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Sunday, 26.10.2014
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City map Izmir

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    Good to know

    Izmir – a brief overview

    Turkey’s third city and major port was once the biggest city in the Roman Empire. The origins of the former Smyrna stretch back 5,000 years. Sadly, devastating fires destroyed most of the old city in 1922, and Izmir today is an architectural mishmash, with modern blocks crowding out its few remaining Ottoman and Byzantine buildings.

    Nevertheless, it’s an energetic and forward-looking city, with several good museums, galleries and handicrafts markets. The revitalised seafront esplanade, the Kordon, is Izmir’s symbol of civic pride, with crowds packing its open-air cafés every evening to soak up the gorgeous sunsets over the Bay of Izmir.

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    Top 10 sights in Izmir

    ListMap
    Izmir, Türkei, Lufthansa, Travelguide, Travel Guide

    Agora

    İki Çeşmelik Mah
    816 Sokak No 16
    Izmir
    Turkey
    Tel: (0232) 483 4696
    Show on map

    Opening times:
    Daily 0900-1200, 1300-1800

    The Roman marketplace of Smyrna dates from around the second century AD. Today the site is a superb open-air museum, with reconstructed remains of colonnades, arches and underground chambers.

    Konak Meydanı

    Konak Mh.
    35250 Izmir
    Turkey
    Show on map

    Focal point of the city centre, Konak Square is flanked by historic buildings, with a tall clock tower (Saat Kulesi) in the middle. This iconic symbol of the Ottoman era was built in 1901 for the 25th anniversary of Sultan Abdul Hamid II’s reign.

    Ethnography Museum

    Sümer Mh.
    Halil Rıfat Paşa Caddesi No. 3
    35250 Izmir
    Turkey
    Tel: +90 232 483 7254
    Show on map

    Opening times:
    Tue-Sun 0800-1700

    This fascinating museum gives an insight into daily life, past and present. Displays cover activities from tin-plating to camel wrestling, plus some fine pieces of jewellery and embroidery.

    Konak Camii

    Mustafa Kemal Sahil Blv
    Konak Mh
    35480 Izmir
    Turkey
    Show on map

    Opening times:
    Various

    Standing on one side of Konak Square, this is one of the most impressive mosques in the city, built in 1755. Its octagonal exterior is decorated with beautiful tiles and chandeliers light up the interior dome.

    Hisar Camii

    902 Sokak
    35250 Izmir
    Turkey
    Show on map

    Opening times:
    Various

    One of the oldest and largest mosques in the city, Hisar Camii was built at the end of the 16th century. Topped by a large blue and gold central dome, the mosque has a peaceful rear courtyard and a ritual Islamic fountain.

    Ataturk Evi

    Atatürk Caddesi 24
    Izmir
    Turkey
    Tel: (0232) 464 8085
    Show on map

    Opening times:
    Tue-Sun 0830-1730

    This historic mansion is one of the few remaining 19th-century buildings on the Kordon esplanade. Turkey’s founder Ataturk lived here when visiting the city in the 1930s.

    Kadifekale

    Rakım Erkutlu Cd
    Kadifekale Mh.
    35110 Izmir
    Turkey
    Show on map

    Enjoy great views over Izmir and the bay from its hilltop ‘Velvet Fortress’ on the southeastern edge of the city. The castle was built by Alexander the Great in the fourth century BC.

    Museum of History and Art

    Izmir Fuarı, Kültürpark
    35220 Izmir
    Turkey
    Tel: (0232) 445 6818
    Show on map

    Opening times:
    Tue-Sun 0830-1730

    This extensive museum contains three separate collections of sculpture, ceramics, and jewellery and Bronze Age artefacts, focussing mostly on the ancient era up to Roman times.

    Kordon

    Kordon, Atatürk Caddesi
    Izmir
    Turkey
    Show on map

    Since its restoration at the turn of the millennium, Izmir’s waterfront esplanade has become one of the most admired seafront developments on this stretch of coast. The broad promenade is paved with mosaics and lined with popular bars and restaurants.

    Kültürpark

    Izmir Fuarı
    35220 Izmir
    Turkey
    Show on map

    Opening times:

    One of the city centre’s largest green spaces, Culture Park contains a good range of sports facilities, as well as exhibition halls, theatres, sculptures and an amusement park.

    Good to know

    Country Information

    Country overview

    For sheer diversity, it’s hard to beat Turkey. The country seems to exist in multitudes – of people, of natural landscapes, of cultures. It is a land of vast open spaces, massive mountain ranges, fertile valleys and rugged coastline, fast-growing cities and sleepy villages, bustling neon-lit seaside resorts and unfrequented beaches.

    Countless waves of invasions, rebellions and ongoing immigration have created a country that may surprise visitors with the breadth and depth of the cultural melting-pot, not just in the major cities but across the country, with Kurds, Greeks, Arabs and many more groups to be found.

    Geography

    Turkey borders the Black Sea and Georgia and Armenia to the northeast, Iran to the east, Iraq to the southeast, Syria and the Mediterranean to the south, the Aegean Sea to the west and Greece and Bulgaria to the northwest. Asia Minor (or Anatolia) is the name given to the peninsula that forms a bridge between Europe and Asia. It accounts for 97% of the country’s area and forms a long, wide peninsula 1,650km (1,025 miles) from east to west and 650km (400 miles) from north to south.  The biggest city is Ankara, which is situated in the central plains of Anatolia.

    The other 3% of the country is Thrace, the tiny land mass which is the European portion of Turkey bordering Bulgaria and Greece and separated from Anatolia by the Bosphorus, a strait linking the Black Sea and Aegean Sea. Despite its small size 10% of the population lives here, with most of these in Istanbul.

    Two east-west mountain ranges, the Black Sea Mountains in the north and the Taurus in the south, enclose the central Anatolian plateau, but converge in a vast mountainous region in the far east of the country. It is here that the ancient Tigris and Euphrates rivers rise.

    General knowledge

    Key Facts

    Area: 783.562 sq km

    Population: 80.694.485

    Polulation density: 103 per sq km

    Capital: Ankara

    Government: Republic since 1923

    Language

    Turkish is the official language. Kurdish is also spoken by a minority in the southeast. French, German and English are widely spoken in major cities and tourist areas.

    Currency

    New Turkish Lira (TRY; symbol YTL) = 100 New Kurus (Ykr). Notes are in denominations of YTL200, 100, 50, 20, 10, 5 and 1. Coins are in denominations of YTL1 and 50, 25, 10, 5 and 1 New Kurus.

    Standard time zone

    UTC/GMT +2 hours (October – March)
    UTC/GMT +3 hours (March – October)

    Electricity

    220 volts AC, 50Hz. European-style plugs with two round pins are used.

    General business opening hours

    Mon-Fri 0830-1200 and 1330-1730.

    Public holidays

    Below are listed Public Holidays for the January 2014-December 2015 period.

    2014

    New Year’s Day: 01 January 2014
    National Sovereignty and Children’s Day: 23 April 2014
    Labour Day: 1 May 2014
    Commemoration of Atatürk, Youth and Sports Day: 19 Mai 2014
    Ramazan Bayrami (End of Ramadan): 28 July 2014
    Victory Day: 30 August 2014
    Kurban Bayrami (Feast of Sacrifice): 04 Oktober 2014
    Republic Day: 28 Oktober 2014

     

    2015

    New Year’s Day: 01 January 2015
    National Sovereignty and Children’s Day: 23 April 2015
    Labour Day: 1 May 2015
    Commemoration of Atatürk, Youth and Sports Day: 19 Mai 2015
    Ramazan Bayrami (End of Ramadan): 18 July 2015
    Victory Day: 30 August 2015
    Kurban Bayrami (Feast of Sacrifice): 23 September 2015
    Republic Day: 28 Oktober 2015

     

     

    Enjoy

    Nightlife in Izmir

    ListMap

    Izmiris kickstart their night out with a cocktail or two on the Kordon, then move on to lively clubs and bars in trendy Alsancak.

    Bios Bar

    1453. Sk No:18
    Alsancak/İzmir
    Turkey
    Show on map

    Hot local bands attract Izmir’s young crowd to this lively bar in Alsancak

    Ragip Haykir Sahnesi

    Tiyatro Sokak 43
    Izmir
    Turkey
    Show on map

    One of Izmir’s best modern theatres, with Turkish plays as well as international festivals.

    Jackson’s

    1453 Sokak 17
    Izmir
    Turkey
    Show on map

    This former British consulate is now a live music club, a favourite of the city’s hip set.

    Kybele

    1453 Sokak 28
    Izmir
    Turkey
    Show on map

    Mosh with the masses in this no-frills live rock and jazz club in Alsancak.

    Rain Club

    1649 Sokak 79
    Izmir
    Turkey
    Show on map

    This huge open-air club gets packed at weekends, with crowds dancing to hip DJs spinning house and electronica.

    Enjoy

    Restaurants in Izmir

    ListMap

    Izmir has an enticing range of eateries, from snack stalls in the bazaar to elegant gourmet restaurants on the Kordon.

    The other main district is chic Alsancak, which has many lively bars and cafés.

    Sakiz

    Şehit Nevresbey Bulvarı 9A
    Izmir
    Turkey
    Show on map

    Price: Expensive

    Superb Turkish cuisine comes with an imaginative twist at one of the city’s finest restaurants.

    Deniz

    Atatürk Caddesi 188B
    35220 Izmir
    Turkey
    Show on map

    Price: Expensive

    Succulent fresh fish is the speciality of this upmarket restaurant on the Kordon.

    Köşebaşi Kordon

    Atatürk Caddesi 174B
    35220 Izmir
    Turkey
    Show on map

    Price: Moderate

    This cool, modern restaurant on the seafront offers delicious traditional Anatolian cuisine.

    Sevinç Pastanesi

    Ali Çetinkaya Bulvarı 31A
    35220 Izmir
    Turkey
    Show on map

    Price: Moderate

    Possibly the most famous patisserie in the city, Sevinc’s ice cream and baklava are to die for.

    Bolu Mangal

    Kibris Şehitleri Caddesi 128B
    Izmir
    Turkey
    Show on map

    Price: Cheap

    For a tasty late-night kebab, this pay-by-weight restaurant is hard to beat.

    Discover

    Calendar of events

    International Izmir Artemis Film Festival

    21 – 25 October 2014
    Website

    Venue: Various venues.

    Incorporating the Kingfisher Short Film Festival, this cinema fest aims to put Izmir back on the map for film producers and directors. Its focus is currently on short films, with awards for narrative, documentary, animation and experimental films. However, the organisers hope to include feature films in the future.

    Camel Wrestling Festival

    1 – 31 January 2015

    Venue: Selçuk, around 80km south of Izmir.

    The ancient (and controversial) tradition of camel wrestling dates back 2,400 years and one of the biggest events takes places in Selçuk, south of Izmir. Colourfully kitted out camels are pitted against each other and the winning camel is the animal which stands its ground the longest.

    Izmir European Jazz Festival

    1 – 31 March 2015
    Website

    Venue: Ahmed Adnan Saygun Art Center.

    Musicians from Turkey and across Europe come together to perform a sensational mix of vocal and instrumental jazz over nearly three weeks. Experts present an engaging programme of seminars and jazz fans can learn new tricks and tunes at workshops.

    Dragon Cup

    1 – 31 May 2015
    Website

    Venue: Sahilevleri Mevkii Narlidere.

    Teams battle it out on the water over two days in these fiercely competitive dragon boat races. One by one, boats are eliminated until a victor is declared. There are plenty of activities back on dry land too, with food, live entertainment and a special awards ceremony.

    Hidrellez Day

    1 – 31 May 2015

    Venue: Various venues.

    Street festivities, singing, music and dancing mark this traditional spring celebration. It’s believed that wishes made on this night will come true. To make a wish, people jump over a campfire, which is also said to ward off illness. Others write their wishes on notes and pin them to trees.

    Karşiyaka Flower Festival

    1 – 31 May 2015

    Venue: Bostanli marketplace, Karşiyaka.

    Izmir’s Karsiyaka district is a riot of colour during this flower festival. Hundreds of flowers, plants and trees are on display and for sale. Residents can enter a ‘most beautiful balcony or garden’ competition and in the evenings, well-known classical, folk and pop artists perform superb concerts.

    Kemalpaşa Golden Cherry Festival

    1 – 31 May 2015

    Venue: Kemalpaşa, around 30km east of Izmir.

    Local cherry growers bring their finest produce to this spring festival, hoping to win an award for the tastiest cherries. As well as guzzling juicy fruit, visitors to this nine-day festival come to hear famous singers and musicians perform live on stage.

    Strawberry Festival

    1 – 31 May 2015

    Venue: Emiralem, around 30km north of Izmir.

    Farmers compete to grow the region’s most beautiful and delicious strawberries, with a coveted award up for grabs for the best fruit. Festival goers can chomp on succulent strawberries and watch parades of local residents dressed in traditional costume accompanied by drumming and music.

    International Izmir Festival

    14 June – 3 September 2015
    Website

    Venue: Various venues.

    World-renowned Turkish and international artists and ensembles stage an outstanding programme of classical and contemporary music, ballet, opera and theatre. Performances take place in an astonishing array of venues, from the ancient amphitheatre and library at Ephesus to ornate churches and traditional concert halls.

    Izmir International Fair

    29 August – 7 September 2015
    Website

    Venue: Izmir International Fair Center in Kültürpark.

    Turkey’s oldest trade fair has been going strong for over 80 years and showcases the latest consumer and industrial products from household appliances and furniture to agricultural machinery and IT equipment. Around 1.5 million visitors pass through the doors to browse, buy and enjoy the entertainment.

    Enjoy

    Hotels in Izmir

    ListMap

    As the main gateway to Turkey’s Aegean coast, Izmir has plenty of hotel accommodation. Most of the top-end selection is clustered along the Kordon, with cheaper hostels further inland

    and near the railway station. Boutique hotels are also starting to pop up here and there, particularly in Alsancak.

    Key Hotel

    Mimar Kemalettin Caddesi 1
    35260 Izmir
    Turkey
    Show on map

    Category: Expensive

    This stylish hotel is one of the best in Izmir, on the seafront and with modern designer decor.

    Hilton Izmir

    Gazi Osmanpaşa Bulvarı 7
    35210 Izmir
    Turkey
    Show on map

    Category: Expensive

    Standing tall on the seafront, this luxury hotel has excellent amenities and terrific views from its top-floor rooms.

    Met Boutique Hotel

    Gazi Bulvarı 124
    35210 Izmir
    Turkey
    Show on map

    Category: Moderate

    This elegant modern hotel with à la carte restaurant has a great reputation for friendly service.

    Armis

    Mürselpaşa Bulvarı 157
    35230 Izmir
    Turkey
    Show on map

    Category: Moderate

    This large modern hotel is a good business option, with conference facilities as well as a spa.

    Antik Han

    Kurtuluş Mh.
    Anafartalar Cd No:600
    35035 İzmir
    Turkey
    Show on map

    Category: Cheap

    Right next to the bazaar and near the Agora, this lovely old boutique hotel is great value.

