You'll be docked at Alcansak, a rather industrial-looking pier area. It is less than 5 minute walk to Alcansak, an upscale neighborhood with plenty of stores, cafe's and restaurants.
To downtown: You can easily walk when you are out of the pier area, turn to the right follow the water front and ask for Konak which is the center of the town. A 25 min. pleasant walk along the boulevard.
There is a Passenger terminal in service with its own cafes and stores, including a decent prized duty-free Shop, passenger reception facilities and city brochures are provided by Izmir Chamber of Shipping.
Plenty of taxis are available: Rides to Konak Square (the main entry spot into the bazaar), should cost you about 12 - 15 Turkish Lira each way.
Printable map to take along.Hotels near the Cruise Terminal
Watch a destination video.
Izmir, historically Smyrna, is the third most populous city of Turkey and the country's largest port after Istanbul. It is located in the Gulf of Izmir, by the Aegean Sea.
Called Punto in old times, Alsancak has been one of the most important residential areas of the city. It is the burning heart of the city. Alsancak has been described in great detail in the works of many travelers and writers of international fame. Victor Hugo, in his poem "Le Captive", published in his book "Les Orientales" (1829), illustrates Izmir whose fame has reached to the Western World, as a princess.
Explore the third largest city in Turkey, known in Turkish as "Beautiful Izmir", the city lies at the head of a long and narrow gulf furrowed by ships and yachts. Behind the palm lined promenades and avenues, which follow the shoreline the city in horizontal terraces, gently ascends the slopes of surrounding mountains.
- Konak Square, clock tower, fountain and palm trees, the Bazaar...Truly the lively center of Izmir
- Alsancak, small streets with a lot of nice bars in old Greek houses, where you can have tea or a beer and try several water pipe flavors
- Kadifekale, old castle on the hill
- Agora, remains of the Roman Empire
- Visit one of the many museums around Izmir like the Archaeological Museum
- Walk around the very lively Alsancak and have a drink on the Kordon. It has great views over the bay
- Go shopping at Kemeralti: A big bazaar, where you can buy clothes & gifts and stop to sip a Turkish tea (inner part mostly closed on Sundays)
- Kizlaragasi Hani: An old kervansaray where you can shop for carpets and jewelry
- Visit one of the many Thermal Spa's located in Izmir
- Go shopping at one of the many Shopping Centers
- Take a trip on the ferry to other parts of Izmir, a cheap but great way to see the city.
- Visit the beautiful sea side resort town of Cesme, less than one hour's drive from Izmir
The city if Izmir runs an open hop on/off sightseeing bus, every half an hour showing the major highlights. 10 Euro for a 24 hour ticket. This bus is completely open, so take an umbrella in case of rain or head cover in the heat of summer. The bus leaves right in front of the cruise terminal.
In town, a taxi is cheap, and the fares are regulated. They are easy to find. For long journeys, however, drivers can charge more than the meter reads. So negotiate the fare in advance. The most unusual transportation in Turkey is called Dolmus for routes that buses don't take. The word actually means "To Fill"; thus, the dolumus leaves when it is full! They are usually a minibus, a jeep, or a van so they fill quickly. A bonus is that they will drop you off along the route.
It pays to compare your cruise line shore excursions here.
By shore excursion: Pergamon & Asclepion: depart from the pier for a visit to Pergamon, an intellectual center of Asia Minor in antique times and an ancient healing center – Asclepion.
Following a drive through the country side, stop at the ruins of great city of Pergamon – a center of learning and arts, which possessed one of the greatest libraries of antiquity. In Acropolis of Pergamon, above the modern town, are the remains of the celebrated library, a steep and impressive amphitheater, the temples of Trajan and Dyonisus, the monumental altar of Zeus, the sanctuary of Demeter, a gymnasium laid out on three terraces and the Agora.
Next, stop at Asclepion, located to the southwest of the lower city, which was a sanctuary dedicated to the god of health, Asclepios. The healing center, Asclepion, had been something very similar to a modern natural healing clinic. Patients were given exercises, drugs, herbal remedies, or could take the honey cure, drink the waters of the springs to be treated. Snakes were sacred to Asklepios because of their power. Among the famous physicians of the Asclepion was Galen.
Ephesus (Efes) is also on many tour agenda's. This archaeological site dating 1000 BC, with its perfect acoustical theater, temple and baths is about 75 minutes from Izmir.
The bazaar of Izmir (the inner part closed on Sundays) is very large and you easily might get lost. However the sightseeing bus has several pick up points around the bazaar. The many stores around the bazaar, which mostly sell the same wares are open on Sundays.
Traditional handicrafts such as carpets, copper goods, painted ceramics and jewelry are popular buys, along with a good selection of leather goods, sandals and beachwear are also in abundance.
In souvenir shops and stalls, it's always worth trying to do some serious haggling. For food shopping, local mini markets provide basic essentials, whilst the supermarkets found are similar to those we are used to at home.
Upscale shopping is close to the port in the Alsancak area. Open 7 days a week. The large Migros supermarket is right across the terminal.
Turkish food is amongst the best in the world. With enough climatic zones to grow most ingredients locally, there is a vast array of produce to excite and entice the palate. Besides its famous kebab dishes, there are many other traditional Turkish foods to choose from. Meze (appetizers) for which Turkey is justly famous, are a range of hundreds of small dishes from simple combinations such as cheese with melon to elaborately stuffed vegetables. These are served in all Turkish restaurants and are traditionally accompanied with Raki, a clear anise- flavored spirit claimed to be Turkey's national alcoholic drink
Turkey's currency is the Turkish Lira. Many shops and restaurants in the coastal resorts and big cities accept payment in foreign currency. But if you are planning to travel to other parts of the country, it is advisable to take some Turkish Lira. Public transport only accepts Lira. With a credit or debit card you can withdraw local currency from cash machines one of which is right outside the terminal.
Internet-cafés or net-cafés are available around the bazaar. All of them have good DSL connections and the price for connection is about more or less 1 YTL/hour.
Free wireless connections are available at some hotels and restaurants/cafés,
At 1470 SK there is an internet cafe (about 200 meters from the Izmir Cruise Terminal. Ask a local for directions.
Emergency Ambulance: 112 (all over Turkey) Police: 155 (all over Turkey)
Public Holidays in Turkey.
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