İstiklal Caddesi – Centre of the modern Istanbul

Istiklal Caddesi, Beyoglu (Istanbul)

Istiklal Caddesi, Beyoglu (Istanbul) © Lisa Lehnen

Have a çay (turkish black tea) at a teaplace at the Haçapulco Pasajı or buy a bag of kestane (chestnuts) from one of the many street stands. Or take the old tram from Taksim Square to Tünel. You can find all kinds of restaurants, from Döner Kebap places to high class, shops and galleries, usually hosting free exhibitions of modern turkish artists, along İstiklal Caddesi. The street names meaning is “Independence Avenue”, it used to be called “Grande Rue de Péra” (french) back in the days. İstiklal Caddesi undergoes various changes during the timespan of just one day – but you never see it without people. Before 10 in the morning it is rather quiet, only the strores get supplied. But after that it just fills up by the minute. Especially on weekends you can barely move by midday. All stores are open late (some until 12 pm), but even after that time people do not leave. It´s beer and party time! The side streets with bars and clubs become lively now and “spit out” people to walk on İstiklal all night long. They eat (midye or islak) and chat, play music, rest or sometimes even sleep on the street. Somehow it becomes a whole different world during nighttime…


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