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World > Turkey > Izmir
City Guide Izmir
General Information
Izmir, Smyrna in ancient times, was founded in the 10th century B.C. Early inhabitants were Phrygians and Lydians. The period in which the city had reached its peak was between 650-545 B.C . The fall of Ancient Izmir is the result of the Persian invasion. In the 4th century B.C. Alexander the Great defeated the Persian Darius and captured the whole East. After becoming a part of Roman Empire in 133 B.C., Izmir started to live a golden period for the second time. Due to the importance that the city achieved, the Roman Emperors who came to Anatolia also visited Izmir. Emperor Hadrianus also visited Izmir in his journey in 121-125 AD. After the seperation of Roman Empire, Izmir became a territory of the East Roman Empire, known as Byzantium. Ýzmir had become a religious center since the early times of Byzantines. Izmir became a Turkish land in 1320. In 1422 Izmir became an Ottoman territory. In 18th and 19th centuries, Izmir became popular among the French, English, Dutch and Italian merchants. Being a multinational trade center in Ottoman Empire, Ýzmir was occupied by Greek Army on 15 May 1919 . On September 13, ¾ of Izmir was almost destroyed by a fire. Izmir has recovered itself soon and became the cultural and economic center of the Aegean Region. The city and its area offers many possibilities for travelers. Some travelers use Izmir as a base to visit such regional sights as ancient Bergema, Efesus, Pamukkale.
Izmir has a mild temparature. Most of the rain falls during the winter time. The average temparature then is 12C. The summers are warm and the average temperature is the 28C. Many people install fans or air conditioners to cool their apartments. Rain is extremely rare in the summer.
Most of western states have a consulate in Izmir.
Archeological Museum of Izmir
Considered to be one of the first museums built in Western Anatolia, the Museum is categorized as a regional museum due to the works of art it displays. Besides the impressive exhibits belonging to Ion, Aeolian, Greek, Roman and Byzantine Periods, there are also special collections that are found in the prehistoric excavations. The works of art are exhibited in three floors and in the back and front gardens.
Half Day Tour of Izmir City (AM only) Start your half day city tour of Izmir including the Roman Agora, which was used as a square shaped market place during the Roman rule of the city; Archaeological museum, which houses several Hellenistic and Roman findings from Izmir and surrounding area, including roman mosaics, sarcophagi, statues and so on; Mount Pagos, today known as Kadifekale, has a impressive fortress on hilltop controlling the city and offering a great panorama. A final visit will be made to the historic Elevator to enjoy another great view of Izmir. Full Day Ephesus & Mary''s House Drive to Selcuk, and visit the Shrine of Virgin Mary, where she is believed to spent her last days. Proceed to ancient Ephesus and see the Odeon, the Bouleterion, the fountains, the temples, the brothel, the library, the agoras, the great theater, the roman baths, the gymnasiums and so on. After lunch visit the Archeological Museum, St. John''s Basilica and his tomb and the Temple of Artemis, one of the Seven Wonders of the ancient world. Full Day Pergamon Drive to Pergamon. Visit the Acropolis where you''ll see the Temple of Athena, the library, the Royal Palaces, the Temple of Trojan, the steepest theater of the world, the Temple of Dionysos, the Altar of Zeus and so on. Then visit Archeological Museum and Asclepion, the most famous ancient medical center in Anatolia. Full Day Sardis Drive to Sardis, ancient capital of ancient Lydia, where you''ll see the significant ruins of the city such as the great Temple of Artemis, the golden river Pactalos, the Persian Royal Road, the reconstructed Synagogue, the Gymnasium and so on. Full Day Priene - Miletus - Dydima Depart for Priene, the first planned city of the ancient world dominating today''s cotton lands. Visit the theater, the Temple of Athena, the Prytaneion, the agora, and the Altar of Zeus and Cybele. Proceed to Miletus, one of the principal Ionian cities and home of Thales. Visit the great theater with a Byzantine Fortress built on top of it, the agoras, the harbor, the Delphinium, the Nymphaeum, the Bouleterion, and the Faustina Baths. Then, continue to Dydima and visit the great Temple of Apollo which was the center of oracles for many centuries. Full Day Pamukkale Drive to Pamukkale (the cotton castle) which is one of the most spectacular sites. See the wonderful calcium formations of the travertine and watch the cataracts falling into basins at the bottom of the mountain. Visit the ancient Greco-Roman city of Hierapolis, its largest Necropolis in Asia Minor, thermal baths, great theater, temples, and streets.
