Tourist’s guide to Izmir Attractions: 9 most interesting sites

Izmir is considered the most modern and free-thinking city in Turkey and is able to show the traveler a country from a completely different, more western perspective. Located on the coast of the Aegean Sea, the object a priori promises to give tourists a lot of picturesque landscapes and breathtaking views. But also on its territory there are many architectural objects and entertainment points, where it is worth visiting every guest of the city. Izmir, the sights of which can be seen both in the center and in the vicinity, will forever change your idea of ​​Turkey as a purely eastern state.

Izmir city

Izmir Wild Life Park

Among the sights of Izmir and its environs, it is first worth seeing the zoo, one of the largest in Turkey, where more than 1,500 species of wildlife live. Most animals live here in natural conditions, and a thoughtful landscape design with its hedges, ponds and streams allows visitors to imagine that they are in a real tropical reserve. Among the animals living in the zoo, the representatives of the African savannah, such as elephants, zebras, giraffes and lions, are of particular interest. Here you can also look at all sorts of reptiles, insects, fish and birds. At the entrance to the complex you will find a bird aviary, where there is the opportunity to feed the feathered inhabitants by hand.

Elephants at Izmir Zoo

Izmir Zoo is a great place for families. On its well-groomed flowering territory there are several cafes, gazebos and children’s playgrounds. A special zone is provided for young visitors, where everyone can talk face-to-face with tamed animals (rabbits, horses). It is worth considering that the zoo is located 32 km northwest of the center of Izmir and it is most convenient to get to the facility by a rented car or taxi.

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Crocodiles at the zoo
  • Address: Sasallı Merkez Mahallesi, 2d Sasalı Villalar, 35620 Çiğli / Izmir, Turkey.
  • Opening hours: The attraction is open daily from 09:00 to 16:00.
  • Cost of visit: 7 TL.

Alsancak District

To plunge headlong into the magical atmosphere of Izmir, be sure to go to its most lively area, Alsanchak. In the evenings, the area begins to vibrate with a special vital energy. Alsancak is a mix of a business center with historic islets and entertainment venues. It is here that the famous Ataturk Museum and Culture Park are located, which presents architecture of the 18-19th centuries. A promenade stretches along the area, where it is pleasant to take a walk, enjoying both urban landscapes and sea views.

Alsanchak District

Alsanchak district is literally dotted with various bars, cafes, pubs and restaurants, from which the sea bay is perfectly visible. Numerous hotels and shops are located here. You can buy fresh mussels and corn from street vendors. On the promenade, tourists like to rent boats and go on a boat trip. The quarter is considered one of the cleanest and best-protected places in Izmir. It is best to visit Alsanchak in the velvet season from September to October, when the city is not so hot.

Izmir Embankment
  • Address: Alsancak Mahallesi 35220 Konak / Izmir, Turkey.

Clock Tower (Saat Kulesi)

If you look at the photos of Izmir sights in Turkey, you can often see the graceful Clock Tower in the pictures. The object has long been a hallmark of the area, which is definitely worth a look, while in the city. The tower rises on the territory of the central city square Konak – at the epicenter of the concentration of tourists and local residents. The structure was erected at the beginning of the 20th century in honor of the twenty-five year rule of Sultan Abdul-Hamid II. The clock adorning the tower, the padishah received as a gift from the German king William II. The attraction is distinguished by its elaborate openwork finish and looks especially mesmerizing in the evening, when its backlight turns on.

Clock tower

Bubbling fountains and benches are installed around the building, from which many tourists, having bought seeds, feed flocks of pigeons. Not far from the tower there is a port, a shopping center and an old market, where you can buy a lot of interesting goods. We advise you to take a walk along the nearby promenade, as well as look at the miniature mosque of Yala. In the summer, by evening, a lot of people gather on the square, so it is best to visit the tower during the day.

Miniature Yala Mosque
Yala Mosque
  • Address: Konak Mahallesi, 35360 Konak / Izmir, Turkey.

Museum of cars (Key Museum)

If you decide what to see in Izmir, then do not forget to include the Car Museum on your tour list. The initiators of the opening of the gallery were three Turkish car collectors, who since 2001 have managed to collect more than a hundred unique exhibits around the world. This is a relatively young, but very rich collection, which includes 130 cars, among which are presented both retro-models (starting from 1886) and modern designs. Here you can also look at the motorcycle collection, consisting of 40 exhibits: there are models of the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries. In addition, in the museum you will find a section with miniature copies of cars, of which there are 2550 pieces.

Car museum

In some halls of the gallery you can look at a collection of scarves with automotive symbols, explore a variety of machine parts and original equipment used at gas stations since the beginning of the 20th century. The exposition is quite extensive, therefore, its review should take less than 2 hours.

Retro car
  • Address: Çapak Mah., Özgörkey Cad. No: 5, 35860 Torbalı / Izmir, Turkey.
  • Opening hours: The attraction is open from Wednesday to Sunday from 10:00 to 17:00. Monday and Tuesday – closed.
  • Admission: adult ticket – 20 TL, child ticket – 10 TL.

