A Day of Museums
One of the ways to discover the historical and cultural heritage of İzmir is to visit its museums. Here are our recommendations for those who want to spend a full day at the museums of İzmir;
İzmir is a city that is home to rich museums exhibiting many findings from the Roman period to the Republican period. If you are into history, culture, cultural heritage, and art, you won't even notice how time passes as you visit museums that are located mostly in the city center.
If you are going to have a ‘museum day’ in İzmir, we recommend you to focus on the museums in the city center. However, besides this list we have prepared for you, do not forget to take a look at the museums around the city. So you can know if there is a museum you should not miss in a district where you already planned to go for a swim or visit the historical sites.
İzmir Community Painting and Sculptures Museum Art Gallery
İzmir Community Painting and Sculptures Museum Art Gallery welcomes its visitors with its rich collection of paintings and sculptures in a three-story building in Konak, the heart of the city.
The gallery which serves to promote the spread of plastic arts and to support talented artists as well as exhibiting the works of famous artists, has a total of 546 works, including more than 400 paintings.
Workshops for traditional hand and decorative arts such as gilding, miniature, tile-making, marbling, sim-glaze, etc. are also organized in this museum.
İzmir Archeology Museum
İzmir Archeology Museum, which is located in Bahribaba Park in Konak, hosts findings that have traces from the 8,500-year-long history of İzmir and it is one of the first museums to visit in the city. You can see many finds from the excavations in various parts of the city including Bayraklı (Smyrna), Ephesus, and Bergama, in this museum.
Apart from the large statues, busts, portraits, and masks, the popular artifacts in the museum are the "Androklos Statue", which is dated to Roman times and believed to belong to Ephesus' founder Androklos, "Bronze Running Athlete Statue" and "Bronze Demeter Statue", both found sunken in the Aegean Sea, the coins from the Archaic, Hellenistic, Roman, Byzantine, and Islamic Periods, decorations made of gold, silver, and gemstones, and glassware from the Hellenistic, Roman, and Byzantine Eras.
İzmir Ethnography Museum
After visiting İzmir Archeology Museum, it’s time to step into İzmir Ethnography Museum, which shares the same garden.
Nearly extinct handicrafts like horseshoe making, tinsmithing, pottery, evil eye bead smithing, wood printing, carpet weaving, rope smithing, point lacing, and leathercraft are enacted and presented by mannequins. The first Turkish Pharmacy (Ittihat Eczanesi), 19th-century brides room, sitting room, circumcision room, kitchenware, Aegean bridal veils, decorations for ladies and babies of different origin are also viewed with great interest by the visitors.
Ümran Baradan Game and Toy Museum
Ümran Baradan Game and Toy Museum, one of the few toy museums in Turkey and the first one in İzmir, was opened in 2004 by the Konak Municipality. The museum includes the most important toys of the world history made of tin, wood, paper, and plastic from the 1850s to 1970s with the contributions of the founder of İstanbul Toy Museum, writer and poet Sunay Akın. Toys of Micky Mouse, the first baby doll to have real hair, and dollhouses particularly attract the visitors.
İsmet İnönü's House
The founder of the Turkish Republic Atatürk’s closest brother in arms, Turkey’s first Prime Minister and second President İsmet İnönü was born in this house in 1884. The house was turned into a museum in 2018. In the house, where you can see İnönü’s belongings and clothing, ceremonies are held for İsmet İnönü’s birthday (September 24), death anniversary (December 25th) and the anniversary of the signing of Lausanne Peace Treaty (July 24).
İzmir History and Arts Museum
İzmir History and Arts Museum, which has been open since 2004 and exhibits the works uncovered during the excavations in and around the city, is located in Kültürpark.
The museum, which provides service in 3 different buildings in a wide area of 13 thousand 320 square meters, has many important artifacts such as statues, embossments, pieces of sculpting from the Archaic, Hellenistic, and Roman Eras, the busts and figurines extracted from the İzmir Agora, the Artemis - Poseidon - Demeter Embossment, the statue depicting the Lake God Kaistros (which is one of the most valued artifacts of the Roman Era), friezes from the Teos Dionysos Temple and embossments from the Miletos Theater, busts from Hellenistic and Roman Eras, findings and pieces of ceramic from Prehistoric settlements to the Byzantine Era, and more.
