Izmir City Guide

Izmir City Guide

İzmir is the third largest city of Turkey. More than 4 million people live in İzmir and it’s located in Aegean Region of Turkey. İzmir is the capital of modernity in the Turkish Republic. The city is also a tourism city of Turkey with its natural beauties, blue flag beaches and historical background. This historical city has been hosted of many civilizations throughout history. Historical artifacts and buildings from many civilizations living in these lands reflect the face of the city. In addition to this, there are many holiday resorts in different districts in İzmir. İzmir, where culture and tourism facilities meet together, is the pearl of the Mediterranean.

İzmir has become the second fastest growing city in the world in the past years. The city is also the sixth livable city of the world. Also, İzmir is the center of industry and agriculture in Turkey. On the other hand, the city has international ports in Aliağa and Alsancak districts. While Alsancak Port is a cargo and cruise port, only cargo handling is carried out in Aliağa Port. It is used by TÜPRAŞ, PETKİM and STAR refineries. Adnan Menderes Airport are located in the city and you can find many international flights to different cities and countries of the world. If we look at the education perspective, İzmir also have the highest quality universities of the country like Dokuz Eylül University, Ege University and İzmir University of Economics . There are universities located in İzmir. However, İzmir is the most important attraction point for tourism, industry and real estate investments. Check out the most comprehensive İzmir city guide now. You will find the answers of many questions like “Places to see in İzmir” or “How to get to İzmir ?” in this guide.

City Name



Population Density

Population Growth Rate

Surface Area

Number of Districts

Postal Code

Area Code

GDP (Per Capita)




364 / km2

1,08 %

12.007 km2




54.305 ₺

There are important districts in İzmir like Buca and Karabağlar in terms of population. These two districts are the biggest districts of İzmir with about 1 million population. Konak, Güzelbahçe and Karşıyaka are also have an important feature for İzmir. These districts are among the most popular districts of İzmir. For tourism, beaches, holiday resorts and historical sites attract the interest of tourist in the city. Çeşme, Dikili, Selçuk and Urla are important tourism centers of the city. All entertainment and holiday venues of İzmir is within the boundaries of these districts. Aliağa, Kemalpaşa, Torbalı, Çiğli, Tire and Ödemiş  are important industrial centers of the city. The biggest organized industrial zones in Aegean Region are located in these districts. Bergama, Selçuk and Çiğli are the profitable districts for real estate investments in İzmir.

The districts of İzmir are Aliağa, Balçova, Bayındır, Bayraklı, Bergama, Beydağ, Bornova, Buca, Çeşme, Çiğli, Dikili, Foça, Gaziemir, Güzelbahçe, Karabağlar, Karaburun, Karşıyaka, Kemalpaşa, Kınık, Kiraz, Konak, Menderes, Menemen, Narlıdere, Ödemiş, Seferihisar, Selçuk, Tire, Torbalı and Urla. You will find detailed information for all districts of İzmir in this guide.

Short History of İzmir

The name of İzmir has been transformed from the word Smyrna. It is believed that the use of the word Smyrna was effective in finding a sanctuary near the place where the city was founded. It is accepted that the ruin, which is located in Bayraklı district and known as Tepekule, was the foundation of old İzmir. Findings obtained during the archaeological excavations show that the establishment of İzmir went down until 3000 BC. The Ionians’ taking over İzmir caused a rapid transformation in the history of the city. The city was enriched and developed in a short time thanks to trade. The city was later under the sovereignty of the Lydians. As a result of the attack of the Persian armies, İzmir was destroyed in 545 BC. The re-establishment of İzmir is associated with Alexander the Great. İzmir, which was later linked to the Kingdom of Bergama, became part of the Roman territory. Then İzmir remained within the territory of Eastern Rome. The city continued to exist as an important trade port.

İzmir came under the sovereignty of Aydınoğlu Umur Bey in 1317. In 1426, the Ottomans ended the Aydınoğlu Principality. They took Western Anatolia and İzmir under their sovereignty. During the Ottoman Empire period, İzmir became one of the most important port cities of the Eastern Mediterranean. With the loss of World War I, İzmir was under Greek occupation on May 15, 1919. The first bullet shot by journalist Hasan Tahsin in İzmir symbolizes the beginning of the National War of Independence. The Greek invasion ended when the Turkish Army entered İzmir on September 9, 1922. İzmir experienced one of the biggest fire disasters in its history on the morning of September 13th. İzmir was reborn almost within its own ashes after the establishment of the Republic of Turkey.

