Things to do in
Izmir

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Our most recommended things to do in Izmir

From Selcuk/Kusadasi/Izmir: Pamukkale Full-Day Tour

1. From Selcuk/Kusadasi/Izmir: Pamukkale Full-Day Tour

Discover the stunning region of Pamukkale and its hot springs on a day trip from Selcuk, Kusadasi, or Izmir. Begin by meeting your driver/guide at the reception of your hotel in the morning and a transfer to Pamukkale. Explore the ancient city of Hierapolis, built on solid limestone layers formed by mineral-rich waters that flowed for millennia over a raised level plateau. See the most significant sites of the sacred city including the Theatre, the Temple of Apollo, and the Necropolis. Admire the Necropolis (Cemetery) of Hierapolis, one of the largest ancient burial sites in Anatolia. See a Roman bath, the Gate of Domitian, the main street of the ancient city, and the Byzantium Gate. Walk to the natural warm water terraces, formed by running warm water rich in calcium and temperatures of 35 Celsius all year-round. Get the chance to see the gleaming white travertine terraces of Pamukkale, located next to the ruins of Hierapolis. Enjoy optional free time to swim in Cleopatra’s Pool before ending the tour with a transfer back to your hotel. And during the tour you'll have the chance to have a look at the Turkish traditional handcrafts

Full-Day Tour of Ancient Ruins in Ephesus from Izmir

2. Full-Day Tour of Ancient Ruins in Ephesus from Izmir

This full-day tour from Izmir, takes you to Ephesus in Selçuk to explore Turkey’s best preserved ruins from the ancient Greek, Roman, and Byzantine civilizations. Visit the most important ruins in Ephesus, including the Temple of Artemis, which was one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World before it was destroyed in 401 AD. You will also see the Library of Celsus, built to hold 12,000 scrolls and at its time one of the largest libraries in the world. The nearby Great Theater, which was the largest outdoor theater in the world, was designed to hold 24,000 people – even its ruins are huge. After discovering the impressive monuments, you will visit the Archaeological Museum of Ephesus. The museum houses many important statues and relics including a preserved segment of the original Temple of Artemis. After enjoying a lunch of traditional Turkish cuisine, you will travel to the House of the Virgin Mary on Bulbul Mountain, where archeologists and historians believe the mother of Jesus lived at the end of her life.

Ephesus Entry Ticket with Mobile Phone Audio Tour

3. Ephesus Entry Ticket with Mobile Phone Audio Tour

Founded by the Greeks and conquered by the Romans, Ephesus was once a city of proverbial wealth. It was a bustling port which over time developed into an important center for Christianity. On this self-guided tour, benefit from skip-the-line entry then explore using your smartphone to travel back in time to the city’s former life. The tour is the perfect way to experience the site in a fun and insightful way, and gain valuable insight into one of the most popular places in Turkey. The first stop of the day is to the State Agora, which was once the political heart of the city boasting a lavish square. Continue on to Bouleuterion, and discover the meeting point of the city council which perhaps was also a space for artistic performances. As you stroll around the colonnades, stoas, and other buildings, listen to fascinating stories about what life was like here for locals. Arrive at the Temple of Domitian and find out the rather unusual architectural layout of the U-shaped altar. Next, wander down the Curetes which connected the political and commercial hearts of Ephesus. Uncover the legend of the emperor’s fountain, then explore the large complex of baths at the Scolastica including the lavish marble latrines. Head to the grave of the Egyptian princess Arsinoe, then marvel at the mesmerizing Celsus Library, which is probably the most famous landmark of Ephesus. From here the road leads you to the gate of Mazeus and Mithridates, and onto at the Grand Theatre where performances and gladiatorial games took place. Last but not least, walk through the crossroads of the Arcadiane and follow a small path that leads you to the spectacular ruins of the enormous Church of Mary.