İzmir Atatürk Museum
In the İzmir Atatürk Museum, which is one of the most magnificent structures in Kordon, information and documents about the Turkish Republic's founding father Mustafa Kemal Atatürk's life and his visits to İzmir are displayed.
In the building, which is a fine example of the 19th-century neoclassical architecture, the meeting room, study room, bedroom, guest room, barber room, aide room, waiting - reception room, library, dining room, and bathroom that Atatürk once used can be seen.
İzmir Commerce History Museum
The İzmir Commerce History Museum in Konak shows the city’s identity and its history, molded with commerce and culture through archeological and ethnographic pieces. The museum, which is the first commerce museum of Turkey, exhibits ceramics, earth figurines, glass artifacts, and seals as well as gold, silver and bronze coins from different periods.
Ahmet Piriştina City Archives and Museum (APIKAM)
The Ahmet Piriştina City Archives and Museum, which is located İzmir Fire Brigade’s Central Building which was built in 1932 and carries the effects of early Republican architecture, serves as an archive of the İzmir Metropolitan Municipality. In the Museum there are 1,440 volumes in Ottoman Turkish, nearly 8 thousand newspapers printed in Latin and 5 thousand handwritten works, all open to researchers.
Ege University History of Nature Museum
Ege University History of Nature Museum, which was opened in 1967, is the second oldest history of nature museum. It is also Turkey’s first academic museum, with the master's program and research staff.
Within the paleontology, rocks, and minerals, birds, general zoology and evolution, and compared osteology galleries you will find prehistoric fossils of plants and animals as well as marks of humans in the first age. In the Museum are also 10 – 15-million-year-old animal fossils and 350-million-year-old plant fossils, and invertebrate fossils. There is also a footprint from a human that thought to have lived 10 thousand years ago and a two-thousand-year-old elephant skeleton.
Ege Üniversitesi Kitap ve Kağıt Sanatları Müzesi
Turkey's first Book and Paper Arts Museum exhibits examples of many stages of paper and print, from producing the paper to using it for art. In the museum, which was opened in 2012, over 700 pieces are displayed. You can see the paper examples on the first floor, and books in the second.
Ege Üniversitesi Etnografya Müzesi
The first in Turkey to be opened in a university in cooperation with the Ministry of Culture, the museum has examples of traditional clothing, jewelry, and traditional music instruments of Anatolia, Thrace, and Balkan countries.
Music Museum and Sound Library (MUZIKSEV)
The Music Museum and Sound Library is located in a renovated historical İzmir house across from the Alsancak Station. It was opened in 2006, and it is the only one of its kind in Turkey. It is a museum in which especially modern Turkish composers’ valuable notes and books on music can be kept, and a place where people getting musical education, musicologists and everyone interested in music can benefit from.
Selçuk Yaşar Museum and Art Gallery
Opened in 1985, Selçuk Yaşar Museum and Art Gallery is Turkey’s first private gallery. The ground floor is the gallery, while the top floor is for the museum’s permanent pieces. A large portion of the museum has pictures from Selçuk Yaşar's collection, and there are also paintings that won the DYO painting competition, which has been held since 1967.
The museum’s collection is rich enough to tell the story of the Turkish painting in the last half-century.
State Railways - TCDD Museum
State Railways - TCDD Museum is waiting for you in the two-story building which was built in the 1850s across from Alsancak Station. In the museum, you can discover the history of railways in Turkey. There are objects, documents, records and photographs from stations in the area, especially the first station Aydın Kasaba. The museum, which attracts the attention of train and railway enthusiasts, also has a gallery that hosts periodical exhibitions.
Natural Stones and Their Technologies Museum
Natural stones brought from different corners of Turkey are exhibited at the Natural Stones and Their Technologies Museum in Kültürpark. Turkey owns 40% of the world's marble reserves. Every march, Izmir holds one of the world's five largest marble expositions, the Marble International Natural Stones and Their Technologies Expo. This museum displays the beauty and variety of marbles brought in from all around the country. In the museum, 300 pieces are displayed in rotation.
