İzmir is the third biggest city in Turkey, with a population of around 2.5 million, the second biggest port after Istanbul, and a good transport hub. Once the ancient city of Smyrna, it is now a modern, developed, and busy commercial centre, set around a huge bay and surrounded by mountains and was. The broad boulevards, glass-fronted buildings and modern shopping centres are dotted with traditional red-tiled roofs, the 18th century market, and old mosques and churches, although the city has an atmosphere more of Mediterranean Europe than traditional Turkey.
The climate is comfortable, with a relatively mild summer due to the refreshing breeze from the Aegean. The long attractive palm-fringed promenade, Birince Kordon, which stretches the entire length of the city up to the Alsancak Ferry Terminal, is a popular spot for evening walks, and there are many cafes along the waterfront. Izmir has a good selection of culture and entertainment, from the Archaeological and Ethnographic Museums, to the Izmir State Opera and Ballet and Izmir State Symphony Orchestra, to the many bars and clubs. The cosmopolitan and lively city gets even busier during the International Izmir Festival (mid-June to mid-July) with music and dance, with performances also in nearby Cesme and Ephesus.
How to Get
By Air : Adnan Menderes Airport, 16km south of the city centre, it has several daily flights to Istanbul, Ankara and Antalya. There are also regular flights from many European cities. Airport buses go to and from the city centre, and there are hourly trains to Alsancak Station.
Airport Tel : +90 232 274 2187. Fax: +90 232 274 2071
By Road : Most long distance buses come into the huge bus station, around 8km northeast of the city centre, and there are public buses and taxis to and from the city. Izmir is connected to every part of the country, with major destinations having a service at least every hour. These include: Istanbul (10 hours), Ankara (9 hours), Antalya (9 hours), Bursa (7 hours), Marmaris (6 hours), Bodrum (4 hours) and Konya (8 hours).
From Uckuyular bus station, 7km southwest of Konak, there are regular services to Cesme (90 mins) and Seferihisar (1 hour).
For more information please visit http://www.kultur.gov.tr/EN,34444/izmir.html