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  • 10 vibes for İzmir

    like locals

    Sit on The Grass at Alsancak Kordon; The waterfront of İzmir is known as the "Kordon”. Alsancak is one of the most beautiful spots along the entire coast, perfect for people-watching as you walk by and relax on the grass. Cafes line the entire strip and you can even pick up a cup of tea from one of these cafes to take home and relax on the grass while you drink it.

    İzmir is a more relaxed city than the hustle and bustle of İstanbul, and relaxing by the sea is one of the pleasures that residents afford. Gather some friends and look out over the Aegean Sea and the people passing by and just enjoy the atmosphere of this great city.

    Eating Boyoz for Breakfast; Boyoz is a local pastry that you will find pretty much exclusively in İzmir. While it's possible in, say, İstanbul, but difficult to find - in İzmir it's everywhere and one of the most popular and common breakfast pastries.

    It originated from Sephardic Jewish bakers who spoke Ladino, an Ottoman language spoken by the Jewish population and very similar to Spanish. The etymology comes from the Spanish word "bollos" which means buns.

    Any bakery or café in İzmir will have boyoz and you can try its crispy outside and chewy inside when you visit the city.

    Eat Kumru at Least Once; Kumru is a local İzmir sandwich that's typically made on a sesame bun with tomatoes, pickles, peppers, and İzmir tulum cheese. Ketchup, mayonnaise, sausage, salami, and kaşar cheese are then cooked into it so that it's a full sandwich with loads of flavor. It is not necessarily a light snack, but it certainly is delicious!

    It takes its name, which literally means "collared dove" from the shape of the bun which resembles that of a dove.

    Getting on a Ferry; The primary ports from which ferries depart are Bostanlı, Üçkuyular, Konak and Karşıyaka. The ferries go between each other all day long and are used for commutes and just to get around different areas of the city. This makes the ferries one of the best ways to admire the Gulf upon which İzmir sits and enjoy the beautiful Aegean Sea.

    Take a Walk Along the Coast of Karşıyaka; This is the best spot in İzmir to watch the sunset. There's almost always a nice cool breeze, so in the summer it's truly pleasant and the whole district feels like a resort. There are palaces and mansions all around Karşıyaka and an evening here is the most relaxing and enjoyable way to wind the day down in İzmir.

    Going to Nearby Holiday Areas Such as Foça, Urla, Alaçatı and Çeşme; Where do the people of İzmir go on vacation? Close to home, of course! There are great places for water sports with luxury and boutique hotels to have the holiday of your dreams within driving distance of your home.

    A Bike Tour Between Bostanlı & Sasalı; This is a flat course that stretches out over 18 kilometers. There are plenty of places to rent bicycles and the bike paths start Bostanlı Pier and stretch all the way to the nature park in Sasalı.

    Walk Around İzmir’s Bird Sanctuary; After Sasalı, just keep biking along to the Bird Paradise of İzmir. Pelicans, flamingos, kingfishers, and many other birds are local to İzmir and are protected in these wetlands. Each year around 50,000 birds stop here along their migration patters.

    Selfies in İzmir Clock Tower and coffee in Kızlarağası Hanı's Dibek Kahve; This is essentially a ritual at this point. If you visit İzmir, take a picture at the clock tower. And the Kızlarağası Han in the Konak district is a wonderful place to shop in a han built in 1774, with some of the best Turkish coffee you'll ever taste. The coffee beans are ground with a proprietary blend of carob, terebinths, cocoa, zahter, coffee cream and sahlep to create an incomparable taste.

    Enjoy the view from the historic elevator; The elevator tower between Mithatpaşa Street and Şehit Nihatbey was built in 1907 to make the walk between the two much easier than the 155 steps otherwise required. The elevator is functional and there is a cafeteria on the upper floor where you can admire the view of the whole fascinating city while having a cup of tea on the balcony.