Istiklal Caddesi, Istanbul Overview

Isktiklal Caddessi or Istiklal Avenue is the busiest street in Istanbul filled with a long stretch of cafes, restaurants, shopping centres, bars, cinemas and galleries. Estimated to have been visited by over 3 million people on the weekends, it is the best way to experience the vibrant, hustling side of the city. Located in the heart of the city, the avenue houses so many recreational activities that it is a favourite place to visit by the residents of the city. Even a stroll along the avenue would fascinate you to the very end and leave you asking for more. The road stretches for 1.4 km from Taksim Square and finishes the Galata Tower, and a full day is needed to explore this crowded street.

Hundreds of stalls and vendors line up along the street to serve to billions of people. Street food is favourite among everyone for its low cost and authentic flavours. Some of the most loved dishes include simit, durum, tantuni, mussels, pilaf and borek.


Several restaurants and cafes are also located that are usually filled with people and you might witness a waiting queue. Some of the must try restaurants are : 

Lades Menemen Restaurant (popular for turkish breakfast)
Fish and Meat House (seafood)
Mandabatmaz (turkish coffee)
Divan Brasserie
360 Istanbul
Parole Cafe

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Tips

  1. Since the street is very crowded, it is advised to keep your bag and other valuables safe with you. 
  2. Please be aware of frauds and thieves.
  3. Please keep a lot of cash safely with you for food and shopping.

How to Reach İstiklal Caddesi

You can take a metro or a bus to Taksim Square and the street begins from there.

You can also start walking from Galata Tower where the other side of the avenue starts.

Nostaljik Tram runs along the whole Istiklal Avenue and one can even enjoy the market and the hustle from the tram.

History

During the Ottoman era, the Istiklal was known as Cadde-i Kebir. The buildings along the avenue were made in the 19th and 20th centuries in several different architectural styles such as Gothic, Turkish, Neo classical and Renaissance Revival. The place was earlier used only by the nobles and the super privileged class of the society such as the French Levantines. When the Republic of Turkey was established, the name changed to Istiklal Caddesi which translates to the Independence Street.

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