I stepped out of intercontinental hotel near taksim square for a quick exploratory stroll to on my first evening in Istanbul. At the square a man approached me for directions in Turkish and then quite quickly started talking - so you are from india etc...i began talking as the guy started giving me tips on restaurants etc and looked like he was getting back to his home from work (supposedly from hilton). He asked me to follow him so he could show me fashion street as he was walking in that direction. Then after showing me a few restaurants and pointing to to a few clubs and bars as per my interest asked me to take his number so I could reach out for tips. I thought to myself that no harm in taking his contact but since i did not have a pen, he asked me to step into a bar to givd it to me. Made me sit at a table and very quickly the drinks came on and I tried to say i did not order n tried to leave but then suddenly the bar door was closed and I was surounded by ppl and forced to pay $300 (later i realised it was more). I think they took more from my wallet during the argument and I was not sure if I resisted to tried to make noise then it could get violent so gave in n left the bar as quickly as I could. Thought of reporting to the police on my way back but thought they might be involved if these ppl can so easily extort money...just avoid stranger however nice they seem...i should not have stepped into the bar and little did I know that i will trapped and extorted from forcibly...hope they enjoy the $300 or $500 because they will suffer sooner or later...
There are cheats who advertise on Rentmen agree on a price come to your hotel & demand 10 times more money. They are not scared of hotel management or Police. Burkcan_Turkish is one such guy who is a BIG CHEAT!
"Taksim Square" is the center of Istanbul and its the "Heart" of the city ...
Taksim Square is situated in the European part of Istanbul and is a major tourist and leisure district famed for its restaurants, cafes, nightlife, shops, and hotels. It is considered the heart of modern Istanbul, with the central station of the Istanbul Metro network.
Taksim Square is also the location of the Monument of the Republic which was crafted by the famous Italian sculptor Pietro Canonica and inaugurated in 1928. The monument commemorates the 5th anniversary of the foundation of the Republic of Turkey in 1923, following the Turkish War of Independence.
Taksim is a main transportation hub and a popular destination for both tourists and the native population of Istanbul. "Istiklal Street", a long pedestrian shopping street, ends at this square, and a nostalgic tram runs from the square along the avenue, ending near the Tünel (1875) which is the world's second-oldest subway line after London's Underground (1863).
Here you can read my "Istiklal Street" review for more detailed information ... :
Surrounding Taksim Square are numerous travel agencies, hotels, restaurants, pubs, and international fast food chains such as Pizza Hut, McDonald's, Subway, and Burger King. It is also home to some of Istanbul's grandest hotels including the InterContinental, the Ritz-Carlton, and The Marmara Hotel.
Here you can watch my "Taksim Square" Video ... :
Taksim is also a favourite location for public events such as parades, New Year celebrations, or other social gatherings. Atatürk Cultural Center, a multi-purpose cultural center and opera house, is also located at Taksim Square.
Taksim Square is an important hub for public transport in Istanbul. In addition to serving as the main transfer point for the municipal bus system, Taksim Square is also the terminus of the Hacıosman-4.Levent-Taksim-Yenikapı subway line of the Istanbul Metro. The İstiklal Avenue-Tünel nostalgic tram line also starts in Taksim.
Here you can read my "Tunel" review for more detailed information ... :
Taksim's position was given an extra boost on June 29, 2006, when the new funicular line connecting the Taksim Metro station with the Kabataş tramway station and Seabus port was opened, allowing riders to ascend to Taksim in just 110 seconds.
Here you can read my "Tram and Metro Lines" review for more detailed information .. :
Tram and Metro Lines
"Taksim Square" and connecting "Istiklal Street" pedestrian avenue is a "must see" for your Istanbul visit, enjoy ..... :)
The Independence Monument (Istiklal Aniti) in the circle at the southern end of the square commemorates the Turkish Republic's founder, Kemal Atatürk, in both his roles, as military commander-in-chief and as statesman.
The open space to the north was once a reservoir. Facing the square at its northern end is the Atatürk Cultural Center.At the back famous revolution area of Gezi Parc ...
Cumhuriyet Aniti, or the Monument to the Republic, commemorates the foundation of the Turkish Republic in 1923, after the collapse of the Ottoman Empire. The foundation of the Republic is an event of prime importance in Turkey, and the founder of the Republic, Atatürk (born Mustafa Kemal Pasha), is a revered figure in modern Turkey. His features prominently in the statue, which was erected in 1928. On the side looking north, he is in military uniform, while on the southern side of the monument, Atatürk and two of his comrades (including the first Prime Minister, Inonu) are in European dress, signifying the Europeanization and secularization that were core tenets of the Republican project. The statue also has two Soviet figures in it, as a sign of gratitude for the aid lent by the Soviet régime to the Republican forces in the War of Independence. The monument was designed by an Italian, Pietro Canonica, and is often the site of official ceremonies.
