Top things to do

Top Choice Museum 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 and…
Top Choice Waterfront in İzmir


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 renewa…
Top Choice Market 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 synag…
Top Choice 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 (clotted c…
Top Choice Cafe in İzmir


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, who congregate at the tables on the streetside terrace. Coffee is exce…
Top Choice Lokanta in İzmir


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 mez…
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 popular…
Seafood in İzmir

Deniz Restaurant

This long-established fish restaurant on the kordon is attached to the İzmir Palas hotel and is widely acknowledged as one of the best eateries in the city. The prime seating is on the terrace – book ahead to ensure…
Kebap in İzmir


This Alsancak branch of a national chain serves tasty soups, pides, kebaps and lahmacun (Turkish-style ‘pizza’). No alcohol.
Ruins in İzmir


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 Faus…