Izmir is a metropolitan city in Turkey’s Aegean region and the country’s third most populated metropolis, following Istanbul and Ankara. Izmir, formerly the historic city of Smyrna, is a modern, developed, and busy commercial center located on a large harbor surrounded by mountains.
The city is a booming economic and social center due to its geographic position, climate, and the presence of many diverse cultures and religions. Persians, Ancient Greeks, Assyrians, Romans, Byzantines, and Ottomans are just a few of the hundreds of civilizations that have called the city home over its long history.
Izmir has a long urban history of about 4,000 years and may have existed as an advanced human colony for far longer. For most of its history, the city has been one of the main trading cities of the Mediterranean Sea due to its ideal location. Its port is Turkey’s major export port in terms of freight handled, and its free zone, a Turkish-American joint venture created in 1990.
Where is Izmir?
In western Turkey, the city of Izmir is the country’s third-largest city and one of the country’s largest ports. Izmir is located on Turkey’s Aegean Sea coast, at the head of the sheltered Gulf of Izmir.
How Many Districts Does Izmir Have?
Izmir has 30 districts that are listed below.
What is Izmir’s Population?
Izmir’s population is 3,024,000 as of 2021 with a growth rate of 1.04%. The men to women ratio are 50%.
What is Izmir Surface Area?
Izmir has a total size of 11,891 square kilometers.
What are the Seasonal Characteristics of Izmir?
Summers are hot and dry and winters are warm and rainy in Izmir. The climate is generally pleasant. The temperature rarely drops below zero in the winter.
Temperatures range from 4°C to 13°C in January and February, 6°C to 17 °C in March and April, 16°C to 28°C in May and June, 20°C to 33°C in July and August, 15°C to 25°C in September and October, and 6°C to 15°C in November and December.
What are the Most Famous Meals of Izmir?
When it comes to local cuisine, the city holds an important position with its special meals. Here are the most famous meals of Izmir.
- Boyoz, Izmir’s most famous delicacy, is a kind of pastry typically consumed for breakfast.
- Kumru, another local specialty, is a sandwich loaded with sausages, salami, cheese, tomatoes, peppers, mayonnaise, and ketchup. Kumru buns are made fresh daily at bakeries and can be consumed with or without any additional ingredients.
- Bomb is deliciously combining chocolate and dough.
- Kokorec is prepared using spring lamb and a variety of spices.
- Izmir meatballs are made by combining minced beef with various spices and deep-frying.
- Sogus is made by several different giblets, served with a thin flatbread.
Which Hotels Are In Izmir?
Izmir has plenty of nice hotels. The top hotels in Izmir are listed below.
- Radisson Hotel Aliaga
- Wyndham Grand Ozdilek
- Swissotel Grand Efes
- Movenpick Hotel
There are several tales about the origin of the city’s name, Izmir. Scientific investigations have revealed that the name “Izmir” comes from the ancient Ionian dialect of Smyrna, where it was recorded as “Smyrna in the Attican” (around Athens). Smyrna, like many other Aegean city names, has an Anatolian origin.
During the early years of 3000 BC or late 1800 BC, a location called Tismyrna was described in manuscripts from the Kultepe settlement in Kayseri and the “Ti” at the beginning was deleted therefore the city was pronounced as Smyrna. The city used to be known as Izmir in Turkish times.
It’s believed that the Trojans occupied Western Anatolia around 3000 BC. Their impact may be seen in the development of coastal settlements around the Aegean Sea as well. Aegean towns owe a lot to the Hittites, who Homer wrote about in the Iliad and who were allies of the Trojans.
The Hittites ruled the Anatolian mountain meadows. Indeed, the Hittites constructed Pitane and comparable towns in the Bakircay River Basin. The Amazons are thought to have resided between Caria and Lydia, on the Yamanlar Mountainside, until the advent of the Aiolos and Ions. Then they vanished.
Around 1000 BC, the Aiolos and Ions, who had fled the Doric invasion, arrived in Greece and settled in Izmir and the surrounding area. Until the 7th century BC, commerce with its neighbors, particularly Lydia, helped Izmir prosper. The Lydians and the Persians had a cordial neighborly relationship until the latter’s conquest of the former.
With Alexander the Great’s invasion of Anatolia in 334 BCE, Persian rule came to an end. The Hellenistic period began during these years, and a new community sprang up around Kadifekale (ancient Mount Pagos). The city’s fortifications date from this period and have been restored numerous times since.
