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Sitting proudly astride the stunning Gulf of Izmir, the city divides into distinct areas each with its own character and ambiance. The cultural and geographical heart of the city is the Konak district, an seafront area of contrast that captures the spirit of Izmir. Konak is all about modernist architecture and wide boulevards, a great place to let the hours pass while eating, drinking, walking, talking, shopping and watching. Just behind the seafront is the bazaar, an atmospheric warren of narrow winding streets, where the sights and sounds of the traders transport you back to far distant times and undoubtedly impress any visitor to the city. Yet there is still more on offer for the adventurous visitor. North of Konark is the Alsancak area. Alsancak has undergone a dramatic renaissance and has been transformed from the unwanted neighbour into an exciting and happening party district where you will find enough night time entertainment to satisfy the most hardened hedonist.
Sitting proudly astride the stunning Gulf of Izmir, the city divides into distinct areas each with its own character and ambiance. The cultural and geographical heart of the city is the Konak district, an seafront area of contrast that captures the spirit of Izmir.
Izmir is a shopper’s delight. Whether you’re looking for an outfit to strut your stuff in the evening, or for those handcrafted gifts to take home for the family, you won’t be disappointed. For a shopping experience with a difference, head for the labyrinth that is the bazaar. From Konak Square, head down Anafartalar Caddesi – this is the main street where you’ll find a host of traders selling the clothes, shoes and jewellery needed for that night on the town. The streets to the south of Anafartarlar Caddesi, particularly Fevzipasa Bulgari, is a feast of leather goods, for which Izmir is famous. Pick up a bag, a jacket or a belt, but be ready to barter. For antiques and traditional craftwork, head for the atmospheric Kizlaragasi Han. This covered market is a fine example of Ottoman architecture where you will find artisans selling everything from copper kitchen utensils to kilims. If you’re looking for a nargile (Turkish Water pipe) to take home, then Ilhan Etike has some of the finest. If the bustle of the market isn’t for you and you like your shopping experience a little more sedate, then head for the boutiques on the Kordon promenade in Alsancak and on Cumhuriyet Avenue near to Passport Iskelesi.
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