Once called Smyrna, the Turkish city of Izmir is now the third largest city in Turkey. Today the city has around 4.4 million inhabitants and is a popular holiday destination. Thousands of people come every year, often in travel groups, who only have one thing in mind – to do tours and discover the culture of the city. The city is located on the Aegean coast. The second largest Turkish port is located here. The city’s airport is almost 20 kilometers outside. Public transport can be used to get to the city. More precisely, it is a train that connects the airport with the city. After the ninth train stop, you can change to the metro. The journey to the center of the airport takes about 30 minutes.
Ancient history and testimonies
The reason why Izimr is so interesting for tour groups interested in the culture of the city is the long history of this city in Turkey. The first settlement in this area is proven to have existed as early as around 6500 to 4000 BC. and the area of today’s city was settled by Luwians, Hittites, Phrygians and Greeks. From the time the city was called Smyrna, there was one of the Seven Churches of the Apocalypse mentioned in the Bible in this city. And two more of these churches are very close to the city – Ephesus (Efes) and Pergamon. Tours/s there are offered from the city. However, within the urban area is the Agora, a former place of worship, and Kadifekale (in English Velvet Castle), a hilltop castle formerly known as Pagos. Also worth seeing is the antique bazaar and the Hisar Mosque and the Balçova thermal baths.
The rich museum landscape of the city also belongs to the cultural scene of Izmir. Because of them, too, many tour groups come to this city. One of the groups’ destinations is the city’s cultural park. The archaeological museum is located here. There are numerous exhibits from Ionian and western Anatolian cities. Next to this museum are the Ethnographic Museum, the Agricultural Museum and the Health Museum, as well as an art gallery. Another museum in the city, the Atatürk Museum is located in the Gündogdu district. And then there is the Hittite rock carving of Karabel. This is located at the pass of the same name between Torbali and Kemalpasa and is around 25 kilometers east of the city. Tours/en there are offered from the city for tourists. The city is also a testimony that the Ottomans were very tolerant. Because even if today’s Turkey was still under Ottoman rule in the middle of the 19th century, two Christian churches were built in this port city on the Aegean coast at that time, the Roman Catholic St. John’s Cathedral (construction period from 1863 to 1874) and the Anglican St. John’s Church (built from 1898 to 1899).
As the sun slowly sets in this city, the museums close and tourists return to the city from their cultural tour, freshen up in their hotel rooms and then head out into the city’s nightlife. The city has a lively nightlife to offer. The bars are open until the morning.