Izmir guide for lifestyle, entertainment and attractions

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Izmir Main Attractions

Pamukkale mineral pools

Thanks to its natural beauty and hot, calcium-rich waters Pamukkale is Turkey's best-known mineral bath spa. As the water cascades over ledges it cools, forming striking travertines (ledges) of calcium that create pools. Pamukkale (or "cotton for ... read more

240 km to |
 

St John's Basilica

This great Ephesian church is built over the believed burial site of the St John, the ancient apostle, evangelist and prophet. Legend has it that St John wrote the Gospel of John in Ephesus, at the request of the other disciples. Later legends mai ... read more

22 km to Kusadasi | 81 km to Izmir city |
 

Kusadasi International Golf Resort

Kusadasi International Golf Resort will open in May 2010 and aims to offer a challenging fairway for advanced players, while also allowing a good part of the green to cater to all levels. Just 15 kilometres from Kusadasi, the course will cater fo ... read more

15 km to Kusadasi | 97 km to Izmir city | 110 km to Cesme |
 

Belevi Mausoleum

If you have a fascination with all things morbid, head to the Belevi Mausoleum. The gigantic structure is thought to be the second-highest and second-largest tomb of ancient Antolia, and was built in the Hellenistic period. (The largest is Halicarnas ... read more

20 km to Kusadasi | 50 km to Foca |
 

Shrine to the Virgin Mary

Located on the top of Mount Bulbul, nine kilometres from Ephesus, the Shrine of the Virgin Mary is hidden in a green and peaceful spot. It is said to be the place where Mary passed her last days, and it's thought she came with Saint John, who cam ... read more

87 km to Izmir city | 26 km to Kusadasi |
 

The Grotto of the Seven Sleepers

This romantically named site is located on the northern slopes of Mount Pion, near Ephesus. The grotto is of interest to those of both Muslim and Christian faith. According to Christian legend, seven young men were imprisoned here during the reign of ... read more

20 km to Kusadasi | 50 km to Foca |
 

Ancient city of Notion

This is your chance to see an excavation in progress. Located on top of a hill by Ahmetbeyli Beach, the city covers a large area over two hills. The settlement dates back to the sixth century BC. During the Peloponnasian wars in the fifth century ... read more

28 km to Kusadasi | 90 km to Izmir city |
 

Underwater city of Neopolis

Near Pigeon Island, this ancient city was once ruled by the Ionians, who used its useful location to control the trade between the region's cities. Neopolis is also thought to be the very first inhabited region in Kusadasi. Over many years, earthq ... read more

0 km to Kusadasi |
 

Monastery of Kursunlu

This secluded monastery looks out over Kusadasi and Davutlar from its perch six hundred metres above sea level. It's believed to be a Byzantine orthodox monastery, built in the second century AD. After Christian immigrants arrived in the area it was ... read more

23 km to Kusadasi |
 

Sirince

This charming Orthadox village is twelve kilometres away from Ephesus and thirty kilometres from Kusadasi. The village was once called Cirkince ('ugly') by its inhabitants. Their reasoning was outsiders would be put off by the name and stay out of ... read more

28 km to Kusadasi | 55 km to Cesme |
 

Guzelcamli

This seaside town is twenty-three kilometres southwest of Kusadasi. It offers a peaceful seaside atmosphere that belies its almost three-thousand year history. It was founded around 700 BC, and since then has been home to Ionians, Seljuks and Ottoman ... read more

24 km to Kusadasi |
 

Davutlar

The pretty town of Davutlar is just fifteen kilometres south of Kusadasi, it's worth heading to this small town for its old-town feel and the white, powdery sands of its beach. The town is surrounded by pine and olive trees, and is known throug ... read more

23 km to Cesme | 15 km to Kusadasi |
 

Pigeon Island

This striking island is a symbol of Kusadasi. Beloved of migrating birds (hence the name), Pigeon Island lights up each evening as the sun sets, highlighting its dramatic aspect. In Ottoman times, the island shared a name with the town - Kusadasi, ... read more

0 km to Kusadasi |
 

Cesme Museum

Located in Cesme Castle, the museum opened in 1965 and was originally a gun museum, with guns brought over from Istanbul's Topkapi Museum. However, when in 1984 it was discovered that, thanks to the humidity, the guns had begun to oxidise, they were ... read more

