Empty corridor with arcs and blue sky. Ruins of Smyrna

Getty Images/iStockphoto



Dating from the end of the 4th century BC, Smyrna's ancient agora was ruined in an earthquake in AD 178 but soon rebuilt by order of the Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius. The reconstructed Corinthian colonnade and Faustina Gate are eye-catching, but the vaulted chambers and cisterns in the basements of the two stoas (basilicas) are even more interesting, giving visitors a good idea of how this rectangular-shaped, multilevel marketplace would have looked in its heyday. Archaeological investigations are still underway.

A Muslim cemetery was later built on the agora and many of the old tombstones remain on site. The ticket office is located on the south side, just off Gazi Osmanpaşa Bulvarı.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby İzmir attractions

1. Havra Sokağı

0.12 MILES

One of Kemeraltı's most interesting pockets, this stretch of produce stalls links the centre of the bazaar with the Agora and the eastern stretch of…

2. Kestanepazarı Mosque

0.19 MILES

The multi-domed 'Chestnut Market Mosque' dates from 1667 and has a particularly beautiful mihrab (niche indicating the direction of Mecca). Its profusion…

3. Şadırvan Mosque

0.25 MILES

Named after the fountains next to it, which are used by the congregation for ritual ablutions, this 1636 mosque has a large central dome and a minaret…

4. Kemeraltı Market


A labyrinthine bazaar stretching from Konak Sq through to the ancient Agora, Kemeraltı dates back to the 17th century and is home to shops, eateries,…

5. Hisar Mosque

0.32 MILES

Surrounded by popular coffeehouses, this mosque in the Kemeraltı Market is the largest in the city and dates from 1597. The interior is quintessentially…

6. Kızlarağası Hanı

0.33 MILES

This restored Ottoman-built bedesten (warehouse) dates from 1744 and is similar to the İç (Inner) Bedesten in İstanbul's famous Grand Bazaar. It's…

7. City Museum & Archive

0.42 MILES

Housed in a fire station built by the British in 1923, this small museum mounts changing displays on İzmir’s history. It is named after Ahmet Piriştina, a…

8. Yalı Mosque

0.48 MILES

On the northern edge of Konak Meydanı, this petite octagonal mosque with its slender minaret was built in the 18th century and features pretty coloured…