İzmir is one of Türkiye’s most colorful and lively cities with a year-round calendar full of arts & culture. The city hosts a great variety of art events and exhibitions in its museums and cultural centers as well as concerts, festivals, and many outdoor activities – all taking place in İzmir’s wonderful climate that promises 300 days of sunshine a year.
Various concerts, festivals, art events, and performances take place at unique historical venues around İzmir like the world-famous ancient city of Ephesus, the Library of Celsus, the Odeon at Ephesus, the House of the Virgin Mary, St. Polycarp Church, Sığacık Castle, and more. Audiences have the opportunity to enjoy leading performers from Türkiye and abroad at the art events organized by the İzmir State Theater, the İzmir State Symphony Orchestra, and the İzmir State Opera and Ballet as well as private art institutions and foundations like the İzmir Foundation for Culture Arts and Education (İKSEV).
The İzmir State Theater, the İzmir State Symphony Orchestra, and the İzmir State Opera and Ballet are undoubtedly at the heart of a great number of İzmir’s art events. They stage art performances and concerts at the city’s emblematic venues throughout the season. The performances of the İzmir State Opera and Ballet take place at the fascinating Elhamra Theater, one of İzmir’s most spectacular historical buildings built in the Neoclassical style. The İzmir State Theater, one of the oldest art institutions of the city, stages many local and international plays during the season. The İzmir State Theater performs on several stages in the city such as the Karşıyaka Ragıp Haykır Theater and the Karşıyaka Chamber Theater. The İzmir State Symphony Orchestra, which performs at the Ahmet Adnan Saygun Arts Center and the İsmet İnönü Art Center, stages several concerts throughout the year.
In addition, the city hosts numerous art events such as plays staged by district municipality theaters and private theater companies, concerts by Turkish and international artists, performances by dance companies, and exhibitions of emerging and established artists.
Museums and Arts & Culture Centers
Kültürpark, a famous İzmir landmark, hosts numerous arts & culture events and concerts throughout the year. Kültürpark, which is the heart of İzmir's arts & culture scene, is located in the city center and is easily accessible. Located in Kültürpark, the Atatürk Open Air Theater hosts a wide range of artistic events, and many Turkish and international musicians, and theater, ballet, and dance groups take the stage here in spring and summer. İzmir Sanat, the İsmet İnönü Art Center, the Youth Theater, the İzmir Art and Sculpture Museum Kültürpark Exhibition Hall, and the History and Art Museum also located in Kültürpark, host panels, seminars, plays, film screenings, concerts, and exhibitions throughout the year.
The Arkas Art Center showcases the Arkas Collection, owned by Arkas Holding Chairman and collector Lucien Arkas, in a section of the French Honorary Consulate, one of İzmir's historical and most distinguished buildings. Arkas Art Urla presents a comprehensive selection from the Arkas Collection, which consists of art created by Turkish and international artists. Arkas Art Urla is housed in a modest but impressive building, while the collection includes paintings, sculptures, carpets, armor, and glass objects that shed light on different historical periods from a range of diverse geographies.
Founded by the İzmir Metropolitan Municipality, the Ahmet Adnan Saygun Arts Center was named after the famous composer and musician Ahmet Adnan Saygun, who was born in İzmir. The center’s concert hall was designed according to international acoustic standards and hosts various concerts and cultural activities throughout the year. Visitors can also enjoy outdoor activities that are held on summer evenings.
Located in Konak, which is considered the heart of the city, the DEU Sabancı Culture Palace and Ege University Atatürk Cultural Center host many artistic and cultural events such as concerts, theatrical plays, exhibitions, talks and panels.
The İzmir Art and Sculpture Museum and Gallery, which is also located in Konak, is one of the centers that brings vitality to İzmir's artistic scene. It welcomes visitors with a rich painting and sculpture collection, and exhibitions featuring the works of distinguished artists. The museum also offers art workshops and has a library.
The Historical Coal Gas Factory is now a cultural center after it was restored by the İzmir Metropolitan Municipality and opened its doors in 2007. The center has become an indispensable stop for art lovers with its historical structure and many art events such as open-air film screenings and concerts.
Two other prominent venues that contribute to the city’s arts & culture scene and that host arts events and performances are the Bostanlı Suat Taşer Open-Air Theater and the İnciraltı Open-Air Theater.
İzmir has always been a source of inspiration for artists - its location on the Aegean coast, its rich history, and splendid architecture catalyze artistic creation. Visitors here have the opportunity to admire the works of local and international artists in many well-established art galleries that are spread across the city.