An Izmir city break is a failsafe way to awaken the senses. From exploring medieval castles to practicing water sports and shopping in bustling bazaars, there’s always something to do in this buzzing and beautiful metropolis, also known as the ‘Pearl of Turkey’. Indulge yourself in exquisite seafood while watching the sun set behind the sea, escape to a secluded peaceful beach or live it up in a nightclub until the early hours.
Whether you want to tour Izmir’s bustling city center or practice water sports in a seaside resort, this guide to Izmir’s hotels by neighborhood will help you find the right area for you. From budget, family-run or luxury accommodation, there are hotels to please every kind of traveler, but the number of choices might overwhelm you. While Izmir’s waterfront is lined by large sophisticated hotels, inland there are more budget and midrange options, especially around Kemeralti Bazaar and Basmane train station.
Hardcore shoppers are in for a blast in Izmir. Whether your passion is fashion, shoes, accessories, homeware, or local items, the city boasts a huge collection of shops selling every item imaginable. Walk down the streets to discover designer boutiques, antique establishments and local crafts or come across street sellers that wander from corner to corner.
Fussy eaters won’t go hungry in Izmir. From traditional Turkish cuisine to exotic dishes and hearty British food, the city is awash with dining establishments that satisfy the most whimsical cravings. A locals’ favorite is the scrumptious Aegean cuisine served in seaside resorts: freshly caught fish and seafood served with a crunchy salad and washed down with a traditional glass of Raki.
Ancient constructions, bazaars, wildlife, water sports… things to pique a traveler’s interest never end in Izmir. As the beating heart of the Aegean coast, Izmir stands in the midst of ancient history, art, culture and Mediterranean sandy beaches. For an unforgettable view of the city, watch the sunset from the city’s castle, get lost in time as you stroll around one of the best-preserved ancient Greek cities, and set your pulse racing as you surf the sea with the wind brushing you by.
The Bodrum peninsula offers a wide variety of accommodation to suit all travelers. From traditional pensions, private apartments or luxury five star hotels, all budgets and preferences can be catered for. Despite earning the moniker ‘Turkey’s Cote d’Azur’, the Bodrum Peninsula has managed to retain its peaceful and unassuming charm. Those looking to enjoy the simple things; sea views, seafood and wine will not be disappointed.
Many of the towns and villages on the peninsula have weekly open-air markets which sell a variety of goods from fresh fruit and veg, textiles, tourist trinkets and fake designer clothes. From souvenir shops to luxury boutiques along the marina, shopping hungry travelers will find a whole host of ways to spend their money and the colourful wares and delicious fragrances along the way will make shopping a delight.
Bodrum’s dining scene offers a plethora of choice that caters for nearly all food preferences from traditional to international dishes. The traditional Turkish cuisine is exceptional in the region, with travelers able to sample kebabs, traditional mezes and sweet pastries from a huge number of restaurants and stalls along the promenade. A Turkish trip wouldn’t be complete without sampling some delicious Turkish delight at a local café or tavern.
Whilst Bodrum is seen by many as a relaxing summer getaway, with perfectly clear waters and sunshine, the area also boasts an incredibly deep history and even plays host to one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Visitors can explore the ancient relics at Bodrum Castle, watch the yachts come in, or meander through a peaceful cove to keep busy.
The stunning Bodrum Peninsula caters for all manner of travelers which is why millions flood to the region each year. For those holidaymakers looking for a subdued and relaxing atmosphere amongst enchanting villages and quiet bays, to those looking for a vibrant nightlife, Bodrum is sure to impress. The area is built on ancient relics meaning it’s steeped in deep history. Its international marinas, famous sites and delicious dining make it the tourist hub of the Aegean Coast.
The sight of stunning rocky hillside scenery merging with the clear blue waters of the Mediterranean will lure anyone and everyone to Antalya. Fortunately, the city is well equipped to handle the heavy waves of tourist who come here year after year in search of sun, beach and relaxation.
The coastal provincial town of Antalya boasts an amazing range of retail products, setting the scene for the perfect shopaholic's paradise. Shopping can be both a peaceful therapy session or an exhilarating adrenaline rush depending on where you go. The modern malls that are scattered across the city should provide a similar shopping experience to that of home.
Dining in Antalya is no ordinary experience. The surrounding environment plays as much as an important role as the delicious local cuisine. In Antalya, you can enjoy a meal either along the relaxing beachside or amongst nature in the mountains. Whether it’s in a renowned five star resort or a traditional homely local restaurant, Antalya's food scene won't disappoint.
Set against the backdrop of clear blue waters hugging the coastal shores, Antalya is adorned with ancient relics scattered across its lands. What was once seen as a simple costal town that lead to the Turkish Riviera is now the largest city on the western coast of the Mediterranean.
