Located on the shores of the Aegean Sea, west of the Anatolian Peninsula, İzmir is the third-largest city in Turkey. It is one of the livable cities thanks to its large share in industrial production and employment, and also the quality of life it offers. With a population of over 4 million and a young spirit, İzmir is one of the most productive and lively cities of the Aegean region and Turkey.
Thanks to its Mediterranean climate, Izmir is mostly sunny during the year. Summers are hot and winters are mild. Izmir has dozens of blue flagged beaches along its 629 km of coastline. This makes the city a very popular vacation destination where you can find every shade of blue and do all kinds of water sports.
Besides its natural beauties, İzmir is one of the places worth exploring for history and archeology enthusiasts. Since it was home to different civilizations from the Persians to the ancient Greeks, from the Romans to the Ottomans for 8,500 years, İzmir offers many historical sites that would take days to see.
İzmir is a very important figure of religious tourism with its mosques, mosques, churches, and synagogues, and fair and congress tourism with İzmir International Fair, the largest trade fair of the country. Having the 3rd largest cruise port also makes İzmir one of the most extroverted cities in Turkey. İzmir is also a figure in health tourism, thanks to its modern facilities that are developing day by day, and attracting visitors from Turkey and abroad every year.
Its fertile soil and favorable climate allow many agricultural products such as olive, figs, and grapes grow in İzmir. These tastes of the Aegean make İzmir a city that gourmets cannot remain indifferent to. Being a member of the World Gourmet Cities Network since 2015, İzmir offers different tastes to its visitors with its seafood, local herbs, street delicacies, olive oil, and wines in every season of the year.
Just like its climate, Izmir’s people are warm as well. The social life in the city is very active. You have many options in İzmir when it comes to spending your day. You can choose between many cultural activities, or spend your time in the parks and forests to enjoy nature. We would like to state that İzmir, which has always been one of the centers of trade in the region, is also a colorful place for shopping enthusiasts. If you wish, you can visit the historical bazaars and choose gifts that remind the city for your loved ones, or you can find the world-famous brands in shopping malls.
İzmir is ready to embrace you with its nature, history, and cuisine. So, are you ready to explore it?
ABOUT KEMERALTI BAZAAR
Kemeraltı Mall is the most vibrant shopping center of Izmir for centuries covering a huge area ranging from Mezarlıkbası district to Konak Square. When it was built first in the Ottoman period, it used to have a small grand bazaar with vaults so it is called Kemeraltı in Turkish. In 17th and 18th centuries French and British merchants first and in 19th C AD Turkish immigrants later from Greece and Aegean Island to Izmir have made a great contribution to enlarging the shopping mall as to be the center of trade in Izmir. It began expanding to a large area throughout the Konak square with a big variety of shops.
The first shopping mall was open between 1650 and 1670 when the sea coast to be filled and the new residential areas have been created. A lot of caravanserais and inns have been built here for camel caravan merchants and their animals to spend the nights over in safety. One of the best caravanserais which are open for visitors today is “ Kızlar agası hanı-Master of the girls’ Inn “ built-in 1774 by Hacı Besir. Kemeraltı mall used to be a small model of Grand Bazaar of Istanbul at the beginning with vaulted walls and stores. The mall used to be the commercial center and food market with old inns and bazaars till 1900. The mall had blacksmiths, charcoal burners, spice shops, herbal stores as pharmacy shops, straw markets, copper masters, and so on. Each commercials batches were created separately from each other.
Today the kemeraltı mall has lost its old feature and has become a major shopping center of Izmir with modern business centers, cafeterias, cinemas, big shopping malls, offices, stores, etc. At present visitors coming to this big mall still can find ceramics, tile panels, woodworks, metal works, plain-woven mats, carpets, and rugs in the old part of the mall as the best examples of reflecting Turkish handicrafts.