Cheap flights to Izmir depart from Stansted, Gatwick and Luton airports near London, as well as from Manchester Airport. Some flights to Izmir may be available from regional airports around the UK. Citizens of the UK will require a visa to enter Turkey. Tourist visas can be purchased on arrival at the airport. Check with the Turkish Consulate in London for more information. Flights to Izmir will arrive at Izmir Adnan Menderes Airport. Havas Bus operates regular services from the airport to Izmir city centre. Trains to Basmane Terminal in Izmir city centre are available from the Airport Station, located beside the International Terminal. Taxis can be hired outside the terminal building. It is best to haggle for a cheaper fare before getting into the taxi.
Izmir’s city centre is compact and can be easily explored on foot. The city also has a fairly efficient public transport system. Taxis can be flagged down in the street or hired from one of the many taxi ranks around the city. The Metro system has a limited number of stops, but is clean and fast. A local train system, known as the Izban, serves Izmir and the surrounding area. It connects with the Metro at Halkapinar station. There is an extensive network of city buses, mostly recognised by their red and white paintwork. Ferries are a pleasant way to travel around Izmir, especially in calm weather. They depart from most piers, including major ones such as Konak, Pasaport and Alsancak. Kent Karts are similar to the Oyster cards used on the London Underground – they can be topped up with more credit when required, and can be used on buses, ferries, Izban trains and the Metro.
Visitors to Izmir will discover a modern metropolis brimming with history. Discover its past with a trip to the Archaeology Museum, filled with thousands of artefacts from the city’s past. The Ethnography Museum nearby features colourful displays of local arts and crafts. Explore the ancient Roman ruins of Agora, built during the time of Alexander the Great. Konak Square, the city’s central square, is dominated by the marble Izmir Clock Tower. The square is a short walk away from the iconic Asansor, a historic lift built to ease the citizens’ transit around the steep cliff separating the city.
The Kemeralti Bazaar offers a glimpse into more traditional way of life. The market is filled with shops offering spices, textiles, flowers and even birds. Relax with a refreshing cup of Turkish tea at the Kizlaragasi Han, an ancient caravanserai in the heart of the bazaar. The restaurant at the top of the Asansor provides wonderful views over Izmir, and a menu full of tasty Turkish dishes. Enjoy an after-dinner drink in one of the many watering holes lining the Kordon.