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İzmir, Turkey

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İzmir is the third largest city in Turkey. It is located on the westernmost part of Anatolia, with its metropolitan area encompassing the entire İzmir Province. The İzmir metropolitan area has a population of 3.35 million people (2011 estimate).

View from Konak Pier in İzmir, TurkeyView from Konak Pier in İzmir, Turkey
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İzmir is an ancient city with a recorded history going back 3,500 years. Human settlement in the İzmir area is believed to go back even further. During ancient times, the city was known as Smyrna, derived from the myrrh trees. Today it is a modern city and a major venue for international fairs and events in Turkey.

Visitors to İzmir will find a city with broad boulevards. The city is served by buses, ferries and a new Metro subway line. There are also horse-drawn carriages, catering mostly to tourists. The waterfront has been restored into a modern pier and wharf.

Asansör elevator at Mithatpaşa, İzmirAsansör elevator at Mithatpaşa, İzmir
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authorshipYılmaz Uğurlu
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İzmir experience the quintessential Mediterranean climate characterized by the long, hot, dry summers and cool, wet winters. Hottest months are July and August, when the average high temperature rises to 33°C (91°F). Coldest months are January and Februay, when the average low temperature drops to 4°C (39°F). Rain is heaviest in December, which receives 122 mm (4.8 in) of precipitation.

Visiting İzmir

You can take the train from Istanbul and Ankara to İzmir. The fastest train from Ankara takes 14 hours. There are also ferry boats between Istanbul and İzmir. The boat ride takes 19 hours.

You can fly to İzmir, landing at the Adnan Menderes Airport (ADB), which receives flights from Istanbul, Ankara and other cities in Turkey. There are also regular flights from neighbouring countries. From the airport, you can take the Airport Shuttle, which meets incoming flights, to go to downtown İzmir. The fare is 10 TL. Public buses are also available, for only 4 TL per passenger.

Gecekondu neighborhood in Bayraklı, İzmirGecekondu neighborhood in Bayraklı, İzmir
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authorshipVeyis Polat
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Sights & Attractions in İzmir

  1. Agora: The central market place of the Roman period dates to AD 178, when it was rebuilt by Emperor Marcus Aurelius following an earthquake.
  2. Archaeology Museum: The main focus of this museum are the artifacts of the Bayraklı Mounds from 3,000 to 3,500 BC. Other items come from the various periods of İzmir history, with glassware from the Byzantine period, silver and gold cans from the Roman period, and other items.
  3. Asansör: Elevator from the 19th century, still in use today, bringing patrons to a roof-top restaurant that offers fine views of İzmir.
  4. Ethnographic Museum: Museum occupying a former French hosptial built in 1831 displays local crafts such as woodblock printing, bridal costumes, beads and other items. There is also a replica of the first apothecary in İzmir.
  5. Kızlarağası Han: This historical complex was a trading center during Ottoman era. It has been restored and given readaptive reuse, with its courtyard functioning today as a café. Craft and furniture workshops occupy various outlets on the upper floor.
  6. Konak Clock Tower: Built in 1901, this clock tower - a symbol of İzmir - is one of 58 built during Ottoman times to encourage the Turks to adopt European timekeeping.
  7. St Polycarp Church: This is the oldest Roman Catholic church in İzmir. It is dedicated to the patron saint of the city.
  8. Velvet Castle: A fortress complex with 40 towers built on Hellenistic foundations with additions made by latter rulers including the Romans, Genoese and Ottomans. Situated on a hill called Mount Pagos, it offers scenic views of İzmir Bay.

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