The architectural remnants in Izmir are also quite important since they reveal stories about bygone eras. Among the top 10 things to do in Izmir, a visit to one of the city’s historic cities is a must, as they serve as a time capsule for the city’s history and a window into modern life.
As an added bonus, Izmir is home to some of the best restaurants and cafes in Turkey, where you can fill up on delicious food and refreshing drinks. Let’s find the top sights in Izmir that will bring back fond memories of the city.
The Izmir Agora
Historic Roman landmark Izmir Agora is nestled between Kemerati’s streets and the city’s hill. This exhibit takes visitors back 85 years to when the area was known as Smyrna. An earthquake in 178 AD damaged it, but Emperor Marcus Aurelius afterward had it rebuilt.
The domed rooms are just as attractive as the reconstructed Faustina Gate and Corinthian colonnade in this ruin. This gives guests an idea of what the market was like when it was thriving.
Once a stop along the Silk Road, Ephesus is now one of the most popular tourist destinations in Izmir, drawing in an estimated 2 million people every year.
Ancient visitors from all over the world would dock at the harbor to buy rare spices and fruits, meet with masterful Turkish weavers, or simply take in the multicultural city’s sights and sounds.
The reconstructed Celsus library is a great symbol of the value that people have always placed on education and information. There are 12,000 scrolls housed inside, thus it was created with double walls.
Many visitors to this Greek-Roman vacation town can’t wait to view the white travertine terraces that were made possible by the hot springs that run down the slope.
After exploring the temples of Hierapolis and Pamukkale on foot, take some time to relax in one of the hot mineral springs, just as the Romans did centuries ago.
Not sure what to do in Izmir in your free time? If you appreciate listening to the bustle and chatter of a busy market, then you won’t want to miss this Izmir attraction.
The friendly merchants of Izmir’s center market welcome both visitors and residents to come and browse their wares by shouting and smiling.
Even if it’s obvious that you won’t be buying a pound of sardines or a traditional Turkish wedding dress, the vendors in Izmir’s markets will still be happy to chat with you.
Foodies with an adventurous palate will also find plenty of options. The candy vendor will gladly spin his vats of liquid sugar onto a stick for you for a few cents.
Salty, sour olives range in color from brilliant green to deep black-purple, just like the spectrum of delights available in Turkey. Visiting Kemaralt Market in Izmir is one of the most mouthwatering things to do there.
Izmir Wild Animal Park
For those interested in wildlife and nature, a trip to Izmir Wildlife Park is a must. It is encircled by verdant foliage and colorful blooms. With an area of almost 425,000 square meters, it is easily one of Izmir’s largest zoos.
Here you can find exotic creatures, endemic plant species, and even some of the world’s rarest bird species. The animals at this zoo are not confined in cages like they would be at a traditional zoo.
One may see zebras, deer, tigers, lions, monkeys, gazelles, hippopotamuses, camels, and ostriches among the roughly 15,000 creatures that call the zoo home. It’s also a great weekend getaway and a picnic spot where you can get up close and personal with the local fauna.
Beautifully situated along the ocean, Konak Pier now serves as a shopping, dining, and entertainment hub.
It has become the city’s primary entertainment district, with several restaurants, bars, and shops where you can enjoy a wide range of thrilling activities, from seeing a performance to buying souvenirs for friends and family.
It was designed by the famous architect Gustav Eiffel and has since become one of Izmir’s most recognizable landmarks.