16 Ocak 2016 Cumartesi

A Beautiful Street In Istanbul: İstiklal Street

A Beautiful Street In Istanbul: İstiklal Street

İstiklal Caddesi (Grande Rue de Péra) is the heart of the modern district in Istanbul built during the 19th century. Istiklal is the most popular avenue in Istanbul visited by millions of people in a single day.

İstiklal Avenue is located in Beyoğlu District. Beyoğlu is a part of the New City in the tourist maps and guidebooks.

Istiklal Avenue

Old City vs New City

Northern bank of Golden Horn, Karaköy, Galata, Beyoğlu, Tophane, Cihangir districts are known as the New City, whereas southern bank of the Golden Horn is known as Old City (Constantinople). The two sides connected with Galata Bridge.

Historic Peninsula is good for cultural tours but there is no nightlife at all. Beyoğlu region is vice versa.

Taksim Square

İstiklal Caddesi is Istanbul’s most popular strolling and shopping street.
Starts from Taksim Square which is the hub of modern day Istanbul. Gezi Park protests took place in Taksim Square in 2013. İstiklal Street ends by Tünel (Tunnel) Square.

An extention of the street will take you to the Galata Tower. Medieval Genoese neighboorhood where the Levants had lived.

Taksim Square >>> Galatasaray Square >> Pera District >> Tunel Square >>> Galata Tower

Attractions of Istiklal Street

There are a lot of interesting attractions located on or near the street. Such as Nevizade, Asmalı Mescit, Çiçek Pasajı, Galatasaray Lycée, Çukurcuma (Antique Shops), St.Antuan’s Church, Pera Palace Hotel, Whirling Dervishes’ Museum (Mevlevihane) and Galata Tower.

Roughly 1.5 kilometres long Street is lined with boutiques, art galeries, book stores, cafes, consulates, patisseries, cinemas, chocolateries and restaurants.

Paris of the East

When 19th-century travelers spoke of Istanbul as the Paris of the Orient. They were referring to Grande Rue de Péra (İstiklal Caddesi) and its hybrid culture of Europe and Asia.

Nostalgic İstiklal Caddesi Tram drive along street from Taksim Square to Tunel Square just as they did in the 19th century. This region was European corner of the Ottoman Istanbul at those days.

Galatasaray Square

Halfway along the avenue there is Galatasaray Square, easily recognizable by the grand gates to Galatasaray Lycée, the first European-style high school established by the Ottoman government. Still considered as one of the best school in the city.

Behind Galatasaray School there lies the Çukurcuma Street. (Antique Shops)

On the way to Tunel Square from Galatasaray Square, there is St.Antuan’s Church. Most well-known Catholic Church in the city.

Pera District

Opposite side of the St. Antuan’s Church there is Pera District. Famous for Pera Museum and Pera Palace Hotel.

Pera Palace Hotel is a century old wonderful hotel made famous by Agatha Christie, built to accommodate passengers from the Orient Express.

Asmalı Mescit Street where artists’ studios, bohemian cafes and nice restaurants settled.

Tünel (Tunnel) Square

Tünel Square, site of the upper station of 19th Century Beyoğlu's two-station underground cable car, the world's second-oldest subway station, and southern terminus of the nostalgic İstiklal Caddesi Tram.


Its best to come in the evening for strolling, people-watching, dining in one of many restaurants (360 or Mikla), or drink in a parisian cafe (The House Cafe) or listen to some music in a jazz bar (Babylon)

By Serhat Engül

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