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“The beautiful city,” as it is known in Turkey, Izmir welcomes the visitor with a demonstration of warmth and friendliness worthy of the renowned Turkish hospitality. A city of contrasts, Izmir offers the visitor the best of both the modern and ancient worlds steeped in history, while at the same time, a cosmopolitan and vibrant city. With warm summers and mild winters, Izmir is a year-round destination.

Sitting proudly astride the stunning Gulf of Izmir, the city divides into distinct areas each with its own character and ambiance. The cultural and geographical heart of the city is the Konak district, an seafront area of contrast that captures the spirit of Izmir. Konak is all about modernist architecture and wide boulevards, a great place to let the hours pass while eating, drinking, walking, talking, shopping and watching.

Just behind the seafront is the bazaar, an atmospheric warren of narrow winding streets, where the sights and sounds of the traders transport you back to far distant times and undoubtedly impress any visitor to the city.

Yet there is still more on offer for the adventurous visitor. North of Konark is the Alsancak area. Alsancak has undergone a dramatic renaissance and has been transformed from the unwanted neighbour into an exciting and happening party district where you will find enough night time entertainment to satisfy the most hardened hedonist.

Population: 2,85 million

Sitting proudly astride the stunning Gulf of Izmir, the city divides into distinct areas each with its own character and ambiance. The cultural and geographical heart of the city is the Konak district, an seafront area of contrast that captures the spirit of Izmir.

Izmir is awash with dining establishments, from the simple hole in the wall kebab shop to the refinery of the five-star restaurants. Most of the cheaper eats are located around the Bazaar and the Alsancak region, while along the Birinci Kordon waterfront you will find plenty of good restaurants serving up tranca and cipura, types of sea bream, which are the local specialty.

Izmir has a great selection of cafes. Relax with a coffee, sweet or check you emails. Here is something for everyone.

As the sun goes down on another day, the city moves to a different beat as the city comes alive to the sounds of the taba. Most of the hot spots are to be found around the Alsancak and Konak areas. If you’ve still got the energy after a days shopping and a night spent wining and dining and you’re looking for somewhere to get on down, then Izmir will not disappoint. Once again the Alsancak and Konak areas are the places to be seen.

Izmir is a shopper’s delight. Whether you’re looking for an outfit to strut your stuff in the evening, or for those handcrafted gifts to take home for the family, you won’t be disappointed.

For a shopping experience with a difference, head for the labyrinth that is the bazaar. From Konak Square, head down Anafartalar Caddesi – this is the main street where you’ll find a host of traders selling the clothes, shoes and jewellery needed for that night on the town.

The streets to the south of Anafartarlar Caddesi, particularly Fevzipasa Bulgari, is a feast of leather goods, for which Izmir is famous. Pick up a bag, a jacket or a belt, but be ready to barter.

For antiques and traditional craftwork, head for the atmospheric Kizlaragasi Han. This covered market is a fine example of Ottoman architecture where you will find artisans selling everything from copper kitchen utensils to kilims. If you’re looking for a nargile (Turkish Water pipe) to take home, then Ilhan Etike has some of the finest.

If the bustle of the market isn’t for you and you like your shopping experience a little more sedate, then head for the boutiques on the Kordon promenade in Alsancak and on Cumhuriyet Avenue near to Passport Iskelesi.


Located in the city centre, this hotel is just a 5-minute walk from Izmir International Fair Centre.
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