Izmit was once known as Kocaeli and often it is still referred to Kocaeli today, the city spreads across several hills and over a narrow plain which is the hub of its commercial district. Izmit is not to be confused with Izmir which is on the Aegean Coast of Turkey, Izmit is in the Marmara region of Turkey, its east of Istanbul at the tip of the long and narrow Gulf of Izmit of the Sea of Marmara heading towards the east and it is the capital of the province of Kocaeli. It’s an ideal location being just 104km from Istanbul taking under two hours by car, making Izmit a desirable investment. A new high-speed train service from Istanbul takes only 45 minutes and Ankara is just 3 hours away and both are a minimal cost, an extra benefit of living in Izmit is that it is served by two excellent highways linking Istanbul and Ankara as a main train and road line. This exceptional city is at the heart of the paper industry, has an oil refinery and is home to other major industries and the port of Izmit is both vital for international and domestic shipping. This bustling city is ideal for city workers who want to live here with their families and not reside in Istanbul. The centre of Izmit has a great selection of cafes, restaurants, shops and all the amenities you would expect to see in this modern cosmopolitan city and you won’t be disappointed.
Flights to Izmit are by way of flying into Istanbul to SAW Istanbul Sabiha Gocken airport. It takes only a 90-minute transfer from the airport to the centre of Izmit. International flights fly into Istanbul airport several times a day and are ideal for locals to visit the area and for tourists flying in on holiday from around the globe. Transfers are quick and easy either by shuttle bus, taxi or hire car making your journey a pleasant one.
Izmit offers beautiful districts such as Bahcik which is only 10km from the centre of Izmit. Bahcik has a combination of blue lakes, green mountains and fields and of course the sea. This lovely suburb is a haven for a peaceful, tranquil and serene environment away from busy Izmit and vibrant Istanbul. It is city living combined with a tranquil setting if you so desire and it’s an ideal area for touring Izmit and Istanbul. Seka Park is a lush park area giving excellent views of the city and lake with cycle lanes and children’s playgrounds plus cafes and restaurants make a nice Sunday afternoon a pleasant trip out. The locals and visitors love this park and weekends are the time to visit here, it’s very photogenic so take a camera you can spend the whole day there and stay until the sunsets for some truly amazing pictures. The stunning Pembe Kayalar translated means Pink Rocks are an amazing rock formation they are so beautiful that lots of the pink rock have been cut and used in the buildings of Mosques including the famous Sultanahmet Mosque in Istanbul. This area is so beautiful especially at sunset as the rocks appear to take on the colour of the setting sun, it’s also very popular during the weekend where you will see lots of people sitting amongst the rocks enjoying a picnic with friends and family.
The historic clock tower is indeed a focal point in Izmit and can be seen from just about anywhere it is a must see and is very beautiful in design and if you are interested in Mythology and Historical Arts you can visit the Museum and see all the artefacts they have on exhibition. The Naval Museum gives a true insight as to how the crew lived and worked on board a submarine and destroyers; it’s a fascinating display of Turkeys Naval history. There is a Science Museum showing a range of geology exhibits plus an insight into how the Law of Physics works. The Yeni Cuma Camii is a fine example of Turkish architecture and is one to be marvelled at, this beautifully designed Mosque is definitely worth a visit. In the old town of Izmit, you can easily find this interesting museum, the area really depicts the true Ottoman era, lots of wooden houses and old Turkish baths, which are really worth seeing. The beautifully decorated garden is almost like a park amongst the wooden houses. You can sit down and enjoy a Turkish coffee or tea (cay) and take in the breathtaking views of this lovely city, and an English speaking guide is on hand to narrate the story of its past. The little ones will love the small zoo which is perfect for children and the nature and wildlife parks are a treat for everyone. Izmit is where visitors go to relax it’s not vibrant but there is plenty to do and see, its often referred to as a calm peaceful place and being just 45 minutes from bustling Istanbul you can have the best of both worlds in Izmit. A visit to the fun fair will satisfy children and adults alike, its called the Park Lunasan Eglence Parki and is ideal for family fun and entertainment, concerts and shows are put on during the summer months and the whole park is very well maintained and looked after.
There are numerous shopping malls to satisfy the avid shopper with all the usual big name shops in Turkey. These shopping centres are well planned out with bars where you can sit and enjoy a drink whilst taking in the city views and plenty of food halls to keep the hunger pains at bay where you can stop and have a bite to eat mid-shop. Playgrounds are set up to keep the children amused and in some shopping centres, they even have bands playing whilst you shop. Eating out in Izmit is delightful with an excellent selection of cafes serving delicious coffee, restaurants and bars on hand to offer traditional mouth-watering local cuisine to seafood’s, steakhouses, BBQ, Chinese, Japanese, Thai, Mediterranean and other international favourites including Italian, British and American style diners, Gastro pubs are fun and vegetarians are not left out either. Basically, whatever you want you will be able to find it here in Izmit. Nightlife is chilled, but there are a good array of bars where you can indulge in a cocktail or two or sit in the local wine bar and sample a selection of good wines there is also a smattering of nightclubs to dance the night away, you can even sing at a karaoke bar if you wish. Living in Izmit offers a good combination of a working lifestyle with plenty to do on the weekends, where you can relax in peaceful surroundings but its close enough to exciting Istanbul.
Izmit offers a super alternative to Istanbul and let’s not forget that the capital of Turkey Ankara is a mere three hours away. This location is ideal if you are working in Istanbul but don’t want the busy life that goes with, it’s so easy to commute daily to the city if you work there. Izmit offers lush green surroundings so once you’re away from work you can relax and enjoy the parks and gardens and the whole atmosphere here means you can drop your shoulders and relax and your weekends will become a haven of tranquility, it’s an ideal location for families to reside on a permanent basis.