Located on the Aegean coast, Izmir is a super-pretty and Instagrammable city. There’s a lot to see and do in this young, vibrant and history-filled city.
One of the best ways to see Izmir is on a guided tour. These half-day tours include all of the highlights of the city and are a great way to learn about the history of Izmir.
One of the main sights you should not miss when visiting Izmir is the Asansor Elevator. This historic landmark is located in the upper town of the city and has an incredible view over the bay.
The Asansor Elevator was built in 1907 and is the ideal place to take photos of the Izmir skyline and Aegean Sea. It has been restored and now serves as a restaurant.
Izmir is a beautiful coastal city, and the Kordon Promenade is a popular spot for tourists to relax, enjoy coffee and take in the stunning views of the ocean. This is also the place where you can catch a ferry to Ephesus, a fascinating ancient city.
Bet Hillel Synagogue
Synagogues are a major part of Izmir's cultural history, and the city is working to bring them back to life. The project, which aims to restore eight synagogues, is being funded by the Turkish government.
Bet Hillel, a memorial house for Rabbi Hayim Palacci, is one of the oldest synagogues in the city. It was built in the 1500s and refurbished twice in 1800 and 1841.
Another synagogue, Shalom, demonstrates an architectural style that reflects the Italian influence. Its tevah is reminiscent of the prow of an Ottoman galley that brought Jews from Spain in the 15th century.
The largest synagogue in Izmir, Bet Israel, has a different building style from the rest of the city's. Its tevah is located towards the southern wall. This is due to the fact that the tevah was not originally placed in the center of the prayer hall. In later periods, the tevah was moved in order to place the Ehal (bookcase of holy books) in a central location.
Pergamon was once one of the most important and powerful cities in the world. A great center of learning, culture and invention, it flourished until the 14th century.
The hilltop ruins of the ancient city include the celebrated library, an audaciously steep theatre, the Temples of Trojan and Dionysus, a monumental altar of Zeus and a gymnasium laid out on three terraces. Today, it is considered to be one of the greatest archaeological sites in Turkey.
The acropolis is located on a conical hill rising 1,000 feet above the valley below, which is occupied by the modern town of Bergama (Pergamum). You can reach the ruins by funicular railway or by walking.
One of the most visited historical sites in Turkey, the ancient city of Ephesus is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a must for history buffs. The mammoth library, the ancient theater, the Temple of Artemis and the terraced houses are just a few of the highlights you’ll see here.
The ruins of this ancient city are located three kilometers southwest of Selcuk in Izmir Province. It was a major city during the Hellenistic and Roman eras with a population of 200,000 people.
You can visit Ephesus on your own or join a tour to get an in-depth look at the city’s major sights. The tours depart from Izmir and include stops at the Church of Mary, the House of the Virgin Mary, the tomb of St John the Apostle and more.