Fodor's Expert Review İstiklal Caddesi

Beyoğlu Neighborhood
Running for almost a mile between Taksim Square and Tünel Square, İstiklal Caddesi is the heart of modern Istanbul. The street was once known as "La Grande Rue de Péra," after the Pera neighborhood. In the 19th century, palatial European embassies were built here, away from the dirt and chaos of the Old City. The wealthy city folk soon followed, particularly after the short funicular called the Tünel—the first underground urban rail line in continental Europe—was built in 1875. The area was traditionally non-Muslim, and the Greek, Armenian, Catholic, and Protestant churches here are more prominent than the mosques. Today, İstiklal is a lively pedestrian thoroughfare, filled with shops (an increasing number of them international chains), restaurants, cafés, and a handful of cinemas. Turks love to promenade here, and, at times, it can turn into one great flow of humanity. Even in the wee hours of the morning it's still alive with people. This is the Istanbul that never sleeps.

Quick Facts

İstiklal Cad.
Istanbul, Istanbul  Turkey

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