Taksim Square may be impressive for its size, but I won't try to pretend that it holds a huge amount of interest for other reasons - especially given the proximity of Istiklal Caddesi and its myriad of shops, cultural centres, restaurants and religious buildings. The square, the name of which means division or divided, comes from the statue of the same name. It acts as a sort of terminus for this section of Istanbul, a place in which the traffic and people that congregate from Sisli and the northern reaches of the city merge with the denser and my touristy crowds of Istiklal and the Golden Horde.
Istikal Caddesi the 3km walking street at Taksim can get very crowded and some people may find the walk exhausting. If you arrive via the Taksim Tunel you are best to walk Isikal Caddesi downhill from the tunel for the 3km or whatever shorter distance you decide.
My suggestion is to take the tram(historical light rail) back up to the tunel, it will save you a long walk especially if you are carrying a load of shopping.
Independence monument symbolizes former Turkish president Kemal Ataturk, his companions, also the depictions of Turkish independence war and Turkish soldiers with flags.
Momunent was built in 1928 by Italian sculptor Pietro Canonica. At the moment it is the main object at Taxim square, always full of people. The Taxim square is the final stop of old tram, running all Istiklal street and suitable more for tourism attraction than for transportation.
Tourists might think the former Hippodrome areas west of the Blue Mosque are at the center of the city, but they would be wrong for it is here at Taksim Square the heart of modern Istanbul beats from. This is a main hub in the public transportation network for the city. Some of the best hotels are found here as is the Atatürk Cultural Center. Public events, parades, demonstrations … they all take place in Taksim.
The name refers to the stone reservoir that used to be here from which water lines for the Istanbul districts on the north side of the Golden Horn used to emanate – ‘Taksim’ is an Arabic word meaning ‘division’ or ‘distribution’.
In the center of the square is the Monument of the Republic/Cumhuriyet Anýtý commemorating the 1923 formation of the Turkish Republic. On one side of the monument is Atatürk as a general while on the other side his is portrayed as a statesman.
I was in Istanbul in the late 1950's and early 1960's, and again, off and on, throughout the 1970's. Taksim Square was always my focal point. It was where "everything happened"! One reviewer said she didn't see anything special about the area -- guess she kept to her guide-book and never looked to the right or left, and didn't consider anything that wasn't a "major tourist attraction" of any importance. Nowadays, Taksim is, unfortunately, filled with all the marvels of the modern world -- it wasn't always like that. 50-60 years ago, it was the "place to be". Stayed at the Istanbul Hilton Hotel for $8.00 per night! Nightclubs were prolific and nearby. Street activity was amazing. My favorite place in the world. The Turkish people are the friendliest people I've ever met.
An old USA government employee, who considers Istanbul his second home.
Yüsuf Eroğlu (My adopted Turkish name.)
From Ataturk airport we took Havas bus to the city center and the first thing we saw was Taksim square, a busy hub of Istanbul located at the European side, local buses and taxis passing non stop. Taksim (division in arabic) was once upon a time the point where the water lines from north were collected and from here branched off to other areas of the city. There is still a small stone reservoir as a reminder. For me taksim always reminds me of a special musical style in classical Turkish music.
Near Taksim you can find many 5star hotels but also some cheap ones at the side streets. It’s a good area to have as a base if you don’t want to be at Sultanahmet where you will find most of the touristic sites. I prefer the Taksim area anyway just because I want to be close to the nightlife spots. The square itself isn’t attractive because there are many fast food chains around.
The famous Istiklal street starts from here, a lively street day and night which is full of bars, café, shops, restaurants etc
Right before Istaklal you can see the Monument of Independence, a big structure that was erected in 1928, 5 years after the foundation of Turkey. It shows the figure of Ataturk (founder of Turkish Republic but also a military commander) and other heroes. It was made by the Italian sculptor Pietro Canonica.
Some times the square is used as starting point of parades, state celebrations but also as a meeting point for protests and demonstrations, that’s why the monument is surrounded some days by heavily armed policemen.
What I like most here are the colorful flowers around (pic 3), especially the tulips (pic 4).
Many people believe that Taksim is just the area around the monument but the truth is that is the general area including a nice small park opposite the monument (pic 5).
Late in the night a lot of trans-sexual gather around so have this in mind if you travel with children.
Taksim square is probaply the most important suqare in Istanbul.
It´s a huge transportation hub and it has the freedom movement and it´s the center of the very happening part of Istanbul called Taksim.
You might also see demonstartions while you are there as that is the center for that activity in Istanbul.
Apart from the monument the square itself is not really that special, but the surrounding area is real nice and i suggest that you make your way up there when in Istanbul.