Istiklal Avenue – Istanbul Turkey

It’s 2007. 

This is my 2nd visit to the amazing city of Istanbul. I figure this is the time I’ll get to check out “that street” I wondered about since my first visit in 2005.

I’ve learned “that street” is called İstiklâl Caddesi, or Independence Avenue, and located in the district of Istanbul known as Beyoğlu. (To me, Beyoğlu translates from Turkish to English as…”fun place to be!!”)

Istiklal by Day

Istiklal by Night
Compared to the Old City Istanbul and Sultanahmet area with its history, fascinating sights, the haunting sounds of Adhan (Call to Prayer) 5 times daily, Istiklal Avenue & Taksim area are very different in atmosphere. Istiklal Avenue is purely alive, vibrant and exciting! There are always people on the move and always something happening wherever you are on this street that boasts 1 million visitors daily (and even more on weekends)

Istiklal Caddesi is known as one of the most famous avenues in Istanbul, and is lined with some of the most lovely Ottoman styled buildings you can view in Istanbul. The people watching here is amazing and incredible.

My personal preference is to have a seat down near the Tunel end (South end) of Istiklal Street and watch the people from one of the small restaurants or bars located there.

Istiklal view from the bar 🙂

Another short walk from this Tunel area of Istiklal Street, is the Pera region of Beyoğlu district. Located in Pera is the famed Pera Palace luxury hotel, built in 1892 as a hotel for disembarking passengers from the Orient Express train which terminated in Sirkeci Station at Sultanahmet Istanbul. The Pera Palace hotel is also claimed to be where Agatha Christie wrote her novel, “Murder on the Orient Express.”

Any visitor to Istanbul should spend at least a day walking just Istiklal Street and its many alleyways.

There is SO much to see and experience on Istiklal Avenue.

A few of my faves are:
Cicek Pasaji (Flower Passage) which now is home to many bars & restaurants, with its entrance located on Istiklal Avenue and runs to Sahne Street

Cicek Pasaji (Istiklal Street)

Historic Tram Ride on Istiklal (I’ve never actually been ON the tram, but it looks nice & romantic/nostalgic. I prefer to walk Istiklal Avenue, and absorb the atmosphere from ground level)

Istiklal Steet Trams

A Friday afternoon on Istiklal Avenue amongst the crowds!

Istiklal Avenue Video
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