İnciraltı Naval Museum
İnciralti Naval Museum, one of the few naval museums of Turkey, is one of the places that everyone interested in maritime should see. You can discover the history of Turkish maritime in the museum in Balçova, which started to serve at the İnciralti Pier by converting the Ege (Aegean) Frigate and Piri Reis Submarine into a museum after completing their active duties.
Police Memorial House
The Police Memorial House is located at the Eşrefpaşa Exit of the Anafartalar Street in Mazarlıkbaşı. Many objects from uniforms, guns, accessories, and hardware to documents formerly used by the police are exhibited at the museum the building of which is an example of buildings prone to orientalism in İzmir with its facework.
İzmir Museum of Radio and Democracy
İzmir Museum of Radio and Democracy, the first museum to bring the concepts of radio and democracy together, consists of six rooms and a library. Near 150 radio, turntables, and records are displayed in the museum, where the books in the library tell about the significant events in the history of radio and democracy. The museum also hosts different events such as film screenings and interviews with radio broadcasters.
Joy and Cartoon Museum
If you are interested in knowing the history of humor in Turkey, this museum is perfect for you. Works of the leading Turkish cartoonists such as Eflatun Nuri and Güngör Kabakçıoğlu are archived at the museum. Workshops for students who are interested in cartoons are also available.
İzmir Mask Museum
The first mask museum in Turkey is located in Alsancak and waiting for its visitors who’d like to get into the colorful and magical world of masks. The museum exhibits more than 300 artifacts in five different categories: Ritual Masks, Theater Masks, Anatolian Masks, Death Masks, and Impressive Ones.
İzmir Women’s Museum
The İzmir Women's Museum, which was opened in 2014 in the historic neighborhood of Basmane, is one of the boutique museums of İzmir. It is also the first women's museum in Turkey. The museum has 13 rooms. Each room in the museum has different concepts. Masks of Turkish pioneer women such as Halide Edip Adıvar, Afife Jale, Cahide Sonku, and Füreya, and the statue of the famous poet Nazım Hikmet are amongst the popular pieces of the museum.
Uşakizade Latife Hanım Mansion
The Uşakizade Mansion was used as the "Supreme Military Command Headquarters" for a while, after Mustafa Kemal Atatürk's visit here in 1922. Atatürk got married to Latife Hanım on January 29, 1923, also here in this mansion in Göztepe. The mansion was then converted into a museum open to visit in 2001. On special days, exhibitions are organized.
Latife Hanım Mansion Memorial House
The Latife Hanım Mansion has a high sentimental value because it's the building where Zübeyde Hanım, mother of the Great Leader Atatürk, spent her last days and passed away. In the museum, which was opened in 2008 by Karşıyaka Train Station after its restoration, antiques from that era as well as wax figures of Atatürk, Zübeyde Hanım, and Latife Hanım are exhibited.
Hamza Rüstem Fotoğraf Evi
In the Hamza Rüstem Photography House, which was opened in 2011 by the Karşıyaka Municipality, the nearly 100-year-old archive and collection of the Hamza Rüstem Photography House, one of the oldest photo studios, is on display. Also in the museum are original cameras, photos, photographic ephemera, and various photography equipment.
Bornova City Archive and Museum
Dramalılar Mansion, which was home to many Greek and Turkish families, has been waiting for its visitors as Bornova City Archive and Museum. In the mansion which was restored by Bornova Municipality, you can get a lot of information from the history of the district to the daily life and make a journey to the past of the district with the exhibits.
The museum allows its visitors to experience the mansion life of the past times with remakes of ancient kitchens, baths and living rooms as well as sports, education, agriculture, trade, and industry exhibitions
A Day of Museums in Videosmore
Just a Step Away from You! Besides its remarkable features, its geographical location is one of the most important reasons for choosing İzmir. It can easily be reached with a few hours of flight...
Located at the southeast of İzmir, Ödemiş is one of the districts that you will not be able to get enough of. There is the opportunity to experience many different types of tourism from...
İzmir is a paradise for art lovers. Here are some destinations to visit when you’d like to spend a day full of art in this beautiful city.