Top ChoiceMuseum in İzmir

İzmir Museum of History & Art

This museum is overlooked by many visitors to the city, who do themselves a great disservice in the process. Spread over three pavilions, it is one of the richest repositories of ancient artefacts in the country...

Top ChoiceMarket in İzmir

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, artisans' workshops, mosques, coffeehouses, tea gardens and...

Top ChoiceWaterfront in İzmir

Kordon

It’s difficult to imagine life in İzmir without its iconic seafront kordon (promenade), which stretches north from Cumhuriyet Meydanı to Alsancak and south from Konak Pier to Konak Meydanı. A triumph of urban...

Top ChoiceTurkish in İzmir

Ayşa

Serving Bosnian food that is remarkably similar to Turkish home cooking, this stylish lokanta (eatery with ready-made food) in the pretty Abacıoğlu Han offers both indoor and outdoor seating. Choose from the DIY...

Anatolian in İzmir

Meşhur Tavacı Recep Usta

Serving tasty dishes harking from Diyarbakır in the country's southeast, this is a popular venue for celebratory and family dinners, and is also known for its set weekend brunch (₺70 per person). Order a main...

Sweets in İzmir

Meşhur Hisarönü Şambalicisi

Şambali are made by baking almond-studded semolina, yoghurt and sugar, then dousing the cake with sweet syrup. This famous şambalicisi, which opened in 1942, serves its version neat or layered with kaymak...

Bar in İzmir

La Puerta

La Puerta's spacious inner courtyard is a popular spot for early evening beers and cocktails later at night. The friendly bar staff can advise on the best of Turkish craft beers – look out for brews from Gara...

Music in İzmir

International İzmir Festival

Usually held in early summer, this annual festival is organised by the İzmir Foundation for Culture, Arts and Education (İKSEV) and focuses on classical music. Venues include the Ahmed Adnan Saygun Sanat Merkezi...

Music in İzmir

İzmir European Jazz Festival

Held each year, this popular festival is organised by the Izmir Foundation for Culture, Arts and Education (İKSEV), and hosts a high-profile lineup of European and local jazz performers. Venues include the İKSEV...

Church in İzmir

Church of St Polycarp

Built in the early 17th century, this Catholic church is the oldest still-functioning Christian house of worship in the city. Its survival during the 1922 fire, which razed all neighbouring buildings to the...

Ruins in İzmir

Agora

Agora

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...

Cafe in İzmir

Léone

A Parisian-style divertissement in the heart of the city, this stylish cafe on Lozan Meydanı is wildly popular with Alsancak's ladies-who-lunch. Coffee is excellent and the croissants and gateaux are simply...

Turkish in İzmir

Bizim Mütfak

The blue-and-white checked tablecloths give this popular lokanta in the courtyard of the Mirkelam Han near the Hisar Mosque a Greek-island vibe, but the food is resolutely İzmiri, with a focus on unusual soups...

Seafood in İzmir

Veli Usta Balık Pişiricisi

In İzmir, three ingredients make for the perfect meal: balık (fish), roca (rocket) and rakı (aniseed brandy). This friendly terrace restaurant on the kordon is a great spot to sample all three, and is hugely...

Market in İzmir

Kızlarağası Hanı

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 touristy, with most items for sale harking from the far end of...

Street in İzmir

Havra Sokağı

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 Anafartalar Caddesi. Locals head here to purchase fresh fish,...

Cafe in İzmir

No 9 Cafe & Bar

One of our favourite spots amid the laneways of the Alsancak neighbourhood, No 9's interior is packed with old radios, vintage telephones and other assorted detritus of the last few decades. The bar features an...

Mosque in İzmir

Hisar Mosque

Surrounded by popular coffeehouses, this mosque in the Kemeraltı Market is the largest in the city and dates from 1597. The interior is quintessentially İzmiri, with blue-and-gold motifs on the domed ceiling that...

Köfte in İzmir

Köfteci Salih Arslan

In the Kestane Pazarı (Chestnut Market) section of Kemeraltı, this simple place has been serving tender and tasty Macedonian/Albanian–style köfte with piyaz (white-bean salad) since 1970 and has built a devoted...

Food & Drinks in İzmir

Altan Manisalı

Selling particularly delicious helva (sweet made from sesame seeds), tahini and pekmez (syrup made from grape juice) since 1885, this is one of the most famous food stores in the market. Members of the same...