"Two Days In Istanbul" Istanbul by fachd

Istanbul Travel Guide: 8,070 reviews and 20,948 photos

Taksim - Istiklal Cadessi

Mehraba fellow traveller. We flew with Malaysian airline from Sydney, transit in Kuala Lumpur for two hours. We arrived in Istanbul at 2pm. Took a taxi from the airport to Surmeli hotel. We had few hours to ourself in Istanbul before having dinner at the hotel with the others from the Glo Bus tour.

The helpful hotel receptionist told us to catch a taxi and go to Taksim. So we did.

The taxi driver drops us in Taksim Square near Ystiklal cadessi. In Taksim Square there stood the Independence monument. It commemorates the founder of modern Turkey Kemal Attaturk in 1923.

Ystiklal cadessi is visually very interesting street. The street is now reserved for pedestrian. Tourist from all over the world, they all intertwine with the locals. They are sea of faces with many expressions. You can see people strolling in the street bopping their heads, jiving to the bell sound coming out loudly from the tram and the human traffics dodging the sound. It has a central tramline that runs from the beginning right to the water edge. Many of the buildings architecture is of western influence.

Both sides of the street are never ending shops catering from basic eateries, colourful bar, boutiques, banks, theatres, fancy restaurants to foreign embassy. The street is about three km long and is on the north side of the Golden Horn. It takes quite awhile to explore the length of the street.

The small side street off the main avenue is very interesting. Lots of small cafes, cheap restaurants, fish market. We bought Turkish pipe here at a good price.

There are many restaurants in Ystiklal cadessi. The guy who sold us the Turkish pipe suggests to us that we should go to restaurants where the local go. He gave us the direction to where the local ate. We glad we listen to him as the food was excellent and a lot cheaper to the normal tourist restaurant.

We were surprised when we found a Catholic cathedral St Antoino in the middle of Ystiklal Caddesi. Apparently during the Ottoman Empire they were many foreign embassies from Europe. The last Sultan allocates the land for the church to be built for the Christian diplomat to pray.

For my liking near the end of the long street I found an alley full of shops that sells guitar and other instrument. I decided to hang around for a half hour or so, while my wife gallivant the opposite direction to the souvenir shops looking for snow cones that has Blue Mosque or Hagia Sophia, but no such luck.

Along the street there are ice cream sellers. Their use their cones to decorates their shop. The seller entertained their customers by juggling the ice cream cones.

I think Ystiklal Cadessi is a safe street with visible uniform police patrolling the street.

Cadessi in Turkish means street, avenue .

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Rich in history, architeture, historical buildings, friendly people, good food
  • Cons:beware of taxi driver
  • In a nutshell:The exotic city of Istanbul has a touch of romance.
  • Last visit to Istanbul: Jun 2005
  • Intro Updated Apr 12, 2008
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Reviews (10)

Comments (3)

  • stfa's Profile Photo
    Feb 25, 2008 at 3:50 AM

    Nice tips and picture of the BELLY DANCERS!!!

  • Luchonda's Profile Photo
    Dec 16, 2007 at 1:58 PM

    Hi Fari and Kim, you made some good reports and pics on the highlights of Istanbul. Greetz from Belgium and happy finals of 2007. Luc

  • basak's Profile Photo
    Apr 18, 2006 at 10:50 PM

    thank you for visiting my pages!!! You have great pictures here. The name of the bread sold by the vendor in the photo is "simit"....Love, Basak


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