This is the artery of the Taksim district. You start right one corner of the square and end in Tunel. There are tons of shops, restaurants, some bookstores, record shops, embassies, churcnes, hotels, bars and many perambulating people along the way. Watch out for the trams!
What is the centre of Istanbul? Most foreign visitors would say that it's Sultanahmet - the historic part of the city. Most Turks would point at Beyoglu, and especially Istiklal Caddesi. My Turkish friend says that this street has a special energy that attracts locals and visitors alike. It must be true because it's estimated that over the weekend it's visited by about three million people.
Istiklal Caddesi ( which can be translated as the Independence Avenue) was formerly known as the Grande Rue de Pera. In the 19th century it was inhabited mainly by European merchants, bankers and diplomats. It was a true cosmopolitan part of the city. This multinational population built different churches, such as Roman Catholic Church of St. Anthony, Greek orthodox Hagia Triada, the Armenian church and the synagogues. Also the buildings of embassies, like the ones of Russia or France, come from the 19th century.
The name of the street was changed into Istiklal Caddesi in 1923 with the declaration of the Republic. After the restoration in 1980s, the Independence Avenue links the historic charm of the past with the vibrant modernity of the present.
It is closed for traffic, the only exception being an old tramway that goes from Galata Tower to Taksim square. The street is lined with shops, both the international chains and local stores, restaurants, art galleries.. The passageways and arcades hide a multitude of attractions not visible from the main street, like a fish market, food stores, book stores, etc.
Summing up, Istiklal Caddesi is a must.
An old tram runs on Istaklal Street.
It runs between Tunel at the bottom end up to Taksim Square.
It is a short trip, but something special to do.
Its an interesting street with both sides you will be able to see shops, restaurants, small snack bars, cinemas, etc.The old tram runs in the middle of this street.