A lot of individuals have a love-hate link with the busy – Istiklal Street or Isttiklal Avenue – which goes from Taksim Square almost to the landmark Galata Tower. Many have a love/hate relationship with the busy population. Even if it is the beautiful core of the city, the three million people who pass through it every day might make it quite difficult to go. However, Istanbul itself functions as a microcosm. And while chains and fast-food places start bordering the more traditional establishments, elements of old Istanbul are still in Istiklal Street Istanbul.
It became the location to walk for the French Levantins, which knew it as the Grand Rue de Pera during the Otman period, when it drew an educated crowd. After the formation of the Republic of Turkey, it became Žestičlal Caddeshi (Independence Street).
Things to Do in Istiklal Street Istanbul
In addition to the hustle and bustle that makes Istiklal Street Istanbul the beating heart of the city, there are other worth-seeing sights and things to experience in here. Let’s spotlight some of them:
♦ Galata Mevlevi Museum
This museum was established to honour the ceremonies of the famed Turkish Dervish organisation. The ceremonial refers to an old rite in which the arms raised in God’s glory spin in a deep trance of prier. This ceremony can only be performed by people who have been admitted to orders and is one of the most intriguing events in Turkey for travelers. This museum archives various items and records from the long history and banning of this event in the 1920s and even its origins.
♦ The Flower Passage
The Flower Passage is a well-known ancient arcade of cafes, restaurants or wine cellars in Istiklal Avenue. Initially, there was a theatre in the arcade that was destroyed by fire. Many formerly rich Russian women sold flowers here after the Russian revolution of 1917, giving the region its name. This is an excellent achievement of design that you may either take a leisurely walk on Istiklal Street or sat and have a meal or a drink under your domed sky.
♦ Vintage Red Tram
This gorgeous tram is as important as the cobbles on the asphalt on Istiklal Street Istanbul. Without boarding one of these vehicles, which are known for hauling shopping and visitors up and down the busy boulevard, no journey would be complete. This is one of Istanbul’s many instances that worked flawlessly on the particular contemporary culture of the region.
♦ The Majestic Cinema
The Majestic Cinema, one of the best things to see in Istiklal Street Istanbul, is a contemporary theatre with a vintage twist – rather than the same and gleaming chain cinemas we are most used to have the refreshing sensation of an independent cinema. The facility is smaller than a regular movie and displays both Turkish and English movies. Enjoy a comfortable flavour of your home with an English blockbuster or try something new and see a Turkish film.
♦ Pandora Bookstore
The store is one of the few sites where English libraries are stored. In Turkish and English you may find all international bestsellers together with maps, tour books, stationery and anything you need from a library. This bookstore, one of the best places to visit in Istiklal Avenue, is known for its wide selection of books on Turkish and Ottoman history, so people who want to obtain a thorough insight into the past of Istanbul certainly should go to visit. The store will be a beautiful and calm getaway – none of the walls of books are better off for a peaceful respite.
Nightlife in Istiklal Street
Beyoglu is the most bustling nightlife location in Beyoglu (the Istiklal district) never sleseps. From dirty caverns to fantastic roof bars and subterranean electronica to traditional Turkish live music – everything is there. It has everything. Alex’s place, Propaganda and Münferit are our preferred bars. However, you may always stay outside and enjoy the music of a wide range of bushers.
How to Get to Istiklal Street
You can either go the subterranean funicular of the 19th century (or walk up a steep hill past Galata Tower) to the Tünel Square or take the tram to Karakoy, or you can go there up. or walk on the metro or the bus to Taksim Square. The gorgeous red Nostaljik Tramvay (nostalgic tram), which runs up and down the street, is one of the best ways to view this area.