Getting from Istanbul to Izmir (and return)
Izmir is the third largest city in Turkey, located on the Central Aegean coast. It is the second busiest port in the country and a major transportation hub. Getting between Istanbul and Izmir is not hard at all but choosing the means of transport depends on your time and budget.
The cheapest and quickest way to travel between Istanbul and Izmir is by plane. Low cost carriers connect the two travel hubs making flights very affordable (from €21 per person, one way). It’s just as cheap to travel by train and ferry, but the travel time is 8 hours.
Flights from Istanbul to Izmir
It is possible to book a direct flight from Istanbul Ataturk Airport (IST) into Izmir. Onu Air offers from flights from €27 per person, one way, while if you choose to fly on Atlas Jet the price is €30 per person, one way. The travel time is an hour.
You can also fly from the second airport in Istanbul – Sabiha (SAW) – to Izmir on Pegasus. The prices start at €21 per person, one way. The travel time is also an hour.
>>read more about Flights to Istanbul
Trains and ferries from Istanbul to Izmir
Izmir is served by two railway stations. Alsancak station is used for the commuter and local routes. There aren’t direct trains from Istanbul to Izmir. You have to change and take a ferry at Bandirma. It takes 2 hours to get from Istanbul to Bandirma by fast ferry; the train to Izmir from Bandirma takes 6 hours. A combined ticket is YTL 32 (about US$22) one way.
Another option is to travel via Eskisehir only by train. The total travel time is 8 hours (except the time you’ll wait for the connecting train in Eskisehir).
>>read more about Train travel in Turkey
Buses from Istanbul to Izmir
Buses between Istanbul and Izmir take 9-10 hours. Regular stops for toilets are made. Travelers are provided with hot drinks, water and snacks, included in the ticket price.
>>read more about Bus travel in Turkey
Driving from Istanbul to Izmir
If you want to explore Turkey at your own pace, consider renting a car and driving between the two cities. The driving distance is 564 km and the travel time is almost 8 h and 30 min.