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Things to do in Izmir

Our most recommended things to do in Izmir

From Izmir: Full-Day Ephesus Tour

1. From Izmir: Full-Day Ephesus Tour

Start with a pickup from your hotel in Izmir. Then, the discovery of Ephesus begins with the House of the Virgin Mary and a 10-minute drive to the ancient city of Ephesus. Explore the city by walking on the marble streets, accompanied by a guide.  See the Odeon, State Agora, the Pretension, the Memmius Monument, the Domitian Temple, Hercules Gate, Curetes Street, Hadrian Temple, and the Latrines. Choose to take an optional visit to the terrace houses for an additional cost.  After the terrace houses, carry on with your exploration with the Celsus Library, Marble Road, Commercial Agora, Great Theater, and Arcadian (harbor road). Enjoy a nice lunch served in a quaint local restaurant. Visit the Temple of Artemisa and take pictures of the church of St. John and the Mosque of İsa Bey. Enjoy free time in the old village of Sirince to discover the traditional houses, the fruit-flavored wine production, and enjoy some wine tasting.  End the day with a transfer back to Izmir airport or to your hotel in Izmir.

From Selcuk/Kusadasi/Izmir: Pamukkale Full-Day Tour

2. From Selcuk/Kusadasi/Izmir: Pamukkale Full-Day Tour

Discover the stunning region of Pamukkale and its hot springs on a day trip from Selcuk, Kusadasi, or Izmir. Begin by meeting your driver/guide at the reception of your hotel in the morning and a transfer to Pamukkale. Explore the ancient city of Hierapolis, built on solid limestone layers formed by mineral-rich waters that flowed for millennia over a raised level plateau. See the most significant sites of the sacred city including the Theatre, the Temple of Apollo, and the Necropolis. Admire the Necropolis (Cemetery) of Hierapolis, one of the largest ancient burial sites in Anatolia. See a Roman bath, the Gate of Domitian, the main street of the ancient city, and the Byzantium Gate. Walk to the natural warm water terraces, formed by running warm water rich in calcium and temperatures of 35 Celsius all year-round. Get the chance to see the gleaming white travertine terraces of Pamukkale, located next to the ruins of Hierapolis.  Enjoy optional free time to swim in Cleopatra’s Pool before ending the tour with a transfer back to your hotel. And during the tour you'll have the chance to have a look at the Turkish traditional handcrafts.

Ephesus Entry Ticket with Mobile Phone Audio Tour

3. Ephesus Entry Ticket with Mobile Phone Audio Tour

Founded by the Greeks and conquered by the Romans, Ephesus was once a city of proverbial wealth. It was a bustling port which over time developed into an important center for Christianity. On this self-guided tour, benefit from skip-the-line entry then explore using your smartphone to travel back in time to the city’s former life. The tour is the perfect way to experience the site in a fun and insightful way, and gain valuable insight into one of the most popular places in Turkey. The first stop of the day is to the State Agora, which was once the political heart of the city boasting a lavish square. Continue on to Bouleuterion, and discover the meeting point of the city council which perhaps was also a space for artistic performances. As you stroll around the colonnades, stoas, and other buildings, listen to fascinating stories about what life was like here for locals. Arrive at the Temple of Domitian and find out the rather unusual architectural layout of the U-shaped altar. Next, wander down the Curetes which connected the political and commercial hearts of Ephesus. Uncover the legend of the emperor’s fountain, then explore the large complex of baths at the Scolastica including the lavish marble latrines. Head to the grave of the Egyptian princess Arsinoe, then marvel at the mesmerizing Celsus Library, which is probably the most famous landmark of Ephesus. From here the road leads you to the gate of Mazeus and Mithridates, and onto at the Grand Theatre where performances and gladiatorial games took place. Last but not least, walk through the crossroads of the Arcadiane and follow a small path that leads you to the spectacular ruins of the enormous Church of Mary.

From Izmir: Pamukkale Full-Day Tour

4. From Izmir: Pamukkale Full-Day Tour

We will depart from Izmir in the morning and two and a half hours later arrive at Pamukkale which means the cotton castle in Turkish. These white rock formations, known as travertines, are world famous and have been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The water of Pamukkale is famous for the benefits it gives to the eyes and skin. It is also said to cure illnesses such as asthma and rheumatism. It is possible to swim in certain areas, so be sure to bring your swimsuit. Many centuries ago the Romans, aware of the powers of Pamukkale’s water, decided to build a large spa city called Hierapolis nearby. We will visit Hierapolis after lunch, which will be provided. Hierapolis means Holy City in Turkish and despite not having been lived in for several centuries it remains a fascinating place to visit. Hierapolis has a well preserved 12,000 seat amphitheater and the massive Necropolis which is the largest ancient graveyard in Anatolia. You will also see the Temple of Apollo and the shrine of the nymphs at this beautiful ancient site. At the end of the day we will drive back to Izmir, where we can drop you off at your hotel or at the airport.

