Once the ancient city-state of Smyrna, the City of Izmir is now a modern, busy commercial center hugging a big beautiful bay and surrounded by mountains. The Port of Izmir is a mix of contemporary glass buildings, red-tiled traditional structures, modern shopping centers, an 18th Century market, and many mosques and churches.
Some say the Port of Izmir is more Mediterranean Europe than Turkey. The Port of Izmir enjoys long, dry, and hot summers and mild, cool, and rainy winters. Most of the rain falls from November to March, and the months of June through August are virtually dry. While there are many places to see and things to do in the Port of Izmir, we can only mention a few here.
Konak Square is the busiest spot in the Port of Izmir. Located at the southern end of Ataturk Caddesi in the Konak District of the Port of Izmir, it holds the 1901 Izmir Clock Tower (a city symbol and landmark given by German Emperor Wilhelm II), the City Hall, the central bus station, and the Konak Mosque. Near the square is the Kermeralti bazaar, the market district with beginnings from the middle 17th Century. At the south end of Konak Square is the Aegean University's Cultural Centre with an opera house, a music academy, and a modern art museum.
With a beautiful Aegean coastline, the Port of Izmir has many beaches, most of them served by public transportation. Cesmealti is a busy tourism center about 36 kilometers from Konak Square with long beaches that swell with people during the summer. The small bays of the Karaburun-Mordogan route are natural wonders that have not been developed for tourists, so they are most popular with campers and nature-lovers. The Port of Izmir's Cesme-Ilica-Sifne beaches are a leading tourism attraction in Turkey with an international reputation and luxurious international accommodations and facilities. The Akkum Beaches in Sigacik are popular with locals and boast glittering sand, clear waters, and the archaeological site of Teos about a one-kilometer walk away. The Aliaga-Candarli Beaches on the northern shores of the bay are especially popular with domestic tourists and campers. Countryside cafes and entertainment complement the natural beauty of these Port of Izmir beaches.
In a city so ancient, archaeological sites and museums are a must-see while visiting the Port of Izmir. The Archaeological Museum of Izmir contains finds from excavations throughout the region, including from places like Ephesus, Miletus, Sardis, and Lasos as well as, of course, Izmir (or Smyrna). Port of Izmir visitors are amazed at the collections of stone carvings and statues (including Zeus, Poseidon, and Demeter), artifacts from near the Temple of Apollo, and many other ancient treasures. The museum contains more than ten thousand exhibits.
The Port of Izmir's open air Archaeological Museum of the Agora was located beneath a cemetery in the Narnazgah District in Kadifekale, and only the northern and western sections of this 2nd Century market from the Roman period have been excavated. The northern section contains a 160-meter long basilica made of pink marble. The Port of Izmir Agora area is still being studied today, particularly at the northern gate where many additional statues of Roman and Greek gods are being uncovered.
Travelers who want to learn more about the many things to see and do in the Port of Izmir should visit the online Izmir City Guide. For those wanting to visit the Port of Izmir by sea, a list of scheduled cruises is available on the Cruise Compete website.