Cultural Mosaic of İzmir

The history of İzmir dates back to very old times. This city lived the Neolithic, Chalcolithic, Bronze and Iron Ages. Many civilizations, from the Hittite civilization to Ionia, from Helen to Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman civilizations, left traces in these lands. This situation has created a cosmopolitan structure in the city over time. A multicultural and multi-religious structure has been formed in the city. The historical and cultural values of İzmir are quite high. Clock Tower, Elevator, Agora, Passport Pier, Konak Mosque, Government House, Cumhuriyet Square, İzmir Atatürk Museum, Ethnography Museum and Historical Kemeralti Bazaar are just a few of them. In addition, there are many old Greek, Jewish, Armenian and Turkish houses in the city. İzmir has a cultural mosaic that brings together many ethnic origins and religions.

Accommodation in İzmir is an important issue for people who visit city for different purposes like tourism or business. In İzmir, close to the city center, it is possible to find world-famous luxury hotels in all-inclusive concept and accommodation options that serve in bed and breakfast, half board and room concepts only. You can stay in İzmir hotels with pools as well as city hotels suitable for the needs of visitors coming to İzmir for business and conference purposes. If you want to get away from the city center to holiday resorts of İzmir and visiting the beaches and historical places you can choose the hotels in Alaçatı, Urla, Sığacık, Gümüldür or Şirince. You can find a lot of accommodation alternatives in almost all holiday resorts of İzmir. There are world-famous hotel chains like Hilton, Sheraton, Holiday Inn, Ramada and Corendon.

Mediterranean climate is seen in İzmir. Summers are some hot and dry, winters are generally warm and rainy. These features of the climate are more pronounced in places on the Aegean Sea coast. Annual average temperature varies between 14-18 ºC in these coastal areas. The best time to visit İzmir is the months between May and September. Find the best hotels in İzmir in our guide easily.

If you are looking for real estate for sale in İzmir or real estate for rent in İzmir, you are on the right page. The real estate sector is growing rapidly in İzmir. The fact that the city is located in a famous tourism region increases the value of the residences. Also, İzmir is the third biggest city of Turkey. So, the city much more attractive and preferred for branded housing manufacturers. It is possible to see housing projects of various construction brands in most parts of the city. In İzmir, where branded housing projects increase, housing prices are valued and rising accordingly.

İzmir has the third highest population in Turkey. Thanks to its being a tourism and industry city that spreads to all of districts, every district of İzmir is valuable for residential investment. In recent years, housing sales have increased in the developing districts of İzmir such as Karaburun, Foça and Gaziemir. In addition, touristic districts such as Çeşme, Urla, Seferihisar and Dikili provide opportunities for real estate investment. Since affordable and luxurious sites are built in these regions, it is preferred by those who want to invest. You can make the most correct investment by examining our ads for apartment options for sale from İzmir real estate agent. You can also add your listings easily if you are selling or renting a house in different districts of İzmir.

Do you want to get detailed information about hospitals in İzmir? If you’re, our special health guide will be helpful for you. In İzmir, there are 1 city hospital, 24 state hospitals, 4 university training and research hospitals, and 25 private hospitals. Almost all districts have hospitals in different regions of the city. You can get high-quality health services in many health instutitions in İzmir. Especially, new İzmir Bayraklı City Hospital is the one of the modern hospitals of the city with their huge capacities.

If we look at the general perspective to İzmir, the city is located in Aegean Region of Turkey. Thanks to its central location in the region, there are many transportation alternatives for the city. You can reach İzmir by air, railway, seaway and road transportation. İzmir Adnan Menderes Airport, located on the south of the city, is located 15 kilometers from the city center. You can come to the city center by using Havaş, İzban and Eshot services from the airports to different regions of the city. If you want to come to İzmir by bus, there are bus services from many cities to İzmir. You can also go to İzmir by Blue Train from Ankara, Eskişehir, Kütahya, Balıkesir and Manisa. It is also possible to reach İzmir by international cruise ships from all over the world.