Full-Day Tour of Ancient Ruins in Ephesus from Izmir

5. Full-Day Tour of Ancient Ruins in Ephesus from Izmir

This full-day tour from Izmir, takes you to Ephesus in Selçuk to explore Turkey’s best preserved ruins from the ancient Greek, Roman, and Byzantine civilizations. Visit the most important ruins in Ephesus, including the Temple of Artemis, which was one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World before it was destroyed in 401 AD. You will also see the Library of Celsus, built to hold 12,000 scrolls and at its time one of the largest libraries in the world. The nearby Great Theater, which was the largest outdoor theater in the world, was designed to hold 24,000 people – even its ruins are huge. After discovering the impressive monuments, you will visit the Archaeological Museum of Ephesus. The museum houses many important statues and relics including a preserved segment of the original Temple of Artemis. After enjoying a lunch of traditional Turkish cuisine, you will travel to the House of the Virgin Mary on Bulbul Mountain, where archeologists and historians believe the mother of Jesus lived at the end of her life.

From Istanbul: 7-Night Tour of Turkey with Flights & Hotel

6. From Istanbul: 7-Night Tour of Turkey with Flights & Hotel

Fully immerse yourself in Turkish culture with a 7-night tour through Istanbul, Ephesus, Kusadasi, Pamukkale, and Cappadocia. Don’t worry about booking transfers, guides, breakfasts, hotels, or domestic flights as all of this will be taken care of for you.  Day 1: Arrival in IstanbulArrive at the Istanbul Airport (IST) or SAW Airport where the tour representative will meet you with a name sign and take you to the hotel for your overnight stay in Istanbul. Day 2: Full-Day Istanbul Tour with BreakfastAfter breakfast, enjoy a walking tour of Istanbul. Visit the Topkapi Palace, Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque, and Hippodrome, where chariot races and the Byzantine riots took place. Visit the Grand Bazaar and spend the night in Istanbul.  Day 3: Istanbul, Izmir & Kusadasi with MealsStart your day with a flight to Izmir and head to Ephesus. Visit the Artemis Temple before continuing to Ephesus, one of the twelve cities of Ionia. After Ephesus, lunch will be served in a local handicrafts center garden. Go to the House of the Virgin Mary before overnighting in Kusadasi. Day 4: Kusadasi with MealsDrive to Pamukkale to discover the Travertine terraces and the hot springs in Hierapolis. Visit the ancient city of Hierapolis at Pamukkale and stay overnight in Pamukkale. Day 5: Pamukkale to Cappadocia with Breakfast Drive to Cappadocia to visit the Mausoleum of Mevlana, a world-famous mystic, and Sultanhani Caravanseria, a roadside inn where travelers can rest and recover from the day’s journey. Stay overnight in Cappadocia in a cave hotel. Day 6: Cappadocia Tour Cave Hotel with BreakfastStart at the Three Sisters Fairy Chimneys in Urgup. Descend into the Kaymakli Underground City, one of the largest and deepest in Cappadocia. Visit the Goreme Open Air Museum and continue to the Uchisar Rock Castle for a panoramic view of Cappadocia. Spend the night in Cappadocia. Day 7: Full-Day Cappadocia Tour with BreakfastExperience the lunar landscape of Cappadocia in the Devrent Valley. Have lunch in Avanos, the center of terracotta art since 3000 BC, and enjoy a demonstration in a traditional pottery workshop. In the afternoon, fly from Kayseri to Istanbul and overnight in Istanbul. Day 8: Istanbul with BreakfastAfter breakfast, check out from the hotel and enjoy a private transfer to the airport.

From Izmir: Pamukkale Guided Tour with Lunch

7. From Izmir: Pamukkale Guided Tour with Lunch

Discover the natural wonders of Pamukkale on this guided tour with lunch. Marvel at formations of travertine and explore Hierapolis to learn the history of the ancient city. Get the chance to also visit jewelry, leather, carpet, or ceramic centers. Begin at the ancient city of Hierapolis, established in 200 B.C. and one of the most important settlements during the Hellenistic and Roman periods. Walk around the recently restored theater and the city’s majestic buildings and monuments. Later, see why Pamukkale means “cotton castle.” Step into a world of wonders as you witness spectacular formations of travertine and the natural hot spring pool. Learn more about the area and spend some relaxation time in the spring pool.

