Izmir is the third biggest city in Turkey, situated on Aegean (western) coast.
From the north, Çanakkale
From the Aliağa and Menemen ilçes of Izmir (70 and 40 km north of downtown) there is a suburban train (subway actually) to most locations in the center, including Alsancak. You need to ask somebody who has a kentkart to pay for you and give him the money. The price may vary, however full ticket is like 1.95 TL. Otherwise you can buy a ticket for 3 passes for 6.5 TL.
Turkish drivers will likely not have an issue with dropping you off on the highway and might even demand it, however the highway is fenced off in İzmir, so you will need to climb or walk off of it. This is usually a bad idea and is definitely scary, but I can imagine this being useful if you wanted to go to Bornova or similar outskirts of the city. Just don't do anything stupid like walking across the lanes.
Konak Meydanı Square is the most central part of the city, known for its iconic clock tower. Following descriptions take it as the start point.
Take the metro from Konak Square. Ride it until Bornova, the last station on the line. Upon exiting the station, you'll come across a street with an overpass on, which is the ring road around the city. You'll see an access road to that near the station. After following the ringroad about two-three hundred metres or so down the motorway, you'll come across a junction. The left side, as can also be seen from Manisa-Istanbul signs, is heading northeast. Shortly after the junction, there is a nice spot to hitch.
Update (2017): The metro has been extended now until a station called Evka 3. From here, you can walk a few minutes until you reach Istanbul caddesi, with an overpass. Turn right and you'll find a petrol station. After the petrol station, where the overpass ends, is a hitchhiking spot also very much used by students going to Manisa.
From Kasiyaka can take minibus (Dolmuş) to evka3
North towards Bulgaria
North towards Çanakkale
- Option 1
From Konak take a ferry to Karşıyaka and from there take a metro to "Aliağa" - the last stop on the line. That town is directly at the road to Çanakkale - almost 60 km north of Izmir already - and the road to Çanakkale passes very close to the metro station. cyclebear hitched from here in may 2013 and found it very easy to get a lift.
Taylor tried to hitch south of Izmir from the metro at Bornova. Walked out to the freeway to find a mess of on ramps and exits. Managed to find a way to Bodrum but do not recommend going this way. Find a better access to the motorway than from Bornova.
Another way to head southern outskirts of the city is to take public bus (ESHOT) #887 (Konak-Sarniç line). It departs from the bus stops at Konak Square in the city centre (from the clock tower, walk past the metro station entrance and the cactus garden on the side of the square, then cross the street. You'll arrive at bus stops, #887 departs from the stop that is the furthest one, you can also see which line departs from which stop on the signs located around stops), and heads for the town of Menderes past the airport, about 20 km south of downtown Izmir on the motorway to Kuşadası. It costs 3.75 TL/ride (~EUR 1.50) You must buy a ticket beforehand at a kiosk near the bus stops. They will sell you a minimum of a 2-ride ticket (7.5 TL). It takes about 40 minutes to get to Menderes. Once in Menderes, bus will quit the motorway and will turn left into the town centre, get off at the first stop and walk back to the motorway (which is not far). There is a junction with traffic lights (from which bus turns left), and a wide-enough shoulder. You'll be picked up almost in no time.
If you want to go Antalya use the road through Aydın en Denizli. You will go faster and you will change fewer cars.
Looking for Stu found that you simply take the train to the airport. From there you can find road signs to whichever direction you want to travel. It might be a bit of a walk to an 'on ramp', but you'll be picked up in no time; everyone seems to be heading South out of the city.
Take the metro to reach Evka 3 station. Here you can either walk on the road towards Turgutlu and Ankara (it will take a while) or take a bus (#317) to Kavaklıdere (outskirts of the city).
Used this exit in September 2018. Correction: the bus 317 leaves not from Bornova metro, but from Evka 3 metro station nearby (GPS: 38°27′57.07″N 27°13′42.45″E). There is a big Carrefour shop here to stock up, and if you need you can top up your İzmirim Kart downstairs at the metro lobby, then take the bus 317.
We left the bus in Yeşilçam before it exits Kemalpaşa Caddesi (exactly here: 38°27′57.07″N 27°13′42.45″E), then walked to the highway D300.
Check Izmir website for more details: http://www.izmir.bel.tr/en/Ulasim.asp
Find out a bus stop on a map on a web-map then go to the nearest bus stop and ask people which bus goes there. Or ask directly from drivers.
To use the public transport, you will need an İzmirim Kart, which costs 10 TL and is sold in convenience shops (ask for büfe / tekel). In machines e.g. in metro stations you can charge your card up with money, but not purchase a new one. As of 2020, linking your card to the HES code is required and thus you cannot ask other passengers to pay for your ride anymore.
One full fare is 3.50 TL and you will have free transfers for next 90 min from your first beep, this includes ferries (I think as of 2020, the transfers are not free anymore, but cost 0.50 TL).
Note that for İZBAN (fast train) your card will be charged 8 TL so you have to have at least that much in your card (because this train also goes to suburbs far outside of İzmir), but if you just go a few stops inside İzmir, most money will return to your card when exiting the station (fare is calculated by distance you traveled). So don't forget to beep also at exiting.
Ege University has a large campus in Bornova. Either try the benches or put up a tent in a discrete spot hidden with bushes. Also, there are many members of hospitality networks.