Istiklal Caddesi (Independence Avenue), Istanbul

Istiklal Caddesi (Independence Avenue), Istanbul (must see)

This is the modern, most organic facet of Istanbul: full of life, restaurants, consulate buildings, bookstores, music stores and art galleries: a nice mix of everything. One could also say that it's the city's most Westernized part and clearly very fashion-forward in a distinctly European way. Traveled by millions of people and vibrant every hour of the day, it comes to life especially at night with street vendors, live music, cafes, bars, pastry shops... you name it – it's probably there.

Perhaps the main feature of Istiklal is the nostalgic red tram – the only vehicle permitted – that links the Taksim and Tünel squares; while it doesn't take you far – just up and down the street – it is a must-try experience to feel the impact of so many pedestrians around you: different people from all over the globe, diversity in all its glory!

Aside from shopping opportunities, look out for historic cinemas (like Atlas, Beyoglu), historical passages (Hazzopulo, Suriye and Çiçek), churches (the ancient Saint Mary Draperis, the impressive Venetian Gothic gatehouse of the Church of Saint Antoine), consulate buildings, and innovative art galleries (check out SALT Beyoğlu, ARTER, and the Mısır Apartments), as well as excellent examples of 19th-century Neo-Classical and Art Nouveau architecture to admire.

Lots of small interesting alleyways lead off the main street, so do not hesitate to take little excursions – you can find a bevy of food (including the Turkish variety of tapas), drink, coffees, trinkets, souvenirs... at generally better prices. Climb up and down the stairs, have a view of the colorful taverns and terraces around, or get dramatic and attend the so many live show music of Turkish singers.

Safety tip:
Keep a hand on your valuables and eyes anywhere but in front of you (a neat trick that clears your path). Avoid walking the minor streets after midnight.

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 Apple 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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Istiklal Caddesi (Independence Avenue) on Map

Sight Name: Istiklal Caddesi (Independence Avenue)
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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Create Your Own Walk in Istanbul

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Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.3 Km or 2.7 Miles

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