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Beyoglu Area

Taksim at Raffles Istanbul

Beyoğlu- Istiklal Avenue or Street

İstiklal Caddesi (Independence Avenue) is the heart of Beyoğlu, the more modern district of Istanbul built during the 19th century. The city's most popular strolling, shopping and snacking street, now reserved for pedestrians, is lined with boutiques, cafes, consulates, restaurants, galleries, cinemas and banks with residential apartments above. When 19th-century travelers spoke of Constantinople (Istanbul) as the “Paris of the East”, they were thinking of the Grande Rue de Péra (İstiklal Caddesi) and its half-European, half-Asian culture. The avenue begins at Taksim Square, the hub of modern Istanbul. Nostalgic trams rattle and clank along Istiklal Caddesi from Taksim Square to Tünel Square just as they did in the 19th-century heyday...

Galata Tower

The Galata Tower— called “Christea Turris” by the Genoese — is a medieval stone tower in the Galata/Karaköy quarter of Istanbul. One of the city's most striking landmarks, it is a high, cone-capped cylinder that dominates the skyline and offers a panoramic vista of Istanbul's historic peninsula and its environs. According to Ottoman historian and traveller Evliya Çelebi, in circa 1630-1632, Hezarfen Ahmet Çelebi flew as an early intercontinental aviator using artificial wings gliding from this tower over the Bosphorus to the slopes of Üsküdar on the Anatolian side, nearly six kilometres away.

Galata Mawlavi House

It is the first Mawlawi House in İstanbul (1491) built by Divane (Semai) Mehmed (Chalabi) Dede, Sheikh of Afyon Mawlawi House, at Galata ridge which is owned by Iskender Pasha during the reign of Bayezid II (birth 1481 AH -1512 CE) The building was swayed by the big earthquake in İstanbul (1509) than repaired and renovated and turned out to be a complex of building after new sections added. The oldest property that has survived today is Hasan Agha Fountain which was built in 1649. Halet Said Efendi (Kudretullah Dede) Tomb and Sheikh Ghalib (Ismail Ankaravi) Tombs were restorated and The Museum started to receive visitors by Ministry of Culture and Tourism and with the contributions of İstanbul 2010 European Cultural Capital Agency.

Pera Museum

Pera Museum is an art museum in the Tepebaşı quarter of the Beyoğlu. It focuses on Orientalism in 19th century art. The Pera was founded by the Suna and İnan Kıraç Foundation in 2005. It is located in the historic building of the former Hotel Bristol, which was designed by architect Achille Manoussos and built in 1893. The museum was renovated between 2003 and 2005 by architect Sinan Genim, who preserved the facade of the building and transformed the interior into a modern and fully equipped museum. Pera Museum hosts regular, international loan exhibitions, in addition to holding permanent collections of Orientalist Paintings, Anatolian Weights and Measures, and Kütahya Tiles and Ceramics.


Karaköy, the modern name for the ancient Galata, is a commercial neighborhood in the Beyoğlu district of Istanbul, located at the northern part of the Golden Horn mouth on the European side of Bosphorus. Karaköy is one of the oldest and most historic districts of the city, and is today an important commercial center and transport hub. The location is connected with the surrounding neighborhoods through streets originating from Karaköy Square. Karaköy is also a popular place to eat especially seafood, börek (pastry), muhallebi (Turkish pudding) and baklava. Arap Mosque with its square formed minaret, the oldest mosque in Istanbul converted from a church was used by Arab immigrants fleeing from the Spanish Inquisition.

Salt Galata

SALT is a Turkish contemporary art foundation. It was established by Garanti Bank in 2011, and has exhibition and workshop spaces in both Istanbul and Ankara. It combines the previous activities of the Garanti Gallery, the Ottoman Bank Archives and Research Centre and the Platform Garanti Contemporary Art Center of the bank. The library and the restaurant inside is also worth a visit.

Museum of Innocence

The Museum of Innocence is both a novel by Orhan Pamuk and a museum that he has set up. The novel, which is about love, describes life in Istanbul between 1950 and 2000 through memories and flashbacks and centered around two families – one wealthy, the other lower middle class. The museum presents what the novel’s characters used, wore, heard, saw, collected and dreamed of, all meticulously arranged in boxes and display cabinets. It is not essential to have read the book in order to enjoy the museum, just as it is not necessary to have visited the museum in order to fully enjoy the book.


Like all the best up-and-coming neighborhoods, Çukurcuma's cutting-edge shops and bars exist side by side with centuries-old tradition. In its boutiques, artists design T-shirts and dresses that would look perfectly at home in New York City; wander through the district and you will find old men playing okey and sipping tea in the shade of cracking pastel-colored facades. Çukurcuma has long been known for its antiques, but over the last few years, wares that appeal to distinctively hipster sensibilities have joined the Ottoman relics and old imperial plunder. Simultaneously, high-end design and fashion boutiques have started to pop up in the area.

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