Road Transportation

For the road transportation concept, İzmir has the most alternative connections of Turkey with important highway connections. You can visit İzmir by D-565, D-550, E-87, E-96 and E-881/O-5 and some other important roads from Aydın, Manisa and Balıkesir. İZOTAŞ is the main bus station of İzmir and it’s located in Bornova district. You can find direct lines from many cities of Turkey to İzmir.

Air Transportation

Adnan Menderes Airport is the main airport in İzmir and this is located in Gaziemir districts. It takes about 15 km. from Adnan Menderes Airport to the city center, so you can use Havaş, İzban and Eshot services to reach city center from the airport. You can find direct international fligthts from İzmir to the many countries of the world like Germany, England, France, Poland, Italy, Iraq, Russia and Saudi Arabia  Also, you can fly to many domestic cities of Turkey from Adnan Menderes Airport.

Railway Transportation

For the concept of railway transportation, it is possible to reach Ankara, the capital of the Turkey, by Blue Train from İzmir in 13 hours and 40 minutes. It’s possible to visit İzmir by Blue Train from any other cities such as Ankara, Eskişehir, Kütahya, Balıkesir and Manisa. İzmir Blue Train consists of pulman, sleeping and dining wagons. There are regular train services on this line every day.

Seaway Transportation

İzmir is a coastal city. Therefore, it is possible to reach İzmir by international cruise ships from all over the world. İzmir is an important stopping port for international cruise ships. On the other hand, there is no ferry transpotation to other cities of the country.

Inner-city Transportation

There are metro, light rail system, suburban train, tramway, ferry and bus transportation alternatives in İzmir. You can use all of the districts of the city by public transportation. There are seventeen metro stations on a 20 kilometer single line. On the other hand, the project works of the 28 km long Adnan Menderes Airport – Karabağlar – Halkapınar metro line are ongoing. The metro line of the city :

M1 –  Fahrettin Altay – Evka 3

Izmir Subway Map

You will find the answers of the “Best places to visit in İzmir” or “Top 10 things to do and see in İzmir” questions in this guide. Choose your destination, click on the guide and start discovering İzmir deeply now. İzmir has a lot of places to visit. First of all, we should start with Konak Square, is the main attraction point of İzmir. Konak Square is a popular travel destination especially for foreign visitors in İzmir. Konak district is among the most visited district of the İzmir. Many of the tourist attractions are located in this district. İzmir Clock TowerKordon promenade, Konak Yalı MosqueKemeraltı Bazaar where many souvenirs are sold, İzmir Painting and Sculpture Museum, historical Basmane Train Stationİzmir Atatürk House and Museum are places to visit and see in İzmir Konak Square. Konak Square is the busiest point of İzmir and it’s a must-see destination. One of the most important centers of daily life in İzmir, it hosts numerous shopping centers and restaurants. The square, which is close to the ever-lively Kordon and the always-active in terms of day or nightlife. On the other hand, Saint Polycarp ChurchKey Museumİzmir Wildlife Park and İzmir Archeology Museum are the other main places you can visit in Konak, Çiğli and Torbalı districts. Those who want to enjoy the sea, sand and sun should go to the holiday regions of İzmir. Alaçatı is one of the most beautiful holiday places in İzmir with its stone houses and colorful streets. Çeşme is one of the places preferred by holiday lovers in the city with its wonderful beaches and restaurants. Dikili is a great choice for those who are looking for a quiet holiday in İzmir. Şirince and Ephesus Ancient City in Selçuk are also another very popular destinations with its historical atmosphere.  For more, check out our guide now !

There are 6 state and 3 foundation universites in different districts of İzmir. For educational perspective, we can say the universities in İzmir provide world-class education quality in different languages. Especially, Dokuz Eylül University and Ege University are so popular for international academic staff and educational quality worldwide. Find the best university in our guide below..


Enes Sahin

Hello, I am Enes, I write content for Expat Guide Turkey every day. Don't forget to check it out! You can contact me via e-mail


  1. How do you buy tickets for the city trains / trams (Karsiyaka station specifically)? I wish the article would go into detail. I had very unpleasant experience in Izmir while trying to buy one. None of the ticketing stations were working. None of the ticketing offices were open. I couldn’t find anyone at the station who would speak English either, so I had to take a taxi.

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