0 km to Cesme |
 

Kusadasi fish market

Here you can find the freshest catch of the day. Whether it's mackerel, octopus, sea bass, gray mullet, red mullet, anchovy, sea bream or squid you're after, everything is fresh and ready for the plate. There are also cafes, shops and some shops sell ... read more

0 km to Kusadasi |
 

Nightlife in Kusadasi

In Kusadasi you'll find different music from all over the world, and a range of pubs and bars to suit everyone. Inside the old quarter, Kaleici, you'll find pubs, discos, bars and restaurants, many open till dawn. Barlar Sokagi (The Street of Bars) h ... read more

0 km to Kusadasi |
 

Wining and dining in Kusadasi

When the sun goes down, the picturesque cafes and restaurants along the palm-lined boulevard start to wake up. Linger over an aperitif and watch the comings and goings of the boats from your seaside spot. Restaurants serve a variety of fresh fish and ... read more

0 km to Kusadasi |
 

Kusadasi's water parks

There are three water parks around Kusadasi, and two of these are among the largest in Europe. What better way to cool off from the summer sun is there than splashing around and having all-day fun? The two largest water parks are Adaland and Aquafant ... read more

0 km to Kusadasi |
 

Wining and dining in Foca

There are many restaurants and bars around Foca that cater to every taste. The nightlife heats up when the sun goes down and there is plenty to occupy even the most restless party animal. ... read more

0 km to Foca |
 

The Sirens of Foca

A handful of islands face Foca. Intriguingly, two of them are the known as the Sirens' Rocks, thought to be the place where beautiful but deadly women tried to lure Odysseus to his death with their singing. It's thought that perhaps the wind passing ... read more

0 km to Foca |
 

Wining and dining in Cesme

Cesme has plenty of discos, bars and cafes, many of which are open all night. There is much live music action - and karaoke too, if that takes your fancy. The atmosphere at night is lively and friendly. ... read more

0 km to Cesme |
 

Shopping in Cesme

Along the main streets you'll find a number of shops and stalls. Make sure you haggle for a bargain. Sunday is market day, and a good time to stock up on fresh produce, cheese and breads. ... read more

0 km to Cesme |
 

Chios

The Greek island of Chios is just a short distance over the sea. There are regular ferris that leave from all over the peninsula for anyone wishing to explore. There are also ferry links to Italy. Chios is the fifth largest Greek Island - and the ... read more

0 km to |
 

Alacati lifestyle

Although small, Alacati has a surprisingly high number of good restaurants along its main streets. The local market operates on Saturdays, near the centre of town by the mosque. This is a great place to pick up some local bargains, stock up the fridg ... read more

0 km to Alacati |
 

Wining and dining in Izmir

Head down to the Alsancak at the waterfront for a night out. You'll find all kind of bars and restaurants there. And if you're a music lover, you'll be able to find live rock, jazz, hip hop and more. ... read more

0 km to Izmir city |
 

Izmir's delicious kumru

A warm sandwich may not sound so special, but this Izmir speciality is absolutely delicious and you will have great trouble tracking one down anywhere else in Turkey. You can buy Kumru from street sellers, who stuff the warm bread with grilled cheese ... read more

0 km to Izmir city |
 

Kemeralti Bazaar

This is enormous bazaar is over 400 years old. If you enjoy shopping, you can wile away half a day there, getting lost in the labyrinthine twists and turns. Visitors tend to enjoy the markets more than Istanbul's, as it's less aggressive and slightly ... read more

102 km to Kusadasi | 0 km to Izmir city | 77 km to Alacati | 87 km to Cesme | 68 km to Foca |
 

Izmir International Fair

Held in Kulturpark, this summer fair is the oldest tradeshow in Turkey, and is accompanied by musical and cultural events. The latter events came first, with the tradeshow as an extra. Over the years, however, the tradeshow's popularity grew and now ... read more

102 km to Kusadasi | 0 km to Izmir city | 68 km to Foca | 87 km to Cesme | 77 km to Alacati |
 

Kulturpark

This is Izmir's centre of art and culture - and it also has an amusement park. Wander round the green spaces and see many different kinds of trees and plants from all over the world, or take a spin on a pedalo on the lake. There's also a 3000-capaci ... read more

