İzmit is a big and a heavily industrialized city in Marmara Region, Turkey, located east of Istanbul, at the very end of the sword-like Gulf of İzmit, the long indentation of the Sea of Marmara towards the east. İzmit is a district of and the capital of the Kocaeli Province.
Nicomedes I of Bithynia, the ancient kingdom that encompassed the lands east of the Sea of Marmara, founded his capital across from the site of the Greek colony of Astakos ("lobster", modern Başiskele, a suburb to the south) in 264 BC, naming it after himself, Nicomedia. Under the "Tetrarchy" ("four rulers") system between 293 and 313 CE, Nicomedia became the eastern (and the most senior) capital of the Roman Empire. It kept this status until Constantine the Great moved the imperial capital to nearby Byzantium (renamed to Constantinople, modern Istanbul) in 330. The Ottomans took the city in 1337, calling it at first İznikmid, a variation of its original name, and eventually shortening this to İzmit.
|Climate chart (explanation)|
İzmit's climate, in short, is oceanic with a touch of Mediterranean. It features very warm, showery summers, and chilly, very rainy and occasionally snowy winters. Morning fog is an almost constant sight year-round.
Summer days are very warm with high temperatures peaking around 28°C in August, while summer nights are relatively chilly, at least compared to Istanbul. Rain during this time is occasional and brief, but also heavy, sometimes bringing strong thunderstorms to the region.
Spring and fall are mild and an ideal time to visit, more so in the warmer parts of both seasons, as night-time temperatures can dip below 0°C as early as November and as late as May. It's also important to keep in mind that both spring and fall is rainier than summer, with about 10 days of rain a month.
Winter is -as Istanbul's 4-month long slushy mess would also indicate- not the best time to go, to say the least. Expect 15-20 days of rain a month, including the possibility of a few days of snow. If it's a sunny day out, expect a much colder (down to -10°C on colder periods) night than Istanbul, even if it's milder during the day.
Several daily regional expresses connect İzmit with nearby Istanbul. The average price is about 5.50 TL/person. You can also book and buy a seat for long distance trains that leave Istanbul’s Asian station for other (Asian) destinations. The cheapest ticket for such a train is 3.75 TL/person, the rate for Doğu Express. The journey takes about 2 hours between Istanbul and İzmit by rail.
Both highways numbered D100 and O-4/E80 (toll-way) which connect Istanbul and Ankara, two biggest cities of Turkey, pass through or by the city. A drive from Istanbul should take no more than one hour, especially on the O-4/E80 which is of a better quality and avoids towns which D100 traverses all the way along.
The easiest way to arrive to Izmit is probably by coach. Private coach (bus) companies schedule regular journeys from Istanbul's two major bus terminals (Harem Otogar on the Asian side, and Esenler Otogar on the European side). Efe Tur and Izmit Tur (the two main coach companies operating in Izmit) run buses daily every 15–20 minutes from both bus terminals starting at 07:00 until 22:00. The fare is 10 TL from the Harem bus terminal, or 12 TL from the Esenler bus terminal.
Efe Tur and Izmit Tur will generally drop off passengers arriving from Istanbul in Izmit's city center, rather than Izmit's main bus terminal.
Izmit's bus terminal is located in the Yahyakaptan neighborhood, which is approx. 2 km away from the city center. There are many mini-buses (dolmuş) running from Izmit's main bus terminal to the city center. In addition, the major bus lines (Efe Tur and Izmit Tur) offer free shuttle services to the main neighborhoods around Izmit.
It is also possible to travel to or from any major city in Turkey from Izmit's main bus terminal.
- 1 Clock Tower (Saat Kulesi) (at downtown). An elegant clock tower dating back to 1901. The clock tower now has the added feature of a beautiful waterfall and from the garden by the tower you have a wonderful view of the Gulf of Izmit.
- 2 Kocaeli Archaeology and Ethnograpy Museum (İzmit Museum) (Kozlu neighborhood). Housed in the former railway station of İzmit, designed by German architect Otto Ritter, and built between 1873 and 1910. After restoration works for redevelopment, which began in 2004, the museum was opened early 2007. There are 1,965 archaeological, 1,549 ethnographic objects, 5,155 coins, a 130-seated conference room and a laboratory. Artifacts from Paleolithic, Hellenic, Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman era are partly exhibited in the museum halls and partly open-air in the museum yard. A cafeteria and restaurant, inside a redesigned train of a steam locomotive and two railway cars, serve the visitors.
- 3 SEKA Paper Museum, Mehmet Ali Kağıtçı Sokak, No: 77, Kocaeli district, ☏ . Tu-Su 09:00-18:00. A museum of industrial heritage dedicated to papermaking in Turkey. Machinery and equipment used in the papermaking process are an essential part of the museum. The museum also contains workshops for traditional papermaking, paper craft and paper art such as origami, kirigami, paper painting, calligraphy, miniature art, manuscript illumination and paper marbling. There are sculptures created from recycled materials.
- 1 La Flora House Hotel, Yenişehir, Dönmez Sk. No:13, 41040, ☏ . A hotel offering complimentary breakfast and some fitness machines. 311 TL.
- 2 Tryp by Wyndham İzmit, Körfez, Liman Cd. No:88, 41090 Başiskele/Kocaeli, ☏ . Indoor and outdoor pool and restaurant/complimentary breakfast here, with a view of the Gulf of Izmit 273 TL.
Telephone code of İzmit is 262 (+90 262 when calling from out of Turkey).
|Routes through Izmit|
|Edirne ← Istanbul ←||W E||→ Bolu → Ankara|