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Located on the Aegean Coast, Izmir was initially founded by the Greeks and called Smyrna. The Romans conquered the city, and Alexander the Great had it rebuilt and added the Kadifekale, or Velvet Castle, which overlooks the city. During the 15th century, Smyrna became a part of the Ottoman Empire. Parts of the original city have been unearthed and are part of the open-air museum, Agora of Smyrna. Smyrna was renamed Izmir in the 1930s when the Turkish government decided the city needed to officially be called the Turkish name Izmir. Today, Izmir is the third most populated city in Turkey, with over four million people.
While Izmir is probably not your number one choice for a vacation, many people who have visited the city for business have come back for a weekend jaunt or week-long relaxing vacation. Izmir is one of the most Western-friendly cities in Turkey with several restaurants and shopping malls with Western influence. There are several things you can see and do, especially if you enjoy learning about Roman and Greek history. Remember to let Bounce keep your bags safe while you are out and about, discovering all Izmir has to offer from ancient ruins to modern shopping centers and flavorful cuisine.
Bounce offers short-term storage solutions for visitors and locals in major cities around the world. Izmir can become crowded, making it difficult to easily move through the streets going from attraction to attraction, especially if you are lugging your baggage or large backpacks with you. By bringing your luggage or other large bags with you, you could become a target of a pickpocket and ruin your vacation. Instead, search for Bounce locations throughout the city where you can drop your things for the day while you are sightseeing.
Top Things to Do
Izmir may not be a tourist hot spot, but there are still many places to see and things to do while visiting. Aside from ancient architecture and fantastic history museums, Izmir boasts great shopping districts and tasty eateries throughout the city. Spend a weekend discovering all Izmir has to offer, and you will be amazed and maybe find your new vacation spot. Bounce has come up with a list of places to see and things to do while in the city to get you started on your Izmir adventure.
Izmir may not be the hottest tourist city in the Middle East, and you may not even be certain where it is on the map, but Izmir is brimming with history and is a great place to head for a weekend adventure or a week-long vacation.
Agora: This open-air museum allows you to wander through the ruins of the ancient city Smyrna, which was destroyed in 178 BC from an earthquake. The city is believed to date back to the 4th century BC. Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius had the area rebuilt following the quake. During your tour, you will be able to see water channels still in operation today that were built by the Romans. Be amazed by the ancient buildings designed and built by the Romans, including an old basilica.
Sultan Ahmed Mosque: Also known as the Blue Mosque, it is home to Ahmed’s tomb. The mosque was built between 1609 and 1616, while Sultan Ahmed was ruler. When he died, his tomb was constructed in the Kulliye. Called the Blue Mosque because it has a blue hue to the outside, it is truly a marvel to see. Step inside and enjoy breathtaking panoramic views of Izmir.
Ataturk Museum: This museum is dedicated to Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the founder of the Republic of Turkey. Ataturk is credited with giving women the right to vote as well as tossing out the Arabic alphabet and replacing it with the Latin alphabet. While the museum is not large, it is fascinating to learn about this important leader.
Maybe not known for its fantastic shopping experiences, Izmir does have some interesting shopping destinations throughout the city. Be sure to check out the traditional Middle Eastern outdoor markets, similar to bazaars.
Kizlaragasi Hani: Meander through this covered market in the Bazaar district in Izmir. The building where the market is held was built in 1744 and is an architectural marvel. While at the market, you will find a little bit of everything all under one roof. Shop for the perfect souvenirs and fantastic artisan handicrafts.
Izmir Agora Mall: Spend an afternoon in this modern shopping mall browsing through stores and searching for excellent bargains. Name brand items can be found in the more prominent retail spaces inside the mall. Grab a bite from the food court when you need to take a break from shopping.
Forum Bornova: Head to this open-air mall to browse local and global shops searching for top-notch bargains for souvenirs and unique gifts. Forum Bornova has a bit of everything ranging from cheap kitschy items to high-end gadgets and clothing. Check out the food court or sit down to a delicious, relaxing meal at one of the restaurants located inside the mall.
Turkish cuisine may not be at the top of your must-try list, but the flavor combinations used in this Middle Eastern cuisine are genuinely enjoyable and must be experienced while visiting Izmir. After trying the local fare, check out some international restaurants, if you are not enjoying the local food.
Local Cuisine: Looking to give good old fashioned Turkish cuisine a try? Look no further than Adil Muftuoglu, a great restaurant with a charming atmosphere. This menu-less restaurant offers a variety of dishes that you can pick from by pointing to which one you would like. Many of the wait staff speak English and are willing to explain the dishes to you.
Seafood: Izmir is home to several tasty seafood restaurants, such as Deniz Restaurant, located in downtown Izmir. Order an appetizer like the calamari, garlic shrimp, or aubergine, while you wait for your entrée to come. Order the sea bass or grilled sea bream for a bountiful seafood meal. This is a popular hangout for many locals, giving it a fun, vibrant vibe.
Steakhouse: Sometimes you just crave red meat, even when you are halfway around the world. Izmir is home to some pretty interesting steakhouses where you can enjoy a delicious steak, falling off the bone ribs, and even a magnificent burger. Head over to Mengoli, home of the best burgers and steak fries in Izmir. The menu is only in Turkish, but the wait staff will explain the dishes to you. Give the spicy avocado burger a try, and be sure to finish your meal with a refreshing espresso.
How much does luggage storage cost in Izmir?
The price for luggage storage in Izmir is just $5.90/bag for the entire day.
Is it safe to store your bags in Izmir?
Yes. Every bag is tagged with a security seal and comes with the $5,000 Bounce Guarantee. Every location is required to uphold tight security precautions. You may be asked to show ID and you will be required to use a credit card to book through Bounce in advance. With hundreds of thousands of bags stored, you can count on Bounce to handle your baggage in Izmir.
Are there storage lockers in Izmir?
Yes. There are storage lockers and many other luggage drop off points in Izmir. Bounce has multiple locations throughout Izmir where you can conveniently store your luggage with full security and the $5,000 Bounce Gurantee.
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