Izmir is a rapidly growing modern town in Turkey.
İzmir is the third biggest city in Turkey with a population of around 3.7 million, the second biggest port after Istanbul, and a very good transport hub. Once the ancient city of Smyrna, it is now a modern, developed, and busy commercial center, set around a huge bay and surrounded by mountains. The broad boulevards, glass-fronted buildings and modern shopping centers are dotted with traditional red-tiled roofs, the 18th century market, and old mosques and churches, although the city has an atmosphere more of Mediterranean Europe than traditional Turkey.
The history of Izmir stretches back to around 3000 BC when the Trojans founded the city in Tepekule in the northern suburb of Bayrakli. This was the birthplace of Homer, who was thought to have lived here around the 8th century BC. The Aeolians, the first greek settlers, were eventually taken over by the (also greek) Ionians, and then the Lydians destroyed the city around 600BC before a brief recovery following Alexander the Great’s arrival in 334 BC.
After his death, Alexander’s generals followed his wishes and re-established Smyrna on Mount Pagos in Kadifekale, and the city then prospered under the Romans. It was destroyed by an earthquake in 178 AD but later reconstructed and became a major commercial port. After the Byzantines, the city had a turbulent time under the Arabs, Seljuks, Crusaders and Mongols, until Mehmet I incorporated it into the Ottoman Empire in 1415. Under Suleyman the Magnificent, Smyrna became a thriving and sophisticated city and a huge trading center, despite its frequent earthquakes. It was cosmopolitan, with mainly Greek Orthodox and also Jews and Muslims, and many languages were spoken amongst locals and visiting traders.
Following World War I and the defeat of the Ottoman Empire, on the basis of major Greek-speaking population of the area, Greece was granted a mandate over Izmir from the Allies and so Greece took control of the whole Aegean Area. Led by Kemal Ataturk the Turkish army launched a counter-attack and seized the city. Soon thereafter 70% of the city burned to the ground. The big fire ended the multinational era of the city. Ataturk formally took Izmir on 9 September 1922 which is celebrated as the day of city's independence in Izmir.
Izmir has two railway stations: Basmane in the city center is the major terminal for intercity trains, and Alsancak in the north is mainly a commuter and local route.
The main intercity services include: Ankara (Mavi Tren is the fastest at 14 hours), Denizli (3 express trains daily, 5-6 hours) and Isparta (9 hours). Trains for Istanbul connect with a ferry at Bandirma.
Basmane Station Tel: +90 232 484 8638 Alsancak Station Tel: +90 232 458 3131
There is a weekly ferry from Istanbul-Izmir (19 hours), operating at weekends, and one or two weekly ferries between Izmir and Venice (67 hours). All ferries dock at the Alsancak Ferry Terminal, 2km north of the city center.
Alsansak Yeni Liman (terminal) Tel: + 90 232 464 8864 / 89. Fax: +90 232 464 7834.
Adnan Menderes Airport, 16km south of the city center, has several daily flights to Istanbul, Ankara and Antalya. There are also regular flights from many European cities. Airport buses meet incoming flights and go to and from the city center for 10 lira (be sure to get off the bus in the centre of town, as the bus continues north to Tersana) and there are hourly trains to Alsancak Station.
Airport Tel : +90 232 274 2187. Fax: +90 232 274 2071
Iz Air  operates from Turkey and has flights to a lot of places in Turkey.
The bus station or otogar is 6km north east of town although there are plenty of dolmus that make the journey there from the centre. The bus station is huge and has an Internet cafe, plenty of facilities for food and drink and a large number of agencies selling tickets for coaches which, if departing imminently, they will be shouting out the destinations of. It also has pay toilets.
Buses to Istanbul take 9 hours (including a brief trip on a ferry) and travellers are provided with water, hot drinks, snacks and regular stops for toilets and food all for free on the better services for fares around 35YTL per person one way.
- Walking in Izmir - you can explore Izmir by inside city walking. Walking Routes  to center of city ar very easy to walk and enjoyable.
- Public ferries are easy, fast inside the coast and gives a nice shot of Izmir. Preferable to every other transportation in nice weather.
- There is a big public bus system covers all of the city.
- Many taxis with normal price.
- There is also a metro line connecting city centre/Konak Square with the northeastern suburb of Bornova.
- Konak Square: It is famous for the clock tower, one of the unique smybols of Izmir. The clock tower was built in 1901. There are also Konak Yali Mosque and Kemeraltı Bazaar located around the square.
- Asansör (Elevator): It was constructed by a Jewish businessman in 1907. The purpose was to help residents to go to their districts on the top of the hill. The elevator used to work by a water-driven mechanism. Later, it was restored by Izmir Municipality and now it works by electricity. There is a restaurant located on the top of the elevator with a bird-eye view of Izmir.
- Teleferik (Teleferic): Having served since 1977, it carries people to 423 m. up above the sea level. There are restaurants, cafes and gift shops located on the top of the hill.(in construction)
- Beaches: Having a coastline on Aegean sea, Izmir owns lots of beaches which are not too far from the city center. There is public transportation available to most of them. The places include Foça, Dikili, Urla, Seferihisar, and Çeşme.
- Alsancak, small streets with lots of bars in old Greek houses, where you can have tea or a beer and try several waterpipe flavors.
- Kadifekale, old castle on the hill which it's named after.
- Agora, remains of the Roman Empire.
- Walk around at Kordon, Alsancak. You can walk around beside the Aegaen Sea.
- Kemeralti: A must see. A big bazaar, where you can buy clothes, presents etc. There are also a lot of lounges where you can sit.
- Kizlaragasi Hani: An old kervansaray in Kemeralti where you can shop for carpets and jewelry
You can go to Konak Pier, a small mall along the Kordon with a cinema and with local and other known brands. Another mall is called Forum, in Bornova. Forum is a very big mall with all brands and a supermarket in a Mediterreanean style one floored houses in open air. Kemeraltı (in the city center) offers great deal of souveniers in a nice traditional athmosphere.
- Melons, because Izmir has a warm climate it is fresh to eat melons.
- Izmir has a famous restaurant that serves the region's specialties, especially shish kebabs.
- Fish, grilled sea bass and mezes. Usually the fish is fresh and plenty in all seasons. Veli Usta offers great deal of fish in Alsancak.
- Kumru, a warm sandwich, made with a special bread with sesame seeds, Turkish sausage, grilled cheese and tomatoes.
- Tulum Peyniri, a kind of cheese specially made in Izmir region.
- Copsis Kebab at Topcu in Cankaya
- Belkahve: izmir from the eye of Ataturk in 1922 
- Boyoz, to eat with a cup of tea in the breakfast.
- All pubs and cafe's in Kordon (Alsancak's seaside) are attractive in nice weather.
In Izmir there are several hotels. Hilton is very close to city center in Alsancak, and Swissotel is opened this year which is also located in Alsancak. Also there is Crowne Plaza, which is about 30 min. from center.
Stay at Hotel Yaman, located at 1440 Sokak in Alsancak.
- Cesme a small village for all summer activities, half an hour drive to Izmir.
- Selcuk, a few hours by bus or train to the south of the city, includes Ephesus and Virgin Mary’s House. It is also a few kilometers away from Kuşadası.
- Tire, takes only an hour to arrive from the city center, a typical Aegean town, you can visit Turkey's biggest open town market on Tuesdays and have a good lunch in Kaplan with typical Aegean foods and famous meatballs of Tire.