İstiklal Caddesi, Beyoğlu-Istanbul

Last Updated on September 5, 2022

İstiklal Caddesi (Independence Avenue) is the heart of Beyoğlu, the more modern district of Istanbul built during the 19th century (map).

The city's most popular strolling, shopping and snackingstreet, now reserved for pedestrians, is lined with boutiques,cafes, consulates, restaurants, galleries, cinemas and banks, with residential apartments above.


Unfortunately, İstiklal Caddesi is also where male travelers will be approached by a well-dressed Turk who speaks excellent English, suggesting a chat and a drink—the prelude to robbery. This crime has become epidemic. Don't fall for it! More...

Galatasaray Square, with the monumental gate
of Galatasaray Lisesi to the right...

Paris of the East

When 19th-century travelers spoke of Constantinople(Istanbul) as the Paris of the East, they were thinking of the Grande Rue de Péra (İstiklal Caddesi) and its half-European, half-Asian culture.

The avenue begins at Taksim Square, the hub of modern Istanbul.

Nostalgic İstiklal Caddesi tramway cars rattle and clank along İstiklal Caddesi from Taksim Square to Tünel Squarejust as they did in the 19th-century heyday of this Europeanized corner of the Ottoman sultan's domains.

Halfway along the avenue toward the southwest is Galatasaray Square, easily recognizable by the grand gates to Galatasaray Lisesi, the first European-style lycée (high school) erected by the Ottoman government.

At the far southwestern end of İstiklal Caddesi is Tünel Square, site of the upper station of 19th-century Beyoglu's little two-station underground train, the Tünel, and southern terminus of the nostalgic İstiklal Caddesi tram.

Come in the daytime for shopping, in the evening for strolling, people-watching, supper in one of the many restaurants, a drink in a cafe or bar, and some music in a little nightspot, but don't fall for the single-male robbery! More...`

Nostalgic tram on İstiklal Caddesi,
once the Grande Rue de Péra.

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