Beyoglu is not just Istiklal Caddesi. From this main artery lead a thousand and one backstreets, each with its own character. At the Taksim end, most of the sidestreets are full of bars, cafes, cheap eateries and clubs, some seedy, some not. Buyukparmakkapi Sokagi (or was it Kucukparmakkapi? Turn left by McDonalds anyway...) has my favourite nargile cafe, the Kafeka, popular with tourists and locals alike. Further on, the Atlas Sinema has a cafe serving all manner of strange teas, a good place to spend an evening playing backgammon. Take any street off to the left and keep going...soon you'll be lost among the wooden houses and antique shops of Cihangir and Cukurcuma. On the right, Cicek Pasaji is an ornate arcade full of expensive touristy restaurants. Go in and have a look at the building, but for eating, continue through the adjacent Balik Pazari (fish market) and take a right turn into Nevizade Sokak, a raucous alley jammed full of meze restaurants, gypsy bands and streetside bars.
Just after the bend in Istiklal, look for a tiny hidden alleyway on your right, passing some terribly kitschy shops...it will bring you to a picturesque courtyard full of "alternative" shops and home to a great cafe in the middle. On the other side of the courtyard, a gate leads to the road, and you come face to face with the British consulate, which was bombed a few years ago; still being reconstructed, it has recovered well. Not too far away is the famous Pera Palas Otel, a favourite of Ataturk and Agatha Christie, while Hemingway preferred the nearby eccentric Buyuk Londra Otel.
Further on, you reach the arty Asmalimescit quarter, once shappy backstreets now boasting small art galleries, bookshops and cafes, as well as a few top restaurants. With a bit of luck, you'll arrive at Tunel, where you can take the train down to Karakoy.
(See also Warnings and Dangers)
The area between Galata bridge and Taksim square is called Beyoglu and you can enjoy a lot of pubs , reataurants , shops and a lot of local people together with tourists all the time.
The main attractions there are Taksim square , Istiklal street , Galata tower and more.
La rue Francaise , the French street , is a small street with quiet restaurants.
The street is in slope so the walk in the street is climbing stairs (or going down).
The street is very close to Galatasaray school and to Istiklal street (just turn left after Galatasaray school).
People have been meeting for years at Cicek Pasaji in the district of Beyoglu for snacks and seafood specialties.. Also in the area near Cicek Pasaji is the narrow Nevizade street, which is the best place in Istanbul for eating Turkish specialties and drinking raki.
Beyoglu was always the place where the non turks were living. It’s located on a hill north of Golden Horn. First, people for Genoa settled here and later jews (during the Otoman period), arabs and Greeks. Most of the European kingdoms had ambassadors here since the 16th century but of course you can still embassies in our days.
The area houses many interesting embassy buildings, especially those on Istiklal are very nice but the heavy front gates didn’t allow me to take proper pictures. If you walk a bit way you may see the British Consulate (pic 4), and not far from there the historical Pera Palas Hotel (pic 5, Mesrutiyet Cad 98) that was built in 1892 and hosted many famous people, especially those who were coming with the legendary Orient Express including Agatha Christie.
Galata Mevlevihanesi Muzesi, is a small interesting museum where you can watch sufi dance some days but unfortunately it was closed for restoration in 2011 so I will check it next time
Istiklal street isn’t just shopping and eating, you can see many religious places too, a mosque near Taksim square, an Armenian church located on a side street, some other small churches (pic 1) and some bigger ones like the catholic church of St Antony of Padua(pic 2), the biggest catholic church in Istanbul that was built in 1912 in neo-gothic style. It is usually full of visitors due to its location while the orthodox people use the small Panagia church at the other side of Istiklal.
Near the Tunel we saw Saint Mary Draperis church (pic 3, Istiklal Cad No. 215), It’s a Franciscan church that was built by architect Semprini at the end of 19th century (in 1871) after the big fire in Beyoglu. It supposed to house a miracle icon of Virgin Mary. The original church was actually at Galata Mum Hane but burnt down in 1584 untill madame Clara Bratola Draperis donated another building to be build again but new fires destroyed it again! Many fires followed the church at its current location until Sultan Abdlihamit II gave permission to be renovated and rebuild again.
With its steep stairs, Cezayir (Algeria) Street crossed with Hayriye Street which lies just behind Galatasaray High School in Beyoglu (which is in the middle of Istiklal street). Some people call it "French Street" another, Algerian Street. whatever name you prefer, it is an absolutely charming adorable area
The French street is a great place to have a good time by listening to the French chansons and it is also possible to find restaurants offering very special tastes from the French cuisine; cafes, bars, wine houses along with souvenir and second hand shops.
Kılıç Ali Paşa Camii (pronounced "Kilitsh Ali Pasha Djamee") was designed by the great imperial architect Sinan for Kılıç Ali Paşa, an admiral in the Ottoman navy. The mosque was built in 1581 as part of a complex which also contains a hammam, a medrese (religious school) and a cemetery. The mosque is located in Tophane district of Beyoğlu, near Karaköy.
Commissioned in 1823 by Sultan Mahmut II, the elegant Nusretiye Mosque commemorates the sultan's victory over the rebellious janissary troops (nusretiye means "victory"). The mosque was designed by the Armenian architect Krikor Balyan, whose descendants later also served as imperial architects. Balyan's stunning design was strongly influenced by European Baroque architecture, while retaining the signature Ottoman style.
I have reached out and Touched this city,everything is so good ,except the keyboard at this internet cafee,i will edit when i get back to London.
Listening to some Turkish songs as i write this.
Pictures and tips later.
This European style pavilion was built in 1852 by Sultan Abdülmecid. He employed a British architect, William James Smith, to design this palace which was to house important foreign visitors. The palace earned its name from the cannon foundry in this neighbourhood (tophane = cannon foundry), but is now used by Mimar Sinan University and is closed to the public. The palace is located near Nusretiye Mosque.
Part of the Kılıç Ali Paşa Complex, the namesake hammam (hamami in Turkish) was completed in 1583. In August 2004, the hammam was not in operation and the structure appeared in desperate need of restoration.
Built in 1451, Tophane-i Amire was a cannon foundry that gave this neighbourhood its name. The structure is striking because of its multiple domes and small turrets. Although the building is still owned by the military, it is sometimes used as a cultural and arts centre. It is located across from the Kılıç Ali Paşa Mosque and has great views over it.
Among many charitable water fountains in Istanbul, this one is named Tophane, after the nearby cannon foundry. The stunning domed fountain was built in 1732 by Sultan Mahmut I, just outside Kılıç Ali Paşa Mosque. Its four sides are covered with marble, carved with the most beautiful and intricate floral designs. Nowadays, the fountain is no longer functional, but stands as architectural monument in Beyoğlu.
The Beyoglu Municipal Office caught my eye because of its prominent placement at the end of Istiklal Caddesi and its position, perched at the top of a hill above bifurcating streets. There’s not much else to the building, except of course its neo-Classical design, which also makes it a nice subject for a few pictures of this part of the city.
This particular avenue does not hold much historical significance, except for the fact that is the main thoroughfare along the Bosphorus that leads to Galata Bridge, and that thus passes the Dolmabahçe complex, the Kiliç Ali Pasha complex and a variety of other sites of historical interest. Along it, however, you will find a variety of small parks and remnants of Ottoman architecture. While it is probably too far to comfortably walk all the way to Galata Bridge, it is still worthwhile to spend a bit of time ambling up this thoroughfare: the pictures you get will be the reward.