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 St. Mary Draperis, the impressive Venetian Gothic gatehouse of the Church of St. 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.

This sight is featured in a self-guided walking tour of Istanbul, Turkey within the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" which can be downloaded from iTunes App Store or Google Play. Please download the app to your mobile phone or tablet for travel directions for visiting this sight. 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
Sight Type: Attraction/Landmark
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in Istanbul, Turkey

Create Your Own Walk in Istanbul

Create Your Own Walk in Istanbul

Creating your own self-guided walk in Istanbul is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Istanbul Shopping Tour

Istanbul Shopping Tour

Istanbul can easily claim to be one of the most colorful cities in the world. Located on the very edge of Europe, it later expanded into Asia resulting in a mixture of both cultures. When it comes to shopping, you will be amazed with the variety of goods available to buy here and the way everybody bargains - even in a grocery store. Take this tour and explore the legendary bazaars of Istanbul.

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.4 Km or 1.5 Miles
Old European Quarter Walk

Old European Quarter Walk

In the Ottoman era, Beyoğlu (then known as Pera) was, along with Galata, the European Quarter of Istanbul. Home to embassies and trading centers, as well as fine 19th-century, Parisian-style apartment houses, the area was much-loved by the city's non-Islamic minorities, with names of Greek and Armenian architects still adorning the fronts of some of Istiklal Avenue's grander buildings. ...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.4 Km or 1.5 Miles
Mosques Walking Tour

Mosques Walking Tour

Once a citadel of Christianity, for over half a millennium now Istanbul (former Constantinople) has been a major center of Islam, replete with mosques – both, originally-built and converted from Christian churches – dotting the city scape. Whether religious or not, you may wish to explore the local mosques out of purely historical or architectural interest. In case you do, this self-guided...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.6 Km or 3.5 Miles
Istanbul Introduction Walk

Istanbul Introduction Walk

Formerly known as “Byzantium”, “Constantinople” and “New Rome”, Istanbul is the main city of Turkey, straddling the Bosphorus Strait, and as such, bridging the gap between Europe and Asia, both geographically and culturally. This ancient transcontinental metropolis embraces cultural influences of the many empires and civilizations that once ruled and flourished on this land.

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

Byzantine Heritage Walking Tour

Being an imperial capital for over a millennium, Constantinople (present-day Istanbul) still contains numerous sites that testify to the greatness of the Eastern Roman Empire. This self-guided walking tour will take you through the most noteworthy of historical traces, giving you a glimpse of medieval Europe's most prestigious and flourishing city – the "crown jewel" of Byzantium.

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.5 Km or 1.6 Miles
Asian Side and Bosphorus Walking Tour

Asian Side and Bosphorus Walking Tour

Istanbul, Turkey's wealthiest and biggest city is split by the Bosphorus in two parts: European and Asian. On this self-guided walk you can experience the Eastern side and feel the spirit of the Orient – whether by admiring the beauty of the waterway or the historic buildings that line its shores.

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.6 Km or 2.9 Miles

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Istanbul, known throughout history as Byzantium and Constantinople, has been a major center of commerce and trade, a place where merchants and general folk would rush to regularly in search of exotic things. In our days, modern travelers to Istanbul are also bound to enjoy a truly magnificent...