General Information About İzmir
Izmir is the third biggest city in Turkey, with a population of around 2.5 million, the second biggest port after Istanbul, and a good transport hub.
Once the ancient city of Smyrna, it is now a modern, developed, and busy commercial centre, set around a huge bay and surrounded by mountains and was. 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 long attractive palm-fringed promenade, Birince Kordon, which stretches the entire length of the city up to the Alsancak Ferry Terminal, is a popular spot for evening walks, and there are many cafes along the waterfront.
Izmir has a good selection of culture and entertainment, from the Archaeological and Ethnographic Museums to the Izmir State Opera and Ballet and Izmir State Symphony Orchestra, to the many bars and clubs. The cosmopolitan and lively city gets even busier during the International Izmir Festival (mid-June to mid-July) with music and dance, with performances also in nearby Cesme and Ephesus.
For most city buses, you must buy your ticket in advance at a special ticket kiosk. Kiosks are found at major bus terminals and transfer points and sometimes attached to shops near bus stops. The fare is normally around ₺2.
Private buses sometimes operate on the same routes as municipal buses; they are usually older, and accept either cash or tickets.
Dolmuses & Minibuses
As well as providing transport within cities and towns, dolmuses (minibuses) run between places; you'll usually use them to travel between small towns and villages. Some dolmuses depart at set times, but they often wait until every seat is taken before leaving. To let the driver know that you want to hop out, say 'inecek var' (someone wants to get out).
Minibuses generally operate on routes that are too long for dolmuses, but not popular enough for full-size buses. They usually have narrow seats with rigid upright backs, which can be uncomfortable on long stretches.
Several cities have underground metros, including Izmir. These are usually quick and simple to use, although you may have to go through the ticket barriers to find a route map. Most metros require you to buy a jeton (transport token; around ₺2) and insert it into the ticket barrier.
As everywhere around the world you can use a taxi in Izmir, but is a resort town, so keep in mind that the cost of a taxi is quite expensive (like in other resort towns of Turkey). In most cases 2 times more expensive than say in Istanbul. All taxis in Turkey are equipped with taximeters but after midnight we recommend to ask driver the cost before the trip as the cost may be higher in comparison to daytime.
Maybe the nicest way to travel around Izmir is by ferry. Public ferries are easy, fast inside the coast and gives a nice shot of Izmir. There are services provided from 8 stations. Preferable to every other transportation in nice weather.
Nature and beaches
Izmir, in the southern Aegean region of Turkey, the sunshine city, with 629 km coastline along the Aegean, the sun shines in the perfect brightness and the wind blows in the ideal knot while the sand is in its most comfortable warmth in Izmir and its resort towns. Izmir boasts the deep blue sea with beaches displaying the safety symbol of the blue flag.
The city of Izmir itself does not possess any beaches, however, a short journey to the North, East or South of the city will take you to either hustling tourist resorts or quiet secluded peaceful beaches the choice is yours.
There are lots of beach resort around Izmir. Cesme, Foca, Dikili, Karaburun, Menderes, Selcuk and Seferihisar are some of them. These resort towns are well connected with Izmir, also have some of the most popular blue flagged beaches in the province.
The wide of flora and fauna of Izmir you can see in Izmir Wild Life Park (İzmir Doğal Yaşam Parkı). It established by İzmir Metropolitan Municipality lies on 425,000 sq.mt land in Çiğli Salalı and was opened in November 2008.
65,000 trees were planted in the Wild Life Park and there are observation towers and paths for visitors enabling them to watch the animals in their natural environment. A pond of 8,450 sq.mt. at the entrance of the park provides a nesting place for many kinds of waterfowl such as flamingos, swans, and ducks. Vast netted aerial spaces have been created to allow the wild birds fly easily. The park also hosts a large closed area for tropical animals with air conditioning and special flora. If you are bothered by heat and humidity we suggest you do not visit this section. There are 1,500 free-roaming animals representing 120 species including elephants, reptiles, predators and monkeys.
Grounds with stables and coops, plus a manage where children can ride horses, are also among the facilities of the park. The animals are not kept in cages; instead they roam around in their natural environment separated from the visitors with barriers such as water and ditches.
Municipality buses numbered 777 take nature lovers from Karşıyaka- Bostanlı Pier to the Park; car parking lot at the entrance is free of charge.
Izmir is characterized by long, hot summers and mild, rainy winters. The total precipitation for Izmir averages 706 mm (27.8 inches) per year; however, 77% of that falls during November through March.
The average maximum temperatures during the winter months vary between 12 and 14 °C. in mostly winters are windy and rainy, however, snowfall is some sort of curiousness in these latitudes, which happens once or at most twice a decade, if at all.
The summer months — June through September — bring average daytime temperatures of 30 °C or higher.