In 197 BC, Izmir was still part of the Pergamon Empire, but after the Romans conquered it, it grew into an important port and trading center. Historically, Izmir served as the western world’s geographic hub of Asian trade. During this time, the Agora, Acropolis, Theater, and Stadium were built, as were libraries and fountains that have since disappeared.
The Hun Emperor Attila did manage to seize Izmir for a short time, but the Byzantines quickly retook the city. Izmir was initially conquered by the Seljuk Turks by Kutalmisoglu Suleyman Shah in 1076. During Caka Bey’s mayorship, Urla and Foca, as well as the Greek islands of Sakiz and Samos, were taken from the Ottomans.
After the death of aka Bey in 1098, the city and its environs were retaken by the Byzantines, who were later assaulted by the Crusaders. In 1320, a Turkish sailor named Umur Bey defeated the Catholic knights of Izmir and took the city for himself.
Ancient Civilizations Lived in Izmir
Ancient civilizations that lived in Izmir are listed below.
- Izmir, Turkey’s oldest city, has played a significant role in history over the last 5,000 years. In the third millennium BCE, there was a hamlet that was contemporaneous with Troy’s initial city. Early evidence of Greek colonization comes from pottery dating from around 1000 BCE.
- Later, it was the seat of an Asian civil diocese and competed with Ephesus and Pergamum to be known as Asia’s “first city” before it was supplanted by both of those towns. The library, medical school, and rhetorical heritage made it a popular destination for Roman emperors. Local legend links the Meles River to Homer, who is said to have been born on its banks. Smyrna was a major Christian center in the first century.
- While under Byzantine rule, Smyrna served as the Byzantine emperors’ capital for the naval theme (province) of Samos. Turkish troops under Mustafa Kemal retook Izmir from Greek forces on September 9, 1922.
What are the Features of Izmir?
Izmir city, which has a population of about 4 million people, was constantly at the forefront of fashion trends in the previous century, with a large portion being young people. Turks used to think that living in Izmir would “westernize” you due to the various global influences that the younger generation accepted. The best features of Izmir are listed below.
- The famous Konak Clock Tower. The 25-meter-tall tower was built in 1901 by German Emperor Kaiser Wilhelm the second as a gift to Sultan Abdelhamid the second to symbolize their friendship. Despite being over a century old, the clock has never stopped, serving as a lovely reminder that life continues.
- Levantine mansions in Izmir. It’s possible to see historic Levantine homes in Bornova, Buca, and Karsiyaka.
- Ephesus’s ancient ruins, located outside of the city, are among Turkey’s most popular tourist destinations.
- Windsurfing and traditional houses in Alacati. The Cesme Peninsula has the popular windsurfing destination of Alacati, Turkey. In addition to attracting experienced surfers from all over the world, the peninsula’s strong offshore winds make it a great spot for beginners to learn how to surf.
- Smyrna. Even if many of the historic monuments are no longer standing, visitors may still learn about the city’s history by visiting the nearby agora.
- The seat of Satan, Ancient Pergamon is currently a popular tourist destination because of its sloping amphitheater, which is tucked into the hillside.
Historical Places of Izmir
When people outside of Turkey hear the city of Izmir, they immediately think of Ephesus. Aside from this well-known historical monument, nearly all of the city’s well-known tourist attractions are located outside of the center. Historical places of Izmir are listed below.
- Bibliotheque de Celsus, Selcuk
- Ancient City of Ephesus, Selcuk
- Meryem Ana (Virgin Mary’s House), Selcuk
- Agora Open Air Museum
- Basilica of St. Jonh
- Efes Antik Kenti Tiyatrosu, Selcuk
- Hisar Mosque
- Birgi Cakiraga Mansion
- Ephesus Terrace Houses, Selcuk
What Are The Museums In Izmir?
In its 8500-year history, Izmir, the jewel of the Aegean, has seen many great civilizations from Hittites to Lonian, Lydians to Persia, Hellenes to Roman, and Byzantines to Ottomans, whose traces may be seen all across the province of Izmir. Here is a list of the most significant museums in Izmir.
- Izmir Art and Sculpture Museum. Admission is free.
- Selcuk Yasar Museum of Arts. There is no entrance fee.
- Izmir Archeology Museum. Admission is US$2.26.
- Izmir Ethnography Museum. The entrance to the museum is free of charge.
- Izmir Museum of History and Art. The entrance to the museum is US$1.13.