From Izmir: Pamukkale Guided Tour with Lunch

4. From Izmir: Pamukkale Guided Tour with Lunch

Discover the natural wonders of Pamukkale on this guided tour with lunch. Marvel at formations of travertine and explore Hierapolis to learn the history of the ancient city. Get the chance to also visit jewelry, leather, carpet, or ceramic centers. Begin at the ancient city of Hierapolis, established in 200 B.C. and one of the most important settlements during the Hellenistic and Roman periods. Walk around the recently restored theater and the city’s majestic buildings and monuments. Later, see why Pamukkale means “cotton castle.” Step into a world of wonders as you witness spectacular formations of travertine and the natural hot spring pool. Learn more about the area and spend some relaxation time in the spring pool.

Izmir: Unlimited 4G Internet in Turkey with Pocket WiFi

5. Izmir: Unlimited 4G Internet in Turkey with Pocket WiFi

With this portable Wi-Fi rental service you won't need to buy a high-cost data package in advance or change your sim card. Simply select the rental option you would like, provide your delivery address, and your phone number with country code, then make the most of this unlimited data package. Avoid expensive data roaming charges or the need to connect to unsecured public internet points during your travels. Save yourself the time you would usually spend looking for free wi-fi and relax with 24/7 live support (English, Arabic, Turkish). This is an unlimited package at truly 4G/LTE speed - no speed limitations at any level of data usage. Watch movies, play games, make online calls, stream your playlists, share your memories, use live navigation, and more. Please note that connection speed may be affected depending on mobile coverage.

From Izmir: Pamukkale Full-Day Tour

6. From Izmir: Pamukkale Full-Day Tour

We will depart from Izmir in the morning and two and a half hours later arrive at Pamukkale which means the cotton castle in Turkish. These white rock formations, known as travertines, are world famous and have been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The water of Pamukkale is famous for the benefits it gives to the eyes and skin. It is also said to cure illnesses such as asthma and rheumatism. It is possible to swim in certain areas, so be sure to bring your swimsuit. Many centuries ago the Romans, aware of the powers of Pamukkale’s water, decided to build a large spa city called Hierapolis nearby. We will visit Hierapolis after lunch, which will be provided. Hierapolis means Holy City in Turkish and despite not having been lived in for several centuries it remains a fascinating place to visit. Hierapolis has a well preserved 12,000 seat amphitheater and the massive Necropolis which is the largest ancient graveyard in Anatolia. You will also see the Temple of Apollo and the shrine of the nymphs at this beautiful ancient site. At the end of the day we will drive back to Izmir, where we can drop you off at your hotel or at the airport.

From Izmir: Ephesus and The House of Virgin Mary Day Trip

7. From Izmir: Ephesus and The House of Virgin Mary Day Trip

Depart from Izmir for a site and history-filled day in Ephesus with a private guide and vehicle. Visit the House of Virgin Mary, the Temple of Artemis, and the Ephesus ruins. Get a real feel for this unique area and its history. Get picked up at the Izmir Harbor, Izmir airport, or your hotel in Izmir and head off to Ephesus on an approximately 1 hour and 20-minute drive. En route, hear about the locations you'll visit. Arrive at the House Of Virgin Mary and tour the fascinating and spiritual location. Head on to the next destination which will be the Ancient City of Ephesus. Take a walking tour through one of the most magnificent archaeological sites in the world. Marvel at the Odeon, The Fountain of Trajan, Scholastica Baths, the Temple of Hadrian, and of course the very impressive library of Ephesus. Return to the van through the Arcadian Way where Mark Anthony and Cleopatra once rode in procession. After your 2-hour exploration around Ephesus, take an hour for lunch. Continue to the next stop, the Temple of Artemis (Diana), built in honor of the Greek Goddess and deemed one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Your guide will describe the significance of this massive structure, which was the largest marble temple in the Ancient Greek world and of which today little remains. After your full-day private tour of Ephesus, relax on a comfortable drive back to your preferred drop-off location in Izmir.

