Located north of the Golden Horn and across the Galata Bridge from Istanbul’s vibrant Old City, the European Beyoglu district is the city’s modern center of shopping, entertainment, and nightlife. The area contains various museums, Taksim Square, and Istiklal Street (İstiklal Caddesi), one of the city’s main pedestrian thoroughfares.The Basics
The Beyoglu area has been inhabited since the time of Christ and was controlled by the Genoese and the Venetians before eventually being settled by the Ottomans. By the late-Ottoman era in the 19th century, Beyoglu was a center of trade, international diplomacy, and culture. Historically, it was home to many of the religious minorities in the Ottoman Empire, and today churches, synagogues, and mosques are still visible throughout the district.
Private and small-group walking tours of Istanbul visit the Beyoglu district, including those that focus on food and Jewish heritage. Tours often stop at Istiklal Street, the Pera Museum (Pera Müzesi), the Istanbul Modern museum, the Museum of Turkish Jews, Galata Tower (Galata Kulesi), contemporary galleries, and more. Things to Know Before You Go
How to Get There
- The Beyoglu district is a must-visit for art, history, and architecture buffs.
- Beyoglu comprises a large area, and it’s wise to wear comfortable shoes to explore it.
- The area around Taksim Square is a center of nightlife and dining in Istanbul.
- As with much of Istanbul, Beyoglu can be challenging for wheelchair users to navigate, due to hills, cobblestones, stairs, etc.
Beyoglu is one of the most well-connected areas in Istanbul, sitting at the fulcrum of metro, tram, ferry, and bus lines. Anywhere that is too far from a public transportation line is accessible by foot or by taxi.When to Get There
Like much of Istanbul, Beyoglu is quiet in the morning hours all the way through lunch. This is the best time to explore the streets at a leisurely pace. By the afternoon, Beyoglu gets much busier, and in the evening the area buzzes with life spilling from its many cafés, bars, and restaurants.The Different Neighborhoods of Beyoglu
Beyoglu is a sprawling district, and its many neighborhoods each have their own vibe. Galata, the area on the slopes around the Galata Tower, features local-designer shops and jazz clubs. Cihangir attracts a young and artsy crowd to its galleries and cafés. Istiklal Caddesi draws locals and tourists to its plethora of stores, notable restaurants, and throbbing nightclubs.