The historic city of Izmir in Turkey lies on the dreamy Aegean coast for a long time. Not far from the sea, many people cavort through wide streets and narrow alleys in a historic quarter. They advertise their goods, haggle, drink tea and look forward to the customers next door or far away. It smells of fresh herbs, tart spices and leather: the beautiful bazaar district.
Discover in the truest sense of the word
Locals and foreigners are welcomed equally and openly in the colorful bazaar districts in the heart of the city. What happens to both of them in a similar way is walking through the labyrinthine alleys and streets of the old quarter. But that’s not a problem, rather a great advantage. Because you can also find hidden pearls and open spaces that provide a pleasant contrast to the narrow streets. In the bazaar districts there are countless shops, restaurants and street food, cafes and stalls, some of which are covered. Here everyone can find what they are looking for or discover what they did not suspect. It is said that you cannot leave the bazaar district with empty pockets or at least an empty stomach.
Strolling experience in Izmir
If you whet your appetite at the sight of the various delicacies, then you have a huge selection of culinary specialties from Turkey. Meat lovers will find hearty kebabs, vegetarians delicious pide with cheese and those who like it sweet will delight in traditional baklava. Basically nothing stands in the way of the relaxed tour, because many salespeople speak German and are happy to invite you to tea and chat in the shops. It is not uncommon for bargains to be found here. Often food, clothing of all kinds, handbags and traditional handicrafts are offered at the stalls. There is so much to choose from, you can’t help but simply stroll through the alleys and let yourself be impressed by what is on offer.
A visit to the Hisar mosque, for example, provides a change from the strolling experience. It is not only the largest, but also the oldest in all of Izmir and was built during the Ottoman rule in the 16th century. Wonderful Islamic architecture paired with extensive splendor leaves the viewer astonished. In addition to the large main dome, there are 34 other small domes and they all add to the elegance of this structure. In the immediate vicinity of the Hisar mosque is the Kizlaragasi caravanserai (in Turkish: han). This large, multi-storey building was built in 1744 and functioned as a hostel for traveling merchants and caravans who stopped on the important road in the heart of Izmir. Even then, this complex was equipped with a bazaar, to be precise, the copper bazaar. The important metal was once traded here, later silk from abroad and today handicrafts, carpets and leather items. A special highlight in the Han are the many tea and coffee houses located there. The traditional Turkish coffee, which is heated with coals in the cup itself, is a very popular specialty in the Kizlaragasi Han and definitely a must for all coffee lovers.