Museums of Izmir

Archaeological Museum

The modern museum, located on Halil Rifat street in Konak district, was opened in 1984 after being open to public in different areas of the city since 1927. Exhibition halls, laboratories, warehouses, photography rooms, libraries, and conference halls cover an area of 5000 square meters, with over 1500 artifacts on display. The exhibition is organized in different floors and halls containing findings from ancient city of Smyrna as well as from surrounding ancient sites such as Iassos, Pitane (Candarli), Pergamon, Myrina and Kyme (Aliaga), Ephesus, Larissa and Gryneion (Menemen), Kolophon, Teos (Seferihisar), Klazomenai (Urla), Foca, Metropolis, and Lebedos. The museum is open everyday except Mondays.

Ethnographical Museum

Next to the Archaeological museum, there is an Ethnographical Museum with cultural objects from daily social life of Anatolian people housed in a 19th century three-storey Neoclassical building which was used as a hospital and seniors day care in the late 1800's. It was opened as a museum in 1984 after moving artifacts here from Ataturk's Mansion. These artifacts are displayed in the first two floors, meanwhile 3rd floor is reserved for storage, laboratory, photographic studio and administrative offices. The museum displays many models of extinct or near extinct handicrafts due to the industrialization, such as; tinsmith, clog making, pottery, blue bead making, wood imprinting, carpet weaving, rope making, feltsmithery and saddlery.

Ataturk Museum

The Neoclassic style four-storey masonry building on Ataturk Avenue (1. Kordon) in Alsancak district was built by the end of 19th century by a carpet merchant as a residence. After the abandon of the building in 1922 during the War of Liberation it was used by the Turkish Army as its headquarters. After 1923 the Army left the building and it was converted into a hotel, named as Naim Palas. During their visit to Izmir on 16th of June 1926, Ataturk and Ismet Pasha stayed here for a while. In the same year Izmir Municipality purchased the building and presented to Mustafa Kemal Ataturk as a gift, so Ataturk always stayed in this residence during his visits to Izmir between 1930 and 1934. After His death in 1938 the building was inherited by his sister Makbule Baysan and in 1940 the Izmir Municipality expropriated the building in order to convert it to a museum. It was opened to the public in 1941. The museum contains some furniture and rugs used by Ataturk, some of his personal objects, books and writing sets.

Ahmet Piristina Museum of Metropolitan History and Archive

The Museum of Metropolitan History and Archive is located in the old Fire Department office originally built in 1932 and which was restored in 2004. The museum is dedicated to Mr. Ahmet Piristina, former Head of Izmir Municipality who died in 2004, and was opened by the Municipality only few months before his unexpected death. This very well organized museum contains photographs, drawings and explanations about the history of Izmir since the times of Smyrna, from 3000 BC until our days. Last section of the exhibitions is reserved to the photographs of big fires in Izmir as the museum is housed inside an old Fire Department building. There are many permanent and temporary exhibitions, conference halls, research rooms, a restaurant and a cafeteria inside the building.

Selcuk Yasar Museum of Arts

Named after Selçuk Yasar, one of the well-known businessman of Izmir, this is the first paintings museum from a private sector opened in 1985 and is located in an old Izmir mansion on Cumhuriyet Boulevard at Alsancak district. There are various paintings on display, some belonging to Selcuk Yasar himself and some to the prize winners in the DYO Painting Contests held since 1967. The museum is open between 10:00-19:00 except on Sundays.

Museum of History and Art

The museum was opened to public in 2004 at Kulturpark for the exhibition of artifacts collected during excavations in and near Izmir. The displays are grouped in three main sections; stone works, ceramic works, valuable item works. On the entrance floor stone works such as statues from Archaic, Classic, Hellenistic, Roman and Byzantine periods are exhibited. A display of sarcophagi and steles in this floor show the burial culture of Hellenistic and Roman times. Sculptures, inscriptions and friezes of gladiators and Olympic games can also be found in this section. Ceramic works section has a very rich collection of this kind of objects covering a time range between Prehistoric and Byzantine period. In the valuable items section, gold, silver, bronze, and precious stone objects are on display, starting from 6th century BC until the Ottoman period. Especially coins and jewelery are the most interesting artifacts of this section.

