I took a night bus from Istanbul to Selcuk to visit Ephesus, but now I’m thinking that it was a better idea to use Izmir as a base to visit Ephesus and Pamukalle (I personally did not visit Pamukalle).
From Izmir, you can take a train to Selcuk (5TL) , and from there, take a dolmus to the Ephesus ruins (2.5TL one way).
As for Izmir itself, it didn’t really attract me as a city. There is a beautiful bay, a market, a few tourist attarctions (monuments etc) but nothing that would make me go there again.
My hostel was in Alcansak so I started with the Ataturk Museum. Next I walked along the bay to the cultural center. Nearby is the Ethnographic Museum (free) and Archeological Museum (10TL).
The Ethnographic Museum was really good, although only 2 floors were open when I went. Then I ate lunch at one of food stands in front if the clock tower. I paid 2 TL for a sandwich with cheese, tomatoes and a piece of chilli. Not the best food I had in Turkey, but hey, food still.
I then made my way to ‘Konak’ and ladies, this is where to shop! There were so many shops it’s crazy. Clothes, bags, shoes, I’m not much of a shopper, but there were things that were so cheap, I had to make use of it. A nice blouse was about 7-9TL, a dress about 20TL. But, they were having a lot of sales for bayram (Eid) , a yearly celebration for muslims here and all over the world.
With my bags (and a khaki trench coat that I’m SO glad I bought) I made my way back to my hostel, In House Hostel. After dinner, I slept early.
All in all, I was in Izmir as a way for me to get to Antalya. I found it cheaper to get there from Izmir than Selcuk.
The bus station was quite far away from where I lived, and it was a 30-40 minutes walk across the city (through the Kultur Park) with my backpacks. If there’s 3-4 of you, I really suggest taking a taxi.
That’s all I have for Izmir!