During my trip to the ancient Ephesus, my route passed through the city of Izmir, located in the western part of Turkey. I stayed here overnight, allowing me some time to explore the central part of this charming coastal town, and today I'd like to share with you some photos from my stroll.
Izmir is a common stop for travelers heading to the ruins of the city of Ephesus, a landmark located 85 kilometers away. I wrote the article on how to get to this remarkable open-air museum and about the travel budget.
In 2022, Izmir had a population of nearly three million, making it the third most populous city in Turkey, following Istanbul and Ankara. The city has a metro system, well-developed tram and bus services. The central part houses the railway station, providing transportation to the airport and destinations like Ephesus.
By the way, while preparing this article, I came across a story related to the city's airport. The airport is named after Adnan Menderes, who was the Prime Minister of Turkey. I read that Menderes survived a plane crash near London's Gatwick Airport. Despite such luck, the politician faced a tragic fate: he was ousted from power and executed within two years.
Like other small Turkish cities, Izmir offers decent chain hotels at affordable prices.
Situated along the coast of the Aegean Sea, Izmir has a history dating back five thousand years. In the second millennium BCE, it was founded as the Greek colony of Smyrna. In 1425, the city became part of the Ottoman Empire, and its modern name emerged.
Undoubtedly, the three-million city has many interesting tourist spots, although I only saw a small part during my visit. I explored the ancient agora, the Archaeological museum, and a high observation platform accessible by a lift installed in one of the city streets.
The waterfront of the city is also a unique attraction for many tourists, featuring a pedestrian walkway. Nearby, there's a tram line, making it convenient for those who tire of walking to switch to public transport (you need to purchase a local transport card for the ride). During my stroll, I noticed unusual relaxation spots—platforms hanging directly over the water surface of the bay.
While walking along the coast, I came across a clock tower, a common sight in many small Turkish towns. Nearby is the pier, and during my research, I found out that there's a building on it designed by the renowned Gustave Eiffel. Originally warehouses, it has been transformed into a shopping center.
The next part of the article will delve into the history of the mentioned Agora of Smyrna, an ancient archaeological monument located in the heart of the metropolis.
Have a nice trip!