Museum of Arts and Sculpture

The museum was opened as a gallery in 1952 inside the Kulturpark. There are many paintings, statues and ceramic works on display. Most of the works belong to Turkish artists, and some to foreign artists from different periods. The museum also contains a library with many books on arts and art history open to all students and researchers. There are classes and courses for design, painting, ceramics, water coloring, sculpturing, and traditional handicrafts in the workshop, these are open to primary school students at the weekends. Those who follow these arts courses for two years, receive a certificate at the end.

Railroad Museum

It's located in a four-floor stone building across the Alsancak train station. In several halls, you can find an art gallery and exhibitions of standard tools and equipment used in trains and stations, as well as uniforms of the personnel from the early days of Turkish Railways. Occasionally there are training and research workshops as well. During the late Ottoman period, the construction of railroads were privileged to foreign companies because of the fact that the Ottoman Government was in huge dept to those countries.

Museum of Commercial History

This is the first commercial history museum in Turkey established by Izmir Chamber of Commerce (IZTO) inside their structure in Pasaport neighborhood. The entrance to the museum is free of charge. At the entrance you can notice a model of a trading ship of 1st century AD as Smyrna was always on trade routes, showing how amphorae were stored in commercial ships in the old times. To the left, there is a model of Izmir and many displays containing ceramics, terracotta objects, statuettes, metal weights, oil lamps, glassware, seals, and gold, silver and bronze coins exhibited in chronological order dating back to prehistoric, archaic, Hellenistic, Roman, and Byzantine eras. On the walls, you can enjoy descriptions, maps and photographs of ancient land and sea trading routes around Smyrna, from past until today. To the right of the museum hall, weights, balances, calculators, gold and silver coins from the Ottoman period are displayed. There are also many photographs depicting the commercial life at Izmir from late Ottoman and early Republic periods.

Bahcesehir College Museum of Science

This is the second science museum of Turkey, after the museum in Istanbul. It's a new museum opened with the collaboration of Karsiyaka Municipality and Bahcesehir college, a private school in Turkey. The aim of the museum is to attract everybody from 7 to 70 years who have an interest for the science, helping them to interact with various scientific tests conducted by the specialists.

The Museum of Science is located at Mavisehir neighborhood in Karsiyaka district. It's open between 10:00 - 18:00 everyday except on Mondays. Advance reservation is required for group visits.

Umran Baradan Museum of Toys and Games

This is the second museum of toys in Turkey, after the museum in Istanbul. It's fairly a new museum opened in 2010 with the collaboration of Konak Municipality and Mrs. Ümran Baradan, a world famous Turkish ceramics artist. The museum is located in Varyant neighborhood of Konak district, in a mansion donated by Umran Baradan for this purpose.

There are about one thousand pieces including wooden toys, small soldiers, miniature horses, toy cars, ships, tops, babies and many other old toys displayed in the museum, played by the Turkish children in the past, some of them dating back to 1860's. Meanwhile in the courtyard there are medium sized statues of cartoon characters such as The Smurfs, Tom and Jerry, Mickey Mouse, Tweety, Buggs Bunny, Keloglan (Bold Boy, a Turkish character), Pinocchio, and Nasreddin Hodja.

The Toys and Games Museum is open everyday except on Sundays and Mondays, between 08:00 - 17:00 during winter months and between 08:30 - 17:30 during summer months. There is a symbolic entrance fee for the museum.

House of Inonu

The house of Ismet Inonu, a statesman and one of the former presidents of Turkey, where he spent his summer holidays during his young ages, is converted into a small museum where his personal objects and photographs are displayed today. It's an old Greek house with two floors, rennovated and opened as a museum in 1999.

The museum is located on a narrow street with steps at Ikicesmelik neighborhood in Konak district. It's open from Tuesday till Thursdays and on Saturdays, between 10:00-12:00 and 13:00-17:00.

Automobile museum in Torbali

In Torbali district you can visit Key Museum in which you can do a journey through the history of the car. The museum is one of Turkey's biggest and most extensive automobile museum with a collection of carefully selected classic cars from 1880's to our century, motorcycles, model cars and car mascots.

The museum is just 20 minutes drive from the airport or half an hour drive from the city center. It's open five days a week, being closed on Mondays and Tuesdays.

Other museums

Some other museums in or near Izmir are: Masks museum, Aegean University National History museum, museum of Women, museum of Joy and Caricatures, Radio and Democracy museum, Zubeyde Hanim Naval museum. Nearby Izmir there are also museums in Cesme, Tire and Odemis.

You should definately arrange city tours in & around Izmir to see better this great region.