Art Center ARKAS (Arkas Art Center)

Many tourists prefer to visit the sights of Izmir on their own, which allows you to optimally plan your visit to the city. If you are fond of painting and appreciate art, then, for sure, it will be interesting for you to visit the ARCAS Art Center. This is an art gallery located in the center near the promenade, in the building of an old mansion. The museum is spread over two tiers and consists of 9 exhibition halls and one studio. In some rooms, a permanent exhibition of paintings 19-20 centuries. The other part is reserved for temporary exhibitions, not only art, but also archaeological. Curiosity is caused by the external and internal decoration of the historical building itself, where the French consulate was once located. It is noteworthy that you can look at the exhibits presented in the museum for free.

Art Center ARKAS
  • Address: Kültür Mahallesi, 1380 Sk. 3-1, 35230 Konak / Izmir, Turkey.
  • Opening hours: daily from 10:00 to 18:00, on Thursdays – from 10:00 to 20:00. Monday is a day off.

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Asancer (Tarihi Asansor)

One of the main attractions of Izmir is an old elevator connecting the lower and upper parts of the city. You can get to it from Konak Square in about 20 minutes. On the way to the property, you will have the opportunity to stroll through the narrow streets of the Jewish quarter and look at the old houses of Izmir, whose walls are painted in red and blue. By taking the elevator to a height of 58 m, you will find yourself on a beautiful terrace, from where you can enjoy picturesque panoramas of the Aegean Sea and coastal urban areas.

Asanser - tower with public elevator

Upstairs is a comfortable restaurant serving national cuisine and hot drinks. Prices in the institution are very reasonable. If you are looking for a place in the city where you can take unique photos, then this Izmir landmark is just the right place for beautiful pictures. At the same time, everyone can use the elevator for free.

Aegean Sea View
  • Address: Turgut Reis Mahallesi, Şht. Nihatbey cd. 76 / A, 03500 Konak / Izmir, Turkey.
  • Opening hours: daily from 10:00 to 00:00.

Izmir Teleferik Cable Car

The cable car in Izmir has existed since 1974, but in 2007 it was closed for large-scale reconstruction, which took as long as 8 years. A modern funicular lifts its passengers to the steep hill of Dede Dağı Mountain, located at an altitude of 423 m above sea level. In total, there are 20 booths, each of which seats up to 8 people. A trip to the hill takes about 3 minutes, during which travelers enjoy beautiful panoramas of the city and the surrounding nature. Within an hour, the cable car is capable of delivering upwards of 1000 passengers.

Izmir Cable Car

At the top of the hill, tourists enjoy breathtaking views of the sea bay and mountain landscapes. Large viewing binoculars are installed around the perimeter of the park, which can be used for 1 TL. There are several cafes and restaurants, there are children’s playgrounds. Also at the top there are special picnic areas with gazebos and barbecue facilities. The local cafe sells firewood and meat for barbecue. It is worth considering that it can be quite windy at the top, so do not forget to bring a light jacket with you.

Mountain landscapes
  • Address: Teleferik Mahallesi, Sakarya Cd. No: 127, 35330 Balçova / Izmir, Turkey.
  • Opening hours: from Tuesday to Sunday – from 10:00 to 22:00. Monday is a day off. The last ticket can be purchased an hour before closing time.
  • Cost of trip: 8 TL. For children under 5 years old, free travel.

Kemeralti Market

The main attractions of Izmir in Turkey, of course, is the Kemeralt city market. Built back in the 17th century, the bazaar is not only the main shopping place, but also a point where you can look at ancient monuments of architecture. These include the local Khizar mosque, built at the end of the 16th century and being the largest religious site in Izmir. The ancient building of the caravanserai, where most of the shops are located today, has been preserved here. Many tourists claim that Kemeralt is a smaller version of the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul.

Kemeralt Market

The Izmir market sells goods for every taste, including clothing, souvenirs, leather products, watches, etc. At the same time, prices here are very moderate, which is not typical for most tourist bazaars in Turkey. This is one of the few objects in Izmir where you can feel the real oriental flavor and imbue with the authentic spirit of market trade. At the bazaar, you should definitely try Turkish coffee, which is ground and prepared right before your eyes.

In the Izmir market
  • Address: Konak Mahallesi, Anafartalar Cd., 35250 Konak / Izmir, Turkey.
  • Opening hours: The attraction is open daily from 08:00 to 20:00.

Konak Square

At the end of our description of the sights of Izmir in Turkey with a photo I would like to dwell in more detail on the central Konak square. This is the main pedestrian zone of the city, which is popular with both tourists and local residents themselves. The place is quite picturesque and at the same time rich in objects that will be interesting to look at from an architectural point of view. The area adjoins the sea bay along which a neat promenade stretches, decorated with fountains, sculptures and monuments. It was named Konak in honor of the provincial palace of the same name, located nearby. As we wrote earlier, it is here that the main symbol of Izmir rises – the Clock Tower and the miniature mosque of Yala stands.

Konak Square
  • Address: Konak Mahallesi, 35360 Konak / Izmir, Turkey.


Izmir, whose sights reveal the city from completely different sides, can be a real find for many travelers who are accustomed to rest only in the Mediterranean region of Turkey. An important advantage of Izmir is the opportunity to organize a rich vacation, including an overview of architectural buildings and natural sites, visits to cultural institutions and entertainment venues. At the same time, prices for entrance tickets are quite affordable, and some city attractions do not require any fee at all.

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