Take the ferry to Izmir and enjoy a wonderful sea journey to one of the largest ports in Turkey, on the central Aegean coast, with a great history and past!
Izmir or Smyrna is the third biggest Turkish town in the western extremity of Anatolia with 3 million inhabitants, more than 4 millions including the province. Founded by the Greeks, conquered by the Romans and rebuilt by Alexander the Great, ended up being part of the Ottoman Empire during the 15th century. In the meantime the city passed a difficult period under the Arabs, Seiljuks,Crusaders and Mongols. During the 17th and 18th centuries Izmir suffered from severe earthquakes, devastated, but remained under Ottoman domination with a diverse population including Jews, Armenians and Greeks. After World War I and the defeat of the Ottoman Empire, Smyrna and the control of the Aegean area was given to Greece. On 9 September 1922, the day that is celebrated for the city’s independence, Kemal Ataturk officially took Smyrna. The Greeks were obliged to resettle in Greece and the Turks in Turkey, as a part of the peace deal.
Being one of the most important trade ports of the Mediterranean Sea, Izmir is a university lively town, a modern and busy commercial center, with a great development over the years. A proof that shows the progress of this place is Kibris Sehitleri Street, one of the most popular of Izmir and the side streets, full of shops, restaurants and coffee shops or Alsancak quarter with the trendy bars for the younger people. Spacious avenues and buildings constructed, contemporary shopping centers opened their gates to locals and tourists.
If you want to smell the scents of the East and feel the Oriental way of life combined with the modern habits of contemporary living do not hesitate to visit our online booking engine and book a ferry from Thessaloniki to Izmir.
Thessaloniki to Izmir ferry route
Thessaloniki to Izmir ferry route has a trip duration of 14 hours three times a week. Modern conventional car and passenger ferries offer a pleasant journey connecting northern Greece with the west coast of Turkey. The Thessaloniki Izmir ferry route is currently operated directly with no intermediate stops.
Izmir ferry port
Izmir ferry port is also known as Port of Alsancak and is situated in the Gulf of Izmir. In 5 min walk you can reach the Alcansak area where you can find stores, restaurants and coffee shops. Near the port you can find hotels and all the facilities needed upon arrival.
Izmir City Center to Izmir Ferry Port
From the city center of Izmir you can reach the ferry port by taxi as it is too close. In case you stay far from the center there is an organized Mmetro and bus service that can transfer tourists to their destination. For more information ask your landlord or the hotel reception.
Izmir International Airport to Izmir Ferry Port
Adnan Menderes International Airport is situated at a distance of 15 km from Konak, Izmir. There are shuttle buses of the company ESHOT as well as IZBAN trains that can transfer you to the city center. In case you want to rent a taxi, the journey time is about 30 min.
Transportation options in Izmir
Izmir has a good transportation network with municipal Bus, Metro, Izban and Tram.
With 17 stations and a length of 20km the Metro is the main transportation system of Izmir. There is only one line and it is well connected with the other means of transport with easy access to buses, trams, ferries and long distance trains. For more information, you can check Izmir metro.
A very extended bus service is available in Izmir which connects the main sights, the Suburban, the Metro, the Airport and the Ferry lines. For more information, you can visit Izmir bus.
There is a great range of taxi services in Izmir that provide a more comfortable transfer to your destination with a low fare. You can check before your trip and pre book the ride in order to avoid extra charges.
Highlights in Izmir
If we want to choose the western-oriented cities in Turkey, Izmir is one of them. The town center has a lot of interesting historical places to visit but also there are spots where you can go for a drink, walk on the docks or stroll along the harbor watching the fishermen or the people on the bends chatting.
Below, there are some proposals the most visited places in Izmir:
- Konak square with the Clock Tower is situated near the sea built in 1901 and is considered the heart of the town. With a height of 25 meters it was built for the celebration of the enthronement of Sultan Abdulhamid II. Since 1901, the year of the construction of the tower, the clock is still working. Take a walk at the pier and have lunch in one of the restaurants nearby. A good point to start is Gundogdu Square with the sculpture of the Tree of the Republic built for the celebration of the 20th anniversary of the Republic of Turkey in 2000
- Visit the Agora Open Air Museum with the ruins of the ancient city of Smyrna, dating back to 4th BC destroyed by an earthquake in 178bc. It was rebuilt by the Romans and restorations and excavations are still in progress so some parts are closed to the public. In the Archeological Museum you can see the artifacts from the historic site. The best way to reach the Agora Ancient city is to use the Metro.