7 Churches of Asia Minor: 5 Days/4 Nights in 4-Star Hotels

8. 7 Churches of Asia Minor: 5 Days/4 Nights in 4-Star Hotels

Day 1: Izmir Arrival Enjoy the convenience of being picked up at the Izmir airport and driven directly to your hotel where dinner will be served. Day 2: Pergamon, Thyatira, and Izmir After breakfast, drive to Pergamum, now known as Bergama, mentioned in the New Testament as one of the 7 Churches of Asia Minor [Rev. 1:11; 2:12]. Visit the Acropolis of Pergamum, an amphitheater perched dramatically atop a steep hill. Stop at the Asklepion, a famous medical center during the classical era. See the Altar of Zeus, which John the Apostle referred to as the “Throne of Satan.” Walk among the marble columns of the Temple of Trajan, which once housed a library of 200,000 texts, rivaling the Library of Alexandria. Admire the immense walls of the Red Basilica (St. John’s Church). Continue to Thyatira, now called Akhisar, another of the Seven Churches of Asia [Rev. 1:11; 2:18-24; Acts 16:14]. Known in ancient times for its purple dyes, Thyatira is also the city where St. Lydia once lived. As you make your way through the city, you’ll have the chance to see ruins from Roman times. Enjoy a panoramic ride through Smyrna, the third largest city in Turkey and one of the sites of the Seven Churches of Asia [Rev. 2:12-17]. Ascend Mount Pagus and visit the Citadel of Lysimachos, commander of Alexander the Great. See the famous Izmir Clock. Return to the hotel for dinner and some rest. Day 3: Izmir, Sardis, Philadelphia, Laodicea, and Hierapolis Depart early in the morning to reach one of the most picturesque of the Seven Churches of Asia, Sardis [Rev. 1:11; 3:1-4]. Sardis, now known as Sart was portrayed in the Book of Revelations as a dying church. Visit the Temple of Artemis and the Temple of Cybele, which became churches under the Byzantine empire. See the restored gymnasium and the reconstructed Synagogue. Walk the last several meters of the royal Persian Road from Susa to Sardis built by Cyrus the Great. Lay your eyes on the "Golden" river Pactolus. Enjoy lunch en route. Your journey continues once you reach Philadelphia, now known as Alasehir, another of the Churches of Asia, and the only church not censured. Unlike the other 6 churches, they remained steadfast in their faith. Visit the remains of a Byzantine basilica that features 11th-century frescoes. Drive to Hierapolis, a city known for its therapeutic springs. See the Pamukkale, or “Cotton Fortress,” where hot mineral water bursts from the earth and cascades over steep cliffs forming pools, channels, and stalactites. Visit the Martyrium of the Apostle Philip where he was martyred during persecutions ordered by Domitian. Journey on to Laodicea (now called Denizil), another of the Seven Churches of Asia [Rev. 1:11; 3:14; Col. 2:1; 4:13-16]. See the ancient theatre, the remains of a basilica and ancient stone water pipes. Visit the Gate of Domitian, the Arcadian Way, a 2nd-century theatre, the Nymphaion, the Temple of Apollo, the Plutonium and the Necropolis. After a full day of site-seeing, check in at a Thermal hotel and enjoy dinner before having a good night’s rest. Day 4: Ephesus Drive to Kusadasi and visit the ancient city of Ephesus. See the Basilica of St. John, which received an epistle from the apostle Paul who lived in Ephesus for 3 years. Tour the spectacular ruins where excavations still continue in this once great and important city founded over 2 millennia ago. Take a trip back in time as your walk along the marble streets lined with wonderful public buildings such as the Baths of Scholastica, the Library of Celsus, the Temple of Hadrian and the Theatre. See the Temple of Artemis, one of the 7 wonders of the ancient world. Visit the House of the Virgin Mary, a house said to have been the Virgin Mary’s home in her final years. Afterward, enjoy dinner at your hotel in Kusadasi. Day 5: Izmir Your tour comes to a close, as you are picked up from your hotel in Kusadasi and then transferred to the Izmir airport.

Ephesus & Sirince Village Tour from İzmir

9. Ephesus & Sirince Village Tour from İzmir

Meet with your professional guide at the port in İzmir. Drive to Ephesus-Selcuk. Ephesus is considered to one of the spectacular open-air museums in Turkey and in the world - and one of the highlights of any visit to Turkey. During this privately guided tour, Ephesus city will come alive as you walk through 2,000 year-old marble streets to admire the Library of Celsius, Hadrian's Temple, the Fountains of Trajan, Polio, The Temples of Hadrian and Domitian, Vedious and Scholastic Baths, Bouloterion, and the Great Theatre with capacity of 24.000 spectators. Then it’s up into the mountains to the lovely little Turkish-Orthodox village of Sirince. Up here, far from the madding crowd, you can wander the narrow streets, where the women sell their handcrafts and oils. You can take a quiet drink in one of the small café’s and sample the local sweet fruity wine. At the end of your day you will return to İzmir port.

Izmir: Private Airport Transfer

10. Izmir: Private Airport Transfer

In Airports: Your driver will be waiting with a board with ‘’YOUR NAME’’  on it in front of the exit gate. You will be escorted to your vehicle and your driver will drop you off to any address in Kusadasi or any specific area. In Hotels ; Upon your reservation request the supplier will reply to you as fast as possible and send your confirmation. Your driver will be waiting in front of your hotel for your transfer service to any specific area such as Izmir airport,. The supplier offers you a 24 hour, 7 day, 365 day per year service to and from Izmir airport. All of the vehicles are air conditioned, clean, and fully insured for your protection. They offer 1st Class professional and reliable service with no fuss, no hassle, and no waiting time charges, just the first-class service you expect and deserve. The supplier is constantly monitoring flight times so please don't worry if your flight is early or delayed, your driver will be waiting for you on arrival. At Kusadasi transfer your safety is of paramount importance and they offer baby car and booster seats to ensure your family travels comfortably and safely, please let them know your number when making your booking.

Frequently asked questions about Izmir

What top attractions are a must-see in Izmir?

Planning Your Visit

  • When should you visit?

    Blessed with a Mediterranean climate, Izmir is hot and dry in the summer and mild in the winter. Its tourist attractions are open year-round, so the perfect time to visit is completely up to you.

  • Where should you stay in Izmir?

    Whatever your budget, there are plenty of sleek, modern hotels and cozy traditional guesthouses in Izmir. For a combination of the two, The Key Hotel comes highly recommended. This reimagined 1950s bank boasts high-tech rooms with stunning sea views. Or, for a touch of luxury, check into the Swissôtel Büyük Efes in the city's center with wonderful spa facilities.

Good to know

  • Language
    Turkish
  • Currency
    Turkish Lira (₺)
  • Time Zone
    UTC (+02:00)
  • Country Code
    +90
  • Best time to visit
    To enjoy some great sightseeing weather with fewer tourists, plan your visit for spring or fall.

Other Sightseeing Options in Izmir

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What people are saying about Izmir

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 169 reviews

Great day in Pamukkale The guide was really nice with good explanations I also enjoyed the free time inside Hieropolis and the bath in Cleopatra pool Note that from Izmir it takes 4 hours and not 3. Lunch was good and pick-up time at the hotel perfectly Many thanks for this great experience!

In a sunny but cold and windy day, our small group really enjoyed the entire activity. It was well organized and as per schedule. Our tour guide, Guray was amazing. He was knowlegable, and dedicated with lot of information about the historical site and entire region

Fatima was an excellent guide and very knowledgeable about Ephesus and its history. It was an unforgettable day and we will always remember it. We definitely recommend Fatima and her company. You won't regret it.

Everything went great with the private taxi from Izmir airport to the hotel. Customer service was also super helpful and did everything to our satisfaction. I can only recommend.

Excellent trip and well worth the effort. Could have spent more time at Ephesus but did not realise it was a walkthrough. Ismail was a great guide.