Izmir has more going for it than meets the eye. Most sites are affordable or FREE. So, after you have spent all your money in Istanbul, pop on down to Izmir and enjoy the cheaper side of traveling in Turkey!
One of the best FREE tourist outings is Izmir’s first asansör or elevator! The Historical “Asansor” is a Turkish word taken from the French word “ascenseur.”
Built in 1907 by Nesim Levi Bayraklıoğlu, the historical building was crafted in order to make a connection from the lower level of Karatas to the upper hillside. Nesim built this elevator for the elderly, pregnant, and disabled people to get up to the top street without difficulty.
Years later, it was given to the Izmir Municipality to Izmir citizens.
What is there to do:
The elevator is not only functional but beautifully architected as well. From the top, visitors can see panoramic views of Izmir. Large metal standing binocular provide a closer view of buildings and sites for only one Turkish Lira.
At the top, there is a wonderful cafe-restaurant where you can enjoy a meal or just a drink. Along the upper streets, one can see historical houses and decorated stairs.
How much does it cost:
Actually, it’s free! There are two cabins each for 13 people and through the small windows seeing outside is possible. You may just have to wait in line on a busy day.
How to get there:
The elevator is located in İzmir’s Karataş quarter, within the boundaries of the metropolitan district of Konak. You can access by boat, tram, bus, or taxi depending on where you are coming from. I like using the İzmir Büyükşehir Belediyesi free App for figuring out transportation.
From Karşıyaka area, take any boat towards Konak Ferry Port and then you can take the tramway or walk. On a nice day, definitely take the 20ish minute walk to the elevator! The closer you get to the elevator is surrounded by narrow old streets lined with cafes primed to sit and enjoy. If walking is not an option, hop on the tramway at the Konak Iskele stop and take it one stop to the Karataş tramway – map here.
From Alsancak, take the tramway to the Karataş stop and walk from there.
screenshot from Google Maps
Screenshot from the Tramway website.
Make sure to stop by the rainbow-colored stairs for a photo shoot. You will definitely look like a local if you do!
Is it worth the trip:
Well, we think so! On a good, clear day, visitors can see all of Izmir. Another area to visit for views of Izmir is Kadifekale just up from the Agora. (Both I plan to write about soon!)
This was one of the highlights of our beautiful city of Izmir and great for seeing the views. We highly recommend it!
Now to you:
Have you been here before?
Would you consider this worth visiting in Izmir?
Any other tips for people who want to visit? Comment below and share them with us!