- Kemeralti Market is an historical bazaar district in the city center, with open and covered areas with many shops where you can find traditional souvenirs, handicrafts, carpets, leather products and Turkish made objects for every taste and budget
- The Blue Mosque of Izmir or Fatih Camii with the outside blue marbles is situated in Konak district. It is worth paying a visit
- The Izmir Historical Elevator situated in Turgut Reis neighborhood was built in 1907 to facilitate the transportation from the coastline to the hillside between two districts that were separated by a cliff. Use the elevator to see Ismir from above. Admire the view and drink a coffee from the terrace bar
- In Kemeralti Market you can see the Hisar Mosque which is the largest in the city and dates back to 1597. Made by white marble is a characteristic example of Ottoman architecture. The mosque and its minaret which suffered from severe earthquakes were restored several times with the last restoration in 2017
- The ancient Roman city of Ephesus is visited by more than 2 millions of tourists every year as in ancient times it was a popular stop on the Silk Road. The distance between Ephesus and Izmir needs about 75 minutes of driving but do not leave Izmir without visiting this city, considered as an important cultural and religious center during the Hellenistic, Roman and Byzantine periods
- In the center of Izmir, you can find the Arkas Sanat Merkezi (Art Center), opened in 201. It is located in an historic building and houses exhibitions from international painters. It has 10 exhibition rooms and it is an art center that contributes to the cultural life of the city
- The Church of St. Polycarp is named after the patron saint of the city who became the Bishop of Smyrna. Built during the 17th century, it is the oldest Christian church of the town and is located in a central area next to Cankaya Square. If you are staying further from the center you can use the Μetro to reach the church
- If you walk up the hill from Konak square you will find the Archaeological Museum including finds from the Bronze Age and from the Greek and Roman periods. It started its operation in 1927 but in 1984 a new and larger museum was needed to include many more exhibits from other ancient sites like Ephesus, Pergamos, Iassos and Miletus. A new modern building of 5000 square meters in the Konak Bahribaba Park is now the Archeology and Ethnography Museum and can be approached also by the means of public transport
- Izmir Ataturk Museum was built as a house by a carpet merchant , later in 1922 was used by the Turkish Army and in 1926 the Municipality of Izmir gave it as a gift to Ataturk. After his death the building was turned into a museum
- Kadifekale is an ancient castle situated on the top of a hill in Izmir. Also known as Velvet Castle, is the citadel of ancient Smyrna. It is located on Pagos hill at an altitude of 186 meters and it is really worth a visit to admire the great view of the whole city and port
- Pergamon and Asclepion can be visited from Izmir as they are located 1 hour away There are guided tours that you can book in order to explore Pergamon Acropolis and Asklepion Ancient Hospital
- Arrange a day trip at the hot springs of Pamukkale with an intermediate stop at the ancient Greek city of Hierapolis to explore the Roman Theater. If you like you can enjoy a warm relaxing bath in the waters of Pamukkale
Although Izmir has 8500 years of history and is mainly visited for the monuments and historical sites, in summer a large number of tourists arrange their vacation in big resorts or smaller hotels close to Izmir for swimming, sunbathing and enjoying the nightlife.
You can choose among the following:
- Fame Beach in Dikili offers a clear sea and you can find it after passing Bademli Village. Sunbeds and umbrellas are available. There are bungalows and hotels if you like to stay close to the beach
- Sazlica Beach is located in Foca district and the sea is sandy and calm. Is ideal for divers and families that can spend all day from the morning until the evening
- Cesme Beach resort at a distance of an hour driving from Izmir is worth visiting
Useful tips for your trip
- If you want to explore the main sights of the city you can take the hop on/ hop off bus which leaves from the cruise terminal
- Take the ferry Izmir for a ride across the bay in Izmir. Along the coast in Konak and Alsancak there are several piers to catch a boat
- During the hing season, be at the port at least 1 hour before departure for check-in and embarkation
- Izmir is a very popular destination, so book your ferry tickets in advance to find availability