Izmir – traveler reviews
Reviews about Izmir, based on personal experience. Pros and cons, personal impressions, what you liked and didn’t like about the trip. Who should pay attention to this city, whether (Turkey) as a place for family or youth recreation. The main attractions and entertainment, what the city of Izmir is famous for. Tips and tips for those who plan to visit the city for the first time.
Izmir is a big, noisy and quite dirty city (primarily because of the cars), so I would not be able to call it a great tourist destination. The city doesn’t even have a beach, just a few very long concrete promenades. You can only stay in Izmir, as I did, for a short time to then go to other places – Cesme, Alacati, which are nearby, Kusadasi or Marmaris. Here, in Izmir, most often go because of cheap airfare, but then still go somewhere else.
To make it clear to you – I love cities, streets, stores and restaurants, some of the dynamics of a big city. But plus I adore clean air, palm trees, beaches and a resort atmosphere. But the latter is absent in Izmir at all, and since there are several factories outside the city, it makes life even more difficult for people in it, and tourists in particular.
It is interesting that in this big city I found three shopping centers, which almost seamlessly flow into each other. The landmarks are 866, Cumhuriyer Blv and Kibris Sehitleri Cd. In general you can just walk along the promenade in the center of the city looking 5-10 streets (parallel to the promenade) in depth to find something interesting for you in terms of culture, shopping, hotels and restaurants.
Attractions of Izmir
Izmir is saved only by the fact that the city is big, and if you try hard enough, you can find something to see here. By the way, in my personal opinion, it’s very difficult to move around the city, I never figured out the buses, so it’s better to take a cab right away. It’s relatively cheap and the cars are always clean.
Izmir Tower is located almost in the center of the city and is a flagship of what was once the ancient city of Smyrna, a luxurious and rich port, which connected not just neighboring cities in a chain, but Africa, Asia and Europe! Smyrna was founded by the Greeks and then rebuilt by the Romans in the time of Alexander the Great.
Very delighted Kadifekale (Velvet Castle), from which you can admire the stunning panorama of the city. From here you can see the city, the sea and the beautiful tiled houses of the old neighborhood. It is worth to come here for sure. By the way, there is a water park near the castle!
Kemeralti is a mosque and market with the same name, which was built a long time ago and is still the cultural center of the city. And yes, it is also a tourist attraction, one of the most important in the city.
Museum of Fine Arts and Sculpture is worth a visit. Since Izmir is still the cultural center of the region (and the third largest city in the country after the capital Ankara and Istanbul), there is a stunning exhibit that will be of interest to everyone!
There is a very beautiful church near the Hilton Hotel in the center of the city that I stumbled upon by chance during another walk. It is called Saint Polycarp Church and is located at the address: Akdeniz Mahallesi, Pasaport İskelesi 75 B. It has stunning vaults, incredible decorations of interiors and just an amazing atmosphere!
The ruins of the Greek city of Smyrna are also within the city limits, easy to get there by cab, just say the word “Smyrna”. Impressive! Even if you’re not a fan of archaeological sites, you’ll definitely enjoy it.
Shopping in Izmir
Izmir is an amazing city for shopping. The center of the city is very big and there are lots of stores (chains and shops). However, as well as restaurants and cafes. On the other hand, you would expect nothing else from the big city of 4 million people and the Turks love canteens on every corner. So, if you are going specifically for shopping, Istanbul and Izmir should be considered in the first order. I was totally delighted!
Izmir with kids.
There is no resonance to go here with children as there is no beach, not enough greenery and palm trees to enjoy the walks. With kids it is better to go where you can walk the alleys from the hotel to the beach and from the hotel to the center. All this you can get from my favorite Marmaris, which itself looks like a park, but is a very modern city.
If you are thinking about Cesme and Alaçati in the suburbs of Izmir, however, you have a special question before you here. If you are determined to fly from Russia to Izmir, this is the best decision for you, as these are really the best resorts in the area. But if you have all of Turkey to choose from, it is better to choose Oludeniz or Datca for the stunning water color and Marmaris for the city.
To go or not to go
Izmir cannot be considered a good resort city. But if you have plans to go all over Turkey, as I did, you can try your luck here too. So if you have 7-8 days of vacation (or even 30) I would suggest going to the Mugla region (the nearest airport is Dalaman) with its several resort towns, not Izmir.
Even though there is an ice rink and IKEA, I think Izmir is much harder to live in than other Turkish cities.
If you have experience traveling in Turkey (for example, you’ve already been to 10 cities and want more), feel free to go to Izmir. Check out the beaches of Cesme (see photo above) and Alacati, maybe you can check out the more distant Kusadasi and Ephesus with its antique library, popular around the world. But if you’re just starting out and have only been to the Anatolian coast, choose Marmaris or Oludeniz – you’ll like it better there!
Izmir: vacation tips
For those who dream to go to Turkey, but do not like the summer heat – we tell about rest in Izmir in 2022. Learn how tourists rate the resort on the Aegean Sea, what beaches there are and what hotels are worth staying in. Food prices and peculiarities of traveling with children.
