Turkey’s liveliest port city has a reputation for liberal attitudes and a cosmopolitan nightlife. Here everyone’s invited to the party.
The ancient Greek author Homer is said to have been born in Izmir, originally Smyrna, in the seventh or eighth century BC.
Once known as the Greek city of Smyrna, Izmir lives by its waterfront. Take a stroll by the seaside and enjoy the splendid maritime atmosphere. Move on to the city’s civic centre, where Izmir’s rich heritage is evident. Families stream out of ornate synagogues, past halal butchers and stalls selling statues of the Virgin Mary. Even the food retains its Jewish and Levantine flavours. At night the action moves to the bustling seafront. Here locals sit under the stars, drinking raki or smoking apple-flavoured shisha.