Aloisio Gritti built a large palace with surroundings
gardens, that been refereed as Beyoglu since the 16th century.
Also at the 16th century, the permission to build consulates
in this area was granted to Westerns who decided to permanently
keep their representative in the Ottoman capital. Today Beyoglu
is one of the main commercial points of Istanbul with an European
lifestyle. Istiklal Caddesi is the name of the main road of
Beyoglu. We recommend you to walk on Beyoglu - Istiklal Caddesi.
This way, you will have an idea on how the Turks live their
Istiklal Caddesi begin at Taksim Square where you can
see the Ataturk Cultural Center, the Marmara Hotel and the metro station.
"Taksim" mean water-distribution center, which was used by
Sultan Mahmut I in 1732. Walking ahead you will see the old tram which
was renovated and still used nowadays (you can see an old and new picture
of Beyoglu on this page). You can take the train to go and come in Istiklal
street. We recommend that you walk until the end and take the train
to come back. Walking straight without stopping might take you around
Beginning to walk you will see the French Consulate
on your right side, on your left side just behind the buildings
there is a catholic Church. On both sides you will be able to
see shops, restaurants, small snack bars, cinemas, etc...
There are also some passages on Istiklal Cad. You
will be walking on the main road and you will be surprised how
many small passages seam to be hidden on the way. One of those
passage is "Cicek Pasaji" or "Flower passage" on a rococo style
erected at 1876. This passage is famous because it is restaurants,
fish market and small shops.
You will find a lot of embassies in Beyoglu such as the
American Embassy, Russian Embassy, Greek Embassy, among others. You
will also find: some very good bookshops at the end of Istiklal Cad.,
the famous Galatasaray Highschool, banks, a mosque and a church.
Night life is interesting in Beyoglu. Until late at night
you will find people enjoying their meal in a restaurant, getting out
of cinemas, having a beer in a bar or simply walking on the streets.
A trip to Istanbul will not be complete without seeing
of our virtual tour through Istanbul: