At the beginning of August 2019, my husband and I were married in the beautiful coastal city of Izmir, Turkey. It was a joyful celebration that represented both our American and Turkish traditions. We currently live in Izmir and we had guests coming from all around the world. Therefore we decided to make a list of things to do, where to eat and things to know. I want to share that list with you and encourage you to get to Izmir as soon as you can!
What to Do While Visiting
Izmir is known for its Aegean culture, wonderful food and coastal views. Known in ancient times as Smyrna, Izmir and the surrounding villages are full of history and beauty. From rolling olive orchards, to delicious Turkish wine, this region is the gem of Turkey.
Moresi Alsancak - Classic Turkish Breakfast
Alsancak Dostlar Firini - Classic Pastry Breakfast
Leone Patisserie & Boulangerie - Delicious French and Turkish Pastries
Must-Visit City Coffee Shops
Doyuran Manisa Kebap Salonu Kemeraltı
Walk along the Kordon to discover a Classic Fish restaurant
Less Ordinary Coffee + Cocktails + Food
Yaya Raw - Alsancak
Asansör - for a great view of Izmir
A ferry ride to Bostanlı - to get on the water
Walk the seafront Kordon - to explore the coastal promenade
Kemeraltı Market - to buy souvenirs
Ephesus Ruins - for the History buffs
Sirince Village - for a cute Turkish village experience
Kusadası - for a beach town
Culture & Language
Here are a couple tips that will make your time in Izmir even more enjoyable.
Get your tourist visa here - it's simple to apply and be sure to print it out before travelling!
Learning just a few words might help: Numbers, Greetings, etc.
The currency here is called the Turkish Lira.
Carry cash with you. Credit cards are useful but many smaller towns, as well as simple establishments in big cities, will require you to pay by cash.
Don’t drink the tap water. However, it is okay to use it to cook food, make tea and brush your teeth.
Greetings are done by kissing both the cheeks, sometimes with handshakes or hugs.
Public display of affection (for couples) and speaking loudly is generally frowned upon.
Tea is a sign of hospitality and friendship. Some may get offended if you refuse the drink.
Squatty toilets are common - they are hygienic and exist alongside modern-day toilets in many areas.
Pack kleenex in your purse just in case the restroom doesn't have toilet paper.
Street cats and dogs are part of the scenery, most are vaccinated.
Izmir Airport Code: Izmir Adnan Menderes Airport ADB
App to Navigate Izmir public transportation: Trafi
It is easy to rent a car but challenging to navigate Turkish driving patterns
Google Maps does work in Turkey
Taxis are cheap, safe and convenient
To learn more about city transportation, check out the city website.