    Good to know

    Best time to visit

    Today: Sunday, 26.10.2014 05:00

    cloudy

    temperature


    15°C


    59°F

    wind direction

    wind speed

    1.25 mph

    humidity

    79%

    7 days forecast

    Sunday

    26.10.2014

    19°C / 14°C

    66°F / 57°F

    Monday

    27.10.2014

    18°C / 12°C

    64°F / 54°F

    Tuesday

    28.10.2014

    18°C / 11°C

    64°F / 52°F

    Wednesday

    29.10.2014

    19°C / 11°C

    66°F / 52°F

    Thursday

    30.10.2014

    19°C / 10°C

    66°F / 50°F

    Friday

    31.10.2014

    15°C / 10°C

    59°F / 50°F

    Saturday

    01.11.2014

    17°C / 10°C

    63°F / 50°F

    Climate & best time to visit Turkey

    Turkey is a huge country, and its climate varies widely from region to region as well as seasonally. For sightseeing holidays to Istanbul and the most important ancient and medieval sights, and for active walking holidays, the best times to visit are spring (April-May) and autumn (October-early November) when days are generally warm and sunny but not uncomfortably hot. Rainy spells and cloudy days are possible, however, in spring and autumn, so the best months for a sun-and-sea holiday on the Aegean or Mediterranean coast are June to end September. Resort areas are most crowded from June until the end of August.

    In developing ski areas such as Uludag near Bursa and Palandoken near Erzurum, the best time to visit is between December and April. Temperatures in and around Istanbul can vary from well below freezing in midwinter to above 40°C (104°F) in summer. The Aegean and Mediterranean coasts experience the hottest summers, with highs of 45°C (113°F), but midwinter temperatures can be as low as -5°C (23°F). Mountainous Eastern Turkey has the most extreme climate of all, with winter temperatures as low as -43°C (-45F) and highs up to 38C (100F). The climate of the central Anatolia is also extreme with summer highs of 40°C (104°F)and winter lows of -25°C (-13°F). The Turkish State Meteorological Office (www.mgm.gov.tr) provides a day to day, region by region online weather forecast.

    JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec

    21 °C

    69.8 °F

    -8 °C

    17.6 °F

    23 °C

    73.4 °F

    -7 °C

    19.4 °F

    30 °C

    86 °F

    -3 °C

    26.6 °F

    32 °C

    89.6 °F

    0 °C

    32 °F

    39 °C

    102.2 °F

    4 °C

    39.2 °F

    41 °C

    105.8 °F

    9 °C

    48.2 °F

    42 °C

    107.6 °F

    11 °C

    51.8 °F

    42 °C

    107.6 °F

    11 °C

    51.8 °F

    38 °C

    100.4 °F

    5 °C

    41 °F

    35 °C

    95 °F

    3 °C

    37.4 °F

    30 °C

    86 °F

    -2 °C

    28.4 °F

    24 °C

    75.2 °F

    -6 °C

    21.2 °F

    JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec

    132 mm

    99 mm

    76 mm

    45 mm

    24 mm

    10 mm

    8 mm

    4 mm

    15 mm

    40 mm

    87 mm

    153 mm

    JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec

    4 h

    4 h

    6 h

    7 h

    9 h

    11 h

    12 h

    12 h

    10 h

    7 h

    5 h

    4 h

    JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec

    72 %

    69 %

    65 %

    63 %

    60 %

    52 %

    49 %

    49 %

    55 %

    64 %

    70 %

    72 %

    JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec

    15 °C

    59 °F

    13 °C

    55.4 °F

    14 °C

    57.2 °F

    15 °C

    59 °F

    18 °C

    64.4 °F

    21 °C

    69.8 °F

    23 °C

    73.4 °F

    23 °C

    73.4 °F

    22 °C

    71.6 °F

    20 °C

    68 °F

    17 °C

    62.6 °F

    16 °C

    60.8 °F

    absolute maxabsolute minØ absolute minØ absolute minrelative humidityØ depositdays with deposit > 1mmsunshine duration
    Jan21 °C-8 °C12 °C5 °C72 %132 mm94.2 h
    Feb23 °C-7 °C13 °C6 °C69 %99 mm84.9 h
    Mar30 °C-3 °C16 °C7 °C65 %76 mm76.4 h
    Apr32 °C0 °C20 °C11 °C63 %45 mm67.7 h
    May39 °C4 °C25 °C15 °C60 %24 mm39.8 h
    Jun41 °C9 °C30 °C19 °C52 %10 mm111.5 h
    Jul42 °C11 °C32 °C22 °C49 %8 mm< 112.1 h
    Aug42 °C11 °C32 °C21 °C49 %4 mm< 112.0 h
    Sep38 °C5 °C28 °C18 °C55 %15 mm210.3 h
    Oct35 °C3 °C23 °C14 °C64 %40 mm47.6 h
    Nov30 °C-2 °C18 °C10 °C70 %87 mm75.4 h
    Dec24 °C-6 °C14 °C7 °C72 %153 mm114.1 h
    year42 °C-8 °C22 °C13 °C62 %692 mm608.0 h
    Good to know

    Telephone & Internet

    Telephone/Mobile phones

    International dialling code: +90

    Telephone

    The cheapest way to make calls is from PTT telephone booths, which are found in all areas. These operate using phone cards, which can be bought from kiosks, or by using major credit cards.

    Mobile Phone

    Mobile phone coverage is generally good, but can be patchy in some rural areas in eastern Turkey. As Turkey is outside the EU, roaming charges are very much more expensive than for mobile phone use in the UK and the rest of the EU.

    Internet

    There are internet cafés throughout Turkey, even in small towns and rural villages. Almost all hotels (including even small guesthouses and budget hostels) offer free Wi-Fi internet access, as do many restaurants, bars and cafés.

    Enjoy

    Shopping in Izmir

    Stadtführer, Lufthansa, Travelguide, Shopping, Einkaufen

    Key Areas

    Izmir has plenty of shopping options, from mass-produced souvenirs in its heaving bazaar to finer handicrafts in upscale Alsancak or designer goods in air-conditioned modern malls.

    Markets

    Kemeralti is the main market with masses of stalls in its warren of winding streets, selling local produce and crafts, from hand-painted ceramics to woven carpets. The adjoining Kizlaragasi Han is set up more like a traditional bazaar, with a decent range of souvenirs and crafts on sale in its covered archways.

    Shopping Centres

    Two of the best malls are Konak Pier, a small shopping complex on the Kordon, complete with cinema and restaurants. In Bornova is the much bigger and swankier Forum (372 Sokak). You can find all the major retail names here, from Ikea to Starbucks; it also has pleasant open-air cafés and supermarkets.

    Good to know

    Traveller etiquette

    Social conventions

    Shaking hands is the normal form of greeting a stranger;  kissing on the cheek is reserved for meeting friends and family. Hospitality is very important and visitors should respect Islamic customs. Informal wear is acceptable, but beachwear should be confined to the beach or poolside. Smoking is widely acceptable but prohibited in cinemas, theatres, buses, coaches and dolmuş (collective taxis).

    There is no law against women wearing headscarves in public but those in public roles and campus students are banned from wearing them. However, if visiting a mosque, women are advised to take scarves to cover their hair and to wear long-sleeved tops. Both men and women should have legs covered from the knees upwards.

    Good to know

    Health

    Main emergency number: 112

    Food & Drink

    Mains water is chlorinated in towns and cities, but it is advisable to drink the widely available bottled mineral water. If a water source bears the words içilmez, it is not potable; sources labelled içilir or içme suyu are safe to drink. Milk is pasteurised. Eat only well-cooked meat and fish. When it comes to street food, common sense is advised; eat food that is freshly cooked and ideally, has been prepared in front of you. During the summer Turkey can experience temperatures up to 40°C so carry a bottle of water to avoid dehydration.

    Other Risks

    Vaccinations against tuberculosis and hepatitis B are sometimes recommended. It is recommended that travellers visiting rural areas, get a rabies vaccination as this may be found in dogs, cats and other animals throughout the countryside. Turkey has very low risk of malaria, with the risk increasing towards the Syrian border in the south east of the country, but keen trekkers may want to stock up on supplies of insect-repellent.

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