Atatürk Museum
Located in Atatürk Street, 1. Kordon, the museum was built by carpet merchant Takfor Efendi as a house in 1875-1880.It was abandoned by its owner on 9 September 1922 and given to the property of treasury.Turkish army came to Ýzmir and used it as a headquarter. When Ýzmir Economics Congress was held on 17 February 1923, Atatürk carried on his own studies in this building. After the congress, the headquarter was carried to another place and the treasury hired the building to Naim Bey to be used as a hotel. On 13 October 1926, the building was taken by Ýzmir Municipality and given to Atatürk as a present after the decoration of the building with new furniture. Atatürk stayed here during his each visit to Ýzmir between 1930-1934. After the death of Atatürk on 10 November 1938, the house was given to his sister Makbule Baysan. On September 25, 1940. Ýzmir municipality confiscated the building to arrange it as a museum. The museum was inaugurated on 11 September 1941, on the 19th anniversary of Atatürk’s visit to Izmir. The building displays a neo-classical character, a mixture of Ottoman and Levantine architecture. The museum is constituted of a basement, ground floor, first floor and roof. On the first floor there are rooms which were used by Atatürk; a conference hall, study hall, bedroom, guest room, hair- dressing room, waiting room, guard room, library, dining room and bathroom.
Museum of Chamber of Commerce
Izmir has been the gate of Asia, the Middle East and Anatolia to the west for centuries. Besides the goods carried through trade, culture has been carried from east to west, too. It is clearly seen that the periods when the culture was at the highest level coincide with the periods when the commercial activities were very intense. Traveling between Mesopotamia (Syria) and Kültepe (Kayseri) between the years 2000-1700 BC, the trade caravans brought cuneiform writing to Anatolia as well as the exchanging means such as gold and silver. In the 7th century BC, the “Royal Road” began from Susa, Iran and extended to Sardes (Salihli). It was connected to a road from the direction of Kyme (Aliaða) and Phokaia (Foça). According to the famous traveler Ramsey, there were also roads of Sardes-Smyrna and Sardes-Ephesus. By this way, Ephesus and Smyrna was connected to the Royal Road. Another road beginning from Ephesus was passing through Smyrna and reaching Phokaia. The history of this long tradition in trade is collected at the museum. The museum is divided into two equal parts. In the entrance on the left hand side is the scale model of Izmir of the 17th century. Ceramics, terracotta statuettes, oil lamps, metal weights, seals and glass works belonging to the Prehistoric, Archaic, Hellenistic, Roman and Byzantian periods are displayed on the showcases. The collection of electron, gold, silver and bronze coins is exhibited chronologically on an oval showcase. The trade history of Izmir from the ancient times to the end of the Byzantian period, the land and maritime trade routes to which Izmir is connected and the productions of the ancient times are explained by writings, photographs, maps and drawings on the informative wall panels. The works belonging to Ottoman Izmir and the current centuries are exhibited on the right side of the ship model. Besides the weaving weights, steelyards, balances and calculators, there are items from the Ýttihat Eczahanesi, which is the first Muslim-Turkish pharmacy in Izmir, on the vitrines. The collection of gold, silver and coins of Anatolian Seljuks, Eyyubis, Sultan Mehmet the Conqueror, Bayazid II, Sultan Süleyman the Magnificent, Mahmud I, Mahmud II and the Ottoman coins belonging to the last periods attracts the attention with its richness.