On the trip to Turkey, Izmir comes in one of those places which must be added on your bucket list when giving a tour. Izmir was known as Smyrna in ancient times. It is the Turkey’s third largest city and the second most populated city on the Aegean Sea. Izmir was originated by Greeks, taken over by Romans and then again rebuilt by Alexander the Great before it became the part of Ottoman Empire in the 15th century. From Greek to Ottoman Empire, Izmir has preserved the archaeological structures and artifacts from all the different time periods it went through.
10) Ephesus (Efeze)
Ephesus is an ancient greek city which is also known as Efeze. Being one of the world’s greatest cities in roman times, it was ranked as the second largest city in the world at that time. In Eastern Mediterranean, Ephesus is the best preserved ancient temple. It holds the temple of Artemis, that believed to be one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. Many people used to believe that Ephesus is the house of Mary, mother of Jesus. According to the Bible’s book of revelation, Ephesus is listed as the 7th church of asia. There are many magnificent sites including Library of Celsus, the Cave of the Seven Sleepers, a theater, Church of Mary, House of the Virgin, the Isabey Mosque, Basilica of St. John and the Temple of Hadrian
Are you a wine lover? If your answer is yes, you must not skip your visit to Sirince because if you do, you’ll probably miss the best quality of wines in the world. A few minutes away from the Sirince there is a small turkish village famed for its fine-looking white houses and for the making of fruit wine. You can purchase different wines from the shops around the Turkey. The entrance to this area is free and as you walk around the streets, you might be indulging with too many free glasses of wine to try. Since Sirince is very close to Ephesus, it is suggested to see both these places on the same day trip.
8) Izmir Clock Tower
Izmir Clock Tower is a historic clock tower, also called Saat Kulesi is located at the Konak Square in the center of Izmir. It was built by a French architect in 1901 to honor the 25th anniversary of Abdülhamid II’s succession to the throne. Sultan was also celebrating his 25th anniversary by containing more than 100 clock towers built in public squares all the way through the Ottoman Empire. It is 82 feet long and decorated in such a unique traditional style which attracts a lot of tourists from all around the globe.
If you went to tour Izmir Clock Tower then you shouldn’t be forgetting to see this place by a 20-minute walk from the tower. You can find Asanor by walking through the seaside from the Konak Sqaure. Asansor was basically constructed in 1907 as a work of public service that used to be an elevator in order to ease passage from the summits of the cliff to the coastline of Karatas. At the top of the Asansor, there is a famous café of Izmir that provides lots of eatables and drinks that you may enjoy while your stay.
Kadifekale is also known as the Velvet Castle that lies between the mountains of the city of Izmir. Being associated with the ancient Greek city Symrna, it inclines opposite to the sea around the 3rd century BC. From a quite distance, you can see the Turkish flag on the top of the castle walls of the Kadifekale. Kadifekale comes into sight of both fort and the castle. As from the top of the tower, it gives an amazing clear view of the city and the Gulf of Izmir. Entry to the area is free for everyone as there are a few traditional and classical stalls selling textiles and a Byzantine cistern.
5) Key Museum
Key Museum recently established with an extensive collection of automobiles, artifacts and vintage cars built on a 7000-meter square feet area. The museum hosted exhibitions of more than 130 automobiles from the first automobile that was made in 1800. The exhibit shows many different collections of automobile parts which have been collected with great attentiveness not only from the Turkey but from all around the world since 2001. The Key Museum was established in May 2015 with a remarkable collection of 130 automobiles and 40 motorcycles along with steam engines.
Kemeralti is a historical market region of the Izmir. Being one of the liveliest places of Izmir, It is the oldest and most momentous landmark of the Ottoman Empire. The market is basically extending from Konak Square through to the Agora. Kemeraltı is in existence since the 17th century and is the home of shops, artisans, workshops, coffeehouses, mosques, tea gardens, and eateries. Those who like to spend their day in exploring the crowd and rich streets, historical places of worships and hidden courtyards, they will probably see the real Izmir at this place as a local society which is precisely illustrating the city’s actual heart and soul.
3) Mountain Sipylus
Mount Sipylus is a beautiful work of nature in the ancient times. Mount Sipylus having the elevation of about 1513-meters, is a mountain rich in legends and holds a great history in Manisa province. There is weeping rock in Mount Sipylus, known as Niobe’s rock, a carved rock in the form of a weeping woman, which is believed by ancient Greeks that is Niobe. Niobe is one of the history’s most tragic figures of ancient Greek myth. She was the daughter of Tantalus. The statue is carved on porous limestone and the stone shows to weep as the water falls through it.
2) St. Polycarp Church
If you are in Izmir you should visit the most sacred of all places, Saint Polycarp Church. The church was built in the 17th century; this Catholic Church is the oldest and still functioning Christian house of adoration. The existence of the church continued during the fire of 1922, that destroyed all adjoining constructions to the ground. The inside walls of the church are decorated with frescoes that were renovated further in the 19th century by a local architect named as Raymond Charles Père. The architect basically represents himself in the wall painting. All the wall paintings and the color combination totally compliments the church. The chandeliers hanging in the arches brings out the beautiful light and colours to it.
Most of the people including tourists used to call this place Pamukkale instead of Hierapolis. Hierapolis is an ancient city of the Lycus River valley and well-known for its blessed hot springs. Its most admired attraction contains the thermally heated sacred pool where you can swim in the middle of the leftovers of ancient roman columns; fall over into the water by various earthquakes. Try not to miss the visit of fantastic white terraces of Pamukkale. Easily sight from the ancient city, these terraces were created by a natural build up of calcium carbonate. Amongst these, there is a theater which is perhaps the most well-preserved and gives you a view of the whole beautiful valley. It was constructed around 200 BC, with the seating capacity of 20,000 persons. Nowadays, there are only 30 rows remaining.