Cicek Pasaji, Istanbul

Cicek Pasaji, Istanbul

About halfway along Istiklal Caddesi, the famous modern avenue that starts from Taksim Square and leads to the edge of Galata, there are numerous "passages", or arcades – part covered and part free in the sun – abounding with shops and restaurants. The most famous of these, the Çiçek Pasajı, dates to 1876 and bears a particular history. At one time, in fact, it was one of the swankiest places in the city: built in direct imitation of Parisian models, it housed a shopping arcade and apartments. Following the Russian Revolution of 1917, many impoverished noble Russian women, including a Baroness, found themselves selling flowers here. By the 1940s the building was mostly occupied by flower shops, hence the present Turkish name: "Flower Passage".

Recently renovated, the place may have lost some of its past charms, but can still offer an experience you won't find anywhere else in Europe. It's a unique place to take a stroll, especially to admire the glass roof or the old signs and to poke around inside the many shops and "meyhanes" (taverns) serving seafood and traditional "raki", the local anise-based firewater (beginners are advised to dilute it with a copious amount of water if they plan to rise from the table unassisted).

A great way to mix with locals, the passage allows for outside seating even on cold and rainy days. At night, it is lit up with colorful lights and live musicians tableside.

Want to visit this sight? Check out these Self-Guided Walking Tours in Istanbul. Alternatively, you can download the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from iTunes App Store or Google Play Store. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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Cicek Pasaji on Map

Sight Name: Cicek Pasaji
Sight Location: Istanbul, Turkey (See walking tours in Istanbul)
Sight Type: Attraction/Landmark
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in Istanbul, Turkey

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