With a bustling blend of ancient Roman ruins, luxury beach resorts and natural beauty, Antalya offers travelers a diverse holiday experience. Dating back to 133BC, Antalya is named after the founder Attalos II, King of Pergamon, who built the city to act as his naval base for his fleet.
For those with a tight budget to those with an unlimited one, Kusadasi has accommodation to suit everyone. With an abundance of hotels, apartments and all-inclusive resorts, you’ll be spoilt for choice.
When it comes to shopping in Kusadasi, you can spend all your money in high-end stores, or stick to your budget and haggle like a pro at the local markets. It’s up to you. Either way, there’s a great selection of things to buy and they’re often cheaper than at home. So if you’re looking for some souvenirs for the family, a gift for yourself or the ideal interiors for your home, get out in the streets and get bargaining.
Turkish cuisine has become a fusion of Central Asian, Middle Eastern and Balkan influences. The Aegean region has inherited the style of Ottoman Court cuisine, with lighter spices, the use of rice over bulgur wheat and lots of seafood due to its proximity to the coast. However, if Turkish doesn’t tickle your fancy, Mediterranean cuisine is also popular and the region caters for a wide range of international menus too.
Aside from the glorious beaches, months of sunny weather and wealth of bars and restaurants to relax in, Kusadasi is a hotbed of culture with a rich historical background. As a result, there is much more to do on your visit than you might think.
Kusadasi is a seaside district on the west coast of Turkey, lined by the turquoise waters of the Aegean Sea. The town of Kusadasi was originally a fishing village and although it has since embraced the modern cosmopolitan trends it has managed to maintain a trace of its traditional atmosphere.
The main areas to stay in Istanbul are undoubtedly the Taksim area in New City and Sultanahmet on the western side of the city. Sultanahmet is better for sightseeing but New City has the best of Istanbul’s nightlife; if you’re looking for a bit of both then the Golden Horn district might be the best area for you as it is between the two. As a general rule, the closer you are to the districts by the coast, the better.
As the historical and geographical connection between the Eastern and Western worlds, Istanbul has long since been a buzzing site for trading. This was one of the main reasons for Istanbul’s founding – the city is built on shopping. From malls to bazaars, Istanbul has the complete selection of retail attraction. And shopper or not, no trip to Istanbul would be complete without a wander round the iconic Grand Bazaar.
Istanbul is a city that was established because of its location and its links to the sea. Naturally, the locals here have developed a love for seafood and share this taste though their countless restaurants along the seafront. For more traditional Turkish cuisine, the best restaurants are further inland, particularly in Galata and Sultanahmet.
Istanbul is a colorful and historically rich city. As the center point of many former empires, the city is full of historical sites and monuments, most of which can be found in the Old City in the south. Or, to see Istanbul’s modern edge, head to New City to see the skyscrapers and shopping malls.
Istanbul has been a focal point for travelers from east and west for years. As the former center of many empires and formerly known as Constantinople, Istanbul has long since been a prosperous part of the Mediterranean and a key checkpoint for trade. The subsequent fusion of east and west has given a modern-day Istanbul with huge variety; from the hustle and bustle of Galata and sightseeing dreams of Sultanahmet to the green and rural haven of Princes’ Islands, Istanbul will not disappoint.
There is a hotel for every kind of traveler in Fethiye. From low-priced lodges to luxury suites and from self-catered hotels to bed and breakfast, the city caters to all sorts of budgets and preferences. While top-class hotels near Fethiye marina will suit the more refined traveler, the beachside hotels in Cali are ideal for sun lovers. Whether you prefer the traditional pensions of Göcek or the all-inclusive hotels of Oludeniz, Fethiye won’t disappoint you.
With an abundance of shops selling all sorts of goods from brand name clothes to basic home textiles, Fethiye is an authentic shopper’s paradise. No trip to Fethiye would be complete without browsing for bargains in the local open-air markets or for souvenirs in the shops that line the beachfront. If you enjoy shopping in open markets, Fethiye is the place for you as there are one or two every single day of the week.
Fethiye’s dining scene is much more than Turkish cuisine. From traditional to international dishes, the coastal city offers a variety of culinary delights that caters to all food preferences. When it comes to cuisine, Turkish people only settle for the best. Treat yourself to fresh seafood or traditional mezze while sipping on a refreshing Efes Pilsen near the beach. In the afternoon, join locals in some of the cosmopolitan cafes serving sweet pastries.
Although Fethiye is known as a summer paradise boasting turquoise beaches and sunshine, the city is also an ancient Lycian town with relics that date back to the 4th century BC. From lazing on the sand to exploring one of the deepest canyons in the world, and flying over the Blue Lagoon to exploring an ancient rock tomb, Fethiye has a wealth of attractions to keep you busy.
