Things to do in Izmir

Our most recommended things to do in Izmir

From Izmir: Full-Day Ephesus Tour

1. From Izmir: Full-Day Ephesus Tour

Start with a pickup from your hotel in Izmir. Then, the discovery of Ephesus begins with the House of the Virgin Mary and a 10-minute drive to the ancient city of Ephesus. Explore the city by walking on the marble streets, accompanied by a guide.  See the Odeon, State Agora, the Pretension, the Memmius Monument, the Domitian Temple, Hercules Gate, Curetes Street, Hadrian Temple, and the Latrines. Choose to take an optional visit to the terrace houses for an additional cost.  After the terrace houses, carry on with your exploration with the Celsus Library, Marble Road, Commercial Agora, Great Theater, and Arcadian (harbor road). Enjoy a nice lunch served in a quaint local restaurant. Visit the Temple of Artemisa and take pictures of the church of St. John and the Mosque of İsa Bey. Enjoy free time in the old village of Sirince to discover the traditional houses, the fruit-flavored wine production, and enjoy some wine tasting.  End the day with a transfer back to Izmir airport or to your hotel in Izmir.

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

2. 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.

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.

From Izmir: Pamukkale Day Trip with Lunch

5. From Izmir: Pamukkale Day Trip with Lunch

Depart from your hotel in Izmir in the morning and meet your guide. Travel to Pamukkale to see its dazzling sights and learn about its history and culture. The travertines are formed by a multifaceted chemical reaction and subsequent precipitation of various causes and environments. Water springs from ground with high level of Calcium Hydrocarbonate at a temperature of 35.6 degrees C; and this causes carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide to evaporate and leave calcium carbonate to precipitate and form the travertine. Hierapolis has been a settlement of different cults and cultures throughout history; and the city is believed to be founded by Eumenies II, the Attalid king of Pergamon at the end of 2nd Century BC; and to have been named after Hiera, the beautiful wife of Telephos, the legendary founder of Pergamon. We will explore Necropolis, Domitian Gate, Frontinus Street, Agora, North Byzantine Gate, Gymnasium, Fountain with Triton, Apollon Temple, Martyrium of St. Philip and bridge, Column Church, ruins of Plutonium, Latrina and Roman Baths. Get transferred back to your hotel in Izmir at the end of the day.

From Kusadasi or Izmir: Ephesus Private Tour

6. From Kusadasi or Izmir: Ephesus Private Tour

Explore the stunning ruins of Ephesus on this full-day sightseeing tour from Izmir or Kusadasi, also available as a half-day option from Kusadasi for those short of time. As it is a private tour you can start at any time you like. You will also visit the small House of the Virgin Mary, where it is thought she spent her final days after St. John brought her to Ephesus following the death of Jesus. Located on Mount Bulbuldagi (Koressos), it’s a popular pilgrim site for Christians and Muslims and boasts a captivating, spiritual atmosphere. Once inside the grounds of Ephesus, wander among the ruins with your guide to see sites such as the Odeon Theatre, which could seat up to 1,400 spectators in its day. Admire the beautiful Roman statues and decorations carved into marble slabs at the Pollio Fountain. Other highlights include the Celcius Library, completed by the Romans in 117AD. The building has the most awe-inspiring façade, with columns, statues, and intact windows. Finally, explore the Greek Temple of Artemis, one of the 7 Wonders of the Ancient World, and go to the Basilica of St John (Kusadasi departures only), constructed by Justinian I over the burial site of the Apostle John.

Turkey (Türkiye): eSim Mobile Data Roaming Plan

7. Turkey (Türkiye): eSim Mobile Data Roaming Plan

Make your trip hassle-free with your convenient eSIM. Stay connected on your travels with high-speed coverage in Turkey and the other 39 most visited regions in Europe. Purchase and install your eSIM anytime and anywhere, and choose from a variety of data packages, validity options, and coverage in additional countries. Simply scan the eSIM QR code to access all your essential apps on your trip. Avoid the trouble of managing multiple SIMs with this zero-waste solution. Get one eSIM per device and top up by simply buying and activating additional eSIM plans as you go. Once activated, your coverage will begin according to your selected duration. Benefit from coverage in Austria, Andorra, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, French Guiana, Germany, Greece, Gibraltar, Guadeloupe, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, La Reunion, Lithuania, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Also covered is Malta, Martinique, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Saint Barthélemy, Saint Martin, Saint Pierre and Miquelon, Turkey, the United Kingdom, and Northern Ireland. All iPhone model launched beyond iPhone XS can support eSIM. For Android, if you are unsure, please check with the guideline photo for eligibility. If you can not connect to the internet after install this eSIM, please follow the Self Help Troubleshooting Guide in your GYG voucher. APN (Access Point Name): mobiledata Local operator info: Turkey: Vodafone-Telsim The rest of the countries is available in the voucher info on your GYG App after purchase

From Izmir: Pamukkale Full-Day Tour

8. 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.