Tourist reviews of Izmir
The streets and neighborhoods of Izmir frame a spacious bay on the east coast of the Aegean Sea. The country’s third largest city is a large and developed resort. In the agora of Smirna everything breathes with the ancient past, and bustling oriental bazaar Kemeralta acquaints guests of Izmir with the unique Turkish flavor.
According to tourist reviews, holidays in Izmir are liked by fans of excursions. From the city is convenient to get to the ancient polis – Ephesus, Troy and Bergama. Due to the large port, the sea in the city is dirty. The vacationers go to the resorts 40-80 km away from Izmir to bathe and sunbathe.
Savl: “Izmir is the former ancient Greek Smyrna, a big city, but not too touristy. There are few really interesting places here. It makes no sense to come here specially, especially from afar”.
The Great Theater in Ephesus. Photo: unsplash.com.
Best Hotels in Izmir
Most hotels in Izmir do not have stars. These are budget hotels, private guesthouses and hostels, where young people prefer to stay. There’s a wide range of inexpensive 2* hotels with double rooms ranging from 120-360 TRY.
Budget hotels in Izmir with the best tourist reviews:
All-inclusive 4* and 5* hotels in Izmir with best tourist reviews:
(50m to the sea) (50m to the sea) (100m to the sea).
Ultra all inclusive hotels in Izmir with the best tourist reviews:
(100 m to the sea) (50 m to the sea) (150 m to the sea).
Beach holidays in Izmir
The Aegean Sea in the Bay of Izmir is not very clean, so beach lovers go to the neighboring resort villages. According to tourist reviews, the best sandy beaches of Izmir are in Cesme, the town of Urla, the picturesque resort town of Gumuldur and the town of Foça.
There are restaurants and cafes near the beaches. There are diving clubs and water attractions for children. To rent two sun beds and a sun umbrella for a day costs 25-30 TRY, and rent equipment for diving – 100-120 TRY.
DrKerimoff: “Pirlanta Beach – entrance per person is 20 TRY, two sun beds and an umbrella. The sand is dirty, the sea is clean. I do not recommend this beach, it has three stars only for the transparent water”.
Panorama of the beach in Cesme
Prices for food
In the big city there are establishments of Turkish cuisine and restaurants with dishes from all over the world. According to tourist reviews, Izmir has a great selection of fish and seafood dishes. The seasonal fruits – cherries, apricots, peaches and apples are sold for 3.5-5 TRY per 1 kg.
LediKira: “I recommend the area of Konok Bazaar, there is a whole fish street. Mussels are 25 USD per kg. You can buy fish from 2 USD and more per 1 kg.
Vacationers popular street fast food – Turkish bagels simiti, local pastries bojoz, sweet round donuts lokma, honey baklava, kebabs and dolma. A hearty three-course meal in cheap establishments for Turks costs 18-20 TRY. Average bill in cafes and restaurants in the tourist area – 30-40 TRY. A dinner at expensive restaurants along the bay will cost 70-110 TRY.
Rest with children
According to reviews, Izmir is not too good for a beach holiday, but the entertainment for children at the resort is enough! In the warm season there is a large water park. In the luna park a lot of modern attractions. Go with your child to the Toy Museum and visit the zoo, which is 20 km from the center of Izmir.
785olesiak: “Great zoo. It is interesting to both watch the animals and just walk around. Very clean, the area is well maintained, lots of rest areas, playgrounds for children, cafes, toilets.”
Konak Square at night. Photo: mertkahveci / unsplash.com.
When it’s best to go
Izmir’s moderate Mediterranean climate makes it possible to vacation in Izmir year-round – as in many of Turkey’s resorts. In winter, the resort is rainy and cool, but the thermometer does not drop below +3 ° C. The high season starts in April, and the sea begins to bathe in May.
Most tourists come to Izmir in the second half of June when the sea warms up to +22. +23°С. Summer on the Aegean coast is not as hot and stuffy as in the south of Turkey. In July and August, the temperature is +32 ° C, and the sea water +25. +26°С.
Tourists with small children and elderly travelers prefer to rest in Izmir during the velvet season, in September and October.
Victor Nepomniashchy: “Turkish October weather is unpredictable. It may be hot or cold: up to +26 ° C during the day, but at night no more than +15 ° C, and windy in the evenings. Water in the sea cools more slowly and is +23 ° C.”.
The beach in Urla. Photo: volkancoskun / unsplash.com.
Conclusions: Is it worth to rest in Izmir
Holidays in Izmir in 2022 will suit anyone who likes big resorts. The Turkish city is a shopaholic’s paradise. Inexpensive leather goods, excellent Turkish textiles and delicious fruit wines are made and sold here.
Izmir and its close surroundings have many attractions: the Clock Tower in the Moorish style, the Agora Smyrna, the Asanteur elevator, the ruins of the ancient Aphrodisias, the Genoese fortress and interesting museums. From here it is convenient to get to the ancient sights of Turkey.
The main disadvantage of the resort is the dirty sea. According to reviews of tourists, full beach rest in Izmir is possible only in neighboring resort towns and villages.