From Izmir: 7 Churches of Asia Minor 5 Days/4 Nights Tour

8. From Izmir: 7 Churches of Asia Minor 5 Days/4 Nights Tour

Set off a Bible-oriented multi-day trip to the 7 churches of Asia Minor, including Pergamum, Sardis, and Laodicea. Immerse yourself in the history of Christianity as you explore Greek and Roman ruins. Stay in 4-star hotels during your tour and enjoy breakfast, dinner, and transportation included. Day 1: Arrival in Izmir Enjoy the convenience of being picked up at Izmir airport and driven directly to your hotel. Relax for the evening with dinner at your hotel. Day 2: Izmir, Pergamon, Thyatira, Izmir After breakfast, drive to Pergamum, mentioned in the New Testament as one of the 7 Churches of Asia Minor. Visit the Acropolis of Pergamum, an amphitheater perched dramatically atop a steep hill. Stop at the Asklepion, a famous medical center during the classical era. See the Altar of Zeus, which John the Apostle referred to as the “Throne of Satan.” Walk among the marble columns of the Temple of Trajan. Continue to Thyatira, another of the Seven Churches of Asia. Known in ancient times for its purple dyes, Thyatira is also the city where St. Lydia once lived. As you make your way through the city, you’ll have the chance to see ruins from Roman times. Enjoy a panoramic ride through Smyrna, the third largest city in Turkey and one of the sites of the Seven Churches of Asia. Return to the hotel for dinner and some rest. Day 3: Izmir, Sardis, Philadelphia, Laodicea, Hierapolis Depart to Sardis, now known as Sart was portrayed in the Book of Revelations as a dying church. Visit the Temple of Artemis and the Temple of Cybele. Continue to Philadelphia, now known as Alasehir, another of the Churches of Asia and the only church not censured. Visit Laodicea the last of the seven churches. Drive to Hierapolis, a city known for its therapeutic springs. See the Pamukkale or 'Cotton Fortress', the travertines, and the terraces. Stay overnight in a Thermal Hotel in Pamukkale. Day 4: Pamukkale, Ephesus, Kusadasi Drive to Kusadasi and visit the ancient city of Ephesus. See the Basilica of St. John, which received an epistle from the apostle Paul who lived in Ephesus for 3 years. Tour the spectacular ruins where excavations still continue in this once great and important city founded over 2 millennia ago. Take a trip back in time as your walk along the marble streets lined with wonderful public buildings such as the Baths of Scholastica, the Library of Celsus, the Temple of Hadrian, and the Theatre. See the Temple of Artemis, one of the 7 wonders of the ancient world. Visit the House of the Virgin Mary, a house said to have been the Virgin Mary’s home in her final years. Afterward, enjoy dinner at your hotel in Kusadasi. Day 5: Kusadasi , Izmir Your tour comes to a close as you are picked up from your hotel in Kusadasi and then transferred to the Izmir airport.

From Izmir: Pamukkale Day Trip with Lunch

9. From Izmir: Pamukkale Day Trip with Lunch

Depart from your hotel in Izmir in the morning and meet your guide. Travel to Pamukkale to see its dazzling sights and learn about its history and culture. The travertines are formed by a multifaceted chemical reaction and subsequent precipitation of various causes and environments. Water springs from ground with high level of Calcium Hydrocarbonate at a temperature of 35.6 degrees C; and this causes carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide to evaporate and leave calcium carbonate to precipitate and form the travertine. Hierapolis has been a settlement of different cults and cultures throughout history; and the city is believed to be founded by Eumenies II, the Attalid king of Pergamon at the end of 2nd Century BC; and to have been named after Hiera, the beautiful wife of Telephos, the legendary founder of Pergamon. We will explore Necropolis, Domitian Gate, Frontinus Street, Agora, North Byzantine Gate, Gymnasium, Fountain with Triton, Apollon Temple, Martyrium of St. Philip and bridge, Column Church, ruins of Plutonium, Latrina and Roman Baths. Get transferred back to your hotel in Izmir at the end of the day.

Ephesus: Half-Day Tour from Kusadasi or İIzmir

10. Ephesus: Half-Day Tour from Kusadasi or İIzmir

Begin your half-day tour at your residence in either Kusadasi or Izmir, and enjoy a comfortable drive in air-conditioned luxury vehicle to the ancient city of Ephesus. Considered to be one of the most spectacular open-air museums in Turkey, Ephesus is a must-see on any visit to Turkey. Walk through its ancient marble streets and admire the stunning facade of the Library of Celsus. Walk past the Temple of Hadrian and the Temple of Artemis, as well as the Vedius and Scholastic Baths, and the Fountains of Trajan and Polio. Admire the staggering size of the Great Theatre, whose capacity exceeds 24,000 spectators, and then begin to make your way back to Kusadasi or Izmir to end the tour.

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Ephesus

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What people are saying about Izmir

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 460 reviews

After 2 nights in Istanbul, as I was thinking of traveling south, I thought about learning more about the Galipoli Campaign in the Galipoli Peninsula. Having a guide to explain about the different sites and the Campaign really helps! I was really glad to have booked this tour with the amazing and friendly guide. After the tour, I did not travel back to Istanbul with the rest of the group but instead took a ferry to Çanakkale to continue the rest of my travels in Turkey. For anyone who would like to explore this option.

The tour was excellent! We were picked up on time at our hotel (they contacted us earlier to confirm). Nisam, our guide joined us in Selcuk. He gave excellent explanations and the tour was really well organised. We visited Selcuk, Epehsos and Sirince. We also had time for shopping. Lunch was also offered and very nice.

The tour guide Nizam was excellent and so was our driver. The pick up was exactly on time and everything was very well arranged. I highly recommend this tour company and the trip to Ephesus!

Well organised tour. Lunch was included and it was very nice. Both the driver and tour guide were good. The tour guide gave a lot of information which was great

Very good guide ! Volkan is very knowledgeable person and very pleasant to be around . Ephesus is a must see experience