Izmir Events, Things to Do and Festivals

(Izmir, Turkey)

Photo of celebrating crowdsAs with the whole of Turkey, a number of important national festivals, religious events and public holidays are celebrated in Izmir, such as the Commemoration of Ataturk on May 19th, Victory Day on August 30th and the Turkish Republic Day on October 29th.

However, Izmir has its very own calendar of events and things to do, which it can be justifiably proud of. The crowning glory is certainly the International Izmir Festival, which takes place annually from the middle on June and lasts just over four weeks in total.

Picture of sailing festival

Izmir Calendar of Festivals and Events 2014 / 2015

Tourists whose holiday happens to coincide with the celebrations during the International Izmir Festival can expect to enjoy everything from classical concerts by leading philharmonic orchestras, to theatrical performances. These popular events take place both in the city (usually within the Kultur Park) and close by, in some rather ancient venues at Cesme, Metropolis and Ephesus. The International Izmir Festival was first held in 1987 and has gained stature and prominence ever since.

Other very notable events standing out on the calendar include the Izmir European Jazz Festival, which is hosted by the Izmir Foundation for Culture, Arts and Education (IKSEV) and has taken place each March since 1994. Many leading jazz artists and musicians are drawn to this event not only from all over Turkey, but throughout Europe.

The Izmir International Fair (IEF) sees visitor numbers swell noticeably in September and this huge event fills much of Kultur Park, when an enormous number of trade stands and exhibitions provide more than enough to fill an entire day. Soon after, the Izmir International Short Film Festival is another event worth looking out for and is a particular highlight during the autumnal month of October, with various movie screenings and awards ceremonies being staged in central venues.