Izmir, also known as the “pearl of the Aegean,” is located on a large bay. Hundreds of ferry boats cross each day, creating a unique ambiance for those who sit along the “sahil” or waterfront. Izmir Kordon is a popular waterfront promenade where locals love to gather, especially during summertime evenings. Each section of the bay around Izmir has a unique feel to it and is worth exploring! Keep reading to learn more about the waterfront districts of Izmir.
Northern Bay: Bayraklı, Karşıyaka, Bostanlı, Mavişehir
The northern portion of Izmir’s bay stretches 9.5 kilometers (6 miles) from Bayraklı to Mavişehir. This side of Izmir’s bay is characterized by picnics, bikers, kayak rentals, and pick-up basketball and volleyball games.
On this side of Izmir’s bay, one could not walk more than a kilometer without seeing fresh midye (mussels), grilled corn, sunflower seeds, and çay for sale. The northern bay of Izmir is a hidden treasure, situated near several iconic Izmir outings including the Bostanli pazar and Mavibahçe mall. During the summer, the bay remains busy until very late at night, making for a safe environment for families and children.
There are many modes of transport you can use to access the northern portion of Izmir’s bay. Namely, Izmir’s ferry boat, which has three stations on the northern bay. Once you’ve arrived, this stretch of land is most easily navigated by Izmir’s tramvay, which stretches along each side of the bay.
Southern Bay: Göztepe, Konak, Alsancak
Across the way, the “Kordon” seafront promenade of Alsancak stretches 1.3 kilometers. This stroll is known for its lovely views, cafes, and photographers who will print your photo on the spot. It is accessible by all modes of transport but is known for its two ferry stops: Pasaport and Konak. The seafront continues to Alsancak for those who wish to continue walking.
The Konak region of Izmir has wonderful nightlife, Kemeraltı marketplace, and of course Izmir’s iconic Clock Tower (Saat Kulesi). This side of the bay is also near the ruins of Smyrna, an ancient city surrounded by modern architecture. This region is cosmopolitan, and includes nice sites such as Izmir’s famous “sevgi yolu” or love street, which is a road on which books and small souvenirs are sold. The southern bay of Izmir is a must for those who visit!
-by Abigal Goosen