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Easy 2.5 hours(Approx.)
Experience the lively Beyoğlu-Taksim district under the knowledgeable eye of your guide. Veer away from the hustle and bustle of Istiklal Avenue to discover the beautiful side streets and historical passages that get missed by tourists and Turks alike.
As we stroll Istiklal Street, your guide will point out places to get the best local snacks and coffee, as well as show you the main points of interest along the way.
Beyoğlu (formerly Pera) was the primary neighborhood of the foreign community as well as non-Muslim Ottoman subjects and gradually attained an European look with the arrival of foreign embassies. It is now the city’s major entertainment district, full of bars, clubs, cafes, restaurants, and scores of top shopping brands.
Every great city has a central square, and Istanbul does not disappoint. Aptly named ‘Taksim’ (meaning “division” or “distribution”) for the place where the main water lines once met, this square has a little bit of everything and is worth a trip to witness people and their interactions.
In the Ottoman era, Beyoğlu (then known as Pera) was, along with Galata, the European Quarter of Istanbul. Home to embassies and trading centers, as well as fine 19th-century, Parisian-style apartment houses, the area was much-loved by the city’s non-Islamic minorities, with names of Greek and Armenian architects still adorning the fronts of some of Istiklal Avenue’s grander buildings.
About halfway along Istiklal Caddesi, the famous modern avenue that starts from Taksim Square and leads to the edge of Galata, there are numerous “passages”, or arcades – part covered and part free in the sun – abounding with shops and restaurants. The most famous of these, the Çiçek Pasajı, dates to 1876 and bears a particular history. At one time, in fact, it was one of the swankiest places in the city: built in direct imitation of Parisian models, it housed a shopping arcade and apartments. Following the Russian Revolution of 1917, many impoverished noble Russian women, including a Baroness, found themselves selling flowers here. By the 1940s the building was mostly occupied by flower shops, hence the present Turkish name: “Flower Passage”.
One of the city’s most distinctive sights, this great fortification dating back to 1348 was erected by the mercantile Genoese Italians as a vantage point over the city walls and was subsequently used as a fire lookout tower until as recently as the 1960s.
We meet in front of Republic Monument (Cumhuriyet Anıtı) which is right at the center of Taksim Square (Taksim Meydanı) and one minute walk from Taksim metro station.
Our tour concludes in Eminönü where the Spice Market, leaving you free to continue your Istanbul sightseeing.
What a great tour!
Errol showed us all the cool nooks and crannies that only the locals would know about. He was very knowledgeable politcally, socially, and religiously. We had great conversations and he was also a very nice guy to talk to.
He gave us good advice on where to eat, shop, and see.
Would 100% recommend to anyone visiting Istanbul.
Our guide Erol was extremely knowledgable and we had a great experience. I would highly recommend this tour to anyone who doesn’t want to be stuck in a big group of people as it’s max 6 guests. Best tour we have ever had!