Along the Aegean coast in western Anatolia lies Izmir, the third-most populous city in Turkey. Considered an important center of trade and commerce because of its harbor, this modern metropolis of more than 2.5 million people also offers fascinating reminders of ancient times, most notably the Temple of Artemis and the nearby city of Ephesus, along with other Izmir event venues like Kadifekale Castle and the Archaeological Museum. Groups also have an array of activities to pursue, including relaxing at the hot spa resorts, shopping at Kemeralti Market, spending time at the beach and dining in the districts of Alsancak and Karsiyaka.
A global gateway to the Aegean Region, the Izmir Adnan Menderes Airport is situated in Gezemir 11 miles south of the city and welcomes 6 million passengers annually. National carrier Turkish Airlines offers several flights from Istanbul to Izmir a day. Offering added convenience, the Izmir Metro has 10 stations between Ucyol and Bornova.
Izmir's Tepekule Convention & Exhibition Centre offers four fairgrounds spanning 7500 square meters in this four-story facility, with the theatre lobbies and 13 meeting hall all varying in size. September 2012 marked the debut of the Ephesus Convention Center in Kusadasi. Located 45 minutes from the Izmir airport, the center serves as the first modern, large-scale center on Turkey's Aegean coast.
Hotel venues in Izmir include the 207-room Hilton Izmir, which offers views of the bay and convenient access to the Old Town. This property has an Executive Lounge and 16 meeting rooms which can accommodate up to 1,000 people. Within walking distance to business and shopping districts, the 186-room Moevenpick Hotel Izmir has 10 meeting rooms, including a flexible ballroom. In the Balcova Region near the hot springs and thermal baths, the 316-room Kaya Thermal & Convention Izmir has 11 meeting spaces, the largest being the Izmir, spanning 6,560 square feet.
Outside of these main meeting venues, Izmir has several facilities for smaller functions. Since 1980, the Ege University Ataturk Culture Center has hosted all sorts of events from scientific symposiums and more in its two halls, which accommodate 65 and 623 respectively, 340-seat theater and Aegan Art Hall with its 100-person capacity. Planners can rely on the state-of-the-art acoustics at the Ahmet Adnan Saygan Art Center, a performing arts venue featuring a 1,225-seat main hall, a smaller 250-seat venue, areas for expositions and four meeting rooms.
Healthy meals with seafood, vegetables, herbs and olive oil is what to expect when dining in Izmir. Spectacular views, savory Turkish specialties and live music await at the Asansor Restaurant. Deniz Restaurant dishes out fresh fish, mezes and more and is able to accommodate up 150 in the main dining room, 50 in the non-smoking hall and 200 outside.