One of the most repeated photographs of Izmir is its boardwalk seen from Asansör. Being the views of the bay undoubtedly attractive, we cannot forget that the building itself and the restaurants located above deserve a visit to this old elevator located in the Jewish district of Izmir.
Asansör means lift in Turkish. This historic building was built in 1907 by a wealthy Jewish citizen named Levi Nesim Bayraklıoğlu, he wanted to make life easier for local residents of Karatas. In this area of Izmir, the mountain is very close to the sea and the neighborhood is split in two by a vertical cliff higher than twenty feet.
Currently, the elevator is a city free service that even has a small parking for visitors to in the lower entry. Although the place is one of the tourist attractions of the city, it is still used by the residents as an everyday means of transportation and if we go in the afternoon, we will probably go up together with schoolchildren returning home using the elevator or ladies with shopping bags.
The street leading to Asansor has been restored and the neighborhood has now a nice traditional flavor. In this street lived singer Dario Moreno and the city has given his name to the street.
Upstairs there are two restaurants, the one on the left is more formal and with higher prices, it offers a varied menu with traditional Turkish starters and main course to choose. The views from the terrace in the summer nights are spectacular.
On the right side there is a cafe-restaurant where we can sit and have a coffee, beer or even simple dishes for less money. Of course, there are tables both inside and outside so you can enjoy the scenery.
It is highly recommended to schedule our arrival to Asansor before sunset, so we will first see the city in the daytime, then the sunset over the bay of Izmir and finally, the lights of the city at night besides the light of the ships at anchor in front of us. A good time for amateur photographers.
Walking distance from Konak Square takes about 30 minutes, if we take a taxi 5 minutes will cost us some 10 lira.