Istiklal Street

Istanbul’s ‘Independence Avenue’ is a popular promenade filled with galleries, bookstores, cafés and more.

TravelCurious Tip

Make your way down a side street for some hidden bars and eateries - a little cheaper than on the main promenade.

Independence Avenue

Istiklal Street has been a lively place since the Ottoman period. Lined with beautiful 18th and 19th century buildings, it was known as Grand Avenue and served as a popular meeting place for intellectuals in the old ‘Paris of the East.’ The street was renamed after the Turkish War of Independence was won in 1923.

It makes for a busy and cosmopolitan walk, offering a variety of interesting stops along its pedestrianised 1.4 kilometres; around 3 million people visit on a single day over most weekends.

An abundance of architectural styles from Neo-Gothic to Rococo to Art Nouveau can be seen; at its southern end is Tünel, the world’s second-oldest subway station. Roman Catholic and Greek Orthodox churches, mosques, synagogues, political embassies and academic institutions abound. Locals and expats alike enjoy its delicious restaurants, sophisticated cafés and delightful boutiques. Don’t miss Istiklal Street for a stroll through the historic heart of Istanbul.

Nearby Attractions

See all attractions in Istanbul
Blue Mosque
A beautiful and elaborate place of worship, the Blue Mosque is the most important legacy of a roguish Ottoman Sultan.
Hagia Sophia
The height of Byzantine architecture, the Hagia Sophia is one of Istanbul’s must-see attractions.
Grand Bazaar
One of the world’s oldest and largest covered markets, Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar is the ultimate shopping spot.
Basilica Cistern
Hidden beneath the city is a vast and mysterious space, crowded with ancient Roman columns.
Hippodrome of Constantinople
The ancient pleasures of Constantinople are brought to life in this stunning historic site.
Turkish and Islamic Arts Museum
Once the palace of Ibrahim Pasha, this museum houses a unique collection of calligraphy, tiles and rugs.

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