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Things To Do In Izmir
Izmir is the third largest and most populated city of Turkey with a thriving seaport. Like all of Turkey, Izmir also has the touch of many civilizations and rulers of the past. From the Greeks, Romans, Byzantine period and Ottoman Empire - their history is filled with foreign conquests until the Turkish Revolution in the 20th century. There are many things to do in Izmir and you can enjoy many days in this modern city. Izmir is broken into different districts, each with its own charm. From exploring the city centre to lounging on beaches - Izmir will not disappoint you with its many flavours.
Wander the Labyrinth of Kemeraltı Market
The Kemeraltı Market is the area that stretches from Konak Square up to the Ancient Agora in Izmir. Through narrow by-lanes, you can spend time wandering around many wonderful shops, restaurants, mosques and workshops, some of which date back to the 17th century. It is one of the busiest and liveliest areas of Izmir city that is full of fun and colour. You will find plenty of souvenirs and antique items to carry back with you. This bazaar is often compared to the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul as it has a similar vibe.
Watch the Sunset from Kordon
Kordon is the seaside promenade beginning from Konak Square to Alsancak station at Izmir. This beautiful 6 km stretch has plenty of restaurants, cafes, bars to keep you entertained at all hours of the day. The perfect way to experience the Kordon is to walk or bicycle along the promenade, sip some Turkish coffee, feel the sea breeze and watch the setting sun. A very relaxing and peaceful place for you to enjoy with your loved ones.
Go Surfing In Alacati
The calm waters of Alacati make it the perfect place for a beginner crash course in surfing. Alacati is located to the west of Izmir city in the district of Cesme. Apart from surfing, you will also find diving clubs. There are many beaches in Alacati so just sun-bathing on the beaches is also a great way to experience the beautiful seaside. There are many boat tours also available from here.
Bring out your Wild Side
The Izmir Wildlife Park is the largest natural park in all of Europe. The park is clean and easily accessible as it is located just 30 km from the city centre. You will find plenty of animals such as Tigers, Elephants, Bears, Lions, Giraffes, numerous reptiles, birds and more. It is perfect for families and kids and you can spend up to 4 hours here. The park is open throughout the year. During summer it shuts at 6:30 pm on weekdays and 7:30 pm on weekends and during winter it closes at 5 pm.
Be One With Nature
İzmir's Karagol Nature Park is a beautiful park found towards the north of Izmir at the top of a mountain, about 40 km away. The breathtaking views of the lake and the surrounding forests will leave you wanting for more. Enjoy a picnic by the lake, go on a photo safari or cycle into the jungle. Even a few hours here will relieve you of stress and pump you with pure oxygen.
Visit the Key Museum
Unlike anything you may have seen before, you can be amazed at the collection of vintage motor cars & bikes that are on display at the Key Museum. Not only for the racer in you, but everyone can enjoy this fascinating show of vehicles spanning over 100 years. It is located around 50 km from Izmir's city centre. Not easily accessible by public transport, but nevertheless, worth the visit.
Take a Spiritual Journey
There are many beautiful places of worship in Izmir. Go on a local tour of the classic Ottoman-style mosques in and around the city like Hisar Mosque, Konak Mosque, Alsancak Mosque and Başdurak Mosque. Also, visit the church of Saint Polycarp which was built in the 17th century and has some stunning frescoes. This church is part of the 7 churches of Revelation tour which is also an interesting excursion for people interested in religious or Catholic history. The 7 churches as depicted in the New Testament Book of Revelation are Ephesus, Smyrna (Saint Polycarp), Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia and Laodicea. To do the entire tour of the 7 churches, you would need 3 to 4 days.