Nicknamed "the Pearl of the Aegean", Izmir is Turkey's third largest city with a population of around 3.5 million people. Sitting on the west coast of the country on the Aegean Sea, it's a popular tourist city and cruise ship stopover that offers great access to stunning beaches and an elegant sea front. However, it also boasts some of the best Roman remains outside of Italy and some of the finest fresh fish you'll find anywhere in the world, barbecued fresh off the fishing boats down at the harbour.
The weather in Izmir can get very hot during the summer months, particularly across July and August, which are also the busiest holiday months. If you can book your flights to Izmir outwith the main tourist season, you may bag a bargain and have more room to enjoy the city's delights. Why not combine your trip with a beach holiday at one of Turkey's many coastal resorts?
Izmir is served by numerous providers, including budget airlines, so grabbing a cheap flight to Turkey should not be a problem. Flights to Izmir take around four hours and Izmir Adnan Menderes Airport is only around 10 miles from the city centre. You can make this journey by using the regular Havas public bus service or via the Izmir Metro. Taxis are also widely available but make sure you agree a price for your journey up front.
Konak Square is the heart of Izmir and it is dominated by a large clock built in 1901. From here, it's easy to explore other interesting areas of the city include its seaside promenade, the Kordon, and Konak Pier that was designed by Gustave Eiffel and now serves as an upmarket shopping mall. The real attraction of Izmir, however, has to be its Roman ruins. Make sure you take a tour to nearby Ephesus, a site you'd be forgiven for thinking was Pompeii due to the extent of the Roman ruins preserved here. Try to arrive early in the day as it can get very hot wandering down the Marble Road and other sites meaning early in the morning is the best time to visit.
Kadifekale Castle is worth the climb for the views alone!
Camii Mosque sits in the central square
Celsus Library is just one of the reasons you should take a day trip to Epheseus
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