Turkey's third-largest city is proudly liberal and deeply cultured. Garlanded around the azure-blue Bay of İzmir, it has been an important Aegean port since ancient times, when it was the Greek city of Smyrna, and its seafront kordon (promenade) is as fetching and lively as any in the world. The city's rich and fascinating heritage reflects the fact that it has been the home of Greeks, Armenians, Jews, Levantines and Turks over the centuries. While not as multicultural these days, it still has resident Jewish and Levantine communities and its unique and delicious cuisine attests to this. Foreign visitors here are largely limited to business travellers and tourists en route to Ephesus. The reason for this is a mystery to us, as the city is home to compelling attractions including one of Turkey's most fascinating bazaars, an impressive museum of history and art, and a local lifestyle as laid-back as it is welcoming.