when you get to Izmir airpot dont take the taxi if you are not in hurry. there is a train service to the center. easy n cheap. Also there is a shuttle service called "HAVAS". You can see busses easily and get on without doubt.
it will take you to Efes Hotel(close to Hilton)-karsiyaka.
Overall, this is a pretty safe city and the people of Izmir are very friendly and helpful. You still should be careful, of course. Particularly in the Bazaar area where little kids will come up to you trying to get you to buy something and then snag something from your pocket.
When in Izmir, you will see many cats roaming around, as well as dogs who enjoy sleeping everywhere and anywhere. For the most part, these are not domesticated animals, and they may only run away from you. But if you corner one, it may bite and/or scratch the hell out of you and give you some pain and discomfort. Also, the fleas on these animals could carry any number of diseases.
...is now a new concept for me... NEVER before had I experienced so aggressive drivers that do not know how to control their vehicles... incredible!
I am happy we survived without even a scratch, but it was a miracle...
MOSTLY @ KEMERALTI and KONAK area, wich is shopping market area where you can almost find anything and CHEEP!! this area is located right behind the famoous clock tower and mostly choosen by locals for all there shopping needs.
Here also you will find a lots of really good experien ced hustlers where they can almost tell where you from by looking at you for five seconds.
They are slick and some are well dressed and good looking some are looks like very intelegent European gents.
as soon as they realize where youy from they approach with your own language, no metter where you from, Greek, African, German, French, Spanish no problem, they speak all even perfect Russian.
And all of them got same story '' their uncle or brother own aa Jewelleery or Leather shop, if you are not interested then theiir sister oown a shoe shop or silver shop, NOT INTERESTED then lets visit their nephews souvenir shop may help you. soo all got same story. and as you know they all live by commission.
so if you want to buy anything in this area try to choose the shops who have a price tags.
It's unfortunate, but there are some people in Turkey who may be out to scam you.
After I returned to the states, I found there was a withdrawal from my debit card in a city in Turkey that I never even visited. Fortunately, I was able to recover the funds. I am not sure exactly how this happened. It may have been a Turkish guy who helped me get an airline ticket, or it might have been because of an ATM machine that had been rigged to steal ATM card passwords, etc.
Beware of anyone volunteering to play tour guide for you, who then ushers you into a carpet store--it's a scam. Don't drink the tap water; even the locals buy bottled water. Beware of traffic; it can make New York look tame.
Beware of the gypsy women and their children. They will accost you at at busy points in the city, begging you to buy kleenex, etc.