Izmir City Tour with a Private Guide & Van

9. Izmir City Tour with a Private Guide & Van

In this Izmir Sightseeing Tour, make your first stop at Kordonboyu, with its transformed coastline, after a short walk from Izmir port. Izmir’s famous Kordon has been the theme of many poems and lyrics and is known for being full of life and culture. There, admire the blue bay, green coast, sunset, and the ships hurriedly coming and going from the bustling port. Enjoy a walk along the strip, where you'll find various restaurants, bars, and cafes. Take the time to taste the city together with residents in Republic Square. There, enjoy a break and take some photos of the statue of the founder of the Turkish Republic, Ataturk, in the center of the square. Next, continue to walk on Kordonboyu until you soon reach Konak Square. See the symbol of Izmir in the center of Konak Square as well as the Clock Tower and its close friends, the pigeons. Close by, in twisting lanes and narrow courts, are the shops of Izmir’s Bazaar. Here, you'll find a huge range of goods - everything from flowers to antiques is on offer at a bargain price. After a lunch break, board the ferry for the approximately 40-minute journey to Karsiyaka, one of the finest sites in Izmir. Enjoy a beautiful bazaar, great malls, and lots of shopping possibilities. Then, take a ferry to Alsancak.

From Istanbul: 7-Night Tour of Turkey with Flights & Hotel

10. From Istanbul: 7-Night Tour of Turkey with Flights & Hotel

DAY 1: Arrival in Istanbul Arrive at Istanbul Airport ( IST ) or SAW airport where the tour representative will meet you with your name sign and private transfer to the hotel for your overnight stay in Istanbul. DAY 2: Full Day Istanbul Tour ( Breakfast ) 9:00 AM After breakfast, enjoy a walking tour of Istanbul. Visit the Topkapi Palace, Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque and Hippodrome, where chariot races and the Byzantine riots took place.Visit the Grand Bazaar for shopping and spend the night in Istanbul. Day 3: Istanbul – Izmir – Ephesus Tour – Kusadasi ( Breakfast – Dinner ) 6:15 AM Pick up from hotel and transfer to Istanbul IST airport for Izmir flight departing at 9:00 AM by Pegasus airlines PC 3301 Arrive in Izmir Airport and met by you tour guide with your name sign. Next, drive to Ephesus for 45-minutes. First visit the Artemis Temple, before continuing to Ephesus, one of the 12 cities of Ionia. After Ephesus, lunch will be served in the garden of a local handicrafts center. Make a visit to the House of the Virgin Mary. Transfer to the hotel for overnight in Kusadasi. DAY 4: Kusadasi – Pamukkale Tour ( 3,5 hours drive ) ( Breakfast – Dinner ) Drive to Pamukkale, Discovery of Travertine terraces and Hierapolis. Visit The travertine terraces at Pamukkale. Overnight Pamukkale. DAY 5: Pamukkale – Cappadocia Cave Hotel ( 8 hours drive ) ( Breakfast ) Drive to Cappadocia. Visit the Mausoleum of Mevlana, the world-wide famous mystic, and Sultanhani Caravanseria, a roadside inn where travellers could rest and recover from the day’s journey. Overnight in Cappadocia in a cave hotel. DAY 6: Cappadocia Tour Cave Hotel ( Breakfast ) Optional: Hot air ballooning with sunrise, once in a lifetime experience First meeting with Cappadocia, visiting Three Sisters Fairy Chimneys in Urgup. Then we descend into the center of the earth in the Kaymakli Underground City one of the largest and the deepest of 200 others in Cappadocia. Visit the famous Goreme Open Air Museum Continue to Uchisar Rock-Castle to have a panoramic view of the valleys of Cappadocia. Spend the night in a Cappadocia accommodation Cave Hotel that is unforgettable. Day 7: Full Day Cappadocia Tour – Istanbul (Breakfast) In the morning, breathe in your first meeting with the lunar landscape of Cappadocia, with rock formations beyond belief in Devrent valley. Lunch in Avanos, center of terra cotta work of art since 3000 BC, and a demonstration in a traditional pottery workshop. Afternoon: Transfer to the airport for your domestic flight from Kayseri to Istanbul . transfer to Hotel. Overnight Istanbul. DAY 8: Home ( Breakfast ) After breakfast, check out from the hotel and enjoy a private transfer to the airport.

Frequently asked questions about Izmir

What top attractions are a must-see in Izmir?

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What are the best day trips and excursions from Izmir?

The best day trips and excursions from Izmir are:

Ephesus

Other Sightseeing Options in Izmir

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What people are saying about Izmir

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 460 reviews

Ali was very knowledgeable, thorough and organized as well as flexible. I particularly appreciate the thoughtful way information and history was presented which helped with unraveling the unique history of the area. I did end up with the tour from Izmir which costs more but I still will recommend him and this tour to anyone who contemplates a visit!

Hotel pick up on time, we’ll organised transport transfers, great guide, small group, excellent places visited including many more that just Ephesus. 10/10.

Long day ex Izmir but good hotel pick up and transfers. Great visit to main attractions but also many other interesting places to visit.

serine village is overrated. guide was excellent. The car is superb.

Really lovely tour guide and a really great trip! Thank you!