Tour of Izmir Through the Centuries
- Agora Open Air Museum: Get the sense of a Roman bazaar in this well-preserved agora, where excavations continue to discover remains of the old city of Smyrna.
- City landmarks: See Konak Square with its iconic 1901 clock tower, Konak Mosque, Ataturk Monument, Passport Pier, and the Alsancak Train Station.
- Kemeralti Bazaar: Stop for a snack, bargain like a local for deals on leather goods, clothing, and jewelry, or just take in the vibe of this bustling market.
About this Izmir tour
If you've been known to speed-read history books, this tour's for you. In just a few hours, GoBe guides you through more than 20 centuries in lively Izmir. But don't worry. As you walk right into the heart of the old and the new in this city, you'll linger long enough to get a feel for the place and fill up on its fascinating past.
Back in 334 B.C., when it was the city of Smyrna, Alexander the Great arrived to restore the town and establish its agora – the gathering place in ancient Greek city-states. Today in this open-air museum, you can stroll like the ancients through the mighty gates and among remarkably intact stone arches and colonnades that make this one of the best-preserved Roman markets in the world. All that's missing is the haggling.
Over the centuries – from the Romans to the Ottomans – Smyrna prospered. (The Turks arrived in the 1400s and renamed the city Izmir.) But after World War I and the defeat of the Ottomans, Athens took over and tensions rose. In 1922, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk took the city back during the Turkish War of Independence. He became Turkey's first president (you'll see the famous monument to him in Republic Square), and Izmir became one of the cornerstones of the Turkish Republic.
Today Izmir is thriving again and, like the agora in ancient Smyrna, the heart of the city is the Kemeralti Bazaar. Centuries-old trading traditions live on in this wild and colorful kaleidoscope for the senses. You'll need to stop for a thunderbolt rush of Turkish coffee or refreshing fresh-squeezed nar suya (pomegranate juice). Speeding through the centuries is thirsty work.
Izmir claims the Greek poet Homer was born there between the 8th and 9th centuries B.C., back when it was still Smyrna. Scholars agree his epic works, The Iliad and The Odyssey, were written in the archaic Ionic Greek of the area. And Homer describes strong winds from the northwest that are common there. The definitive bio for the first author of literature in Europe has yet to be written. So several cities claim Homer as a native son.
Cruise Pier: Look for GoBe at the pier. Hotel: Lobby pickup; Advise GoBe prior of your hotel stay. Izmir International Domestic Terminal - Baggage claim pickup. International Arrivals - meet outside of Customs. Call the operator at the meeting point.
Guests should dress suitably for a city tour. No short shorts, tank tops should be worn.
Please consider your mobility and physical fitness before selecting this tour. Participants must be able to walk approximately 1 mile over uneven, paved and cobblestone surfaces with inclines and steps.
Cultural, Scenic, Shopping, Bus Tour
Luxury air conditioned bus.
English, German, Spanish, French, Italian
Tour Participation Requirements
This experience is rated mild. To participate fully, you may be required to walk over primarily even surfaces at a leisurely pace. You may encounter a limited number of steps, cobblestones, or uneven surfaces, and you may have to stand for extended periods of time.
Suitable for all ages.
Special Medical Restriction
This tour is not recommended for travelers with walking difficulties or who cannot manage steps.
Full refunds issued for cancellations made 7 full days prior to the date and time of requested services. Cancellations made within the 7-day and 72-hour window will receive a 50% refund of purchase total. Purchases are non-refundable inside of 72 hours.
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