Turkey has no scarcity of vacationer hotspots and native highlights. The truth is, if you happen to wished to see all of them, it might take a substantial period of time. But regardless of that, folks have a tendency to stay to the identical locations, similar to Istanbul (as wonderful as it’s) and the south coast’s sun-drenched resorts. However Turkey is a lot greater than that; in actual fact, one in every of its largest cities is making renewed waves within the tourism world.
8 Causes This Turkish Metropolis Was Voted Finest in Journey for 2024
I’m after all speaking about Izmir. A hip, occurring, and vibrant metropolis that was not too long ago added to Lonely Planet’s “Finest in Journey” checklist, and you may’t get extra respected than that. Izmir is one in every of my favourite locations, and as Turkey’s third-largest metropolis, it’s bought greater than sufficient to maintain even the fidgetiest traveler busy for quite a lot of days.
1. Seaside Location with a Metropolis Vibe
Izmir is lapped by the nice and cozy waters of the Aegean, and even while you’re within the metropolis middle, you don’t need to enterprise too far to see the expansive blue. Whereas many cities in Turkey (howdy, Istanbul) are likely to have a frenetic and generally tense vibe, Izmir doesn’t.
Each time I’m in Izmir, I by no means really feel rushed, and the tempo of life is relaxed and sluggish. You’ll be able to’t say that about many cities. But, regardless of that, it’s massive and as a key college metropolis, has a big inhabitants of over 3 million as of 2023.
Full of historical past, seashores, meals, nightlife, and procuring, it affords all the things you can presumably need, and naturally, the picture alternatives with the Aegean within the background are fairly epic.
2. A Mix of Previous and New
For me, the beauty of Izmir is its mix of recent and historic. This a part of Turkey is filled with outdated ruins that date again to the earliest Greek rule, but it sits alongside large fashionable buildings, skyscrapers, and the newest style. You’ll be able to simply discover a museum or a set of ruins after which buy groceries in an enormous mall or go to a cocktail bar within the night.
In case you’re touring to Izmir with youngsters, the world can also be filled with actions to maintain little ones amused, similar to Lunapark and Alsancak‘s lengthy promenade (Kordon) with loads of inexperienced house for youths to run.
3. Plenty of Historical past to Discover
As I discussed, this complete space is mainly an open-air museum and the beautiful ruins of Ephesus are a must-visit. These are situated round an hour away from Izmir metropolis middle however they’re greater than well worth the effort to see. Alternatively, you can take a guided tour of Ephesus that can assist you study extra.
However that’s not all. The Agora Open Air Museum, Historic Elevator Constructing, Hisar Mosque, and Kemeraltı Market are some notable websites it’s best to undoubtedly add to your Izmir itinerary.
4. Outside Actions Aplenty
When you arrive in Izmir you’ll discover that it has an actual outdoorsy vibe, and that’s right down to its seaside location and younger vibe. Most individuals sit open air irrespective of the climate, and throughout the summer time, you’ll discover the waterfront promenade is filled with folks merely strolling or simply sitting and absorbing the recent air. There are such a lot of issues to do in Izmir.
Inciraltı Kent Ormanı is a gorgeous place to move to throughout sunny days, the place you may benefit from the seaside, have a BBQ, picnic, or just stroll alongside the mountaineering paths. Nevertheless, the primary waterside promenade which stretches from Alsancak all the best way right down to Kemeraltı is the primary spotlight, however you’ll need comfy footwear!
5. A Vibrant Gastronomy and Nightlife Scene
Izmir’s youthful vibe means there’s loads of nightlife to select from, with a stage that’s appropriate for all. If you wish to get together in nightclubs, head to Alsancak or Bornova, however if you happen to’re after a extra cocktail-chilled-out vibe, Konak is a superb spot. The waterside eating places between these two areas are filled with seafood eateries serving the freshest catch and are perfect for having fun with a glass or two of raki with buddies.
In case you’re into native delicacies, Izmir köfte and kumru are two native delights that fall into the road meals class. Kemeraltı is without doubt one of the greatest areas for conventional kebabs, and also you’ll discover that employees are very happy that can assist you select.
6. Straightforward Entry to Lovely Seashores
Whereas the town middle itself doesn’t have a full seaside, there are some stunning choices very shut by. Inciraltı Kent Ormanı has a small, rocky seaside, however the beautiful resorts of Çesme and Alaçatı are simply an hour away. This offers you the selection to dip out and in of full-on metropolis life as you see match.
Izmir additionally has unbelievable seaside climate, with July its hottest month. Throughout this time, you may anticipate a median excessive of round 32°C/90°F with little or no probability of rain—good for chilling on the seaside. January is the coldest month in Izmir, with a excessive of round 11°C/52°F, nevertheless, there are nonetheless 4 stable hours of sunshine day by day on common.
7. An Upcoming Wine Scene
The world round Izmir options a number of high-quality wineries, and the town has grown into fairly a wine hotspot over current years. İsabey Bağları & Bağevi is a well-known vineyard within the space, which dates again to 1942. It’s very near the town itself, and you may take wine excursions and take a look at their scrumptious merchandise for your self.
Alternatively, drive round 45 minutes to Manisa and go to Nif Bağları which is a sprawling vineyard with a unbelievable restaurant on website. You’ll discover that almost all high-quality eating places in Izmir metropolis itself supply a big wine checklist that includes many domestically sourced manufacturers. It’s a fantastic excuse to present them a strive!
8. Incredible Buying
Izmir is a client’s dream, and whether or not you need to stroll round an enormous, fashionable mall or haggle in a bazaar, this metropolis has you lined. Kemeraltı Bazaar is a well-known procuring spot in the course of the town, and you may seize many bargains by trying to knock down the worth a bit of. This can be a significantly great place for textiles, spices, souvenirs, and handmade jewellery.
Alternatively, if you wish to hit the mall, Optimum Mall Izmir is the place to go, together with Discussion board Bornova, and Mavibahce. These spots all have bars, eating places, cinemas, and play areas, together with extra outlets than you’ll ever have the ability to get round. You’ll want comfy footwear as you’re certain to rack up the steps.
Turkey has many unbelievable cities to go to, and Izmir ought to actually be in your must-see checklist. With a beautiful mix of historic and fashionable, this can be a metropolis that provides a bit of little bit of all the things. It’s additionally a vibrant house that’s much more Westernized than among the cities additional east and within the middle of the nation.
It’s no shock that Izmir is grabbing extra consideration nowadays, and with a lot to see and do, maybe it’s time you deliberate a go to.