Situated in the European side, it is an 8.76 sqm area surrounded by Sişli, Beşiktaş and Kağıthane districts in the north and Golden Horn and Bosphorus in other directions. The district is composed of 45 points and has no rural settlements. Beyoğlu was home to one of the first settlements in Istanbul. The “Pera” neighborhood which means “the other side” is still home to many, as well as an internationally recognized art school. Galata which was within the borders of Beyoğlu in history was an area inhabited by Genoese in Byzantine times. When the Christian immigrants came from Galata and settled in Istiklal Avenue, then known as “Grand Rue de Pera”, it became a settlement with a European look.
Taksim Square in Beyoğlu is one of Istanbul’s most dynamic and iconic places. During the Ottoman Period, this site was a collection and distribution center for water coming from Belgrade Forest. For this reason, Taksim means ‘distribution’ or ‘division’ in Turkish.
Taksim Square and Istiklal Avenue offer a different experience than the city's other touristic locations since Taksim is also a major neighborhood people live on. Although the food culture on them is alive every day of the season, foods such as Baked Chestnut that you can buy off from the walking sellers feel more genuine during winter, because it is the season of chestnuts. The more traditional foods such as Donair, and Kebab is more fun to eat when you are not pressured by the harsh heats of Summer as well.
While the district itself has only 238,762 residents, more than a million tourists visit the district. Since it is such a historical location, it also makes sense to protect old hotels in the area. The district has the second-highest volume of 4-star hotels in Istanbul.
Thousands are walking on the street and infinite restaurants and retail offers on the sidelines. This is also the original diplomatic district when Istanbul was the capital of the Ottoman Empire. Various impressive embassies are now consulates since the capital moved to Ankara.
The easiest way to get to Istiklal Avenue is from Karaköy on the shore of Golden Horn, where you take a finicular rail system. Karaköy's finicular line is the second oldest metropolitan underground railway in the world which was founded in 1875.
With a daily amount of 3 million visitors, Istiklal Avenue is considered to be the main vain of Istanbul. The walkway of 1.4km consists of everything from nightclubs to cinemas and cafes to boutiques. If you don’t want to walk, feel free to take the famous Red Tram straight into Taksim Square where u can get a view of Turkey's monument of its foundation.
In Istiklal, even 500 years ago, people were walking on the same stones as they do now. There is history in every corner. Now, Istanbul’s biggest metro systems have been built around the district to accompany the growing number of tourists.