İzmir is the third biggest city in Turkey with a population of around 3.5 million inhabitants, the second biggest port after İstanbul, and a good transport hub. Once the ancient city of Smyrna, it is now a modern, developed, and busy commercial center, set around a huge bay and surrounded by mountains. The broad boulevards, glass-fronted buildings and modern shopping centers are dotted with traditional red-tiled roofs, the 18th century bazaar, and old mosques and churches, although the city has an atmosphere more of Mediterranean Europe than traditional Turkey.
If one were to claim that the most scenic vistas in Anatolia can be found on the coasts of the Aegean, he could not be accused of exaggerating. In the words of Herodotus, the Aegean coasts "have the most beautiful sky and the best climate in the world." The bays and peninsulas, coves and golden beaches stretch the length aof these beautiful shores. In this region where the countless events of mythology took place, at almost every turn, you will encounter the theaters, temples and agoras of ancient cities such as Bodrum, Fethiye, Marmaris, Selçuk, Bergama, Foça, Çeşme and Pamukkale.
The climate in İzmir is comfortable, with a relatively mild summer due to the refreshing breeze from the Aegean. The long attractive palm-fringed promenade, Birinci Kordon, which stretches the entire length of the city up to the Alsancak Ferry Terminal, is a popular spot for evening walks, and there are many cafes along the waterfront. İzmir has a good selection of culture and entertainment, from the Archaeological and Ethnographic Museums, to the İzmir State Opera and Ballet and İzmir State Symphony Orchestra, to the many bars and clubs. The cosmopolitan and lively city gets even busier during the International İzmir Festival (mid-June to mid-July) with music and dance, with performances also in nearby Çeşme and Ephesus.