Bazaar

    6. Kemeralti Bazaar

    Packed with hidden gems, Izmir's ancient market is a must-see for adventurous tourists. It's particularly good for leather, clothing, and jewelry - perfect for holiday bargains.

  • Mount Sipylus

    7. Mount Sipylus

    At the edge of the ancient site of Manisa is this towering, natural beauty. Reached via Izmir's winding mountain roads, visit its base where the famous Weeping Rock of Niobe sits.

Planning Your Visit

  • When should you visit?

    Blessed with a Mediterranean climate, Izmir is hot and dry in the summer and mild in the winter. Its tourist attractions are open year-round, so the perfect time to visit is completely up to you.

  • Where should you stay in Izmir?

    Whatever your budget, there are plenty of sleek, modern hotels and cozy traditional guesthouses in Izmir. For a combination of the two, The Key Hotel comes highly recommended. This reimagined 1950s bank boasts high-tech rooms with stunning sea views. Or, for a touch of luxury, check into the Swissôtel Büyük Efes in the city's center with wonderful spa facilities.

Good to know

  • Language
    Turkish
  • Currency
    Turkish Lira (₺)
  • Time Zone
    UTC (+02:00)
  • Country Code
    +90
  • Best time to visit
    To enjoy some great sightseeing weather with fewer tourists, plan your visit for spring or fall.

Other Sightseeing Options in Izmir

Want to discover all there is to do in Izmir? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Izmir

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 114 reviews

'A personalized 'History Channel' experience' It's a great time to see these historical sites at extremely affordable prices. Through historical references and myths, Emre explained the religious and trading significance of the cities to Anatolia and the whole region. Okan drove us smoothly between tour sites and our hotels in the vehicle's air-conditioned comfort. The team gave us a gift that included hand-sanitiser and more than enough masks for the whole trip, which we are using several days after the trip . Other bonuses include a night at the stunning Kusadasi beach, a trip to the world heritage Pamukkale, white limestone terraces and thermal pools, and enjoyed some tasty meals at little restaurants along the way. There's also an opportunity to get some great carpet, pottery and leather bargains at this time as local shops are keen for business. A great trip for singles and couples - might be a struggle with young kids.

Ahu is the most exceptional toir guide we have ever met! What an absolutely magical experience that completely exceeded our expectations. We were deciding whether or not to do the Ephesus Tour which includes the visit to Sirince: and we are so glad we did! It is a cute little town with great wine that ties up the whole experience. Exceptional experience, wonderful guide and driver... Was an absolutely incredible experience!

The tour surpassed our expectations. Emre (guide) Okan (driver) are a fabulous team. Everything was organized, we were not rushed and the food choices were awesome. With their help we were able to add another tour with our trip. We finished our last day of the 7 churches with Gonca, she made the tour just as enjoyable as Emre.

Really outstanding! Our guide was well prepared, clear, and very engaging. He was our best guide during our two week stay. He has deep historical knowledge and really wove together many centuries of history. We learned a lot and had fun. The driver was also professional and spoke English. Our van was super comfy, too

Ephesus is awe inspiring, a great tour around the excavated parts with a friendly guide, The house of virgin Mary and the church of St. John, the gospel writer, is included. Not to be missed!