With a view of the sparkling Agean Sea and Mount Yamanlar, Izmir is an ancient port city that is still growing at a steady pace. With 7000 years of history to draw from, a trip to Izmir can be as educational as it is therapeutic. Any visit to Izmir should start with a walk down to the Kordon promenade, which runs along the coast for nearly 3 kilometres and is lined by shops, cafes, and restaurants.

Head over to the Konak neighborhood to mingle with locals at a lively bar or club, and while you’re there, be sure to check out the Asansör. It’s an elevator attached to a hillside with an ornate balcony at the top, offering wonderful views of the city and the Bay. For a bit of history, make your way to the Agora of Smyrna, an open-air museum featuring the amazingly well-preserved ruins of the ancient Roman city of Smyrna. And don’t leave Izmir without trying some authentic local food, almost certainly made from fresh local meat, vegetables, and spices.

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