Mount Kadifekale Overview

Discover Mount Kadifekale, an ancient hilltop fortress in İzmir with a captivating history. The 3rd-century BC castle offers sweeping views of the Gulf of İzmir and the surrounding city. You can explore its remains during your visit, from towering walls to Roman cisterns. You can also enjoy the vibrant local atmosphere atop this significant cultural landmark.

Mount Kadifekale, perched atop Mount Pagos at 186 metres, is a historic fortress overlooking the Gulf of İzmir. Also known as the "Velvet Castle," this ancient site was originally established in the 3rd century BC. It was built by Lysimachos, one of the successors of Alexander the Great. The fortress has witnessed diverse civilisations, including Romans, Byzantines, and Ottomans. Today, its impressive ruins, including medieval walls and Roman cisterns, are a testament to the region's rich history. Exploring Mount Kadifekale and its fascinating heritage can be a highlight of Turkey trip packages.

Visitors can explore the castle ruins while enjoying stunning panoramic views of İzmir and its bustling port. Local vendors often sell handmade textiles and freshly baked bread around the site, offering a glimpse of the area's traditional culture. Visitors are usually drawn by the fortress's ancient architecture and the surrounding archaeological sites. Additionally, its vibrant local atmosphere makes Mount Kadifekale a must-visit destination for any traveller to İzmir.


• Explore the ancient ruins of Mount Kadifekale, the historic 3rd-century BC hilltop castle.
• Admire panoramic views of İzmir and the Gulf from the castle's elevated vantage point.
• Discover the remains of Roman cisterns, medieval walls, and Byzantine engravings.
• Visit the nearby Kadifekale Mosque, showcasing elegant Ottoman architecture and motifs.
• Enjoy musical concerts by the Barış Youth Symphony Orchestra in the surrounding neighbourhood.

How To Reach

1. By Road: Kadifekale is located at the top of Mount Kadifekale on Laleli Mahallesi in İzmir, just east of the city’s Konak district. It is approximately 2.6 kilometres from İzmir.

2. By Car: From the city centre of İzmir, drive south on Gaziosmanpaşa Boulevard, then continue along Eşrefpaşa Street before following the signs for Kadifekale. It takes around 10 to 15 minutes, depending on traffic.

3. By Bus: Take bus routes 30, 33, 70, or 80, heading towards Kadifekale. Alternatively, you can take bus numbers 104, 157, 202 and 253. The ride from Konak Square in İzmir typically takes 20 minutes. The bus ride will take you through the ancient (pre-1922) slums and winding streets of İzmir before reaching Kadifekale.

Best Time To Visit

Mount Kadifekale is a year-round destination, offering incredible views and fascinating historical exploration throughout the seasons. Every season presents unique charms, making it a versatile destination for history enthusiasts and nature lovers.

1. Best Season: Plan your visit to Kadifekale between May and September. This is when you can enjoy mild, warm temperatures here. Izmir's International Festival in June adds a vibrant cultural experience to your trip.

2. Best Day of the Week: Weekday visits are recommended for a trip to Kadifekale. These days offer a quieter atmosphere, allowing you to soak in history and landscape peacefully.

3. Best Time of the Day: Try to visit Kadifekale during the daylight hours, from 09:00 a.m. to 05:00 p.m. These hours are ideal for exploring safely, with morning and early afternoon offering pleasant weather.

Other Essential Information

  • Visit Kadifekale during the day for safety, as the neighbourhood can be risky at night.
  • Avoid going alone and consider travelling with a guide to stay secure and informed.
  • Expect minimal information on-site, so research beforehand or hire a knowledgeable guide.
  • Bring a camera to capture stunning panoramic views of İzmir and the Gulf.
  • Wear sturdy shoes to navigate the rugged terrain of the castle ruins comfortably.
  • Carry water and a hat to stay hydrated and shielded from the sun’s heat.
  • Respect local customs and the historical significance of the site while exploring.
Read More
Point of Interest for Mount Kadifekale
Visit the Kadifekale Mosque

Visit the Kadifekale Mosque

Within the castle complex lies the Kadifekale Mosque, an architectural treasure blending history and faith. Originally constructed during the Ottoman era, this place of worship showcases delicate design motifs such as grapes and roses. All of these motifs are intricately carved with exquisite Ottoman craftsmanship. Step inside to explore its peaceful interior, an important spiritual hub for the surrounding community. Beyond its religious significance, the mosque provides insight into the region's diverse cultural heritage. The tranquil ambience creates a serene space for reflection amid the castle ruins, while its unique architecture and historical value highlight İzmir’s vibrant past.

Tourism Board Alliances

Why Choose Thrillophilia