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 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, but if nearby Istanbul's climate is hard to explain, İzmit's is a lost cause. The amount of local microclimates is so many, it is impossible to explain in full detail unless you write pages of text about it; but for the sake of this section, İzmit is divided into two, and the climate chart shows the average of the climates of the two sides.
West of the city center, in Körfez and Gölcük, the climate is quite similar to that of southern İstanbul, with very warm, fairly dry summers, with warm summer nights. Winter here is cool with infrequent frost, but very frequent rainfall.
East of the city center, the climate rapidly changes, with very warm summers, but cool night-time temperatures, sometimes cool enough to make anyone want to put on a light jacket or sweater. Winter day-time temperatures stay cool, but some areas average below 0°C during night-time, making frost very common. Rainfall in this area is also more evenly spread out, with less rain during winter.
Rainfall in summer and fall tends to be heavy, especially further inland and can cause flooding and hail.
One thing that does not change with region is the downright impressive amount of morning fog İzmit can get throughout the year, especially late-spring to mid-summer and throughout fall. Fog doesn't continue until the afternoon, generally leaving its place to sunshine, but it still manages to decrease the daytime temperatures by around 3-4°C, especially in the periods mentioned before.
Snow, once again regardless of region, falls regularly every winter, with around two weeks of snow cover. However, the snow rarely stays for two weeks straight and is instead spread out over a few cold snaps throughout winter.
Spring (except March) and fall are both mild, but temperatures can fall below freezing during night-time until April and throughout November, more so on the eastern side of the city.
The best time to visit the city is early to mid-fall when the temperatures are mild to warm and rain is relatively less common. Late spring is also possible for visiting the city; the fog will be denser than ever, and will definitely contribute to some gorgeous views around the gulf, but this will also cause some travel delays, and that's not even mentioning the night-time temperatures, which can still be quite chilly.
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 7:00 AM until 10:00 PM. 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 railroad cars, serve the visitors.
- 3 SEKA Paper Museum.
Telephone code of İzmit is 262 (+90 262 when calling from out of Turkey).
|Routes through Izmit|
|Edirne ← Istanbul ←||W E||→ Bolu → Ankara|