When to fly
Izmir experiences a Mediterranean climate with long, hot and dry summers and mild to cool, rainy winters.
Weather-wise, the best time of year to travel to Izmir is between the months of April and October. From June to August temperatures rise to around 30 degrees Celsius, this coincides with an increase in prices for flights and accommodation. If you can travel outside of these peak times, in the shoulder seasons, you may be able to find a great combination of value for money and excellent holiday weather.
Between November and March you can expect the weather to become a lot cooler. Temperatures can drop to the single digits, although there are likely to be occasional sunny days. The compensation for this is that prices will be at their lowest and the summer crowds will be entirely absent.
As one of Turkey’s leading cities, Izmir hosts a number of events, fairs and festivals throughout the year. Booking flights around one of these can make for a great holiday. The annual International Izmir Festival brings together art and culture, by showcasing world-class performers, such as soloists, orchestras, dance companies and rock groups. The festival takes place in various venues across the city from mid-June to mid-July. Another cultural event is the Izmir European Jazz Festival which takes place in March and offers a programme of jazz performances from renowned artists and groups from Turkey and the whole of Europe.
Nestled between a dramatic mountain backdrop and the clear waters of the Aegean Sea, the city of Izmir has plenty to offer its visitors. Whether you're walking about the waterfront promenade known as the Kordon and enjoying a picturesque sunset, relaxing in the cosy bars and restaurants of the Alsancak region or bartering for bargains at the bazaar, this is a city that offers a feast for all the senses. Food lovers will delight in the many culinary wonders, some of which are almost exclusive to this part of Turkey. This is especially true of the Kumru sandwich, available either with Turkish sausage or green pepper for vegetarian option, served warm with cheese and tomatoes. The coastal location also makes Izmir an excellent place to sample fresh seafood. Though the city has existed for more than 5,000 years, much of it was destroyed in a fire in the early 1920s. Though many of the main historical delights are no longer in existence, there is still much to be enjoyed, from glorious old churches to the Agora Roman bazaar. If you're keen to experience more ancient history, Izmir is a fantastic base from which to explore further afield with day-trips available to locations such as Ephesus and Pergamum.
Getting around Izmir
The Izmir Metro is clean, efficient and great value for money, it is an ideal travel solution if your destination lies near a station. Taxis are easy to find and prices are reasonable, but always make sure the driver has reset the meter at the start of your journey. Buses are another possibility but the system is not particularly intuitive and some visitors have a tough time working out where each bus is going. Tickets can, however, be purchased directly from the driver.
Adnan Menderes Airport (ADB) caters for direct flights to Europe as well as many domestic destinations. The airport is located around 10 miles (16 km) from Izmir. Fleets of airport shuttles which offer low-cost travel to the city centre and beyond arrive in time to meet each flight arrival. Some travellers may wish to take the surburban train into the city centre. Public buses also make the journey to the city centre and cost less than the shuttles, though they generally take a little longer. Tickets for buses are sold at manned booths.