Ancient rock tombs, sandy beaches and mouthwatering seafood lie in wait on a Fethiye city break. With a wonderful marina and lively nightlife, Fethiye is a haven for sun-lovers from around the world. However, this town is also home to pre-Roman Lycian relics and is the only city in the world where you’ll find sarcophagus in the streets. From the yachting town of Gocek to the beach resort of Calis, there is fun, mystery, adventure and cultural delights for everyone.
Choosing where to stay depends on what you’re looking for in Marmaris. While beachfront hotels in Marmaris town are near the biggest shopping areas and attractions, self-catering apartment in Turunc and Selimiye bring you closer to the laid-back lifestyle of the Turkish Riviera. From low-budget to five-star hotels and from bed & breakfast to all-inclusive resorts, accommodation in Marmaris caters to every traveler: couples, solo travelers, families or large groups.
With an abundance of shops selling all sorts of merchandise from international brands to traditional goods, shopping in Marmaris is a whirlwind experience. Whether you want to practice your haggling skills in the busy local market, spot discounted items in factory outlets or spoil yourself with luxury items from high-class shops, the choices never end. Decorate your house with a traditional carpet design from Silk Road, drape yourself in exquisite jewelry from Vogue Diamonds or find branded clothes and boating accessories in Netsel Marina.
From the best international cuisine to the most addictive Turkish food and for all kinds of budgets, Marmaris is a food-lover’s fantasy. A large variety of specialized restaurants serve traditional, exotic, spicy dishes and fast food from morning to midnight. Steaks, pastas, pizzas, salads… you name it, they’ve got it. Although there is an extensive list of restaurants, in high season it is still worth booking ahead.
A Marmaris vacation includes exciting excursions, historical sites, cultural activities, and sandy beaches that will dazzle all visitors to Turkey. From families to couples, solo travelers, and group of carefree single friends, there are countless attractions in this coastal town for everyone. While numerous ancient sites keep history lovers occupied, water sports like sailing and scuba diving deliver thrilling experiences for the most adventurous travelers.
With sandy beaches, historic structures, buzzing bazaars and exhilarating water sports, visitors to Marmaris are spoilt for choice. Head to the Grand Bazaar to soak up the local culture, shop for leather goods or try a delicious kebab. For a day out, travel over 2,000 years back in time by exploring the ruins of the ancient Greek city of Knidos or take a dip from a beach like no other on Cleopatra’s Island.
Due to its fantastical, escapist essence, coupled with its status as a prime honeymoon destination, accommodation options in Cappadocia are mainly restricted to hotels of various types. Hostels, guesthouses and apartments are seldom found, but the sheer variety of hotels means that there is always an option suitable for every traveler, from the fussiest luxury-seeker to the shoestring backpacker.
By far the best way to shop in Cappadocia is to grab a map, set aside a few hours, and hit the street markets, which never fail to entice with their seductive colors and captivating scents. However, there is also a vast array of options for those who desire a more structured retail experience, with countless boutiques and charming little shops hidden around every street corner. Like everything else here, shopping in Cappadocia is a laidback and relaxing pastime, guaranteed to leave you satisfied and rejuvenated.
When it comes to gastronomy in Cappadocia, it’s safe to say that the choices are focused mainly on traditional, Turkish fare. Luckily, the Turks are purveyors of cuisine of the most mouth-watering variety, and Cappadocia boasts some of the country’s finest chefs. Prepared using local ingredients and a vibrant array of spices, the region’s Turkish food is fresh, varied and exciting, from the delicious Sarma (stuffed vine leaves) to the culinary excitement of Meze.
In this visually spectacular region, the fairytale, chimney-esque rock formations and undulating caves undeniably steal the show. Tourists take in the unique sights of these bizarre landscapes in a variety of ways, most famously by floating over them in a hot-air balloon. Hiking and trekking are other options, as well as mountain biking and horse riding. However, there are many other attractions and sightseeing opportunities in Cappadocia, aside from its obvious natural splendor.
The word ‘unique’ takes on a new meaning when applied to the striking region of Cappadocia. Settled within the surreal landscape of sandstone caves and volcanic peaks, the rocky terrain of this region is ideal for adventure-sports. However, journey further into the central towns and the pace of life is tranquil and leisurely, with colorful markets and an array of charming cafes and restaurants. It is impossible not to be swept away in the beautiful atmosphere and underlying verve of Cappadocia – a true destination with a difference.
Oil-drenched wrestlers in Turkey or thundering hooves in Pakistan’s mountain villages – get some inspiration before booking your hotel with these top 10 alternative sports in the world.
Holidays in Turkey can include centuries-old Ottoman and Byzantine history, diving the Mediterranean or losing yourself in labyrinthine bazaars. Book a hotel in Turkey to feast like a sultan on ancient and modern delights.
An Istanbul city break means days spent exploring opulent palaces and teeming markets, before evening drinks in rooftop bars overlooking the Bosphorus. After booking your Istanbul hotel, travel through centuries of the city’s convoluted history at Ottoman mosques and Byzantine churches.