- Ahmet Pristina Museum of Metropolitan History. Admission is free.
- Izmir Museum of Commercial History. The entrance to the museum is free of charge.
- Agora Open Air Museum of Izmir. Admission is US$2.26.
- Bostanli Open-air Archaeological Museum. The entrance to the museum is US$2.26.
- Ataturk Museum Izmir. There is no entrance fee.
- Inciralti Sea Museum. Admission is US$1.
- Izmir Railroad Museum. The entrance to the museum is free of charge.
How Many Tourists Come to Izmir annually?
Between 1.5 and 2 million tourists visit Izmir annually.
How to Get to the City Center from Izmir Airport?
Three bus routes are linking the airport and various districts of Izmir, the no. 200, 202, and 204. It takes 45 minutes to go on all routes and costs US$0.22 for each person.
Izban is a suburban rail that’s an alternative. Due to its low cost, this is the most popular mode of transportation between Izmir Airport and the city center. The railway station is in front of the new domestic terminal and from there, you cant take either the Alsancak or Aliaga train to your destination. The trip takes around 30 minutes. Each additional ride costs US$0.51 and should be utilized within 90 minutes.
A taxi to the city center will cost you about US$4.38. The costs are the same day and night.
You can hire a private driver to get to the city center from the airport. If you’re traveling with a large group, you can book a bus. However, you should book in advance of your flight.
Izmir Airport car rental is the ideal alternative for those who want to get to the city and explore on their own.
How to Provide Transportation in Izmir?
Izmir has a well-developed transportation network. The subway line links the city’s Ucyol and Konak Square neighborhoods with Bornova, a northeastern suburb. The metro system in the city is efficient and well-kept. The Izban commuter rail line is an option because it runs through the center of the city.
Buses are well-served by a comprehensive public bus system. The means of transportation inside Izmir and to the neighboring areas are quite convenient and well-developed. Cash or a city card can be used on these buses.
Minibusses are fixed-route minibus services in the suburbs and they are a kind of shared taxis.
Public ferries provide transportation between Bostanli, Karsiyaka, Bayrakli, Alsancak, Pasaport, Konak, Goztepe, and Uckuyular.
Taxis have reasonable rates. According to the destination, taxi drivers can offer you an estimate on the cost of the journey.
Taxi Prices in Izmir
Taxi base fees start at US$0.28, charging US$0.27 per kilometer. Waiting time costs around US$1.31 per hour. Taxis don’t have a night fare.
Izmir Bus Ticket Prices
In Izmir, a single public transportation ticket costs about US$0.57.
What are the House Rental Prices in Izmir?
One-bedroom apartment in Izmir costs US$162 per month in the city center and US$113 outside of the center. A three-bedroom apartment in Izmir costs US$275 per month in the city center and US$185 outside of the center.
How to Buy a House in Izmir?
Research the areas, get enough information about the neighborhood, and decide on the location before buying a house in Izmir.
Work with a reliable real estate agency, go through different projects, and visit properties. Once you decided on which house to buy, the last step is receiving the title deed.
Additionally, you should examine the Government’s Planning Portal to see if any major building projects are scheduled that might impact your enjoyment of the neighborhood and the sale price of your future property if you decide to move.
What are the Reliable Real Estate Sites to Buy a House in Izmir?
Finding a reliable real estate agent is important, as there are many trustworthy real estate companies in Turkey. These include PropertyTurkey, TurkeyExpert, Re/Max, Century21, and Realty Group.
Since 2009, Realty Group ® was Turkey’s leading real estate market specialist. With Realty Group’s expertise and dedication, it will guide you through the whole process of buying or selling a home in Izmir until you get Turkish Citizenship, whether you’re looking to invest in real estate or just need some help managing your property.
Realty Group is devoted to exceeding the expectations of clients and is highly qualified. With more than +11 years of a reputation built on customer satisfaction, 73% of Realty Group’s new client base comes from reference clients that have not only experienced success through us but also enjoyed a hassle and stress-free experience in buying properties in Turkey.
What are the Points to Consider While Buying a House in Izmir?
Izmir has long been a leader in business, tourism, education, and the real estate market. If you’re thinking of investing in real estate in Izmir, here are some things to keep in mind before deciding.
- Think about your budget and what you can afford.
- Make use of an online survey.
- Obtain a mortgage loan approval.
- Try auctioneers.
- Find real estate brokers.