İstiklal Caddesi (Pronounced: is-tik-lal Jad-de-se) is a street which spans the distance between Taksim Square (marked on the map) & Sishane, just under mile which is about 17 minutes walking.
Here is few facts for Istiklal Caddesi
- There are ATMs, shops, restaurants, bars, cafes, museums, galleries, cinemas, exchange offices, a shopping mall (Demirören Avm), Turkish bath (near İstiklal), a church on this street.
- At the end of İstiklal Street, (opposite end to Taksim Square), there is a 139 year-old tram, called Tünel, that goes to Karaköy. From there you can get to Eminönü by crossing the Galata Bridge easily!
- İstiklal Street is a long street which is closed to car traffic. So you walk or take the tram that goes along the street starting at Taksim Square. Here is a video of the tram which we call “Nostalgic Tram”.
Here, we will talk about what to do & what to eat in and around Taksim Square.
What to do?
İstiklal street is full of shops, restaurants, bars&cafes. There are many different kinds of things that you will be attracted to!
If you are interested in shopping, there are 4 passages (Old Bazaars) that you can visit. You can get souvenirs from these passages too! These are Atlas Passage, Avrupa Passage, Aznavur Passage, Terkos Passage.
Other than the passages, there are many international brands on İstiklal Street that you can shop from. Zara, Bershka, Mango, US Polo, Pierre Cardin, Koton, Oxxo, Topshop, Swatch, Lacoste, Diesel, Accessories, Adidas, H&M, GAP are some of those.
- Have Fun!
See a Movie: If you feel like going to the cinemas, you can find the Cinema Pink inside Demirören Shopping Mall. This mall is located in the half way through the street. We have been there before and recommend the cinema to you just because of their couple seats!
Go to Bowling: There are a couple of bowling places that you can go. One of them is when you walk through İstiklal on the right hand side above Burger King. Its name is Bowl Room. The other one is in the small street next to Demirören Shopping Mall named BaB Bowling Beyoğlu.
Enjoy the Fish Bazaar: Like the name states, many kinds of fish is sold in this bazaar but besides the fish, you can find souvenirs, restaurants, greengrocers etc. It is right next to Çiçek Passage.
Visit Saint Antuan Church: This Catholic Church is on İstiklal Street, very close to Galatasaray High School. There is no entrance fee for this church but of course you can donate some money to get some candles. Enjoy your visit!
What to eat?
We will divide this section into four.
1. Dining Restaurants:
If you want a dine in restaurant, you will find many in this street!
2. Quick Food
There are many quick food (fast food) places that you can go to. Burger King, Simit Sarayı, McDonalds, Pizza Hut are some them.
Who can resist dessert! Well, not us… Let’s look at some delicious dessert places together.
- J’adore Chocolatier&Cafe: Delicious desserts, cosy environment, little shop, soft music… There are many words to describe this small cafe! When we visit İstiklal Street, we crave for the desserts here. I would highly recommend “Oh la la Beatrice” on the menu.
- Krispy Kreme: Doughnuts are waiting here for you! You can also get hot&cold beverages.
- Tarihi Meşhur Beyoğlu Çikolatacası: This is a tiny chocolate shop that you cannot actually enter. You ask for a kind of chocolate and the person gives it to you from the window. There is no other franchise of this chocolate shop. The chocolate’s brand is “elit”.
- L’era Fresca: This ice cream place is at the end of the street. We personally love their Lemon Sorbet. Aside from the ice cream, you can get sandwiches and some desserts.
4. Street Food
One of the essentials about İstiklal is the street food. They are sold in these red cars and those cars belong to the municipality.
You can try roasted walnuts, simit (pastry), and corn!