Beyoğlu has traditionally been thought of as the "new town," and this is where you will feel the beating pulse of the modern city: the district is a major destination for eating and drinking, shopping, and arts and culture. "New" is of course a relative term in Istanbul, and many of the grand, European-style buildings you'll see on the hill above Galata date from the late 19th century, when this part of Beyoğlu—then known as Pera—was one of the city’s most fashionable areas, home to large numbers of the city's non-Muslim minorities and the foreign diplomatic community. After a period of decline in the latter decades of the 20th century, Beyoğlu was revived around the turn of the millennium, as Istanbullus rediscovered the elegant old buildings and incredible views.
At the southern end of the neighborhood, Tünel Square marks the start of İstiklal Caddesi (Independence Avenue). Istanbul's main pedestrian street, İstiklal is lined with shops, cafés, and nightlife venues; allow some time to stroll along this bustling thoroughfare and simply take in the scene. İstiklal climbs gently uphill through Beyoğlu and across Galatasaray Meydanı (Galatasaray Square) to Taksim Square, the center of modern Istanbul. The Galata Mevlevihanesi (Galata dervish lodge), historic Fish Market, and private art museums and art galleries, including the Pera, are also in this area.
POINTS OF INTEREST
Located just off İstiklal Caddesi next to the entrance to the Çiçek Pasajı, the Balık Pazarı is a bustling labyrinth…Learn More >
At the north end of İstiklal Caddesi, Istanbul's largest public square was once essentially a chaotic traffic circle and public…Learn More >
A small private museum housed in a grand 1893 building (the former Bristol Hotel), the Pera showcases a diverse range…Learn More >