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Top Archaeological Sites in Izmir

Top Archaeological Sites in Izmir

Izmir has worn numerous guises throughout its millennia of history. Founded by the Greeks, ruled by the Romans, captured by the Ottomans, and today a part of Turkey, the city was known as Smyrna until the 20th century. Izmir hosts numerous ancient landmarks and is well placed for exploring other regional archaeological sites. Here are your top options for archaeological sites in and around Izmir.

Kadifekale

Also known as the Velvet Castle, the hilltop Kadifekale was built in the 4th century BC, during the reign of Alexander the Great. While largely in ruins today, the castle offers a glimpse into Izmir’s past, as well as sweeping views over the city.

 

Agora

Izmir’s ancient marketplace, rebuilt under Marcus Aurelius following a devastating earthquake, provides an evocative vision of the city’s past. With its colonnades, vaulted halls, and gateway, this open-air museum offers plenty to admire.

 

Izmir Archaeological Museum

Founded nearly a century ago, the Izmir Archaeological Museum showcases a host of treasures that date back to antiquity, recovered from various excavations in the region. Collection highlights include ancient Greco-Roman statues, utensils, and tools, as well as an array of Bronze Age artifacts.

 

Sardis

Once the capital of the ancient kingdom of Lydia, Sardis still possesses an air of grandeur today. Just over an hour’s drive from Izmir, the archaeological site is a major regional highlight. Be sure to see the ruins of its decorative synagogue, as well as the Temple of Artemis and the Marble Court of Sardis.

 

Ephesus

Roughly an hour’s journey from central Izmir, the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Ephesus is one of Turkey’s most important ancient landmarks and among Asia’s most complete ancient cities. While it remains only partially excavated, there’s still an enormous amount to see. Spend a full day discovering the Great Theatre, Terrace Houses, the Library of Celsus, the Temple of Hadrian, and more.

 

Pergamon and Asklepion

Cited in the Book of Revelation and once the capital of the Kingdom of Pergamon, the ancient healing center of Asklepion now exists in the form of exceptional ruins and monuments. Travel roughly two hours north of Izmir to explore this UNESCO World Heritage Site further, and be sure to visit the Roman theater, library, and Temple of Asklepios.

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9 Tours and Activities | All Izmir Tours

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Ephesus and St. Mary's House Day Trip from Izmir

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Ephesus and St. Mary's House Day Trip from Izmir

star-4.5
183
Travel back to times to see the ancient christian ruins of Ephesus and visit St. Mary’s House during this guided day trip from Izmir. Along the eastern Mediterranean, discover the old yet well preserved city of Ephesus. Then, traverse to a famous pilgrimage site where the Virgin Mary spent her remaining days.
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  • 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$76.50
$85.00
$8.50 savings
From
$76.50
$85.00
$8.50 savings
Taking safety measures

Full-Day Ephesus Tour from Izmir

Full-Day Ephesus Tour from Izmir

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8
Get a comprehensive tour of the ancient city of Ephesus during this 6-hour outing from Izmir. In the company of your guide, visit sights such as the Temple of Artemis, the Celsius Library, the Temple of Hadrianus, and the Heracles Gate.
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  • 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$92.76
Price varies by group size
From
$92.76
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

Small-Group Full Day Pergamum and Asklepion Tour from Izmir

Special Offer

Small-Group Full Day Pergamum and Asklepion Tour from Izmir

star-4.5
28
See unbelievable ruins and some of Turkey’s best archaeological sites during this guided day trip to Pergamum and Asklepion from Izmir. Discover the 4th century city of Pergamum home to one of the largest ancient libraries, the impressive Altar of Zeus and the inclined Theatre of Anatolia. You will see the Roman Medical Center remnants of Asklepion where Galen, a famous physician, completed his finest work.
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  • 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$126.00
$140.00
$14.00 savings
From
$126.00
$140.00
$14.00 savings
Taking safety measures

Private Tour: Pamukkale and Hierapolis

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Private Tour: Pamukkale and Hierapolis

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2
Prepare to be dazzled by the startling white landscape of Pamukkale, one of Turkey’s most visited UNESCO World Heritage sites, on this private full-day tour from Izmir, including lunch. Keep your camera to hand as you discover the magnificent natural wonder and take a dip in the mineral-rich thermal baths, then explore the fascinating ruins of the Roman city of Hierapolis. 
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  • 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$220.50
$245.00
$24.50 savings
Price varies by group size
From
$220.50
$245.00
$24.50 savings
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

Private Izmir City Sightseeing Tour

Private Izmir City Sightseeing Tour

Experience architectural elegance and the arts during this privately guided sightseeing tour in Izmir. During this tour visit beautiful monuments such as the castle of Alexander the Great, the Archaeological and Ethnographic Museum and Izmir’s symbolic 98-year old Clock Tower. Top off the day with memorable views from atop Pagos Hill.
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$155.68
Price varies by group size
From
$155.68
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

Small-Group Half Day Sightseeing Tour from Izmir

Small-Group Half Day Sightseeing Tour from Izmir

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Uncover the mysteries of ancient cities and castles during a half-day guided sightseeing tour in Izmir. With your local guide explore the remnants of Alexander the Great’s castle, admire ancient Agora, and spend time at the Ethnographic and Archaeological museums.
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$50.00
From
$50.00
Taking safety measures

Private Tour: Jewish Sites in Sardis

Private Tour: Jewish Sites in Sardis

Explore the ancient Lydian capital of Sardis on this full-day private tour from Izmir, including lunch. See the reconstructed Roman Synagogue and the ruins of the Temple of Cybele and Diana; walk the remains of the Royal Road; and discover the location of one of St John’s Seven Churches of Asia.
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  • 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$241.09
Price varies by group size
From
$241.09
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

Private Tour: Ephesus and St. Mary's House

Special Offer

Private Tour: Ephesus and St. Mary's House

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7
Travel back to Roman times with a private tour of one of Turkey’s most impressive ancient cities, Ephesus, and enjoy the undivided attention of your guide as you explore the UNESCO Word Heritage site. Pose for photos by the grand Library of Celsius; walk through the Great Theatre, where St Paul once preached; and see the ruins of the Temple of Artemis, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. After lunch, pay a visit to St John's Basilica and the House of the Virgin Mary.
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  • 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$130.50
$145.00
$14.50 savings
Price varies by group size
From
$130.50
$145.00
$14.50 savings
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

Private Tour: Pergamum and Asklepion

Special Offer

Private Tour: Pergamum and Asklepion

star-4
1
Travel back to ancient times with a visit to the fascinating archaeological site of Pergamum, one of Turkey’s newest UNESCO World Heritage sites. Make the most of your private guide as you take in the ancient Roman capital and see the Acropolis, Theatre, Altar of Zeus, and Temples of Trojan and Dionysos. After a traditional Turkish lunch (included), pay a visit to another important site, the Roman medical center of Asklepion, where you’ll learn how herbs, mud baths and dream analysis were used to help heal patients. 
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  • 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$238.38
$264.87
$26.49 savings
Price varies by group size
From
$238.38
$264.87
$26.49 savings
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures