This walking tour of Istanbul allows us to explore some of the must-see places in the Beyoglu district, from Taksim Square to Istiklal Street and Galata. Here we also share our recommendations on the best places for coffee, lunch, or street food with plenty of stops along the way.
Walking route from Taksim to Galata via Istiklal
When planning your walking tours Istanbul, you may want to consider these routes:
Once you have reached the center of the square, you will see the famous monument in the heart of the square: Monument to Ataturk and Republic. This is the Monument to the Republic of Taksim which was inaugurated on August 8, 1928. The pedestal and landscaping of the monument were made by the Italian architect Giulio Mongeri.
Istiklal Street is one of the most popular streets in Istanbul and one of the most popular meeting points. It’s a center of leisure activities in Istanbul. Istiklal means “Independence” in Turkish.
Greek Orthodox Church
This church is a great example of this branch of religion. Very well maintained and in perfect working order. It can easily be seen with its dome and twin bell towers, as a mix of Byzantine and modern architecture.
Nevizade is one of the most famous entertainment venues in Beyoglu. You can enjoy the lively atmosphere of its narrow streets with restaurants, cafes, bars, fish restaurants, meyhanes, places to eat, and more.
A few steps to the left, you will see SALT Beyoglu, a public service cultural institution that offers research-based exhibitions, publications, web and digitization projects, as well as development programs including screenings, lectures, and workshops.
If you take the road to Mesrutiyet street, you will find the famous Pera Museum. This is a private museum housed in an impressive historic building that was originally conceived as the Bristol Hotel.
Walking a little further, you will reach the end of Istiklal Street, where you are now in the famous Tunel Square. The name comes from the tunnel that connects the square with Karakoy and Galata.
It operates a 573-meter-long funicular system, which is the second oldest subway line in the world having been built in 1875. The oldest was built in London in 1863. You can travel from here to Karakoy in 90 seconds.
Dating back to the 14th century, topped with a distinctive witch’s hat roof, the tower is an ancient Genoese tower overlooking beautiful Istanbul and has a massive cone-shaped structure that was built approximately 38 meters above sea level.
This is a fantastic view, a work of art, and an example of civil architecture that was built in the 1850s. You can take great photos with its art nouveau architecture.
Now you can end your Taksim to Galata walking tour by walking to the coast and having a rest in one of the terrace cafes or any other nice cafe or restaurant located around Galata tower or Karakoy coast. Our favorite here is salon Galata, the best restaurant in the area.
Alternative Routes and Tours
The route we have chosen is about 2.5 kilometers long. You can also choose your optional detours. Other Routes in Istanbul to try to include the:
- route through Galata and Karaköy from the Hall of Dervishes to the Galata Tower, Kamondo Stair, and Tophane;
- route through old Istanbul from the Museum of the Ancient Orient to the Obelisk of Theodosius, and Museum of Turkish and Islamic Art;
- or the Istanbul food tour, from the Spice Market to the Sultanahmet Buhara kebabs, Cooking classes in Alaturka, Perşembe Pazarı, and the Karaköy Fish Market.
Don’t forget to have a guide on your walking tour or find other walking tour tips before heading out.
A quick walk can take between 3 or 4 hours. However, it can take a full day here if you spend time in the museums, inside the various places of interest, art centers, at various stops, cafes, bakeries, or restaurants to eat, drink, or you walk through the food markets.