0 km to Izmir city |
 

Teleferik cable car

The Teleferik cable car carries passengers 423 metres above sea level for a beautiful view of Izmir. If you have some money to spend, have a wander around the gift shops and a cup of coffee at the cafe. ... read more

0 km to Izmir city |
 

Ephesus

Internationally-renowned Ephesus is like an open-air museum. Formerly an impressive ancient city, much of it has been preserved so visitors can experience its breathtaking grandeur. Ephesus has had a number of functions, and each one has been cru ... read more

140 km to Alacati | 149 km to Cesme | 50 km to Foca | 84 km to Izmir city | 20 km to Kusadasi |
 

Wrestling camels in Kusadasi

Yes, you read that right. The Selcuk Camel Wrestling Festival is held in Kusadasi in December or January each year. This is the camels's breeding period, so the camels are naturally aggressive with each other as they compete for females. Camel wrestl ... read more

0 km to Kusadasi |
 

Beaches

There are a number of beaches around Kusadasi. City Beach is close by, just a short stroll from the central action. Pigeon Island's beach is a private getaway, but the waters can be deep so you must be a good swimmer. On the peninsula behind Pigeon ... read more

0 km to Kusadasi |
 

Dilek National Park

This beautiful protected area just fifteen minutes from Kusadasi is a fantastic spot for walking and picnics. No fires are permitted here and you can't stay overnight. You can, however, hike along numerous trails and enjoy the spectacular surrounding ... read more

52 km to Foca | 5 km to Cesme | 7 km to Alacati | 0 km to Kusadasi |
 

Devil's Baths

Around two kilometres from Foca you'll find the interestingly-named Devil's Baths. This is actually a tomb cut out of the rock at the foot of Can Hill, and probably dates back to the fourth century BC. Walking through the arched entrance, you'll spy ... read more

2 km to Foca |
 

Foca's Mediterranean seals

These seals are extremely endangered, with only around 400 in existence. They reside in the caves and coves around Foca, where they bring up their young. You might see some around the small islands by the town, sunning themselves by the water, but th ... read more

0 km to Foca |
 

Ottoman Caravanserai

Just a few steps south of the castle is a beautiful sixteenth century Ottoman caravanserai. This roadside inn was built by Suleyman the Magnificent and was once a place where travellers recovered after a day's rest. It was restored not long ago and i ... read more

0 km to Cesme | 10 km to Alacati |
 

Cesme Castle

Cesme town is dominated by Cesme Castle. No one seems to know exactly who constructed the castle - the arguments tend towards the Turks or the Genoese - but it's thought to be at least 500 years old. In front of the castle, you'll see a statue of Ce ... read more

0 km to Cesme |
 

Ilica thermal springs

A large resort five kilometres from Alacati, Ilica is famous for its thermal springs, some of which are in the sea itself. The springs are well-known due to a study that was carried out on the waters there in 1909. The study caused many people to tra ... read more

5 km to Alacati | 53 km to Foca | 8 km to Cesme |
 

Alacati's wind farms

Alacati's winds aren't just good for windsurfers, a large wind farm on a neighbouring hilltop provides energy for the area. The wind farm is a stunning sight on a breezy day, and let's face it - Alacati's days are more often breezy than not. ... read more

10 km to Cesme | 0 km to Alacati |
 

The Velvet Castle

Kadifekale means 'the velvet castle', and is the name of both the fortress and the hill on which it stands. Built in the fourth century BC, the walls are well preserved, with examples of Ottoman, Byzantine and Roman art on view. The vista from the a ... read more

0 km to Izmir city |
 

Izmir's elevator

This was built by a Jewish businessman in 1907 to help residents reach the districts on top of the hill. It originally operated with a water-driven mechanism but was later attached to the electric grid. There is a restaurant up the top with stunning ... read more

0 km to Izmir city |
 

Konak Square

Famous for its clock tower, Konak Square is a popular gathering place for the locals. The clock tower was built in 1901, and is considered a symbol of the city. While you're visiting the square, check out the Konak yali Mosque and Kemeralti Bazaar. ... read more

0 km to Izmir city |
 

Beaches around Izmir

You won't find a beach at the city centre, but you can take a dolmus to many nearby swimming spots. Try Foca, Dikili, Urla, Seferihisar, or Cesme. ... read more

0 km to Izmir city |
 

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