This Aegean city is young, hip and happening. With its youthful population and growing economy, Izmir’s reputation as a centre for commerce and tourism is growing. Turkey’s third largest city was once known as Smyrna, an ancient and powerful city.
Packed full of mosques, traditional restaurants, fascinating museums, bazaars and historical sites, exploring Izmir will leave you reeling. This incredible city is pumping millions into its infrastructure and tourist industry, ensuring Izmir will, in the not too distant future, be one of Turkey’s tourism giants.
Izmir lies on Turkey’s west. Its urban area extends along the Gulf of Izmir and inland and north across the delta of the Gediz River. To the east, Izmir extends along a large plain, and to Izmir’s south it stretches over some hilly terrain. The city is made up of eleven metropolitan districts. Most of these were once distinct villages but have now been amalgamated into the city. Each district has its own distinct flavour and attractions.
Izmir’s population is three million, and is made up of a number of groups. Most of the city population is Muslim, but secularism is also very strong in this part of Turkey. Izmir also has the largest Jewish population outside of Istanbul, a community of around 2500 people, mostly concentrated in the traditional quarter of Karatas. Izmir’s Levantine population, who are of Genoese, French and Venetian descent, live in the Bornova and Buca districts. The city has a decidedly young population, reflected in its many universities and learning institutions.
Izmir enjoys a typically Mediterranean climate, with long, hot and dry summers and mild, rainy winters. Izmir averages around 69 centimetres of rain each year, with most of the rainfall occurring between November and March, and very little rain falling between June and August. During winter months temperatures range from 10-16 degrees celsius. Snow has been known to fall in the December to February period, although it’s very rare. Temperatures during the summer can soar to as high as 40 degrees celsius, although the average maximum ranges between 30 to 35 degrees.
QUALITY OF LIFE
This prosperous growing city offers every modern amenity you could wish for – as well as a good dose of culture and history. Izmir has some of the best hospitals in Turkey. It has top schools, quality, affordable housing, shopping malls, health centres, sports facilities, cinemas and theatres. Izmir compares favourably to any modern city in the world.
Prices are still generally low in Izmir but this is set to change as the city and its economy grow. There are plenty of ways to live cheaply here by buying local ingredients at the many city markets or eating at local restaurants.
A chief advantage of living in Izmir is that you get the full benefits of city living but you’re just a short drive from some of the Aegean’s very best beaches.