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Izmir Travel Guide

Turkey's third largest city, Izmir is a busy port, commercial centre, and gateway to the Aegean Coast. Despite its size and importance, it still retains enough holiday atmosphere to cause visitors to stay amongst the population of around three million.Lively and cosmopolitan, Izmir is also scenic thanks to its palm-lined promenades lining the bay, backed by graceful avenues with attractive horizontal terraces rising up the slopes of the surrounding mountains.Visitors come to see the sights, haggle in the colourful bazaar, and dine on delicious meals at the many waterfront restaurants. Formerly known as Smyrna, Izmir is ancient and dates back to around 3,000 BC. But today it is thoroughly modern having been almost obliterated by a fire in 1922 and subsequently rebuilt.There is some worthy sightseeing to be done in the city, like the 19th century clock tower, the 18th century Konak Cami Mosque, and an archaeology museum. A must-see is the city's landmark public elevator, linking Mithatpasa Street with the summit of the hill at Halil Rifat Pasa, from where there is a stunning view across the city and the bay. The best way to enjoy Izmir is a balmy evening stroll or horse-drawn carriage trip along its promenade between Konak Meydan and Alsancak.

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