Agora Open Air Museum (Izmir Agora)
Most Izmir sightseeing excursions stop by the Agora alongside attractions such as Alexander the Great’s hilltop castle (Kadifekale), the Izmir Archaeology Museum, and the Kemeralti bazaar. To learn about Smyrna’s ancient history, opt for a walking tour of the open-air museum—strolling among the columns, archways, and structures gives you an idea of what the bazaar might have been like. Don’t miss the Corinthian colonnade, the Faustina Gate, and the remains of two basilicas.
Things to know before you go
- Admission to the Agora is free for children under age 10.
- Information boards are available in English and Turkish, but it’s worth visiting with a guide to understand the historical context of the ruins.
- Grass, uneven ground, and unpaved tracks make access limited for wheelchairs and strollers.
- You’ll find several cafés and restaurants around the entrance to the open-air museum.
How to get there
Located just east of downtown Izmir, the Agora Open Air Museum is about a 15-minute walk from the Kemeralti bazaar. There’s free parking outside for those with a car.
When to get there
The museum is typically open daily. The open-air site has little shade, so if you’re there in summer, arrive in the early morning or late afternoon to avoid the hottest part of the day.
Ancient Ruins Around Izmir
A popular resort, Izmir is a strategic spot from which to explore the ancient wonders of Turkey’s Mediterranean coast. To the north, the ancient city of Pergamon is a UNESCO World Heritage Site famous for its acropolis and hilltop amphitheater. Ephesus lies to the south—highlights include the Temple of Artemis and the Library of Celsus. Or, check out the less-visited Greek and Roman ruins of Aigai, which once served as a sanctuary of Apollo.
- Izmir Cruise Port
- Baths of Varius
- Izmir Clock Tower (Izmir Saat Kulesi)
- Church of St. Polycarp
- Izmir Ethnography Museum (Izmir Etnografya Muzesi)
- Izmir Archaeology Museum (Izmir Arkeoloji Muzesi)
- Konak Square (Konak Meydani)
- Basilica of St. John
- Temple of Artemis (Artemision)
- Ephesus (Efes)
- Library of Celsus
- Public Latrine at Ephesus
- Temple of Hadrian at Ephesus
- Ephesus Terrace Houses