The Istiklal Avenue -The heart of modern Istanbul
Istiklal Caddesi (Independence Street), arguably Istanbul’s most famous and most active street, is located in the historic Beyoglu district on the European side. This street lay between Taksim and Tunel (underground). It was formerly called as Cadde-i Kebir (Grand Avenue) or the Grand Rue de Pera.
It is a pedestrian street, 1.4 kilometers long, which houses numerous shops, cafes, restaurants, bars, book shops etc. You can find it all here. All shops, cafes etc are open till late hours. The street is busy from morning until night. Pleanty of culture and modernity on display. There is so much to discover along the side streets. It never fails to surprise.
The avenue is surrounded by many historical and politically significant buildings, such as the Çiçek Pasajı (Flower Passage) ; Balık Pazarı (The Fish Market); the Ağa Camii Mosque; the Roman Catholic churches of Santa Maria Draperis and S. Antonio di Padova; the Greek Orthodox Haghia Triada; the Armenian Üç Horan ; several synagogues;mosques; academic institutions. The venues around the avenue became the host of many international art festivals, such as the annual Istanbul Film Festival.
The best thing is walking until the end and taking the tram to come back. You can ride the historic red tram down the entire street. The tram’s subway systems is the second oldest in the worl. It an option for you if you want to escape the crowds or rest your feet.
You can't leave without visiting this street a few times.